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Paint and coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel announced the availability of a new silicone-modified polyester coating solution for aluminum. Designed for spray application to aluminum, CERAM-A-STAR® E is a new solution with proven durability and ease of application that meets American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2604 specifications. Designed for the high-end residential, storefront and monumental interiors market, this product offers a lower-cost alternative to 50 percent PVDF and super-durable polyester powders. When compared to anodized solutions, it offers better quality, more consistent color control and options, chemical resistance, and field repairability.

Building on the CERAM-A-STAR family of silicone-modified polyester (SMP) coil coatings, this new product has been adapted to serve the unique needs of the aluminum extrusion industry.

According to Ben Mitchell, Extrusion Coatings Sales & Marketing Manager for AkzoNobel, CERAM-A-STAR E was developed from a proven coil coating product with millions of square feet already installed in the field. The modifications for spray application preserve these well-established performance characteristics. 

“With 15 years of South Florida real-world weathering exposure data, a feature that most new coating solutions lack, you can rest assured that CERAM-A-STAR E will stand up over time. Because it is based on an established product with an enormous amount of completed projects, its long-term performance and superior chemistry have been proven through years of research, testing and commercial application,” said Mitchell. 

Mitchell added that CERAM-A-STAR E was developed in response to the market need for a universal aluminum coating system. “A coating was needed that can coat aluminum, while allowing for uniformity in weathering and durability,” said Mitchell. 

CERAM-A-STAR E’s proprietary resin formulation is the pillar for the SMP system. Combined with premium ceramic and inorganic pigments, it offers superior color stability, chalk resistance, fade resistance and gloss retention for the most durable AAMA 2604 finish available. 

Although this product is just being launched at-large for the fenestration market, it was recently tested in the Middle East with extremely favorable results. Multiple colors and finish options were evaluated, and all met the level of durability that is called for in AAMA 2604. In addition to its proven durability, CERAM-A-STAR E has a number of other benefits that customers will find very appealing.

“The maximum achievable volume solids of a 50-percent PVDF coating are usually 26-28 percent,” according to Pakeer Ithrees, a Senior Chemist with AkzoNobel in Saudi Arabia. “However, you can achieve 48-54 percent volume solids with CERAM-A-STAR E. This results in almost twice the coverage per gallon compared to 50-percent PVDF coatings.” 

Mitchell sees a unique opportunity for users of CERAM-A-STAR E. “While the long-term superiority of AAMA 2605 coatings is not being questioned, these types of improvements will allow users of CERAM-A-STAR E to enjoy significant coverage advantages, coupled with superior performance for an AAMA 2604 coating.”  He noted that, “In the past, coaters have only been able to choose between a lower percentage PVDF coating or a super-durable powder to meet AAMA 2604. With the introduction of CERAM-A-STAR E, they now have a superior choice with proven performance and excellent economics.”

AkzoNobel partnered with Spectrum Metal Finishing in the development and production line testing of the CERAM-A-STAR E system. Neil Chrisman, President of Spectrum Metal Finishing, said, “We found it to be easy to apply with standard aluminum painting equipment, along with the bonus of having a flexible cure window,” said Chrisman. “It was also easy to build film without runs and sags due to its higher solids. Although this isn’t the same level of durability as a PVDF product, we feel it is an excellent upgrade from AAMA 2603 products. It has much better hardness and mar resistance for a competitive price as compared to lower tier products.”

CERAM-A-STAR E is also a great fit for todays’ just-in-time production environment. The ability to perform quick color changes during production is a big help in maintaining an optimal production schedule. It also allows coaters to blend colors in-house, including mica metallics, which isn’t possible with other technologies.