Choosing a product can be complicated enough without adding the knowledge required to understand the many different coatings and finishes that there are to choose from. These complications are unfortunately a way for salespeople to exploit an opportunity and convince you to specify or buy a product that is coated with the “equivalent” of a 3-coat PVDF system when in fact you are only getting a 2-coat system. It is creative we will give them that, but it is also dishonest and can have a huge impact on the integrity and performance of the product. If your project and budget require a premium 3-Coat Fluoropolymer Coating with a genuine 20-year warranty, then here are three ways to guarantee that you don’t get sold an inferior coating system.
1 Review the System
A true 3-coat system consists of a nominal 0.8 mil each of a proprietary urethane primer or similar over the fluoropolymer colour coat. This is then finished with a clear topcoat to seal and protect the entire system. This third layer plays an important role as it acts like a sunblock repelling the harsh UV light that we have in Australia and which can cause your colour to fade. This extra layer of protection is why 3-coat systems have an additional 5 years on a manufacturer’s warranty of a 2-coat system which is 15 years standard from the majority of global paint manufacturers. 3-coat systems come with a standard 20 year warranty.
A 3-coat system is not simply about the film build on the product and if you are being told that then it should immediately be a red flag that the system is not a true 3-coat. Make sure to query with your manufacturer exactly what the layers within their system are. We have heard of 2-coat systems with an extra layer being sold as 3-coat. This is not how paint systems work. It is not simply about the number of coats on the product it is what each coating layer does to protect the product.
2 Check the Warranty
Unfortunately, there can also be some questionable practices when it comes to warranties but reviewing a sample warranty prior to specifying or purchasing your product can be a good way to help spot a fake. The coating system used should be outlined within the warranty in detail and if this information is there and a 20-year warranty is confirmed then this is a good way to guarantee that you have a true 3-coat system.
Just as wording in a warranty can confirm that something is genuine, it is also a good way to confirm when something is not. Should you review a warranty that does not directly confirm that the layers in the 3-coat system are correct then this should be enough to question whether you are in fact getting a true system. If the warranty period also shows 15-years then this is an easy way to spot that the system is only a two-coat. 3-coat PVDF systems have a 33 micron min specification. Be aware of companies using a 2 coat system with a higher film build (eg, 33 micron) to achieve the same and offering this as a 20 year warranty on a 15 year manufacturer’s warranty product.
3 Ask your sales rep
This suggestion might seem simple, but it is important to ask your sales rep for as much information as they have on the coating system they are providing on the product. If they can easy and confidently provide this information and showing the required and true layers that are the required elements of a 3-coat system, then this is an excellent indication that; a) the system is a genuine 3-coat and b) the company you are dealing with understands the difference and is not trying to sell you a substandard alternative.
On the flip side, if the questions to your sales rep are met with a lot of um’s and ah’s then that should be a sign that you might want to delve a little deeper into what you are being offered. Keep in mind that it may not be your sales reps intention to mislead you as they may also not be knowledgeable about this topic and could simply be repeating information that they have been incorrectly taught.
At Aodeli we are lucky to have a General Manager, Wayne Saunders, that is a guru when it comes to the coatings industry having previously worked for one of the leading paint manufacturers, Dulux. Wayne has passed his vast knowledge and expertise on to the team and they are well placed to give you sound and useful advice on this area. Due to the superiority of the 3-coat system, Aodeli offers this as standard on all of its products as opposed to other manufacturers that offer 2-coat as standard and a 3-coat as a special order finish.