Launching in the next few months (after a soft launch last October), Fluropon Extreme provides an enhanced damage resistance solution for everyday wear and tear and for damage seen during forming, transportation, and at the jobsite. The product joins the coil coating system family that is known for its innovative two-coat technology using 70 percent PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride), a fluoropolymer resin system.
“The panel goes through a lot,” says Jeff Alexander, Vice President-Sales of Coil and Extrusion for Valspar. “There’s a big coil of steel that is coated on the front and back with a protective coating. It then goes to a manufacturer that will form it into panels through a roll forming machine, which bends and flexes the steel and the coating. So it has to be flexible in order not to crack during that process.”
That’s a lot of handling and wear and tear that happens to the coating. After a protective film is put on, the panels are sandwiched together and shipped to the jobsite.
The wear and tear that happens when panels move and rub against each other during shipping is called transit abrasion, according to Alexander. Even with protective film, there remains a little bit of possibility for damage to occur during transit.
Inevitable wear and tear that occurs at plants, on the dock or road, jobsites, and even during installation is bound to occur, but Fluoropon Extreme tested above current standards in withstanding extreme wear conditions.
The company already has a hard coating product, but with a textured finish. After hearing from customers that they wanted a harder coating with a smooth finish, Valspar set to work to find a formula that would deliver just that.
Formulated by Valspar, Fluropon Extreme is a longwearing, mar-stopping solution, ideal for arduous installation processes like roofing.
“They were able to work it where this coating is actually even harder than our textured hard coat,” Alexander explains. “That’s where it’s innovative: It’s a hard coating where our customers can eliminate that protective film.”
Valspar also worked with a team of scientists at the University of Florida to test the damage resistance of the coating.
“We took what happened with the test results and what we saw to make changes to the formula at Valspar,” Alexander says.
Leveraging the science of tribology, or the study of how surfaces interact with motion, researchers wanted to address the particular stress that would most likely damage a panel between the fabricator and the building site: abrasion. The result is a product with an even harder coating that contains the added unique factor of smoothness.
Along with the advantages of 70 percent PVDF coatings, users can also expect from Fluoropon Extreme benefits such as UV resistance; color and gloss retention; resistance to dirt, stains, chalk, chemicals, and fading; great flexibility and formability; and graffiti resistance that meets ASTM standards and overall quality adhesion.
Another added benefit for installers is that there is no need to add a protective film, which saves money and time while reducing waste. “There’s a lot of cost savings that can be involved where they don’t need to apply the protective film and they don't need to remove it on the jobsite,” Alexander says.
The feedback on Fluoropon Extreme has been positive, he continues.
“Users have seen great results in regard to the damage resistance that the coating was able to achieve. It all comes down to eliminating damage resistance or the wear and tear that happens to coatings.”