QUALICOAT Meeting & AGM
Despite the fact that members of any Association cannot meet at the moment, it seems we have all become very proficient at communicating through the various mediums of video conference calls. With this in mind, QUALICOAT UK & Ireland held their third meeting of the year and the second to be hosted online.
One of the technical topics discussed covered the use of chrome free pretreatment systems used on recycled aluminium. Whilst the pretreatment systems suppliers are making the application process more stringent, a QUALICOAT coaters workgroup are also active at looking at ways to improve the testing of the pretreatment once applied. Process samples, often run through the powder coating process at regular intervals and on a colour change, should be of the same grade of alloy where possible. There also continues to be concern that ‘tramp’ elements present in recycled aluminium may cause issues with the onset of corrosion.
This is a major research programme being undertaken by the Association and is referred to as QUALICOAT 3.0. As the use of recycled extrusion is set to double in the next five years, this research will ensure that a dialogue between extruders and QUALICOAT can be forged that will further extend the life expectancy of architectural powder coating.
Membership of QUALICOAT UK & Ireland continues to grow with two new powder coating companies close to gaining their licences. Due to furlough and inspection difficulties these should hopefully be awarded towards the end of the year. In conjunction with QUALICOAT UK & Ireland‘s appointed independent test house, IFO are now introducing online inspections for current members. These unannounced inspections take place twice a year for coating licence holders. Since the last meeting the association has seen a further five coating companies approach QUALICOAT UK & Ireland with a view to becoming licensed.
Laboratory Technician training is a requirement for powder coating members and this years training, undertaken by IFO, was successfully completed in late September again via video conference. The training keeps laboratory technicians up to date with current testing methodology and required standards to retain their licensed applicator status.
Work has been continuing on how to determine the acceptable shade variation in metallic finishes as Delta-E readings are not consistent for these finishes. A Delta-E spectrometer offers a single number that represents the 'distance' between two colours. The principle is that a dE of 1.0 is the smallest colour difference that the human eye can see. It has been determined that the best way to determine ‘colour’ is to view samples next to upper and lower reference samples in a light cabinet.
QUALICOAT have been reviewing powders with regard to their surface flammability, following stricter recommendation for the Construction Industry in the UK following the Grenfell report. Many powders currently meet the requirement of BS 476 Part 6, Class B s1 dO, currently set for the external envelope over 18m. An update to the QUALICOAT Standard is expected shortly.
A further enhancement to the QUALICOAT standard will be a recommended powder and pretreatment guide for choosing architectural coatings in a given geographical location. This again will appear as an update to the standard in the coming months.
The meeting concluded with an AGM for the Association where Angus Mackie was voted in as chair of QUALICOAT UK & Ireland for a second year.
Copies of the sixteenth edition of the QUALICOAT Standard, complete with the amended updates, are available through the UK Association website, www.qualicoatuki.org together with an up-to-date list of licensed UK and Ireland Powder Suppliers, Pretreatment Suppliers and Applicators. Printed literature and telephone support is available from QUALICOAT UK & Ireland Head Office in Birmingham on 0330 236 2800 or email email@example.com. The Association can also be followed on Twitter @Qualicoatuki
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