Jun 24, 2022 11:00:00 AM | 5 Min Read

Complete Guide to Aluminum Finishes

Posted By Reynaers Aluminium
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Complete Guide to Aluminum Finishes

Aluminum is incredibly versatile when it comes to finishes, and it’s easy to align aluminum with the aesthetic of your space. Whether you’re looking for a pop of color, a textured look, or durability for a harsh environment — there’s an aluminum finishing technique for your design dreams.

Let's take a look at some standard aluminum finishes and the variety you can achieve with them:

Types of Aluminum Finishes

There are a few categories of aluminum finishes to be aware of that have different processes.

  • Powder Coating
  • Anodization
  • Coatex

Similar to sanding wood before you paint it, aluminum has to undergo a cleaning process before finishing. By using special chemicals, aluminum is stripped of excess grease and oils to aid in the adhesion process of the finish.

Powder Coating

Powder coating is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of a liquid, like paint, it is a dry powder applied to metal and cured. The process is based on the same systems used for polymer or epoxy resin. Pigments, flow modifiers, leveling agents, and additional additives achieve specific results. The mixture is then heated so that all the ingredients melt together. Once everything is properly combined, the mix is cooled and ground into a fine powder.

Powder coatings are applied via a spray gun that inserts an electrostatic charge into the powder particles. The electrostatic charge ensures the particles stick to the metal. Once the coating has been applied, it's cured in a specially designed oven. The result is a highly durable finish resistant to moisture and chemical infiltration.

Anodization

Anodization is the process of finishing the metal via electromechanical means. It is used to increase corrosion resistance. It can be applied as the final coating or as a way to prepare the metal for better adherence to other paints or coatings. Our anodization finishes at Reynaers Aluminium are available in matte finishes. Polished colors are not possible now, and accessories must be painted in matching or complementary colors.

Coatex

Coatex is a textured coating layer. It's an alternative to painting that can add more visual interest and depth to the door, window frame, or facade surface than a standard smooth surface.

Styles of Aluminum Finishes

One major appeal of aluminum frames for windows, doors, and facades is that they can be customized according to the building owner's style. In addition to an extensive catalog of colors, aluminum frames can be finished with matte, satin, high-gloss, or metallic looks, depending on the finishing process.

Matte

A matte finish is non-reflective and dull, with a gloss rating of 30 GU. It hides fingerprints and watermarks well and doesn't require as many coating layers, making it less expensive. It's also easy to clean, durable, and tarnish resistant. However, because it's not glossy, it can appear less refined than satin or glossy finishes.

Satin

Satin finishes give the appearance of a lightly glossed surface. It's smoother than matte but not as reflective as high gloss, making it an excellent middle choice if you aren’t sure what type of finish they want for their frame. It typically has a gloss rating of 72 GU. It hides imperfections well and is easy to clean. You also won't notice fingerprints or watermarks on satin finishes as easily as on high gloss.

High Gloss

A high gloss finish is shiny, regardless of the color. It offers a smooth surface that is aesthetically pleasing and reflects light well. However, fingerprints, watermarks, and dust tend to be more visible on high gloss than on other aluminum finishes.

Metallic

Metallic finishes can add an air of luxury. They sparkle but aren't as reflective as a high gloss finish. They can also be tinted to look like gold, silver, copper, stainless steel, and brass. Fingerprints and watermarks may be visible on metallic finishes, but they are easy to clean and aesthetically appealing.

Custom Finishes From Reynaers Aluminium

The right color and finish can make or break your design. At Reynaers, we offer our frames in various colors and finishes for true design freedom with aluminum. When it comes to powder coatings, we provide more than 450 color AAMA finishes. AAMA classifications refer to durability and humidity exposure resistance. In general, the higher the number, the longer the finish will last.

Take a look at our AAMA offerings:

  • AAMA 2603 – Available in all colors. These coatings meet or exceed required specifications and are great for interior spaces.
  • AAMA 2604 – Available in more than 20 colors. These super-durable powdered coatings are excellent for building fronts, low-rise curtain walls, windows, and doors.
  • AAMA 2605 – Available in 7 matte or fine-textured colors. These are the best coatings you can buy and work great for exterior elements.

Great design is in the details, and the right finish for your aluminum facade is out there! Make your frames a bold statement piece or meld them in seamlessly with your design. Check out our design resources and start planning your facade masterpiece.

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Topics: Industry Trends

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