Powder coated finishes on aluminium profiles are extremely durable which is the reason why powder coating to the QUALICOAT standard is rapidly on the increase. Finish life expectancy can be maintained and even prolonged with regular routine and simple maintenance.
Importantly, the completed project needs to be cleaned down professionally prior to handover using the correct procedure to ensure that the finish is not damaged. It is crucial to have areas of impact or abrasion damage repaired should it be present. During cleaning, the protective tape must be removed from the inside and outside of all powder coated surfaces. External tape should not be left on the powder coating in excess of six months in any circumstances as the tape can often degrade in UV light and become firmly attached to the powder coating.
Once handed over to the client, in normal use such as in cities, the powder coat finish should simply be washed down at yearly intervals with clean water or with a ph neutral mild detergent solution in water. This should be enough to protect the visible surface of the powder coat for many years and can simply be done during the cleaning of windows. The powder coat finish wash down is especially important where squeegee bars are used to clean the glass, as their use tends to place the residue of the cleaning contaminants directly on the powder coated frame which can begin to etch into the surface finish of the coating.
On new and refurbished buildings powder coated finishes will always come with a cleaning and maintenance regime from the company who coated the aluminium profiles. These will be minimal cleaning requirements and need to be adhered to as well as recorded when cleaning takes place. This will ensure the coated finish is maintained within the warranty wording and will help should there be any claim in the future. Warranties vary in time and are dependent of the powder coat finish used and the location of the installation. For example, where the coating is close to the sea, a marine grade or QUALICOAT ‘Seaside’ specification for the coating must be used and the cleaning regime reduced to three monthly intervals as the atmosphere is more corrosive.
Crucial to any maintenance regime is preventative maintenance and powder coating is no exception. If the coating in use has become damaged exposing the aluminium, it should be repaired as soon as possible in order to seal the surface again. If left, corrosion could begin which will affect the area. For repair, either contact the original coater, or any QUALICOAT approved application can offer guidance.
QUALICOAT UK & Ireland offer a basic guide which can be downloaded from their website. This can be referred to as where the original maintenance information has been mislaid and not available to refer to.
The next QUALICOAT UK & Ireland members meeting takes place in Norwich in November, please contact the General Secretary, Jan Lukaszewski, via the QUALICOAT UK & Ireland website, should you wish to attend. For details on the availability of various colours and finishes contact any QUALICOAT UK & Ireland member for more information. For updated information about the use and specification of QUALICOAT in the UK and Ireland, please visit the UK & Ireland Association website at www.qualicoatuki.org