Image Above: The conference auditorium
By Angus Mackie – Qualicoat Chair
This is the first time that Qualicoat has sponsored this keynote event for the Facade Industry. Zak is held annually in London and draws in decision makers from across the facade supply chain. It was an excellent platform for members of the Association to engage with the supply chain and to understand how they view the Qualicoat Specification.
Whilst we learnt that most specifiers had an good understanding that the Qualicoat Specification was aimed at providing quality architectural powder coating, there remains questions about what and where Qualicoat comes from. Here are some of the delegates questions answered:
“Where has the Specification originated from?”
Back in 1986 several European associations with members who coat architectural profiles formed the Qualicoat organisation. Their goal was to raise and standardise the quality of architectural coatings throughout Europe by laying down a common Specification. Today the Association is globally recognised with almost 400 licensed coaters across the globe.
Not tied to any national association, members develop the Specification which is updated in real time following research and development undertaken in working groups with an aim to further improve sustainability of architectural finishes. The Specification remains free to download from the Association website.
“What does it cost to specify?”
Nothing. The Specification is voluntary and it is aimed at primarily offering best practice to ensure both best quality and consistency of quality. A licensed coater commits to the specification and only after passing rigorous inspections for post plant and processes will they be granted the coveted Qualicoat licence.
“How does Qualicoat differ from BS12206, GSM or AAMA standards?”
Qualicoat is by far the most widely accepted Specification for powder coating across the globe, ensuring that a specification made in the UK can be delivered in any country. The Association also ensures that the upstream suppliers are also quality checked, both powders and pretreatment systems used by coaters must be approved by Qualicoat. All major suppliers of powders and pretreatment systems are members of Qualicoat.
Unlike other ‘standards’, Qualicoat licence holders are independently third party accredited through a procedure of unannounced inspections. Any licence holder failing these inspection can lose their licence to offer the Qualicoat label of conformity.
How much longer do Class 2 powders last compared to Class 1?”
It is true to say that Class 2 powders offer a more weather resistant finish, especially when it comes to UV resilience, however it is the combination of quality pretreatment and powder coating that can realise these benefits. Life expectancy is also influenced by the project’s location and the maintenance regime that is adopted. Qualicoat members can advise on the best systems to adopt for any given geographical location.
“Do Qualicoat offer a warranty on coatings?”
Qualicoat do not offer a warranty on the Specification as it is purely a quality label. Licensed members are free to offer warranties and many do to meet the requirements of contractors and clients. Correctly specified and maintained, a Qualicoat coated project should offer many decades of good service life.
The majority of aluminium systems companies and quality powder coaters in the UK offer powder coating to the Qualicoat Specification and membership continues to grow. The Association is also determined to raise awareness to be seen in the industry and is planning to be more visible at future UK & Ireland construction events.