Out Now Issue n. 83 of ipcm® International Paint&Coating Magazine

Date: 03/10/2023
Categories: ipcm
Mockup of the cover page and an article of IPCM n. 83

Read the latest issue of the magazine dedicated to surface treatments and organic and inorganic finishes – Special edition on aluminium, architecture and design!

Metal architecture and powder coating are a winning combination, an unbreakable association and a mutual exchange of inputs for innovation as well as a powerful push for research and development in the paint industry to meet the growing demands for outdoor durability and ageing resistance in an increasingly unpredictable climate while also fulfilling any designers’ dreams of colour and materials.

The dynamism underlying the relationship between the world of architecture – from designers and specifiers to manufacturers and coaters – and powder coatings is similar only to that existing between the automotive industry and liquid paints. In Europe, when speaking of technologies for finishing metal architectural components – be they made of aluminium, steel or extruded or sheet metal – powder coating is the first to come to mind, so much so it is established within the industry.

The European market simply does not consider any technological alternatives for the organic coating of architectural metalwork. In those rare times when we come across liquid-coated profiles, for example because they are intended for the American market, we find it hard to understand why that choice was made. Only in the coil coating sector does liquid paint still find its use, due to the specific mechanical strength properties required of the paint for post-processing the substrate.

The same is also true for all the markets colonised by European technology, such as the Arab Emirates, North Africa and the Far East. Europe (especially Italy and Spain), however, is home to the companies that have pioneered the application of powders on aluminium profiles.

Conversely, at the global level, the United States market is the one where powder coatings are used the least, even more so in architecture, a sector where AAMA specifications – in particular AAMA 2605 – provide for tests and requirements that are still very much focused on liquid coatings, despite covering both technologies. Less advanced technological development than in Europe, together with an environmental awareness that has not fully blossomed yet, means that powders (which are VOC-free as well as recoverable and recyclable) still hold a minority share of the market.

The trend, however, is reversing: this is what ipcm® picked up during its third attendance at Fabtech, one of the main events in the United States of America for the metal processing and finishing industry as well as the place-to-be for the paint and coatings sector, which this year took place in Chicago from 11th to 14th September. Several European technologies were presented, with precise marketing and communication strategies contributing to the spread of powder coatings and fostering the technological change they call for. The information, research, development, training and product validation work being done by ChemQuest Powder Coating Research with the help of Kevin Biller, by now a regular guest of this magazine with his Ask Joe Powder column, also proved strategic.

Many of these topics are also explored in depth on this issue of ipcm®, including a focus on “Architecture&Design” as well as offering the usual technological insights into the world of surface treatments.