QUALICOAT Class Specification
The formulation of powder coating surface treatments has advanced over the forty years that powder coating was first specified for architectural metalwork. Many of the original projects are still in use today with the coating still doing its job protecting the aluminium or steel substrate. Much of the current architectural powder coating in the UK uses ‘Class 1’ powders which offer excellent adhesion and long life.
Whilst Class 1 powder protection properties are excellent, there are two further measures that specifiers need to take into consideration when specifying powder coating, that of colour variation and gloss retention. By using powder with more robust compounds, typically with an increase in cost, both colour variation and gloss retention can be tighter controlled for a longer period.
Typically, these QUALICOAT Class 2 powders, also known as ‘Super Durable’ powders, offer much tighter tolerances over time on colour variation and gloss retention without sacrificing the high substrate protection offered by the powder coating process. Coated over a chrome, chrome-free or flash anodising pretreatment process these powders can also be applied to meet the QUALICOAT ‘Seaside Class’ for projects exposed in a harsher environment.
Seaside Class is recognised by a deeper etching of the aluminium substrate of the aluminium. For standard pretreatment, the total etching is specified as being at least 1.0 g/m2, when ‘Seaside Class’ is specified an enhanced pretreatment etch of at least 2.0 g/m2 is required, that is 2/g/m2 of aluminium surface removed. This deeper etch removes more surface contaminants on the aluminium and offers both better protection of the substrate and key for the powder coating. QUALICOAT coating members offering this enhanced Seaside Class are denoted by the qualification on the QUALICOAT website.
QUALICOAT is the right specification for powder coating over aluminium substrates, and the QUALICOAT powder Classes provide specifiers more choice to select the best finish for their project.
All powder formulations form part of the QUALICOAT approval process and are applied by licensed applications in the UK & Ireland, and across the globe. For specification support any member of the association can offer advice and guidance, for updated information about the use and specification of QUALICOAT in the UK and Ireland, please visit the associations' website at www.qualicoatuki.org
Qualicoat UK & Ireland with offices based in the Midlands is the National Association for Qualicoat approved companies. Qualicoat is a global quality label organisation committed to maintaining and promoting the quality of lacquering, painting and coating on aluminium and its alloys for architectural applications.
Please browse our website and should you have any questions about architectural powder coatings and the correct specification, please contact one of our local members or phone our office on the number below.
Qualicoat UK & Ireland Chairman