Currently there are three Qualicoat classes of powder that are used for architectural coating in Europe. All of the classes use the same pre-treatment systems and the same powder coating lines, but their formulation varies.
Class 1 is used extensively in the UK, it is an economical formulation which offers good life expectancy with minimal maintenance. Class 2 powders, sometimes referred to as ‘Superdurable’, are being recognised by a growing number of specifiers and used on prestigious projects across the UK. Class 2 powders offer a superior resistance to UV and are formulated with different compounds. More expensive, these powders can offer extended life expectance with reduced maintenance. Class 3, sometimes referred to as ‘Hyperdurable’ tend to be specified for use in more inhospitable regions of the globe where even more robust finishes are required.
The step between Class 1 and Class 2 is a reasonable one, both in value terms and performance, so Europe has now introduced Class 1.5. This class has been used extensively in Australia where it has been adopted as the Qualicoat minimum standard. With improved UV stability and gloss retention over Class 1, it is expected that the market in Europe will adopt Class 1.5 as the minimum standard over the coming years.
For updated information about the use and specification of Qualicoat in the UK and Ireland, please visit the associations' website at www.qualicoatuki.org