Spurred on by the popularity of the industrial style, the use of concrete in architectural design is on the rise. Taking cues from factories, industrial spaces and warehouses, designers are using concrete to achieve a modern yet raw aesthetic, or as an accent on key architectural features. Previously divisive and controversial, brutalist architecture, which features concrete as one of its fundamental aesthetic elements, has become celebrated around the world; another indicator that the concrete aesthetic is on its way to becoming synonymous with high style.

However, in practice, the use of concrete has its challenges. While concrete can be used in a variety of architectural applications, it is inflexible once made and is difficult to reuse or repurpose.

Furthermore, cheaply-made concrete can rot due to water seepage and exposure to other elements, which can increase maintenance costs or require replacement. While strong and durable, concrete is difficult and heavy to transport, and is generally slower to build with, resulting in longer construction times, increased energy consumption and heavier demands on resources and costs.

Designers and specifiers are seeking versatile, cost-effective design solutions that can achieve a premium industrial-inspired aesthetic effortlessly, without compromising on style and performance. 

100% Australian-made, DecoCrete showcases DECO’s signature high-quality photo imaging (sublimation) technology, allowing designers and specifiers to achieve a classic concrete or urban industrial look without the hassle, costs and logistical complexity of using real concrete. The DecoCrete concrete effect is achieved by applying a Super DurableTM powder coating onto an aluminium profile or flat sheet, on top of which a realistic concrete-pattern film is applied. The profile is baked at high temperatures to ensure the ink is transferred into the entire depth of the powder-coated surface.

DecoCrete allows designers and specifiers to apply a natural raw concrete aesthetic, in a textured or gloss finish, onto any solid aluminium surface or extrusion. Available in three concrete-inspired colours, including light, polished and charcoal, DecoCrete results in an attractive, highly durable finish that is completely fire safe and anti-graffiti.   

In addition to any aluminium extrusion or flat sheet, DecoCrete can be applied to DECO’s entire range of lightweight, easy-to-install aluminium building products. This includes cladding, slats, battens and kitchen and bathroom splashbacks. This wide variety of building solutions allows designers and specifiers to use DecoCrete in a myriad of architectural applications to achieve a realistic concrete aesthetic without having to deal with the weight and inflexibility of real concrete. DecoCrete can be used for external or internal applications, smaller architectural components, or as part of a statement feature.

DecoCrete finishes and films have been independently tested and certified to perform in extreme conditions. DECO’s Super Durable powder is 50% more durable than standard powdered coatings and has been specifically tested to withstand the harsh Australian climate. DecoCrete is also highly resistant to chemicals and graffiti, making it ideal for public building applications. Under the conditions set out in AS 3715-2002, DecoCrete offers a 12-year warranty that covers peeling, flaking, chipping, change of colour (within allowable limits) and gloss level.

DECO’s range of aluminium building products offer strength and durability, and are also compliant with Australian fire performance requirements in the National Construction Code and related Australian Standards. Unlike concrete, aluminium is also 100% reusable and recyclable; over 75% of aluminium ever produced is still in use today. Aluminium recycling is a closed-loop, cradle-to-cradle process that requires minimal energy consumption.

Fully owned and operated in Australia, DECO has been the leading manufacturer of finished aluminium products since 2004. DECO offers high quality, durable finishes alongside an ever-expanding range of architectural products. With their innovative finishing technology, high standards of customer service and commitment to creating high quality, sustainable alternatives to traditional building products, DECO meets the evolving needs of the Australian building industry and the wider community.

For more information and to learn more about DecoCrete, visit the DECO website.