What is a PVDF Coating?
A bright blue facade clads the Guthrie Theatre.
A memorable orbital ring circles the Nasa Kennedy Space Centre.
A crisp white exterior mimics the look of an iceberg on the Polk Penguin Conservation Centre.
These are all examples of polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) coatings on buildings we pass by every day. Whether we realise it or not, PVDF coatings are all around us.
PVDF coating systems are a high-performance formula that is used to coat metal architecture and metal building components. For over half a century, PVDF coatings have been continuously tested and optimised to improve such benefits as:
- Adhesion quality - ensuring coating systems stay together and adhere to metal substrates
- Abrasion resistance - providing protection before, during and after the installation process
- Chalk and fade resistance - protecting metal architecture against weather conditions and UV rays
These proven features have earned 70% PVDF coatings a trusted reputation to protect monumental metal architecture worldwide. So what goes into the creation of these long-lasting coating systems?
How PVDF Coatings are Manufactured
Resins are the key ingredient that holds coatings together. Metal coatings manufacturers can choose from several resin types, including PVDF, fluoropolymer based (FEVE), silicone modified polyester (SMP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polyester. In addition to what adheres the coating film to the substrate, resins provide strength and durability that allow coatings to protect metal building components against damage.
Solvents decrease the viscosity of coatings to allow proper application to metal substrates. They can affect film integrity, appearance, adhesion and dry time. Solvents evaporate during the curing stage of the coating processes to support the resin system's adhesion to metal.
Pigments are the primary ingredient responsible for colour, vibrance and visual effects of coating formulas. Manufacturers can choose from pigment types including organic, inorganic and metalescent or pearlescent. Each one of these pigments has its own use depending on the intended end result of the coating formula. Scientists and coating specialists can make the best recommendation for any metal architecture project at hand.
Additives are used to enhance certain characteristics of coatings, such as gloss, hardness and mar resistance. They work with resins to bring out their natural characteristics, as well as assist with processing pigments and regulating the rate of the cure.
Getting the right combination of ingredients can seem intimidating, but coating specialists and lab partners are experts in mixing unique formulas. No matter what metal project you’re working on, manufacturers can make an effective PVDF coating formula to protect metal architecture for years to come.