Super Durable Powder Coatings: Is the Bang Worth the Buck?

Super durable powder coatings are commonly specified for organic coatings in architectural applications. QUALICOAT, GSB and AAMA specifications contain testing requirements for longevity compared to traditional exterior coatings that are applied to architectural products and substrates.

The demand for super durable polyester powders have grown immensely within architectural, agricultural, and industrial markets. Powder coating facilities of all sizes have started to expand their offerings to include super durable powders. Two common questions are “Are super durables really that much more durable than a standard polyester powder coating?”, and “Are they worth it?” The answers is YES in both instances, for many reasons. Please let me explain.

It’s perfectly clear that super durables out-perform standard polyester resin systems in terms of color stability and gloss retention in harsh environments. A super-durable polyester powder coating requires a special polyester resin to meet Qualicoat Cl. II, GSB Florida 3 or AAMA 2604. Super durable powder coatings are designed with a specific type of polyester resin offering superior UV durability compared to standard polyester resins. These super durable resins improve color fastness and coating life providing functional and decorative durability for a number of years.

Super durable powder coatings can be formulated to meet even the harshest of environments, including tropical south Florida. It is also very important to understand that the ultimate durability of a powder coating not only involves the resin but also other components within the formulation - pigments, fillers, additives, etc. A powder coating based on super durable resin may still fade in color in less than 3 years (5 years for AAMA 2604) exposure in Florida, if a non-durable pigment or additive is present in the formula. It is crucial that the applicator and specifier fully understand the performance expectations of a selected coating rather than assume a generic description like “super durable” means the product meets a defined specification. When considering if a super durable coating is right for you, be sure to reference the product data sheet for the specific performance definition.

So if you are asking me if super durable powder coatings are that much better than standard exterior coatings, or if you’re asking me if they are worth the extra expense, I would simply ask a question in return – “How long do you want your product to last?”

“Every super durable is a powder but not all powders are super durable”

Article by John Fett, Architectural Products Manager – North America, Kris Lehner, Regional Sales Manager, - North America & Yannick Fluck Key Account Manager / Architectural Service – Europe

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