Keeping our buildings looking good for longer is part of the rich mix which contributes to the construction industry’s drive to be more ‘sustainable’. So how should we specify our external finishes to our modern and renovated structures?
Where aluminium is to be used in cladding, glazed structures and engineering, two finishes stand out amongst all others - Powder Coating and Anodising.
Powder Coated Aluminium has come of age, the amount of work that has been undertaken in recent years with improved chemistry of powders, improvements in pre-treatments and application methodologies means that life expectancies are in excess of 40 years. More importantly, the comprehensive range of powder coating finishes now available, from solid colours to metallics, gives the building designer endless possibilities.
Anodising offers specifiers an exceptionally hard wearing finish. Differing from powder coating, Anodising evenly controls oxidisation of the surface of the aluminium forming a hard aluminium oxide layer. Using various metals and/or dyes, this clear aluminium protective layer can be coloured.
At the Building ‘End of Life’ (EoL) when aluminium content is recycled, all finishes are simply burned away in the melting process and any noxious gas emissions are collected in efficient fume capture equipment. Crucially, 100% recovery of the aluminium is possible.
Aluminium remains the Specifier’s sustainable choice for commercial projects and with a range of colours limited only by our imagination, it is easy to understand why aluminium continues to grow in popularity and why perhaps other materials are increasingly looking to mimic the ‘look of aluminium’.
There has never been a better time to specify aluminium - the Council for Aluminium in Building is here to help Architects, Specifiers and the sector supply chain utilise the best that aluminium can offer.