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    New technology makes Colorbond steel more durable

    Lisa Rapley

    A major update to Colorbond steel by BlueScope has been launched featuring a new range of contemporary colours and new coating technologies for improved corrosion resistance and paint colour durability.

    New Activate technology is the result of almost 20 years and $100 million of research and development.

    Two magnesium compounds have been added to the original zinc and aluminium coating, improving the galvanic action of the zinc as well as enabling the aluminium in the coating to more actively protect the base steel.

    This technology makes Colorbond steel more resistant to corrosion when drilled, cut or scratched, prolonging its lifespan.

    With the improved corrosion resistance, BlueScope have been able to increase the warranty period in most applications, with periods for architectural roofing panels increased from 15 years to 36 years.

    Additionally, the colour palette for the new Colorbond steel has undergone its biggest change in more than 20 years with the addition of six new contemporary colours.

    Five colours have been retired from the range along with the reintroduction of a previous colour, Night Sky, and six more new colours, bringing the palette to 22 colours from 20.

    Nexus Designs colour consultant Harley Anstee says the new shades were chosen after extensive auditing with 170 architects, roll-formers, developers and project home builders.

    “It was clear from industry discussions that there was a real yearning for a colour change to meet emerging trends in residential and commercial building styles,” Anstee says.

    New paint technology is also featured on the steel, increasing the colour durability and gloss retention of all 22 colours, compared to previous-generations.

    Each of the colours underwent the most rigorous research and development program in Colorbond steel history so as to ensure improvements in the paint colour durability.

    Outdoor exposure testing of the new colours began in 2008, backed by state-of-the-art laboratory analysis to accurately measure coating performance, product development portfolio leader Detlev Mueller says.


    “We were able to verify that the new colours perform up to Colorbond steel’s already high standards,” Mueller says.

    “We also demonstrated that new Colorbond steel retains its colour and gloss for longer, improving on what was already a best-in-class performance of original Colorbond steel.”Four years of exposure testing showed an improvement of 9% in retention of original gloss with the previous-generation retaining 76% of its original gloss and the new paint formulation retaining 85% over the period.

    Colorbond steel is better suited more than ever to Australia’s unique and demanding conditions, BlueScope market manager – commercial and industrial Manu Siitonen says.

    “Colorbond steel is developed for, and therefore more resilient to, the intense sunlight and temperatures typical of Australian environments,” Siitonen says.
    “The new paint resin technologies combined with Activate technology will enable new Csteel to meet customer expectations of appearance over a longer period of time.” 

    The six new Colorbond steel colours include:

    • Basalt™ – a deep neutral cool grey
    • Wallaby™ – a mid-neutral cool grey with a warm tone
    • Gully™ – a warm neutral mid-grey/green colour
    • Cove™ – a warm mid-grey with a golden overtone 
    • Mangrove™ – a new direction in green with an olive/grey/eucalypt tone
    • Terrain® – a rich, earthy, red/brown inspired by inland Australia
    More information on the new colours can be found here.

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