Basic introduction


Introduction to prepainted metal

Prepainted metal is produced by adding paint or film coating to strip metals, primarily steel and aluminium, on a continuous basis. This process is called coil coating. Coil coating is a highly efficient means of coating strip metals before fabrication of finished components, providing a high quality, uniform and reproducible surface finish.

The prepainted metal industry

The prepainted metal industry is a well developed, worldwide industry with over 40 years of history. Output of the global prepainted metal industry is nearly 15 million tonnes per annum of prepainted steel and nearly 1 million tonnes per annum of prepainted aluminium. The European industry represents 32% of this total, with over 150 production lines situated within the EU27 countries producing over 1,500 million m2 of prepainted metal per year – enough to clad 25 million homes. In over 40 years since prepainted metal started in Europe, an area of metal almost the size of Belgium has been coated using this technique. The European prepainted metal industry is now worth over €10bn in turnover of coil coaters alone.

The uses

Prepainted metal is used in a variety of applications. By far the largest is the construction market where the building envelope represents the main use. Prepainted metal is also used in gutters, partitions, ceiling systems and a variety of ancillary components.

Outside the building industry, the range of applications is vast. Prepainted metal is used wherever the end use demands a high-quality painted finish on a component fabricated from sheet metal. In the transport sector, prepainted metal is used in parts such as trailer bodies and recreational vehicles, but also in a variety of components such as oil filter caps and wiper blade assemblies. it is also used as a pre-primed surface for the body-in-white of cars, providing a high-quality base for application of customised automotive paint coatings.

In the home, prepainted metal can be found everywhere from fridges, freezers and washing machines, through furniture, doors and shuttering to small appliances like clocks, toasters, light fittings or DVD players.

The uses of prepainted metal are many and varied and are increasing daily.

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