QUALICOAT Conference Success

speaker and audiene at Qualicoat Conference

HELD IN JUNE, QUALICOAT UK & Ireland’s conference at the Building Centre in London, ‘Future Proofing Facades’, has been hailed a success by all who attended.

The event focused on aluminium in construction as a sustainable fenestration material and how powder coating has advanced over the last few years to meet specifiers expectations.

Angus Mackie – QUALICOAT UK & Ireland Chair.

The Conference was opened by Angus Mackle, Chair of the QUALICOAT UK & Ireland Association, who thanked sponsors, Barley Chalu, Chemetall, Interpon, Jotun & Vertik-Al before explaining how the service life of facades and windows can be maximized and constructed sustainability by ensuring correct specification.

Architectural Powder Coating

First speaker, Ivo Vermeeren, President of QUALICOAT, based in Zurich, offered an overview of how the Association has grown into a global architectural specification for powder coating, resulting in a worldwide, recognised quality label for finishing.

Today the Association is fully accredited and offers a ‘Seaside’ class of powder coating as well as QUALIDECO which offers realistic finishes replicating such materials as wood. The latest addition to the specification options is QUALICOAT 3.0 which is a minimum recommendation for the quality of extruded aluminium, especially if it comprises of recycled content.

Coated Aluminium

A masterclass in architectural aluminium specification followed, by first keynote speaker, Michael Stacey from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. Michael explained how specified powder coating had begun to become mimetic, replicating such materials such as copper or terracotta. He emphasised design durability citing the 80 years coated aluminium can last.

Fire Safety

Fire resistance of building envelopes over 11m in height has become a crucial over the last few years and Naveen Sandhu of AkzoNobel Powder Coatings, explained how correctly applied powder coatings comply with an EN 13501-1 classification of A2-s1,d0 is permissible under Part B Regulations for buildings over 18m (11m in Scotland). Naveen went onto describe the BS 8414 Test Methodology using full scale testing with assessment to BR 135 where powder coating meeting the A2-s1,d0 classification is fully compliant.

As a Global specification the latest QUALICOAT Specification now encompasses the flammability of powder formulations to ensure that single sided coatings on panels meet the A2-s1,d0 classification. Chris Mansfield of Tomburn explained the update to BS EN 12206.1 2021 and what changes had been made since 2004.

Jan Lukaszewski, Secretary of QUALICOAT UK & Ireland, gave the delegates an overview of aluminium’s characteristics and said the challenge now is to recycle the many grades of alloy so that grades of recycled aluminium are not lost.

QUALICOAT conference brochures

Former RIBA President

Former RIBA President, Maxwell Hutchinson, was the second keynote speaker offering a view of responsibilities in building construction and design. While the conference was all about construction and sustainability in the facade, Maxwell said it was only the architect who could make the facade look beautiful, insisting that architects must continue to be educated to support them throughout the design and build process.

Next, was Dr Jose Manuel Mota, of the Spanish Association of Aluminium and Surface Treatment who spoke about the new QUALICOAT 3.0 specification relating to the quality of extruded aluminium that is used in architectural powder coated fenestration, namely alloys 6060 and 6063. By tightening their specification the durability of powder coated aluminium is further increased. It is anticipated that extruders in the future will fully adopt QUALICOAT 3.0 for their production and will apply for a QUALICOAT 3.0 licence.

To explain the importance of the aluminium pretreatment process prior to powder coating, Oliver Katschmareck of Chemetall Limited offered delegates compelling reasons to acid etch aluminium profiles by removing 1gm/m2 of the aluminium surface prior to the application of a protective conversion layer, avoiding corrosion risk.

Consistent Quality

Inspections of QUALICOAT licence holders is key to maintaining consistent quality within the QUALICOAT Specification. Michael Muller MD of IFO GmbH, QUALICOAT UK & Ireland’s independent test house, explained to delegates what happens during an unannounced inspection. Importantly, he explained how the QUALICOAT specification defines testing regularity. The recording of repeat tests of the production process, given the clear QUALICOAT Specification parameters, is one of the key elements of the twice yearly unannounced inspections.

To close the QUALICOAT conference, Philipp Ambruch, Rudolf Ambruch Fassadeenpflege GmbH, a GRM member, offered an introduction to the cleaning and restoration of powder coated facades. He emphasised that regular, minimum cleaning will extend the useful life of all architectural coatings.

The global QUALICOAT Standard is revised in real time and the Specification is freely available for download

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