The vast majority of the powder coating aluminium used in the construction sector in the UK is now specified under the QUALICOAT standard and is applied by licensed applicators here and in Europe. Its rise in popularity among specifiers is the ability of the global standard to keep up with emerging technologies and methodologies for quality coating. Run by its members, the single global recognised standard is regularly updated to ensure licence applicators worldwide offer the highest quality of powder coating in todays market.
As an endorsement to a current approved QUALICOAT applicator is a further licence that can be granted for QUALIDECO finishing. These finishes are photorealistic and often portray woodgrain or stone finishes, but any photorealistic finish can be replicated. Popular on the continent for many years, powder coated photorealistic finishes specified on aluminium are rapidly growing in popularity in the UK.
The finish is achieved by ‘sublimation’ which is a physical chemical process which is the direct transition of a substance from the solid phase to the gas phase, the technology is also known as a ‘heat transfer process’.
To achieve the finish, the profile is firstly given a base coat of powder coating, or what is known as the 'ground' coat. Once this has been allowed to cool after being heat cured, the profile is then wrapped with a Sublimatic Film which carried the photorealistic transfer inks that are required for the finished profile. The air inside the enclosing film is then vacuumed away which then ensures that the transfer film is in direct contact with the 'sound' coating. The coated profile is then cured again at approximately 200ºC where, by Sublimation, these special inks are transferred from the Sublimatic Film into the coating layer. Once the profile has cooled, the film removed, the coated profile is then ready for use.
For further information, please refer to the QUALICOAT UK & Ireland website where more information is available.
Copies of the sixteenth edition of the QUALICOAT Standard, is available through the UK Association website, www.qualicoatuki.org together with an up-to-date list of approved Powder Suppliers, approved Pretreatment Suppliers and licensed 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