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RCI Feb 2018

CLADDING & SHEETING Complete peace of mind Dr Peter Barker from Tata Steel explains how advances in pre-finished steel will greatly reduce the requirement for costly maintenance programmes, which in turn, will decrease building 034 FEBRUARY 2018 RCIMAG.COM ownership costs in the long-term Suitable for an extensive range of construction applications, from composite panels, built up systems to rainscreens, pre-finished steel offers an array of advantages that will deliver throughout the whole lifespan of a building. So, it’s no surprise that since the launch of prefinished steel in the 1970s, it has become one of the most popular envelope solutions worldwide. However, like many materials, steel can have vulnerabilities and there are a number of factors that can affect the performance of pre-finished steel, including weather conditions, UV solar radiation, and other external factors in the environment of the building. One of the main risks is corrosion, which is the deterioration of a metal as a result of chemical reactions between the product and its surrounding environment. It’s therefore worth understanding that not all pre-finished steels are the same, and there are certain manufacturers continuously looking at ways to improve a product’s long-term performance, by incorporating the latest innovations and developments in pre-finished steel technology. Three-layer technology For example, one of the latest generations of pre-finished steel from Tata Steel, includes a cutting edge three-layer technology. This innovative multi-coat technology of Colorcoat Prisma manufactured in one manufacturing pass, provides superior ultraviolet (UV) resistance and corrosion protection to maintain the colour and long-term aesthetic appearance of the product. The high build three-layer product is made up with a corrosion resistant primer, before a coloured layer is then applied on top to provide the product’s desired aesthetic finish. The final layer is an additional protective clear layer, which provides an additional barrier to enhance UV resistance. Pushing the boundaries In fact, this new product pushes the boundaries of UV performance, and also surpasses the highest European standards for corrosion resistance. Incorporating Tata Steel’s corrosion protection experience, the steel is prepared for the threelayer process with a Galvalloy metallic coating, which is applied to the base steel substrate before a pre-treatment layer is added. A carefully proportioned mix of zinc and aluminium, Galvalloy forms a sacrificial protective layer to offer a combination of increased barrier and unrivalled corrosion protection – even on cut edges as was showcased on previous generations of the product. In fact, Colorcoat Prisma is the most independently tested product in the 50-year history of Tata Steel’s pre-finished steel products, and has been tested to various standards and certified by a multitude of external bodies, including the British Board of Agrément, Polish ITB, German U-Mark, “Not all pre-finished steels are the same and there are certain manufacturers continuously looking at ways to improve a product’s long-term performance, by incorporating the latest innovations and developments in pre-finished steel technology” Russian GOST standards, and the American Society for Test and Materials. Indeed, this new technology will not only result in the end client receiving a building envelope that is aesthetically pleasing, but you can rest assured that it will remain looking ‘as good as new’ for years to come – which in turn will reduce the need to replace the façades and save money. In addition to the enhanced performance of pre-finished steel, we are also seeing new colours being introduced to the market, including earthy metallic finishes such as bronze and deep, dark solid blue shades – both of which reflect the latest design trends that span across all sectors. However, looks aren’t everything – especially for installers. Ensuring you have a product that meets the aesthetics and performance the end client desires is the first tick in the box, but you also need to make sure that the chosen product offers the building owner a guarantee that will prevent unnecessary and time consuming calls. Comprehensive guarantee Tata Steel’s Confidex Guarantee, which is available with the new generation of Colorcoat Prisma, is the industry’s most comprehensive guarantee for pre-finished steel products for up to 40 years, when it is registered online. This guarantee is offered direct to building owners and includes full rectification in the unlikely event of a claim. For projects around coastal areas, the Confidex Guarantee has also increased from 25 to up to 30 years for walls. When it comes to your next project, where a prefinished steel building envelope product is required, it is vital that the performance of the product is fully taken into consideration, and that there are reputable guarantees in place. Any client using Colorcoat Prisma will receive a building envelope that is aesthetically pleasing, but will remain looking ‘as good as new’ for years to come


RCI Feb 2018
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