Discover the Essential Steps for Longevity in Architectural Powder Coating: QUALICOAT Shares Insider Insights
For those in the know, the art of powder coating goes beyond mere aesthetics; it hinges on meticulous substrate preparation and adherence to stringent standards. QUALICOAT, the global standard-bearer in architectural powder coating, sheds light on the critical role of substrate preparation in ensuring the longevity of the applied finish. In an industry where shortcuts can lead to costly consequences, QUALICOAT emphasizes the importance of robust pretreatment, dispelling the notion that a competitive coating price should be the sole deciding factor in supplier selection.
The challenge lies in distinguishing quality powder coatings that stand the test of time. While many companies claim to adhere to national standards, QUALICOAT asserts its supremacy by providing transparency to specifiers. The QUALICOAT Specification, available on the association’s website, serves as a real-time guide informed by ongoing research and technological advancements. However, what sets QUALICOAT apart is its rigorous licensing process—members undergo biannual unannounced inspections, ensuring strict adherence to the exact Specification. Members falling short lose the privilege of displaying the coveted QUALICOAT label.
Consistency in supplying quality is not a mere goal but a mandate for applicator license holders within the QUALICOAT Association. The key to maintaining this quality lies in the vigilant monitoring of the powder coating process by laboratory technicians. Recognizing the evolving nature of the industry, QUALICOAT mandates refresher training courses for all license holders’ laboratory technicians every two years. This commitment to continuous learning ensures the implementation of the latest developments in production monitoring and testing as per the QUALICOAT Specification.
The yearly training meetings, organized by IFO—the independent test house associated with QUALICOAT UK & Ireland—serve as a knowledge-sharing hub. The latest session in November 2023 witnessed a record number of sixty laboratory technicians in attendance, engaging in discussions on Specification updates, technical presentations, and hands-on testing of chrome-free analysis. Notably, the event featured the Q-SUN Xe-1 xenon arc chamber, a cutting-edge equipment replicating the damage caused by sunlight and rain over an accelerated timeframe.
Oliver Boegler, Head of Inspections at IFO, provided valuable insights into coating various aluminum alloys, testing methods, and updates on the QUALICOAT Specification, including forthcoming changes in 2024. With an increasing number of powder coating applicators obtaining licenses and undergoing training, the majority of architectural powder coaters in the UK & Ireland are now QUALICOAT licensed, proudly carrying the prestigious QUALICOAT label.