Introducing ColorMet: Painted Stainless Steel

The bright, shiny appearance of stainless steel is undeniably attractive but is not suitable for all appli­cations. BS Stainless offer a solution in the form of painted stainless steel materials: this edition of our blog focuses on ColorMet.

A common use for stainless steel is cladding buildings but using standard stainless steel may not fit in with the architect's plans: as well as not providing the right aesthetic, there are issues of reflectivity and surface temperature to take into account. This problem can be solved with ColorMet coil-coated stainless steel. By factory-applying a range of paint systems to wide coils and then cutting them into sheets, practically any colour requirement can be met, allowing existing areas to be matched with or to create an entirely new, modern appearance.

The paint systems include a primer base along with a top coat of PVDF ( polyvi­nylidene fluoride) or polyester. As well as enhancing visual appeals, these added layers also improve performance: grade 304 stainless steel with a paint coating can actually match or even exceed unpainted grade 316 stainless steel in salt spray tests. Our painted stainless steel can be roll formed to produce corrugate profiles and can easily be formed and bent to angles up to 90 degrees.

Another benefit of using ColorMet regards heat reflectance and emissivity. Standard stainless steel has an emissivity of around ε0.55; the application of white, grey or other light-coloured paints can increase this level to ε0.8 or even greater. This creates a cooler and thus safer surface as well as keeping whatever is below the metal at a lower temperature, resulting in a cooler building that requires less insulation. LNG plants widely use this approach and our CoolMet brand is specified by many engineering companies to reduce insulation; this means a smaller required diameter of cladding and a significant reduction in both insulation materials and ancillary requ­ire­ments.

As well as delivering improved aesthetics, ColorMet can also be used to help with areas of identi­fica­tion. For example, painted stainless steel slit coils or banding can be used as a warning to identify cladding that may require special preparation before removal or can demonstrate different uses of specific pipes. When painted red, the material is also used to craft clips that hold vital fire alarm cables in place, ensuring that the clips (manuf­ac­tured from grade 316 stainless steel) are both durable and highly-visible.

In conclusion, if you need the performance of stainless steel but with a traditi­onally painted look then BS Stainless can help. Find out more about ColorMet on our website.

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