Continuous Coil Anodized Aluminum Offers An Excellent Alternative to Paint for Building Exteriors

By Steven Soderberg, Lorin Industries, Inc.

Continuous coil anodized aluminum offers significant benefits for exterior facades. An excellent alternative to applied coatings like paint, continuous coil anodized aluminum provides a durable, consistent, and elegant appearance combined with lower maintenance costs and significant environmental benefits.

Continuous coil anodized aluminum uses a tightly controlled electrochemical process to grow an aluminum oxide layer from the base aluminum by converting the aluminum into aluminum oxide, so it is bonded at the molecular level unlike an applied coating.

This uniform anodic layer results in a very consistent surface appearance with elegant colors, and unlike applied coatings like paints, it can never chip, flake, or peel. In addition, the anodic layer is actually a crystalline structure, so it can reflect and refract light in ways that help the material come alive and change with changing light conditions. The end result is an enhanced aluminum surface that provides cost and production efficiencies, beauty, versatility, and sustainability.

Exterior applications include building facades, curtain walls, roofs, column wraps, and lighting. Building facades can be installed as honeycomb panels, aluminum composite panels (ACPs), solid metal panels, and roll formed panels. Other common uses include trim, soffits, gutters, signage, backsplashes, and ceiling panels. 

These anodized finishes are a great choice for a wide range of structures, from mid-range storefronts, institutional buildings, schools and government buildings to monumental commercial industrial buildings, residential, high traffic areas, storefronts, handrails, entry systems and windows.

Additionally, coil anodized aluminum can be made in numerous colors. For example, Lorin can match most any natural metal look, including shades of zinc, steel, titanium, copper, gold, brass, bronze, and natural aluminum. For exterior use, anodized aluminum can be made to simulate these other metals using inorganic dyes or metal fines added into the pores of the protective anodic outer layer. For interior applications, Lorin uses organic dyes and has even matched Coca-Cola Red and Victoria’s Secret Pink.

Read more about Lorin’s anodized aluminum as an alternative to paint in Design and Build With Metal: