Tolling: When Coil Coating Experience Counts

Why do some highway signs look old and faded while others pop with color?  Why do the exteriors of some new trucks look great while others look like they’ve been traveling the highway for years? And how come your neighbor’s garage door to the left looks great but the one to the right built around the same time looks pasty and faded?

To get the answer, you may have to go back to that critical point in time when all of these metal products were large coils of aluminum or steel that had to be pre-coated or pre-painted to protect the metal and provide a base for decorations like decals, wraps, embossing and lettering. Coil-coated metal is indispensable in a variety of industries including the manufacture of household products such as lights and white lighting, residential and non- residential building products like garage and entry doors and window frames, sign stock, automation control panels, HVAC, industrial products and more.

Englert Production LineWe know as a company that pre-coats thousands of tons of metal material that there are different levels of quality for just about any pre-coated coil you can buy—whether it’s for a garage door, a tractor trailer body or a stop sign.  The metal gauge or thickness, the coatings chosen and even the paint line system used to apply the coating to the metal vary throughout the coil coating industry.

Demanding quality at this level can dictate how good a garage door looks when it comes time to sell the house , how long a tractor trailer will last after a few years on the road or how faded a highway directional sign will become when it exposed year after year to the elements.  If you’re a garage door manufacturer or you’re making sign materials positioned as premium products for their longevity and durability, be careful how you look for savings on production.

How good the product will look even over a short period of time is often directly related to how much the manufacturer is willing to spend to produce a quality product. If the industrial designer has been asked to create a premium-made garage door and the manufacturer’s purchasing agent knows the drill, the end product is pretty much guaranteed to look better and work better than a cheaper version. Colors will be more vivid, surfaces won’t appear faded or chalky and the aluminum or steel substrate will probably last much longer.Probably, because there’s another factor to consider—the skills and experience of the company coating the material.

If the gauge of the metal or the paint wasn’t right, or the machinery used to apply the coating was old or inefficient or the people doing the job were inexperienced, chances are you’d have an inferior product on your truck or sign or garage door material. But if everything is right, you’ll have a product that is aesthetically pleasing to look at and that will be resistant to weathering, abrasion, humidity and degradation from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

And to your customers, that will make all the difference.

Why do some look great while others of the same age look faded and worn? Visual.ly is the world’s largest community of infographics and data visualization: 71 percent of homeowners who had recently replaced their garage door believe it increased the value of the home. Statistics according to Visual.ly indicate the value of a home can increase by as much as 4% because of the appearance of the garage door. After the steel door has been properly prepared, they must be coated within 24 hours. The recommended repaint material is a high-quality exterior latex house paint or latex maintenance finish. Oil-based Alkyd house paint must not be applied over factory-applied finishes. Before repainting the steel door it is imperative that the intercoat adhesion be ascertained.

Then the metal would be slip, bent, shaped or stamped into a configuration where it would begin to resemble a truck panel or a garage door or the stop sign at the end of your street.

Flat rolled metal from a steel or aluminum mill is the basis for a countless number of industrially manufactured products. More than 20 million tons of steel are coated annually around the world using the coil coating process. Additionally 2 million tons of aluminum and other substrates are coated. And the difference between the ones that would stand or fail the test of time and the elements started at the pre-coating stage.

How about metal equipment like garage doors—some look great while others have a faded, chalky look that detracts from the entire appearance of a house.  The same goes for metal roofs: some have rich reds and blues after years of installation while others look faded and worn after only a few years.

Steel and aluminum coils are coated with pre-coatings before being processed further for use particularly on outdoor products. Coil-coated sheet metal is tough, easy to process and highly versatile in its applications. For this reason these materials are in high demand, particularly for wall and roof elements made of steel or aluminum. Coil-coated metal is also indispensable in a variety of industries including the manufacture of household products such as lights and white lighting, residential and non- residential building products like garage and entry doors and window frames, sign stock, automation control panels, HVAC, industrial products and more.

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