Standing at 310m, the Shard is Western Europe’s tallest building and certainly most iconic. Its extensive glazed aluminium framing, is coated with Class 2 Architectural Powder Coating, applied to the global Qualicoat Specification.

Using 11,000 aluminium framed Glass Panels, the area of the glazed facade is 56,000 square metres, which equals the area of eight football pitches. With restricted access, it is vital that the powder coating to the Aluminium Profiles is robust and stands the test of time.

For the majority of uses today, Polyester Powder Coating to Class 1 is adequate in the UK’s normal temperate zone and, with care, will offer a long and useful life. For more exposed conditions, such as the Shard, changing the formulation to an IPA Polyester, combined with higher quality pigments, both gloss retention and colour retention can be substantially improved for an even longer life. Known as Class 2, or ‘Super Durable’ Powders, these materials are often twice as expensive in powder form than Class 1. Once coated onto an Aluminium Profile, the difference in finished cost between the two is reduced, but life expectancy is greatly improved. The increase in cost is more than outweighed by the excellent weathering capabilities of Class 2 powders and there has been a significant increase in the specification of these finishes over the last few years for high specification buildings and structures.

The majority of Powder Coating companies across Europe are Qualicoat licence holders, just specify the Qualicoat standard for all Architectural Powder Coating. To learn more about the various Classes available, contact Qualicoat direct through the website at www.qualicoat.org.uk of discuss your requirements with any member of the association.