DecoCoat Technical Information

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The Powder Coating Process

Powder coating is an electrostatic coating method that utilises fine powder to create an attractive protective coating. It is commonly used on a range of architectural products including aluminium windows and doors, lourves, cladding and building products.

Powder coating pre-treatment

Metal pre-treatment is applied to the surface of the product to prepare it for powder coating. The pre-treatment process is a critical step to achieve high-quality and long-lasting results, especially for architectural projects. DECO Australia offers five different pre-treatment options, however chemical pre-treatment is generally the preferred method.

Applying the powder

Free-flowing dry powder is then applied to the surface of the metal using high voltage electrostatic guns. These guns impart a static charge within the powder, allowing it to stick to the earthed components.

Setting the powder

The powder coated part is then baked. The powder film melts and cures, forming a paint ‘skin’ on the metal surface.

For DECO’s industrial powder coating services, click here.

Powder Types & Performance

DecoCoat offers and recommends Super Durable Class 2 powders (or equivalent) for architectural applications. This ensures our powder coating is durable enough for all Building Code of Australia classes. However, other classes of powder are also available.

What are Class 2 powders?

Qualicoat is the international standard for quality assurance in powder coating. Both Qualicoat and Australian Standard AS 3715 set out 18 tests to comply with the standards and ensure the integrity of the powder coating. Two key tests relate to durability: Natural Weather (Florida) Test and The Acidic Salt Spray test.

To comply with these standards, the powder coating must withstand these conditions for the specified periods:

 

Qualicoat Class 1
is classified as suitable for use in interiors and mild exterior applications
1 Year
Florida Test
1,000 Hours
Acidic Salt Spray Test
Qualicoat Class 1.5
is classified as externally durable, and is the class generally used in Australia
2 Year
Florida Test
1,000 Hours
Acidic Salt Spray Test
Qualicoat Class 2
is classified as Super Durable and is the preferred option for architectural powder coating
3 Year
Florida Test
2,000 Hours
Acidic Salt Spray Test

Powder Performance Standards and Criteria

Understanding the performance standards and criteria for your project is crucial. This ensures your powder coating will withstand key factors such as film performance (peeling, chipping, cracking, erosion), colour performance (colour retention) and gloss retention (fade, chalking resistance, chemical, impact and abrasion resistance).

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) set out classes for what types of powders are suitable for which applications. DecoCoat’s Class 2 powders are ideal for most interior and exterior project types (including all BCA classes) on aluminium. These include:

  • Non-habitable (ie, furniture, bus shelters, signage, etc)
  • Residential (< 4 levels)
  • Residential (> 3 levels)
  • Commercial (< 4 levels)
  • Commercial (> 3 levels)
  • Prestigious commercial

For projects that do not require architectural powder coating standards, ask about our industrial powder coating services.

Quality Standards & Testing

DECO is committed to providing our customers with quality products and finishes. DECO has a fully-equipped chemical, environmental and physical testing laboratory on-site, and is the only surface finisher in Australia with in-house testing equipment for neutral salt spray, acidic salt spray and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).

Qualicoat Compliant

Qualicoat is the international standard for powder coating of aluminium for architectural applications. DecoCoat tests to and complies with Qualicoat specifications.

AS3715

DecoCoat is tested to and meets the requirements of AS 3715 which identifies performance requirements for thermoset powder coated aluminium and aluminium alloys intended for exterior architectural applications. It ensures powder coated aluminium products are effectively pre-treated, the powder coating is of adequate thickness and gloss level and will not peel as evidenced in cross-hatch testing.

AAMA American Architectural Manufactures Association

DecoCoat’s Class 2 powders are equivalent to the AAMA 2604 5 years Ultra Durability testing.

Dulux Accredited Applicator

DECO is a Dulux Accredited Applicator. DecoCoat meets Dulux's requirements for quality and process control, and international standards in the application of Powder Coatings.

Interpon Accredited Applicator

DECO is an Interpon Accredited Applicator. DecoCoat meets the requirements for quality and process control, and international standards in the application of Powder Coatings.

Warranties

It is important to define your project correctly to ensure the correct standard of product is specified and the performance and warranty can be gained for your project. As a Dulux Approved Applicator, DecoCoat can offer an AlumiShield™ (protection for aluminium) Warranty for your project.

The AlumiShield™ warranty is made up of two key components, a colour warranty (for fade and chalking) and a durability warranty (film integrity). For more information on AlumiShield™ Warranty, please click here.

Both project type and the environment will impact the powder coating. Environmental conditions can include elements such as UV, dirt and salt. For example, projects in marine and coastal environments are exposed to greater environmental impacts.

Care & Maintenance

In urban areas where the environment has low salt and pollutants, cleaning should take place every 12 months as a minimum. In high corrosivity areas where salts and pollutants are prevalent, it is highly recommended that a cleaning schedule is implemented more frequently at minimum of every 6 months.

To read the full Dulux care and maintenance guide, please click here.

Contact us about your project

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