How Qualicoat ensures better coloured aluminium windows

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Nick Dardalis

Coloured aluminium windows are widely available, and there are about 200 colours in each brand of colour powders. QUALICOAT is one of the longest established standards for powder-coated coloured aluminium windows, and you’ll find most aluminium windows are coloured to the internationally recognised Qualicoat Standard. Whether your windows and doors have a RAL colour, BS colour or use a Syntha Pulvin reference, QUALICOAT affects the suppliers of your new windows and doors much higher up the supply chain. However, it is worth knowing a little about this standard, what it means for your window colours and the peace of mind it gives you when buying new aluminium windows.

Why QUALICOAT matters when buying new coloured aluminium windows.

When investing in new coloured aluminium windows for your home, applying the colour to these is a sophisticated process carried out by professionals. But the process starts long before your windows are installed.

  1. Aluminium Extrusion – Creating the aluminium extrusion for the window frames. 
  2. Pretreatment – Preparing the extruded profiles for the coating process. 
  3. Coating – Applying the desired colour to the profiles. 
  4. Curing – Heating and solidifying the coated profiles for a durable finish. 
  5. Inspection – Checking the quality and colour consistency of the finished profiles. 
  6. Delivery to Window Factory – Transporting the finished profiles to the window factory. 
  7. Window Assembly & Installation at End User’s Location – Assembling and installing windows.

QUALICOAT is at the forefront of setting the standard for quality coating, and the good news is most quality aluminium system companies use the Qualicoat Standard. Some outsource their window profile painting to established coating companies, and many around the UK are set up to paint aluminium and other metals professionally. Other larger system companies have invested in their own paint plants, having even more control of the process from the initial aluminium extrusion to painting and delivery to the window and door manufacturers.

What does QUALICOAT do?

QUALICOAT is a global quality label organization that sets and maintains rigorous standards for the coating of aluminium used for architectural purposes. Architectural purposes also cover the windows and doors you want for your home. Since its establishment in 1986, it has been at the forefront of technological advances, ensuring a consistently high quality coating technology. QUALICOAT provides specifications followed worldwide by powder coaters, powder manufacturers, and pretreatment suppliers, creating a benchmark in the industry for top-tier aluminium coating.

Furthermore, QUALICOAT is instrumental in fostering innovation and sustainable practices in the coating industry. Its members continuously collaborate in research work groups to address issues, devise new methodologies, and enhance the existing specification incrementally. QUALICOAT ensures the coating processes used by its members are environmentally friendly and meet high-performance standards. This contributes to the longevity and resilience of the finished products, improving their service life and overall sustainability.

Why does QUALICOAT offer your new windows and doors?

When you buy your aluminium windows, you expect a uniform and attractive colour finish, free from defects and imperfections. At the same time, powder-coated coloured aluminium windows provide easy cleaning and low-maintenance windows.

coloured aluminium windows coated to the qualicoat standard

Giving you this high-quality finish is a network of professionals with sophisticated factories, processes, inspection systems and expertise. These powder coating companies are also routinely inspected to ensure their businesses comply with the QUALICOAT standard, the most recent being Qualicoat 3.0.

Before you see your new windows, QUALICOAT routinely updates their globally-followed standards based on rigorous testing and research by a collaborative team of professionals, including the companies that manufacture the powder and licensed powder coaters. These companies are experts in colouring aluminium window and door profiles. As long as you carry out regular cleaning and maintenance of the colour finish, you are rewarded with windows having resilient exterior and interior surfaces. No window and door is fit and forget; you must routinely clean them.

As an example of the checks and balances applied before you get your new windows, QUALICOAT consistently tests their members’ coated aluminium samples to guarantee uniform quality. This inspection process has also revealed that the quality of the recycled aluminium used significantly impacts the coated aluminium’s durability vs non-recycled aluminium extrusions. Because aluminium is widely known for its environmental credentials, QUALICOAT was instrumental in helping those that use recycled aluminium also get the same high quality coating of a new aluminium extrusion.

How the coating of coloured aluminium windows has changed.

Before you can get an exceptional finish on powder-coated coloured aluminium windows, a sophisticated cleaning and pretreatment process of the metal takes place before it is coated. Without proper cleaning, you won’t get uniform colour coverage and potentially bubbling and fading colours in the future. QUALICOAT has been instrumental in innovating the pretreatment process, gradually moving away from the once-dominant chromate pretreatment systems, which are expected to be phased out across many European industries by September 2024. Instead, they’ve turned to chrome-free pretreatment systems that perform as well and are far more environmentally friendly.

Additionally, QUALICOAT has also changed its standards to cover the quality of the aluminium itself at the extrusion/production level before it’s coated. This gives the end user even greater peace of mind of a quality aluminium window or door.

High quality coloured aluminium windows every time

Because the high standards applied to powder coating windows and doors happen long before you see your new windows, it is hard for any homeowner to know whether their windows are coated to the QUALICOAT standard.

However, if your windows come from a reputable systems company either with their own paint plant or if they outsource to a professional finishing company, quite likely you are getting coloured aluminium windows to this standard. You can also check with the window manufacturer and installer. When you also choose a quality brand, this standard is also likely, again giving you the highest quality colour finish.

Looking to buy new windows and doors? Every year the Aluminium Trade Supply Website helps thousands of homeowners for free, putting them in touch with the best windows and doors from the right suppliers. Contact us for help and advice with your property project.

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16:42 30 Oct 23
Nick responded incredibly quickly to my enquiry (on a Saturday too!), and was able to offer invaluable advice on both aluminum systems and manufacturer / suppliers. Thanks Nick!
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16:18 09 Oct 23
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19:55 13 Sep 23
Extremely helpful with pointing us in the right direction to find the products we required and suggesting firms that could reliably fit them.Nick was quick to reply and very detailed in his advice.Highly recommend reaching out to them.
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07:03 11 Sep 23
Update - A second email to nick for help on bifolds resulted in a detailed informative reply even on a Sunday ! This guy is so knowledgable and helpful .I approached Nick for an independent view on sliding doors v bifold and the different brand options . His reply was extremely detailed and prompt and allowed me to navigate this often confusing world in a much more informed way . Thanks so much Nick
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20:24 26 Jul 23
I contacted Nick @ ATS for guidance on what aluminium sliding door systems would be suitable for an opening in an extension that is going to be both wide and tall. He came back really quickly with very detailed and incredibly helpful advice. He is clearly extremely knowledgeable about the systems on the market and their respective features and capabilities. If you’re feeling a bit lost by the overwhelming range of choices out there, I’d definitely recommend contacting him.
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Fantastic website full of valuable and pragmatic advice about product selection and comparison: no other website gives information like this. Truly written for public interest. Don't hesistate to reach out to Nick via the mailing system. He responds very quickly, is friendly, and has very sound and high knowledgable advice. I have already shared this with my friend planning her own grand design.
guard Charlieguard Charlie
12:28 14 May 23
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10:06 04 May 23
Nick is very helpful indeed. Extremely knowledgeable on bifolds which was in relation to my query. Great website as well, some very useful articles. Particularly appreciated the article that lists all the major bifold options in order of their sightlines! Thank you!
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Carol NortonCarol Norton
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I've been so confused about how to achieve the look I'm after, and going round in circles with various window/door companies, trying to get away from the huge chunks of plastic currently around my windows. I didn't expect an email to a company found through a Google search to really help - but I was desperate, so I tried. I'm SO glad I did. Finally I have clear explanations from ATS of where I've been going wrong, exactly what I'm looking for, and a list of local companies that might be able to provide it! The response has excelled my expectations and I feel as if I'm finally inching closer to a home with which I'll be happy and comfortable: thank you.
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We are looking to replace some old UPVC patios doors with aluminium ones. The ATS website is a great source of advice in an area where clear information is sorely lacking. Having used the website, I then followed this up with a number of specific questions relating to our search, and Nick came back very quickly with clear, detailed and very useful advice.I have been very impressed with both the website and with Nick's advice. My only regret is that I didn't come across ATS before replacing various windows in 2021 - I'm sure it would have saved me a lot of grief and money! Thanks again Nick.
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