Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Prepainted Sheet Steel: Taking on Canada’s Climate for Decades

Prefinished sheet steel for construction consists of four major components: the sheet steel itself, a metallic (zinc or aluminum-zinc alloy) coating, chemical pre-treatment and primer, and a top coat. Each performs an important role in providing designers with a high quality, aesthetic, cost- competitive and corrosion-resistant material. 

The backbone of the system is sheet steel, an ideal material for covering large surface areas because of its economy and high strength-to-weight ratio.

Protection against the demanding Canadian environment is provided by the metallic coating, one of the most effective methods of protecting bare steel from corrosion. Both zinc and aluminum-zinc alloy provide a tough, non-porous coating.

Besides acting as a protective barrier, zinc is able to “sacrifice” itself to protect the underlying sheet steel if both metals are exposed, for example at a cut edge. Sacrificial protection occurs when two dissimilar metals are in electrical contact and are coupled with water and oxygen. Under most conditions, zinc can protect gaps of bare steel or edges up to 2 mm (1/16 inch) in width.

The aluminum-zinc alloy coating also provides both sacrificial and barrier type protection to the base steel.

Zinc and aluminum-zinc alloy coated sheet steel is, of course, a viable construction material by itself. For maximum corrosion protection, however, a primer and top coat must be added to provide both colour and a highly effective barrier to the atmosphere. The primer and top coat inhibit water and oxygen from reaching the underlying metallic coated sheet steel, thus effectively arresting the corrosion process.
This, then, is prefinished sheet steel.

Prefinished sheet steel is a Canadian development, one that can back up all its claims and prove that it performs successfully in Canada’s many different environments. 

Download Fact Sheet 2 to learn more about prefinished sheet steel and paint systems.

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