BlueScope Steel has tested and verified the durability of new paint technology employed to enhance the brilliance of BlueScope's latest COLORBOND Metallic steel colour range.

BlueScope’s newly developed production method for the six new COLORBOND Metallic steel colours strategically places particles in the paint system to optimise light penetration and colour reflectivity, resulting in enhanced lustre and brilliance compared to the previous colour offering. This technology has now been proven to meet and exceed BlueScope’s rigorous standards.

BlueScope extensively tested the gloss retention and paint colour durability of all six new colours to verify that they, at the very minimum, equalled the proven performance of colours in the previous COLORBOND Metallic steel range. This process involved testing samples of both previous and next generation products in multiple outdoor exposure sites of varying environmental severity to simulate the extreme conditions across Australia.

BlueScope product development project leader Andrew Collins explained that the samples were subjected to outdoor testing that exceeded standard levels by placing them on 'hot racks' facing north at 45 degrees to replicate the skin temperatures achieved by insulated roofs. By testing the samples to higher standards, BlueScope sought to ensure that their new products could perform in actual Australian environments, which vary widely across the country from mild to extreme.

According to Mr Collins, they were able to create a realistic, protracted test that simulated conditions exceeding those required by the testing standard for steel building products. Prototypes of the new colours were tested in real-world outdoor conditions for two years.

The latest technology for COLORBOND Metallic steel builds on over 20 years of incremental refinements to the BlueScope’s coating chemistry, all of which have also been tested and proven in field.

Samples of previous and next generation COLORBOND Metallic steel products were additionally tested at BlueScope's Port Kembla Weathering Laboratory, where they were subjected to accelerated aging in ultra-violet light to simulate sunlight fading, and cyclic salt fog machines to simulate corrosion deterioration.

BlueScope analysed the performance of samples from both the outdoor exposure and accelerated laboratory tests to conclude that the next generation COLORBOND Metallic steel colours have demonstrably improved gloss retention and paint colour durability compared to the previous generation product.

BlueScope marketing manager Gregory Moffitt said it was essential that the new colours proved their increased ability to resist colour fade and retain the enhanced sparkling effect compared with the previous generation product.

The new COLORBOND Metallic steel also removes compliance issues because it meets or exceeds all requirements of the independent National Construction Code (NCC) and referenced Australian Standards, helping customers meet building approval requirements.

The new COLORBOND Metallic steel colours include three variants of grey ranging from light to dark in addition to a pearl white, a rich copper and a deep, dramatic black. All the new colours (except the dramatic black Celestian) are formulated with Thermatech technology to optimise solar reflectance.