Building Enclosure features “Preventing coating failures”

Helping ensure the best finish for architectural aluminum products, Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder recently authored “Preventing coating failures.” Published in the July issue of Building Enclosure magazine, the article addresses the benefits and cautions of selecting paint and anodize finishes.

5-webWith proper consideration and application, finished architectural aluminum will retain its intended look and long life with minimal maintenance. A durable finish helps provide the desired performance in the harshest environments, including the highly corrosive seacoast. These qualities reduce the need to replace materials and components, conserve resources, optimize labor and save money.

Click here to read the online article.

Need help selecting the right coating for your project? Please contact us for personalized service.

Anodize Nickel Test

Linetec-dark-bronze-Ano-nickel-rub-2blue-web

Nickel Test

When extreme hardness is required for aluminum building components, such as in high-traffic areas, like entranceways and railings, an AAMA 611-14 anodized aluminum finish should be specified.

The hardness of anodized aluminum rivals that of the diamond.

This “Nickel Test” demonstrates why a Class I high-performance anodize coating is the perfect choice for exterior architectural applications.

Linetec People to Know: Cara Bahlow

CaraB-(2)-webQ:  Tell me about your job

A:  I am the Quality Engineer for the paint facility. This year, I will celebrate my 10-year anniversary with Linetec.  My responsibilities include supervising the Quality Assurance department, reviewing customer specifications and working with customers to understand their quality expectations, managing customer concerns and returns, corrective actions, maintaining certifications, and providing requests for documentation such as test reports and certificates of analysis.  I relay customers’ needs internally to ensure that we are providing the quality finish that our customers are expecting.

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: Prior to Linetec I worked in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for a global adhesive corporation specializing in the distribution of specialty chemicals and equipment. I spent eight years as the Quality Manager for two divisions that offered custom packaging for a variety of materials and developed custom-formulated products.  I enjoyed my job thoroughly, but was excited for the opportunity to return to Wausau with my young family so we could spend a lot of time with our extended family. Linetec was the perfect fit!  Often people tease me that I went from watching glue dry to watching paint dry!

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A:  My favorite part of my job, as well as the biggest challenge of my job, is the fast paced nature of the production environment.  In quality you can never have a plan for the day because you do not know what challenges the day will bring.  I really like visiting customers and working through customer audits to understand how they use our services and what end application their product has.  I also like helping and watching employees grow into experienced, confident employees who are proud of their work and what Linetec has to offer.

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years of doing your job?

A:  The biggest change I’ve seen in my job is the evolvement of Linetec’s quality program and that of our customers.  Many of our customers use instrumentation in their receiving and quality inspection.  Our employees, the data we maintain, and the testing and procedures that we have in place have advanced significantly over the years.  Customer requests that once seemed an impossibility have now become standard procedure.  I am proud of what we’ve accomplished; the Linetec team has never been stronger!

Q:  What is something you are looking forward to?

A:  At Linetec I look forward to the growth our new product offerings.  There are some very exciting finishes I can’t wait to see more of on our paint line!  Personally, I look forward to family vacations and every moment spent together making memories as a family.

CaraB-(3)-webQ:  What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A:  Outside of work, my husband and I enjoy cheering our 14-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter on in their activities – whether it is on a football field, dance studio or one of their many Scouting adventures.  I’ve been a Girl Scout leader and a Sunday School teacher for many years. I love seeing that look on a child’s face when they’ve learned something new or mastered a new skill.  I hope I’ve influenced them positively and someday they’ll remember these moments with a smile.  I love singing for our church and participating in the church choir.  I enjoy swimming, figure skating and playing tennis.  My favorite place to be is our family cabin in Tomahawk, Wisconsin – boating, fishing, swimming, campfires and ice cream.  It has been a very special part of my life since I was a young child.  There is no place that I would rather be!

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How does aluminum become anodized?

LinetecAnodize_web-300dpiAnodizing is the most durable and long-lasting option for finishing architectural aluminum building products. An electrochemical process, anodizing produces a finish that resists the ravages of time and environment. However, there are important things to note about color selection for anodized aluminum.

Linetec’s two-step electrolytic anodizing process , where the anodizing and coloring of the aluminum occur in two separate steps, involves:

  • first placing the aluminum in a solution of sulfuric acid and water, then charging it with electrical current to form aluminum oxide on the surface.
  • then after anodizing is complete, parts can be immersed in a bath containing an inorganic metal such as tin, cobalt or nickel, which is deposited in the anodic pores to achieve color.

anodize-ring2-webAs a result, anodized finishes’ color choices range from clear to champagne to a variety of bronze tones to black. Linetec also offers a copper anodize, which involves an additional color tank, using actual copper to color the aluminum while isolating the copper in the coating. This process makes the copper color very stable and consistent.

Anodic oxide is not affected by ultraviolet light and is resistant to scratches, which help ensure color stability.

Due to the chemical process used to create an anodized finish, the possibility of color variation can be a concern during its application. Here are some factors to keep in mind to minimize the variation from your desired color:

  • Single source it. While the aluminum is anodized during the process, other metals (silicon, zinc, magnesium, etc.) present in the aluminum alloy can respond differently, resulting in unwanted variation of color. Reduce this risk by having all metal used for a project come from a single source/extruder, and from one lot of material. Also, avoid using aluminum with different alloys, as it will not yield uniform results.
  • Request a range sample. Because it is impossible to know the effect non-aluminum metals in the material will have on the final product’s color, be sure to ask your anodizer for a range sample before sending them your product for finishing. An anodize range sample is two anodize color chips for the same color, with one showing the lightest extreme of appearance to be expected on the finished parts and one showing the darkest. Be aware that the lighter the anodize finish, the more noticeable the range. Be sure to speak with any potential anodizer to see what range of variation they can guarantee. AAMA’s industry-leading standards specify that the range should not differ by more than 5 Delta E. A quality anodizer may be able to keep the range of a color even lower.
  • Bend then finish.  Anodic films are very hard, and as a result, most post-production bending causes a series of small cracks in the finish that give it a spider-web appearance. To avoid this, have as much bending and forming of the material completed before it is sent to receive its finish.
  • Weld with care.  If your metal has any welds on it, the anodization process can cause a halo effect of localized discoloration around them. Welding with the proper 5356 alloy welding wire and the lowest heat possible helps minimize this.

Select an aluminum finisher that utilizes automation in its anodize process to reduce inconsistencies. An automated system controls and monitors the process, including tank sequencing, chemical add, voltage, current, time and temperature, which ensures the most consistent anodize finish possible.

Learn more about anodizing by clicking here. For personalized assistance in choosing an anodize color for your aluminum building products, please contact Linetec’s regional sales managers, email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.

Remodeled Royal Hawaiian Center features new Super Sky skylights with finishing by Linetec to withstand extreme climate

Royal-Hawaiin-Center--Building-C--2011webConcluding its multi-year, multi-building renovation, The Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki revitalizes and reestablishes itself as a premier shopping and entertainment destination. With more than 110 shops and restaurants in three four-story buildings, the 310,000-square-foot Center is one of Hawaii’s largest shopping malls. The six-acre retail campus connects to the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian Hotel, just minutes from Waikiki Beach. 

The Center’s refreshed exterior seamlessly blends with its lush surroundings, including an added green gathering space for entertainment and cultural programming. On Buildings A and C, designed by Architects Hawaii Ltd. (AHL), skylight systems by Super Sky Products Enterprises, LLC showcase natural light and views. Linetec painted the skylight’s aluminum framing members in a durable, 70 percent PVDF resin-based coating to protecting against the intense sunlight, heavy rains, high humidity and salt spray.

Royal-Hawaiin-Center--Building-A--2015.1081-04webImproving on the past

Owned by RHC Property Holdings LLC, The Royal Hawaiian Center opened in 1979. Designed in the Brutalist Modern style of the time, heavy concrete exterior walls defined the structure with little embellishment or connection to the environment or the community. The Center stands upon a parcel of land known as Helumoa, once home to Hawaiian royalty.

After years of increasing vacancy and declining visitors, the first phase of the $115 million renovation and expansion began in 2005. Callison Companies (now, CallisonRTKL, a design consultancy of Arcadis) is credited for this initial step in transforming what was once a dark, outdated shopping center into a vibrant, lifestyle-oriented retail and entertainment community. The heavy walls were replaced by open, modern façades and native landscaping.

AHL also contributed its expertise in Hawaiian cultural sensitivity in the architecture, permit processing and expediting services, and construction administration of the Center’s renovation. According to AHL, “This new design conveys a Hawaiian sense of place that is consistent with the City and County of Honolulu’s Waikiki Special Design District guidelines. It incorporates historical, cultural, and educational features consistent with the goal of Kamehameha Schools to perpetuate all things Hawaiian. In addition, visual and pedestrian linkages with the adjoining Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian hotels are improved to create an integrated resort destination.”

Protective finishes make a lasting impression

Beyond matching the Center’s updated aesthetics, Linetec supports the architectural performance specifications with 70-percent PVDF resin-based coatings applied to the skylight’s aluminum framing. “Coastal environments are one of the most aggressive outdoor environments for aluminum,” says Linetec’s senior marketing specialist, Tammy Schroeder, LEED® Green Associate. “Without proper precautions and finishes, corrosion to these aluminum components can damage the building envelope’s structural integrity, leading to systemic failure.”  read more

Linetec People to Know: Tom Harenda

Tom-motorcycle-webQ:  Tell me about your job

A: I am the Transportation Manager at Linetec. I started out in the Packaging department back in 1991 and transferred to the Shipping department shortly after that. I worked the dock loading trucks and also was the Shipping Clerk prior to becoming the Transportation Manager. My current responsibilities include oversight of our Linetec fleet/trucks, coordinating the trucking for numerous customers and supervising the 1st shift Shipping department. Being at the “back-end” of the process is not easy, as we’re challenged to get things out the door almost daily, especially with the increase in volume we’ve experienced the past few years.

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: Prior to Linetec, for several years I installed material handling equipment (conveyor and overhead rail systems, storage racks, etc.) I got tired of the travel and living out of a suitcase, so I sought out other employment.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A:   Having a sense of accomplishment when my team and I are able to assist sales or a customer. Typically that entails securing trucking on short notice, or expediting a “hot” shipment to meet their schedule. It’s critical to have a network of carriers/contacts to satisfy those types of requests, and it’s not very often that we’re unable to meet a specific demand. Building and surrounding myself with a strong team has been a necessity and I take pride in the team that we’ve built.

Q: What poses the biggest challenges for you?

A:  Without a doubt – our growth… We’ve been extremely busy lately. As I mentioned earlier, being the last step in the process continually puts us in a position where we have to perform, without exception. We strive to be as accurate as possible, knowing that any mistakes we make can delay our customers’ already tight production timeframes.

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve seen over the years of doing your job?

A:   Once again – our growth… When I took over our transportation, we had two trucks and a “partner carrier” to accommodate the routes that we ran. Today, we have seven of our own over-the-road OTR trucks and drivers, and two “partner carriers.” We currently serve around30 states and over 75 customers. Transportation has proven to be a great asset sales tool for Linetec customers. My team and I are proud to be a part of a service that has continually grown and provided additional finishing opportunities for Linetec.

Tom-golf-outing-webQ:  What is something you are looking forward to?

A:  I’m looking forward to the remainder of the summer, and hopefully DRY weather… It’s been an extremely wet spring/early summer and it’s hampered my ability to get outside and do some of the things I like to do, specifically riding my motorcycle.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A:  Most people I work with know that I ride my motorcycle as often as possible. I’ve put on over 180,000 miles in the past 10 years. I have taken several long distance rides, going to Yellowstone, the Tetons, the Black Hills, the Ozarks and Colorado, but the majority of those miles have been in Wisconsin. There are plenty of great roads here to seek out, especially in the southwest portion of the state.

I also enjoy live music. Often, my motorcycle rides entail riding to a specific destination to watch a band. I’ve seen countless famous, big name rock bands, but I prefer finding new, local bands playing at the local pub.

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, is my new favorite hot spot for music. There are several good bands that call Sturgeon Bay and Door County their home. In the summer, there are numerous venues to choose from that host live music. It’s also beautiful there. I find it very relaxing and hope to retire there someday.