Some twelve (12) months ago the AISF Technical Working Group (TWG), comprising a bipartisan representation of powder coating and pre-treatment manufacturers and accredited applicators, began the technical review process of AS3715-2002 which covers specification and performance requirements for powder coating architectural aluminium for use in Australia.
Given the extent of review required, the technical processes and mechanisms involved and the diverse bureaucracy to be complied with, it become apparent that the architectural powder coating industry stakeholders, have considerable work in front of them to achieve their objective of an updated, relevant and world class standard. The AISF is fully aware that specification and performance compliance is now a critical requirement in most commercial transactions and the next generation AS3715 must step up to provide clear directives, relevant performance and test measures and become the true specification benchmark of excellence in powder coating of architectural aluminium.
The standard originally introduced in 1992, will be upgraded to become the third generation and most important as it will embrace the significant advances and improvements in all areas of powder coating technologies including pre-treatment, type of powder and performance levels and off coarse the applicators competencies. It is expected that the proposed new version of AS3715 will allow the entire customer chain through to the owner and/or end user better understand the specification required to meet the performance required. To assist educate all users and applicators of powder coatings a special matrix has been developed to identify and prescribe the correct coating to be used and what level of performance is required in every step from the pre-treatment of the aluminium, selection of powder and the application by professional applicators that can show appropriate levels of competency. The key criteria to be considered includes:
• type of building/ structure, eg height, BCA classification
• location of installed item
• distance from salt water
• correct powder coating type
• performance thresholds for each classification
The major change proposed will be the introduction of 4 levels of AS3715 classification to reflect the different environments in Australia that range from mild inland, high rise or extreme coastal that will be matched to actual performance specification characteristics for internal and external applications as follows:
• AS3715/ G1 Internal Use Only, General Industries Basic Polyester (equivalent to Qualicoat Class 1 or AAMA 2603)
• AS3715/ A Standard Residential Polyester/ Polyurethane (equivalent to Qualicoat Class 1.5)
• AS3715/ B High Performance Polyester/ Polyurethane (equivalent to Qualicoat Class 2 or AAMA 2604)
• AS3715/ C Super Durable Fluoropolymer (equivalent to Qualicoat Class 3 or AAMA 2605)
It is envisaged that this new version will be processed and approved by Australian Standards to be introduced sometime in 2015. There is still a lot of work to be done but importantly initial indications from a wide range of stakeholders is very favourable and about time we had a proper standard for Australian conditions that provides a level playing field.
The AISF welcomes feedback from its members and consumers on all matters that affect surface finishing.
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