An important innovation in steel in construction is ‘Colour Coated Steel.’ The increasing urbanisation is causing the building and construction sector to boom. This trend is giving rise to many new residential, commercial, and industrial infrastructure projects. Consequently, the architectural world is continuously researching and looking for innovations in building materials and processes. Colour-coated steel is one such innovation that is gaining a lot of momentum. With time, colour-coated steel has become a crucial material used in the building and construction sector, wherein, it is used majorly for industrial roofing and cladding, cold storage and warehouses, airports, atriums in malls, showrooms, false ceilings, lighting fixtures etc.
Also known as pre-painted steel, the manufacturing process of colour coated steel involves applying a decorative coating (liquid paint) to a coiled steel form. This paint coating protects the steel from atmospheric corrosion while giving it more strength and enhancing the durability. The method which imparts an aesthetic finish to the steel was started in Europe during 1940s. The usual thickness of the coating lies between 15 microns to 40 microns. The finishes achieved can be from smooth to matt and from high gloss to textured and printed for any form of steel. The sheets after the coating get the standard thickness from 0.2 mm to 1.6 mm while the width varies from 600 mm to 1600 mm.
Advantages of Colour Coated Steel
Steel has a wide range of applications; from manufacturing a small pin to automobiles, railway system, aircraft, defence materials, big engineering projects, roads, bridges, and in many other areas associated with the economic and industrial development of a country. However, the only demerit of steel is its tendency to corrode. Corrosion eats away steel, causing a significant loss to the economy of a country and sometimes leads to accidents. It has been estimated by experts that corrosion of steel costs up to 4% of the GDP of an industrialised country. Colour coated steel is an answer to this problem. The advantages of using a colour coating on steel are many. Longer life, aesthetic enhancement, recyclability – the list goes on.
Colour coated steel is lightweight and high on strength. These characteristics make it extremely durable and often make way for less construction-time and easy handling and installations onsite.
A safe-bet for renovation purposes, the material’s high quality makes it extremely suitable for industrial use as well. The material can undergo intense forming operations even below – 15°C without any damage to the colour coating or the steel.
Aesthetical and Productive
Often architects and designers are left in dearth of material choices. With colour-coated steel, they are most likely to not face such a situation as it gives them a plethora of colours, shapes and textures to choose from. As already stated, the finishes can range from gloss to matt and from smooth to rough, to suit any architectural need of today’s well-informed designers. So be it an urban building or a traditional project – colour coated steel perhaps has a role everywhere.
100% Recyclable and Affordable
In a time when the world is placing a lot of emphasis on sustainability; color-coated steel can be a ‘material with a cause’ by playing a major role in building much sustainably. The low maintenance material is 100% recyclable and hence does its bit for the environment. While the sheets will protect and beautify a building for a lifetime, after getting worn out, it can be melted and converted into new steel products. This also makes colour coated steel a highly economical solution, apart from just being an eco-friendly material choice.
Primary Application Areas
The increasing urbanisation is causing the building & construction sector to boom. This trend is giving rise to many new residential, commercial, and industrial infrastructure projects. Colour-coated steel has become a crucial material used in the building and construction sector, wherein, it is used majorly for industrial roofing and cladding, cold storage and warehouses, airports, atriums in malls, showrooms, false ceilings, lighting fixtures etc. The paint applied on the sheet is selected according to its resin type. Polyester coated steel still remains a favourite for the building industry. The application of colour coated steel further depends upon its type. For example, a corrugated steel sheet is used for roof boarding and shingles of villas and resorts. For building public buildings, roof coverings and walls of factories, and shop kiosks, mostly Sandwich Boards are used.
How the Industry is Faring?
As per a research conducted by MarketsandMarkets, the coated steel market is estimated to grow from USD 20.62 Billion in 2015 to USD 26.68 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.30% between 2015 and 2020. The coated steel industry is witnessing moderate growth because of demand from end-use industries. Keeping in view the environmental concerns, a trend that is picking up in colour coated steel is that of ‘energy resistant colour coated steel.’ At the global level, the top players are BlueScope, ArcelorMittal, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, ThyssenKrupp, United States Steel Corporation and Coated Metals Group. Keeping pace, the Indian market is also seeing a steady growth due to the existence of the wide variety of products offered by well acclaimed names. Initially Ispat Industries and Shree Precoated Steels Ltd. (SPSL) were the only two producers of colour coated steel, but with the growing demand, many organisations have entered the terrain.
Notable Players in India
TATA BLUESCOPE STEEL
Launched in 1966, by BlueScope Australia, COLORBOND® was developed for extreme weather conditions and moisture variations. Brought to India in 2005, by the Joint Venture between Tata Steel and BlueScope, Australia, COLORBOND® steel is one of world’s most advanced pre-painted steel products for the building and construction industry. It offers architects, designers, builders and owners a versatile, lightweight, strong and aesthetically pleasing solution for almost any type of built environment.
- COLORBOND® XRW
- COLORBOND® Ultra
- COLORBOND® Spectrum Series
- COLORBOND® XPD
DURASTEEL BY EVEREST
Everest Durasteel Roofs, as per the company, has an A-grade aluminum zinc alloy coating that allows four times higher resistance to corrosion as compared to galvanised coating. Manufactured out of metal panels and high tensile steel using high precision roll forming and component forming machines, Everest Colour Metal Roofing Sheets exude quality and reliability. Made using Galvalume & GI (Bare and Coloured) Iron, these are available in scintillating colours for roofing and wall cladding. Possessing great anti-corrosive and weather resistance properties, the metal sheets are extremely low maintenance and durable especially for steel roofing.
Thickness: 0.45 mm/0.50 mm
Width: 3.5 Feet (1220 mm), 4.25 Feet (1460 mm)
Color: Sky Blue, Pearl White, Brick Red, Turquoise Blue, Mist Green, Cico Red & Bare
Accessories: Flashing, Gutter, Crimp Ridge, Plain Ridge, Crimp Sheet, Plain Sheet
Self-supported steel roofings offered by Proflex are made from colour coated sheets. Its buyers are from multiple user segments. Warehousing, Industrial Sheds, Engineering, Auto, Cement, Sugar, Dairy, Processing Industries (plastics, rubber, packaging), Institutional projects, Multipurpose Halls, Sport Complexes, Toll Plazas, Housing, Railways & Defense are few of the segments having major consumption of colour coated sheets and demands are growing further. The firm has been successful in creating value for the solutions offered and is consistently facilitating its buyers to make the right decisions for their projects by taking long term view as the end-user. This has helped in safeguarding them from price traps that are short-term gains & long-term pains. Proflex is known for bringing new innovation to the country. Ever since its introduction in the year 2001, its self-supported steel roofings have changed the landscape of the roofing industry in India by breaking all conventional norms. Now once again, it has introduced another first in the country and that is PROFLEX STEEL BUILDINGS (PSB). This will be disrupting the way steel buildings are being built today in the country. Besides giving 100 % leak-proof, aesthetically appealing, flexible & versatile buildings that are made using American technology, these buildings also minimize site construction activities to a great extent and it is one of the fastest steel building making technologies available today in the country.
Today, color coated sheets have become the norm in roofing & cladding industry. Over the years, we have seen this shift from the use of ‘Bare Galvanized’ to ‘Bare Galvalume.’ Now customers prefer colour coated sheets. The eye-soothing aesthetics and long service life of colour coated sheets are making them a natural choice for project owners, architects, and specifiers.- Mr. Mayur Patel, CEO, Proflex
Essar Steel produces high-quality colour coated sheets that add aesthetic beauty to the strength of steel. Pre-painted galvanised sheets (PPGI) have been extensively used across a wide range of prestigious projects across the world. The typical applications include construction, white goods, and automotive industries. The Superior coating technology resists cracking and peeling even during heavy forming operations and for achieving superior paint surface quality, NIR baking oven is used. The superior paint technology is available in a variety of paint systems like Abrasion Resistant System (ARS), Regular-Modified Polyester (RMP), Silicon-Modified Polyester (SMP), Poly Vinyl Di-fluoride (PVDF), Super Durable Polyester (SDP), Wood Finish, Wrinkle Finish.
Thickness:= 0.2 mm to < 1.2 mm
Width: = 300 mm to <= 1,310 mm
Coil ID: 508 mm
Coating thickness:15 – 40 microns (total coating thickness including top, back, and primer)
Substrate hardness: Soft, medium, hard
Finishes: Smooth, matt, high gloss, textures, printed
Available in: Corrugated sheets / plain sheets / coils / trapezoidal profiles (930 / 1,050 m)
This article was originally published in the May Issue of Surfaces Reporter Magazine. The issue includes several other interesting articles like the story of an unbreakable guitar, showcase of some amazing products etc. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.
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