Understand your powder coating warranty and industry standards
When you specify a powder coating there are several considerations you need to make, and standards that you need to understand, in order to avoid the pitfalls of overconfidence. Powder coating is a high performance, durable, and effective coating, but that does not mean it is one-size-fits-all. You need to be aware of the limitations and standards of your own application before blindly opting for powder coating. You also need to understand what the powder coating warranty entails – it may provide a seal of quality assurance and customer satisfaction, but if you have specified incorrectly you may not receive the warranty you were after.
We are here to help. In this article we outline the standards and warranties of powder coatings for a range of specifications.
How a powder coating warranty works
When a powder coating warranty is provided to any powder coating application, this means that the powder, the application, the applicator, and the final coating are all up to the rigorous quality and performance requirements of the powder coating provider. These requirements are set based on national and international industry standards for powder coating. A powder coating warranty is therefore only provided when:
- The powder is manufactured and performs to certain requirements (for particle size, pigmentation, specific gravity, etc), based on a master standard
- The powder coating is applied by an approved applicator
- The application is appropriate for the specification (architectural powder coating on aluminium sheet, heavy duty powder coating for industrial steel)
- The final coating passes the quality control tests for colour, cure, and finish
There is no general “powder coating warranty” awarded to any powder coating. Most manufacturers provide different warranties for different applications and markets, and warranties will be longer or shorter based on the application methods used. For example, the Interpon powder coating warranties are:
- Warranty for Architectural Aluminium
These warranties are awarded in three different classes based on the powder used in the application: Interpon D3020 Fluoromax (platinum), Interpon D2015 Ultriva (gold), and Interpon D1000 Domestic Residential (bronze). These warranties provide different durations for film integrity and colour retention, these being 30 and 20 years for Interpon D3020, 20 and 15 years for Interpon D2015, and 10 and 10 years for Interpon D1000. Unsurprisingly, the shorter the warranty the less heavy duty the coating.
- Warranty for Steel and Non-architectural Aluminium
The Interpon non-architectural warranties are divided into the Metaplex warranty (for a variety of steel types and non-architectural aluminium extrusions) and the Steelplex warranty (for mild steel). Each is divided into classes: Metaplex Standard and Metaplex Commercial, and Steelplex Ruby, Diamond 5 and Diamond 10. These warranties are for 10 or 15 years, and the film integrity and colour retention warranty is the same duration. The Steelplex warranty also includes a corrosion warranty.
This warranty system is a fair model across powder coating manufacturers. Based on the types of powder finishes selected for a project the designer, fabricator, builder or building owner may not always get the performance warranty that was initially intended – always make sure the powder coating specified matches with the warranty required.
How industry standards apply to powder coating warranties
When a powder coating warranty is awarded, it is certifying that the coating will meet national and international performance criteria, as laid out in the Industry Standards. Performance requirements are based around building code requirements and environmental influences (UV, humidity, rainfall, exposure to sea salts, etc). In Australia, these performance standards are based on local and international exterior exposure testing at Allunga, QLD and South Florida, USA; these sites are selected for their high average exposure to the range of environmental influences. Standards for powder coating include:
- AAMA Global Standards
AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) standards are the globally recognised specification, performance requirement and test procedure for organic coatings on aluminium extrusions and panels. The three AAMA standards in this market are: AAMA 2605-11 – Voluntary Specification, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Superior Performing Organic Coatings on Aluminium Extrusions and Panels; AAMA 2604-10 – Voluntary Specification, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for High Performance Organic Coatings on Aluminium Extrusions and Panels; AAMA 2603-02 – Voluntary Specification, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Pigmented Organic Coatings on Aluminium Extrusions and Panels.
- Building Code of Australia
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) provides a set of technical requirements for all areas of building, from design to construction. Developed by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) on behalf of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, the BCA is referred to as the building regulation in all States and Territories.
- Australian Standards
Standards Australia is an independent, not-for-profit organisation recognised by the Australian Government as the peak non-government Standards body in Australia. AS3715 (Metal Finishing – Thermoset powder coating for architectural applications of aluminium and aluminium alloys) sets out the requirements for pretreatment, application and performance of powder coatings on aluminium substrates.