So What Differentiates a QUALICOAT Applicator?
When specifying powder coating for any architectural project, the applicator needs to be aware of the standards they need to work to. As a minimum this should be quoted at BS EN 12206-1:2004, it should not be quoted as BS 6496:1984 as this was withdrawn in February 2017. The applicator should be a specialist in architectural coatings and not just a ‘jobbing’ powder coater who coats anything requested, as they will not have the pretreatment system to cope with lengths of aluminium of up to 7m.
Pretreatment of aluminium profile is crucial to long powder coat life, without an extensive investment and implementation of control mechanisms in a pretreatment plant, powder coating for architectural use will simply will be ‘not fit for purpose’.
So what differentiates a QUALICOAT Applicator? Well, first of all it is not a requirement in the UK to have a QUALICOAT licence to supply architectural powder coating. Furthermore any applicator wishing to gain a licence will most likely have to invest in upgrading their equipment and processes, have one or more full-time lab technicians and a laboratory for ongoing process testing, be independently audited over a period of a few months at their cost, and only then, when they can prove that they can work to the latest QUALICOAT Standard will they be awarded a licence to use the QUALICOAT name, logo and quote their licence number.
So why specify QUALICOAT? Simply put QUALICOAT licence holders are companies who want to offer quality architectural powder coating that stands the test of time, the growing number of architectural specifications bear this out as the industry realises that by specifying an independently audited QUALICOAT licence holder for their coating requirements ensures an ongoing powder coat quality. Can a QUALICOAT licence holder loose their licence? Yes, and it has occurred over the last few years where the inspecting body in the UK, QUALICOAT UK & Ireland has revoked a licence holder for non-compliance with the current QUALICOAT specification.
Simply put, a QUALICOAT applicator will provide a quality powder coat finish that uses the latest technology that is know to offer an extensive life expectancy. A QUALICOAT applicator can also be on hand at any time to advise on what specification is required for any given location by any specifier. In the UK & Ireland there are currently sixteen applicators, and the number continues to grow.
Copies of the fifteenth edition of the QUALICOAT Standard, complete with amendments and updates, is freely available through the UK Association website, www.qualicoatuki.org together with an up-to-date list of Powder Suppliers, Pretreatment Suppliers and Applicators. Printed literature and telephone support is available from QUALICOAT UK & Ireland Head Office in Birmingham on 0121 601 6746. The Association can also be followed on Twitter at @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