|European architectural specifications during this time, such as Qualicoat and GSB International, required only one year South Florida exposure, to allow a conventional polyester finish to meet existing standards. The analogy for setting a one year South Florida weathering requirement was that most of Europe is logistically at higher latitudes than South Florida and in effect, would present milder exposure conditions. As shown here, you need to go as far south as Rome to equal the latitude of Chicago. Generally speaking, all coatings for architecture in United States are developed around the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, or AAMA's specifications. Architectural powder coatings in North America date back about 25 years, to the early 1980's, when powder coatings were beginning to gain recognition for industrial applications in the United States. The benchmark specification which applied to powder coatings in the US, AAMA 605, required 5 years of South Florida exposure as compared to one year for Europe. This 5 year requirement significantly limited the use of powder coatings, not only in the US but, ,throughout North America, since conventional polyester technology, the state of the art chemistry for much of the 1980's, could not pass the requirements. Liquid fluorocarbon coatings, based on Kynar® and Hylar® fluorocarbon resins, have historically been the only coating systems to meet the requirements of AAMA 605. As a consequence, liquid fluorocarbons became the dominant, high performance, architectural coating technology.
In addition to liquid coatings, another finishing method, common for architectural aluminum, is anodizing. This process involves etching and dying of the metal substrate. It does not, however, provide a barrier coat. It also has limitations and inherent problems with regard to color. During the 1990's, architects began using powder coatings as an alternative to liquid coatings, particularly where environmental issues surrounding liquid coatings were a concern. In 1998, the architectural community modified the specifications. The requirement for exterior durability of high performance coatings was increased from 5 to 10 years of South Florida exposure. A severe salt spray requirement of 4000 hours was also introduced with the new AAMA 2605 specification. At the same time, the traditional AAMA 605, 5 year weathering specification, was renamed AAMA 2604. As a result of this research, Spraylat introduced NEWLAR™, the first commercially available thermosetting, fluoropolymer, powder coating to the architectural community in 2000. NEWLAR's™ coating technology is based on a thermosetting, fluorocarbon based resin formulation designed to exceed the stringent 10 year weathering requirements of the AAMA 2605 specification. In addition, Spraylat also introduced ARC 2001, a competitive, proprietary engineered, polyester powder product, to meet the 5 year requirements of AAMA 2604.
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