Designing the exterior façade panels for a building project is often considered the fun part but getting your building from the blueprint stage through to the ribbon-cutting ceremony often requires a marathon level of attention to detail. To get the look that you want combined with the durability your clients need and the ease-of-use your contractors demand, requires you to choose the right cladding material. Metal panels are one of the most versatile exterior façade cladding materials and, with the right coating, can achieve an almost endless number of design possibilities. In addition, the coil coating provides a range of benefits that make it a superior choice for exterior façade use, maintenance, and longevity.
How does coil coating work?
Before the pre-finished coil-coated panels arrive at the worksite, the metal used is sent to us in a gigantic coil or roll from our steel and aluminum rolling mills. The coil is unwound and pulled through a highly specialized coil-coating production line that cleans it, primes it, and coats it with paint before winding it all back up again at the end of the process. The continuous nature of this manufacturing process is incredibly efficient and leads to a high-quality and consistent final product.
What are the benefits of coil coating?
The high-tech coil coating process creates metal panels that have many advantages over ones that need to be post-painted after fabrication:
As the panels are pre-painted, the coil-coated finish is more resilient against weather, UV rays or installation damage. The coating is continuous, rather than having overlap and overspray that are common disadvantages of using post-painted products. Coil coatings also give better protection to the metal from corrosion therefore providing a long-lasting and waterproof finish.
The highly controlled factory process that produces the coil-coated panels ensures that every panel in the batch is the same color as the others. Each section of the long coil of metal is also primed and cured in the same way, so that the coating thickness, and durability of the final product is the same on the entire batch.
Metal is one of the most recyclable construction materials available globally. Coil coated metal panels can be 100% recycled and made into other construction materials for guaranteed sustainability. The coating process also captures VOCs to reduce air pollution and exceed EPA standards. More about recycling aluminum composite panels can be found here.
The metal coils can be used to make custom lengths and widths should you require a non-standard panel size for your specific project. This can reduce the need for awkward joints and seams that could break up the design intent that you are aiming to achieve. Larger, customized panels also require less handling and modification during installation, which could even result in savings on labor costs.
The resins used in coil coated finishes are flexible enough to be formed after painting, allowing manufacturers to bend and curve the panels to the exact design specifications required without the risk of the paint cracking or crazing – a major advantage over traditional post-painted spray finishes because the resins used in spray applied finishes are not flexible, and therefore will crack and craze when the metal is folded. Coil-coated panels can be fabricated either on site or in the fabrication shop, depending on your needs.
There are several ways to work with coil coated metal, depending on your contractors’ preferences and level of expertise. Adhesives and mechanical fastening are all able to be used with these products. Our metal products: Vitrabond FR, Vitrabond G2 and Vitraplate also offer a virtually endless array of colors and finishes, including various metallic looks, patterned woodgrains and natural metal finishes. Our laboratory also offers a custom matching service so that the only limit to what finishes we can develop is your imagination!
There is a reason why metal façade cladding panels have been used for decades in the construction industry as there is nothing that has come as close to their durability and aesthetic beauty. Find out more about our own metal façade cladding products and how to specify them on your next project here.
Coil coating is just one of the processes involved the supply chain for metal panel products. Find out about the full process in this recent article.