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Innovative solutions for the surface treatment of facade structures
The product development of paints is progressing by leaps and bounds on various fronts. Nano particles are being used to improve wear resistance, while additives and binders are being employed in the creation of functional coatings. Paint coatings can also be used to impact on energy consumption. Even self-mending paint coatings have been developed under laboratory conditions.
Steel is an imposing material when used in facade structures. Based on current trends, the construction materials used can be left visible, and when steel structures are left exposed, other demands apply besides aesthetic concerns.
Paint brings characteristics to underlaying material which the material itself does not possess. The most common of these is corrosion protection, which is primarily achieved by means of liquid or powder painting. A paint coating also protects the steel structure from fire and scratches, while improving steel’s wear resistance.
Steel structures need not be the standard grey colour. Owing to advanced painting technology, colours can be changed on the painting line in a fast and cost-efficient manner. This allows the designer to create a unique colour design using only steel structures. Traditional colour-maps can be used, as well as the new delicious metallic colour shades of the RAL Effect colour-map. Gold, silver and bronze pearlescent colours are also available, for a luxurious look.
Special technical properties
In addition to the previously mentioned basic applications, paint products can add special characteristics to underlaying material. Special coatings, created by means of nano particles, can be used to achieve better wear resistance in most demanding conditions. Nano particles reinforce the uppermost coat of a surface coating system or improve the wear resistance of the overall coat. In the latter case, all layers have their own function, critical to the final result.
Various additives and binder solutions can be used to create so-called functional coatings. This term refers to paint products that possess a functional quality. Moreover, this function can be self-cleaning, moisture-absorbing, gas-absorbing, room air-cleaning, bacteria-rejecting, electricity-conducting, or friction-enhancing.
In cities, large continuous wall surfaces are covered with graffiti. This can be prevented by means of anti-graffiti additives. The corresponding qualities can be achieved using nano particles.
Paint coatings impact on energy economy
Climate change is increasing the need to save and capture energy in various surroundings. Paint coatings can be used to impact on overall energy consumption. For example, paint technology can be used to confer steel with special properties, a special additive in the coating reflecting solar energy away from the building’s surface. This reduces the need for air-conditioning in the building, while reducing energy consumption.
Similarly, energy capture can be improved by means of various light-sensitive surface treatment agents. In such cases, the heating energy’s capture efficiency is improved, providing extra savings. A paint coating increases the amount of captured radiation energy by at least 10 to 30 per cent.
Space technology and natural processes
Assisted by space technology, top-flight research is beginning to focus on extremely durable materials. On the other hand, research is concentrating on natural processes, attempting to understand the ingenuity and harmony of the vegetable and animal kingdom, and the functionality of micro and nano materials.
Self-mending paint coats can already be created under laboratory conditions. On steel surfaces, such a characteristic would prevent corrosion resulting from the cracking of the paint coat. This property is being developed with an eye to the industrial production of this type of coating.
Tikkurila constantly follows global developments in
chemical materials and device technology. Combining this knowledge with paint
production, the company is able to provide paint products developed in
accordance with customer needs.
Manager, Technical Services
Tikkurila Oy, Industrial Coatings