Coil coatings are applied to coil-formed metal sheets by a continuous, automated process that can happen at up to 700 feet per minute. Coil is unwound, cleaned, treated, primed, painted and baked before being recoiled for shipment.
Extrusion coatings are applied in a manufacturing process on a vertical or horizontal line that consists of cleaning and pretreating aluminum preformed extrusions, through a spray process, and then thermally curing the coating to set the system.
Weather testing includes both long-term, natural exterior weather exposure and laboratory-accelerated weathering. The testing and evaluation conducted by Sherwin-Williams technical experts meets all appropriate industry association standards and verifies performance, application, weathering and appearance of sample panels.
Exterior weather exposure (natural weathering) involves placing sample panels on inclined open racks orientated at the sun, usually at a 45 degree angle in a southerly direction. This angle ensures full UV exposure.
Special environmental cabinets and instruments are used to speed up the weathering process and measure its effects under extreme conditions.
Chalking is caused by degradation of the resin system at the surface of the finish, usually due to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. As the resin system breaks down, resin particles take on a white appearance and imbedded pigment particles lose their adhesion to the film
Gloss is defined as the ability to reflect without any scattering of light. Direct UV exposure can degrade the top coat luster.
Fading is caused by UV and hydrolytic degradation of the resin system. If organic pigments are present in the color, they may also be degraded. Fading is calculated using Delta (dE) values – a single number that represents the distance between two colors.