The corrosive environment created by seawater presents a major challenge when building on coastal areas. In Australia, this is an enduring issue as the vast majority of the population lives in coastal areas. Beachfront and seaside properties are also highly sought after. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, since 2011 the highest amount of development and land use has occurred near the coast.
When specifying building products for coastal buildings, designers and specifiers must consider the impact of harsh environmental conditions such as humidity, sea spray, pollution and ultraviolet (UV) solar radiation. As developments move closer to the sea, the higher percentage of moisture and salt particles in the air accelerates the rate of corrosion on all types of building components. Rust can become rampant and affect even the smallest fixings leading to increased repair, replacement and maintenance costs for property owners. Salt particles are also highly corrosive to common powder coatings on steel building products, causing the powder to break down and compromising its performance and aesthetic qualities.
To deliver high quality coastal buildings with long lasting performance, designers and specifiers should select products that are marine grade and compliant with Australian standards for corrosion resistance. DecoWood, with its Super Durable powder coating, is one such product.
The DecoWood finish is created through a two-stage process called ‘photo-imaging’, which involves powder coating aluminium, then sublimating a woodgrain pattern into the coating. The aluminium profile or sheet is pre-treated before coating, giving it additional corrosion resistance.
DecoWood’s specialist finishes are designed for marine environments and comply with international and Australian standards for quality. DecoWood is 50% more durable than standard powder coating finishes and achieves a Class 2.0, one of the higher classes of durability under the Qualicoat Standard. The Qualicoat Standard is the international standard for quality assurance in powder coating. Both Qualicoat and Australian Standard AS 3715 set out a series of tests to assess the performance of powder coatings.
Under the Qualicoat Standard, the key durability tests of powder coating are The Natural Weathering Test and the Acetic Acid Salt Spray Test. The Natural Weathering Test involves laying samples out and exposing them to high levels of UV radiation. Part of the sample is also covered for the testing period. This process measures the performance of finishes under realistic conditions that cannot otherwise be replicated by machine testing.
The DecoWood finish has been tested in extreme exposure sites around the world, and have performed strongly, showing minimal difference between the covered and exposed samples and retaining 90% of its gloss level. DecoWood has been tested in sites such as Miami and Venice and passed a 3-year Florida Natural Weathering Test as required for its Class 2.0 Qualicoat durability rating.
DecoWood has also been subjected to the Acetic Acid Salt Spray Test, which determines how well the powder coating is bonded to the aluminium. DecoWood samples are placed into a cabinet where an aggressive mix of salt and acids are sprayed over the samples for the test period. DecoWood passes 2000 hours of this test, meaning it fully complies with the Qualicoat standard and is more durable than any other woodgrain finishes available in Australia.
Ideal for coastal building projects, DecoWood’s marine grade finish is available on a number of applications, including the following:
- DecoClad combines aluminium’s strength with the Super Durable coating for exterior cladding, gable ends and facades.
- DecoDeck is an aluminium decking system that replicates the form and appearance of natural timber decking.
- DecoSlat offers aluminium slat fences, gates and screen coated in the high performance DecoWood finish.
- DecoBatten are aluminium battens that replicate the form of luxury timber and enable a wide range of architectural styles and statement pieces.
Unlike real timber, DecoWood building products are low maintenance, do not require painting or sealing and are easy to clean. They are also resistant to termites, warping and rot.
DECO products are also non-combustible and compliant with the fire performance requirements in the National Construction Code.
For more information on the Super Durable DecoWood finish, visit DECO’s website at: www.deco.net.au.