CLEVELAND — Some of the most remarkable new coatings, like color-changing and smog-eating coatings, are applied to metal using the advanced continuous coil coating process. The coil coating process makes these complex coatings feasible and cost-effective.

The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, a $28 million cruise ship terminal at the Port of San Diego, features color-shifting coatings by PPG Industries. The Duranar VARI-Cool coatings combine pearlescent pigments with infrared-reflective coatings technology, which are applied with the coil coating process. This high-tech coating helps the building stay cool while adding stunning aesthetics as the coating changes color depending on how light refracts off the roof and the angle from which it is viewed.

Another cutting-edge coating that is applied with the coil coating process helps buildings clean themselves and eat smog. Using a breakthrough process, Alcoa has introduced a new coil-coated architectural panel that continually cleans the metal panels and the air around it. The architectural coating, called EcoClean, has the ability to actively break down pollutants like smog and to covert them to simple compounds that wash away in the rain. When combined with sunlight, the coating acts as a catalyst to break down organic pollutants on the surface and in the air, creating harmless matter, which is then washed away by rainwater. Alcoa reports that 10,000 square feet of these building panels has the approximate smog removal power of 80 trees. This results in a structure that is constantly washed, leaving a better appearance, lower building maintenance costs and cleaner air to breathe.

The coil coating process is a cost-efficient and eco-friendly method for applying cutting-edge coatings to metal today. Pretreatments and coatings are uniformly applied on the coil before the metal is cut or formed, which enable these high-tech coatings to be applied in very precise thin layers at a low cost.

In addition, it is important that the process used to create these earth-friendly products is also gentle on the environment. By centralizing paint operations from many locations to high-tech coil coating lines, a host of green benefits are realized. The coil coating industry pioneered tightly controlled processes that reduce VOC emissions and lower energy use while producing high-performance painted metal.