It has been an exciting few month for the architectural specification’s community! This past year the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) formally merged with the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA), forming the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA). This merger results in a more uniform, inclusive, and powerful single entity giving technical guidance to the architectural community servicing the fenestration and glazing industry throughout Canada and The United States.
A new organizational name and branding aside, the dedicated work of maintaining AAMA specifications has continued. This activity includes updated requirements for the organic paints and coatings specifications. In February 2021, FGIA published updates to AAMA 2603, and AAMA 2604 with new requirements for corrosion performance for organic coatings with an update to the salt spray resistance requirements.
The change in test methodology is necessary due to the very poor correlation between ASTM B117 artificial salt spray and the real-world results observed within the seaside environments in south Florida. Comparatively it was readily evident that ASTM G85 Annex A5 testing showed significantly better correlation due to the methods aggressive, cyclical acidic salt spray chemistry. Although not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. As a result, the Aluminum Materials Council (AMC) Finishes Committee concluded that a change in test methods was unavoidably necessary and facilitated the specification update.
Because of the changes both powder coating manufacturers and powder coating applicators will be required to transition to the new method over the next few months. For the powder coating and paint manufacturers test cabinets capacity will need to be allocated to the more aggressive chemicals, while powder coating applicators will need to adapt to stricter chemistry and process parameters within their pretreatment areas necessary to meet the requirements.
It has been said that change is progress. In this instance, progress is undeniable.