Quality is King

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When it comes to selecting a metal supplier for your customer’s metal roofing, wall panel or gutter project quality is king.

There are many credible metal suppliers to choose from but it’s important to know that the supplier you’ve selected is as concerned about the outcome of your installation as you are.

Be careful to choose a supplier who subjects all of the painted coil that it produces to a comprehensive quality check before every coil leaves their facility and arrives at your location or jobsite.

Why is this important you ask? Without subjecting the coil that you are purchasing to a stringent battery of tests before it leaves the paint line you and your customer are in effect playing Russian roulette with respect to the project you are working on. Comprehensive QA testing will ensure that the coating on the coil you receive has the precise color, gloss, adhesion and durability that you’ve been promised and that your customer expects.

Here are just a sampling of the recommended tests your coil should be subjected to and pass before it arrives at your doorstep.

  • - Five-step Specular Gloss Test to determine the GLOSS of the paint film and verify if the measured gloss is within the paint manufacturer’s specification limit.
  • - Six-step MEK Test to evaluate the degree of CURE of the baked paint film by resistance to a solvent MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) to determine whether it meets the specification of the coating manufacturer.
  • - Six-step Pencil Hardness Test to determine the HARDNESS of the paint film and verify if the paint hardness meets the paint vendor’s specification.
  • - Five-step T-Bend Test to evaluate the ADHESION and FLEXIBILITY of the paint over the metal by performing successive 180 degree bends on the sample.
  • - Six-step Cross Hatch Reverse Impact Test to determine whether the paint ADHESION meets or exceeds the paint supplier’s specifications. This tests the adhesion between paint, primer and metal.

These indicators of GLOSS, CURE, ADHESION and HARDNESS verify whether the final product is too brittle, too soft, or just right ensuring that when the product runs through the roll-former it will not crack or lose its adhesion to the metal substrate.

Other recommended tests assure that the color that is being run is an exact match on all of the coils run in a particular day or on any additional coil that might be run months or even years later – ensuring an exact match regardless of when the coil is being painted. At Englert this is an eleven-step process that measures the production color from standards stored in the computer spectrophotometer. A second Five-step procedure makes certain that the color of the painted production strip matches the standard within .5 plus or minus Delta Lab Hunter color units to ensure color consistency from coil to coil.

Another recommended test is a twelve-step procedure that tracks coil through the paint line via production reports, making sure that the coil that entered the paint line is the same amount and weight when coating is completed and the coil is properly labeled and packaged.

There are many additional tests that a qualified coil coater/metal supplier will run to ensure that the coil they are supplying is of the highest quality and will satisfy you and your customer for years to come.

Be sure to ask which, if any quality testing they employ before you make your next purchase. A metal supplier who subjects their coil to extensive QA testing ensures that you will have the best possible roofing, wall panel and gutter product to make your customer happy. Settle for less and you may get even less than what you settled for – peeling paint, rust and worst of all a lost reputation!

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