BlueScope Steel announces that COLORBOND steel has won the HIA Western Australia's Product Innovation Award at the recent 2014 Housing Awards. The Awards recognise and celebrate the best of the residential construction industry.

COLORBOND steel was recognised for having undergone extensive testing in the field and laboratory, and for its greater colour retention and colour-holding properties over the previous product. The jury also noted COLORBOND steel's smaller environmental footprint compared with the previous product.

HIA chief judge Max Pirone said that BlueScope has made an ‘extensive investment in finding a better way’ and implemented an increased warranty period that provides ‘peace-of-mind for the customer and consumers’.

BlueScope marketing manager - Coated and Industrial Products, Gregory Moffitt said they were honoured that their efforts to substantially improve an already well-performing product had been rewarded.

COLORBOND steel features BlueScope's multiple patent-protected Activate technology, which is the culmination of almost 20 years and over $100 million in research and development investment.

Previous-generation COLORBOND steel utilised an AZ150 alloy coating comprising of zinc and aluminium to protect the steel base against corrosion. BlueScope's latest COLORBOND steel has an AM100 substrate, which fundamentally changes the coating composition by introducing magnesium into the aluminium/zinc alloy coating and improves galvanic protection by activating the aluminium to protect areas of the base steel following exposure from cutting, drilling or wear. The result is more efficient and effective corrosion resistance compared to its predecessor product.

The zinc/aluminium/magnesium coating supports builders with compliance and assists the building approval process. Building industry members can reduce compliance risks by specifying COLORBOND steel because the Activate technology has been included in the National Construction Code and applicable Australian Standards, ensuring it meets or exceeds applicable Australian building standards.

BlueScope has worked to reduce compliance risks associated with non-certified materials, opening up the way for AM-type coated steel products.

BlueScope conducted the most rigorous testing program in COLORBOND steel's history to verify the improvements the new steel had over the outgoing product. Conducted at multiple outdoor locations across the country for a minimum period of four years, the extensive testing that replicated building applications involved the analysis of over 2000 outdoor samples by BlueScope's Weathering Laboratory.

To back up its improved corrosion performance, the new COLORBOND steel gains from more generous warranty periods for roofing and walling in a range of applications, compared to those offered for original COLORBOND steel.

The new COLORBOND steel is available in six new colours, and features an improved appearance due to enhancements in paint resin technology.

BlueScope's COLORBOND steel won the HIA WA 2014 Product Innovation Award ahead of several other entrants, including Brikmakers, NicheQ and Summit Homes.