Overviews, Use Cases & Differentiators: An Explanation of Resin-Based Coatings in Metal Architecture

Welcome to the wild world of coatings, where colors are limitless and formulas are custom-created.

PVDF resin-based coatings often take the spotlight because they are used worldwide to clad monumental architecture. This can include metal facades of sports stadiums, museums, hospitals and the like. PVDF coatings are defined by their use of polyvinylidene difluoride—one of the most durable resins available, which makes it effective for protecting exterior metal architecture from environmental conditions.

But PVDF coatings are only one type of resin-based coating. When we start to consider the different types of resins available to manufacturers, coatings for metal building products become a lot more complex.

In addition to PVDF resins, coating formulas can include the following resins, each one with its own specific use cases:

  • Fluoroethylene vinyl ether (FEVE)
  • Silicone-modified polyester (SMP)
  • Vinyl-coated polyester (PVC)
  • Polyester

The question is not necessarily which resin is the best, but rather, which coating formula is the right choice for my specific application.

This is where you can lean on the lab experts. Coating manufacturers not only develop unique coating formulas, but their teams continue to test and perfect coating performance over the course of several decades.

This article will walk you through the fundamentals of each resin type and their ideal use cases.

What Are FEVE coatings?

Fluoroethylene vinyl ether (FEVE) coatings provide exceptional color and gloss retention. For higher end projects, FEVE coatings can bring superior depth of color, high gloss levels and special effects to the final aesthetic. FEVE coatings provide a hard finish, making them best suited for higher-gloss applications in bright colors.

With great flexibility, formability and overall adhesion, FEVE coatings are often used for the following applications:

  • Restaurants
  • Banks
  • Car dealerships
  • Gas stations
  • Schools
  • Corporate facilities
  • Architectural structures
  • Composite panels
  • Column covers
  • Canopies
  • Doors
  • Metal panel systems

What Are SMP Coatings?

Silicone-modified polyester (SMP) coatings are used for applications that endure tough conditions such as industrial or agricultural environments. These coatings are manufactured by reacting silicone into polyester to provide a harder finish and strengthen the coating’s overall performance. Because of this, SMP resin-based coatings provide great weathering and chalk and fade retention.SMP coatings are available in a wide palette of colors and solar reflective coating formulations.

They are typically used in applications such as:

  • Commercial and residential metal roofing
  • Agricultural and industrial metal building components
  • Metal wall panels
  • Pre-engineered building systems
  • Siding
  • Gutters

What Are PVC Coatings? 

Vinyl-coated polyester (PVC) coatings are a cost-effective option to finish metal building products that experience high exposure to factors that lead to degradation. This can include UV light, abrasion, acid rain and humidity. PVC coatings provide durability against wear and tear in harsh conditions. 

PVC coatings are known for great flexibility, formability and overall adhesion. Typical uses include:

  • Building accessories
  • Wall panels
  • Window trim
  • Animal confinement building

What Are Polyester Coatings?

Polyester coatings are best suited for metal building products that don’t see full sun. These custom formulas come in a wide range of colors and offer great weathering and corrosion resistance.

Polyester coatings are a more economical option for general purpose coatings. They offer great flexibility and adhesion properties. Ideal exterior uses for polyester coatings include: 

  • Soffits and Fascia
  • Entry and Garage Doors
  • Gutters
  • Sheds
  • Residential air conditioners
  • Mobile homes
  • Truck trailers
  • Sign blank stock
  • Curtain rods
  • Canopies
  • Awnings
  • Enclosures

Exterior coatings may be known for bringing bold colors to metal architecture, but it’s clear that coatings provide a lot more than color alone.

The custom-created formulas that make up coatings determine their flexibility, formability, and overall adhesion.

Developing coatings that protect monumental architecture is no small feat. These resin-based coatings continuously go through research and development, testing over the course of decades. Our lab examines the details of any project at hand to advise on the best coating option for your specific challenge.

Scroll through real color swatches in our online color library of more than 50,000 colors.

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