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PVDF and Feve resins for Fluoropolymer coatings. What's the difference?
Powder coatings are high performing, sustainable, durable and hard working coatings. The resins that we use in our powders are what give the powders their durability and help them stand up to things like corrosion, UV light and humidity. Everyone has heard of the PVDF resins that go into AAMA 2605 compliant liquid paints. There are two different types of resins that can be used in powder coatings that meet and exceed the performance requirements of AAMA 2605. Read on for a basic guide to these differing Fluoropolymer powder coatings.
Architectural powder coatings that meet and exceed the performance requirements of AAMA 2605 can be based around two different types of resin:
- Feve (fluoroethylene vinyl ether) resin
- PVDF (polyvinylidene difluoride) resin
Most of us have heard about PVDF resins in traditional liquid paints. 70% Kynar, 2 coat+ paints are based on PVDF resins. PVDF resin based powder coatings are also available, and these powders are also 2 coat systems. Feve resins are used in many architectural grade powder coatings and due to their unique resin make-up, are single coat systems that give the same or better performance as a 2 coat system.
This is what the chemical structure of a PVDF resin looks like:
This is what the chemical structure of a Feve resin looks like:
The Feve resins are usually reacted with aliphatic isocyanates to form cross linked FEVE coatings. Feve based fluoropolymer coatings take advantage of the carbon/fluorine bond, which is extremely difficult to break. Carbon-fluorine bonds can absorb much greater amounts of UV energy and will keep this energy from affecting the weaker bonds/linkages in the Feve resin polymer structure. Ultra-weatherability, durability, and chemical resistance are derived from the distinctive alternating fluorinated units.
So what are the differences and similarities between Feve and PVDF resins?
Both Feve and PVDF resin based coatings are factory applied finishes, requiring a spray and bake application process. Both will meet and exceed the performance requirements of AAMA 2605. For this reason the same type of warranty is also available when applied to architectural aluminum by a certified applicator and both are available in solid and metallic or mica finishes.
However there are some differences and this can be where confusion sets in.
Thermoset vs. thermoplastic
PVDF systems are thermoplastic. Feve systems are thermoset. The thermoplastic PVDF resin will
"remelt" under high temperatures and pressures while the thermoset Feve resin is a thermset system that will not "remelt" once it is correctly cured or baked. These thermosetting properties also give the Feve resin based powders superior toughness and scratch and mar resistance.
Number of coats
PVDF based powders, just like their liquid PVDF counterparts, must be a minimum of 2 coats. A powder primer coat is required to add protection and work with the top coat to give the desired levels of durability and protection.
Feve based powders are single coat applications when applied to aluminum. The unique Fluorine-Carbon bond and thermosetting properties of the feve resin means the same (or better) levels of durability and protection are executed in a single coat. No primer coat is required.
Color and gloss
Both PVDF based systems and Feve resin based powders retain their color and gloss extremely well and will meet and exceed the weathering performance requirements of AAMA 2605. However with Feve based powder coatings higher gloss finishes are available. The PVDF resins are much more limited in the range of gloss they can achieve as Kynar acts like a matting agent. Because the Carbon-Fluorine bond is part of the resin system in Feve based systems there is no matting effect.
Manufacturers of PVDF based powders will tell you that PVDF is the superior system and will have data to prove it. Manufacturers of Feve resin based powders will tell you that Feve is the superior system and will also have data to prove it. The truth, as always, is somewhere in between. The fact is, both products work well, offer great protection and warranties and are an excellent coating choice. At IFS Coatings we use Feve based resins, along with many of our competitors. We believe there are many, many more examples of Feve resin based powder coatings out there than PVDF powder projects, and they have been shown to be successful time after time after time.
From a sustainability perspective, we know that Feve resin based powders are a better choice. For architectural practices that claim to practice sustainable design, making the switch to Feve based powder should be a no brainer. Not only is solvent removed from the process as well as toxic compounds, less product and less energy are used in the application process and chrome (yes, the nasty hexavalent, trivalent "Erin Brockovich -we don't want it in our water" stuff) can be completely removed from the process. Unlike PVDF based products which MUST have a chrome based pretreatment, Feve resin based powders will perform on top of both chrome and non-chrome pretreatments. This completely removes chrome from the process, which is great news for people and the environment.
Navigating the world of architectural coatings and the various options out there can be tricky. We are here to help you, provide data you need, answer your questions and give you advice whenever you need it. Don't hesitate to ask.
There is no toxic waste or toxic landfill created during the powder application process?
Unlike competing liquid products.
Another reason why IFS Powder Coatings is the environmentally responsible choice.
Q: What do beer, wine, coffee, cocktails and IFS have in common?
A: Simple. Micro Matic USA.
It's no secret that we are a nation of beverage lovers. Whether it's beer, wine, water, coffee or
cocktails we want them at home, in our office, and of course in the restaurants, bars, coffee shops and breweries we frequent. Designing beverage systems into residential and commercial buildings is a fine balance of practicality, efficiency, color and elegance. It is possible to achieve all of this and more - enter Micro Matic.
Micro Matic, a leading global supplier of draft beer, cocktail, water, and wine dispensing systems in over 120 countries, has been helping breweries, retailers and beer lovers enjoy fresh beverages for over 50 years. Delivering reliable, high-quality, and cost-effective dispensing solutions also requires hard working, durable, high quality and attractive coatings. Enter IFS Coatings. As well as high performance architectural grade powders, IFS also manufactures a full range of industrial chemistries and colors that are perfect for this type of application.
"We work with a variety of materials, so powder coating offers a good cross section of cost, lead time, durability and reliability when compared to alternative coatings," comments Thomas Scotii, Customer Service Supervisor - Manufacturing & Design Center at Micro Matic. "We work with IFS because we have an established and reliable history with the product and the quick turnaround times available on colors and service levels are excellent. We have an extremely fast paced business; timely access to consistent materials is key for us."
The Micro Matic dispensing products enable the beverage to be poured perfectly every time through
the patented Kool-Rite™ module. Different tower shells are then manufactured to incorporate the Kool-Rite™ module inside. Using a variety of shapes, columns and sizes for the tower, the body can then be customized with a specific IFS powder color or effect.
With the vast array of colors and effects available from IFS, Micro Matic is able to offer customized draft towers for customers based on their exact color and design specifications. Scotti continues, "We're able to show an expansive color range, which enables our customer to achieve a distinctive personal look for wherever they use our products, and achieve the brand specific or unique look and feel."
Of course choosing a sustainable coating is also very important to the winners of a 2016 Sustainable Business Award - Micro Matic USA. IFS powders boast an extremely sustainable footprint and as a company, IFS is committed to sustainable practices. It's even part of the mission statement. Micro Matic's Scotti comments "Sustainability in both longevity of a company, as well as environmental best business practices, is always at the forefront of our minds. It in an inherent part of our business culture and we not only expect such levels of sustainability from ourselves, but our vendors as well. When looking at vendors, we are looking for leaders in the industry - leaders that are in it for the long haul. We're proud to coat our products with a sustainable powder coating we're not just talking the talk, we're walking the walk."
Crystal Clear. Purecoat powders for architectural purposes.
Powder coatings in the many colors, micas, anodic styles, RAL shades and effects are well known and well loved. But did you know powder clear coats are also available and can be manufactured in architectural grade powders?
Clear coats are probably best known in the US for protecting automotive wheels. Check out the wheel of your car -a huge percentage of aluminum alloys in this country have a powder clear coat on them. The automotive industry is well known for being design focused and for building sustainability into that design wherever possible, not just one wheels. The examples are endless, but take the Mercedes Benz smart car, which now features a powder coated top coat. Mercedes clearly state in the brochure that they use powder coatings for the many sustainability benefits it brings including 40% energy reduction during the application process.
It's not just the automotive industry that is benefitting from powder clear coats. Powder clears have also been developed in the chemistries used in the architectural arena and have been adding crystal clear protection for years.
IFS Purecoat, the clear coat range of powders from IFS Coatings, is available in architectural grade powders that will meet and exceed the performance requirements of the AAMA specifications, including AAMA 2605. Typical applications have been where a special effect is desired that is not available in the higher AAMA specification (for example, wrinkles or multi-component looks) needs added protection - be it durability, additional scratch resistance etc. The special effect powder is applied then a Purecoat clear added on top of it to provide an additional layer of durability and protection.
Kreg Gardner, IFS Vice President comments "Clear coats really are quite clever, adding another layer of protection to architectural projects where it's needed. They're used on both interior and exterior applications, though I always laugh to myself when someone asks to see one - there's really very little to see, they're clear!"
Choose any RAL color in powder coating for interior or exterior applications.
The RAL color standard provides a simple code system for choosing beautiful colors.
IFS has over 200 RAL colors formulated in various different products suitable for interior and
Make sure you have you FREE RAL color card.
Don't forget, choose your RAL shade and then specify which product technology you want it in (for example, standard polyester for interior applications, super durable or fluoropolymer for exterior applications).
If you only specify the color (e.g. RAL 5015) and not the performance level of your powder, don't be surprised if the bright blue shade you picked for an exterior application fades quickly. Your coater will naturally pick the cheapest RAL color product available if not told otherwise. That cheaper formulation is not designed to withstand the effects of the sun on its color and gloss. It will be a great match to that RAL blue, but it will fade much more quickly than you expect. If you're not sure, just ask. We're happy to help.