Our Story: Milestones in Powder Coatings Technology ―
Powder coatings, applied on metal structural elements, revolutionized architectural color with their sustainable performance, their great resilience and their exceptional ability in highlighting color tonality, gloss and texture, compared to other technologies.
Akzo Nobel, a global leader in the color industry, has a long and distinguished history of technological innovation: Beginning in 1646 with the Bofors foundry in Sweden and with Sikkens varnishes in 1792, produced by the Dutch painter Wiert Willem Sikkens, we keep innovating every day, in technology and product design. In the 19th Century, Alfred Nobel became one of our founding fathers in mass-production chemicals and, by the end of the 20th Century, we paved the way to high technology colors and synthetic fibers.
In 1972, we produced the first powder coatings suited to architectural applications and in 1985 we were granted the first Qualicoat & GSB architectural qualifications in Europe.
In the beginning of the 1990ies, we had our first breakthrough in reducing environmental output; we created the first superdurable powders, Interpon D2525, and we discarded all toxic components from our color recipes, providing the market with the first high-performance ecological powder coating colors. Today, after 30 years, Interpon2525 powder coatings keep exceeding our expectations, with their resilience on buildings erected in 1991, just when our innovation had first been applied.
In the same decade, in 1995, we created a new tactile feel for metal surfaces; we created the famous Sablé texture, reminiscent of touching fine sand, that has been cherished by architects in exceptional buildings around the world. The Sablé metallic colors are included in our trend Futura Collection, established in 1994 and renewed every four years, for providing inspiration to any architectural project.
In the beginning of our century, we succeeded in maintaining color retention better than ever before: In 2002, we were the first company to develop advanced fluoropolymer high-performance pigments. Our Interpon D3020 Fluoromax powder coatings effortlessly pass the 10-year Florida Outdoor Exposure Testing: this is an emulation of the world’s most hostile climate for color performance. Fluoromax powders are the ecological alternative to PVDF liquid paints. Recently, they were granted the Material Excellence certification for proven sustainability. They are the most resilient choice for aggressive climates, and they are becoming increasingly popular in large projects.
Architects and developers saw the potential in our products and put them to practice: Our innovative colors (Futura, Anodic and Structura collections) grace and protect landmark projects for the architectural community from the last decades: in Greece, Akzo Nobel powder coatings have been used at the new Acropolis Museum and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center while, overseas, they are found at the Google Offices and the Freedom Tower in New York, among other buildings. Since 2006, beside general qualifications, we further provide Project Guarantees, which means project-specific guarantees for color and gloss retention in our products, considering each building in its own context.
In the last decade, out Interpon powder coatings keep incorporating innovative features, providing endless potential for immersive architectural solutions. In 2017, we developed the Ultra Matt collection of our Precis powder coatings: ultra matt metallic surfaces have been in great demand by many designers; their low reflectivity emphasizes color depth and intensity, discernible even from a big distance. Furthermore, from close, ultra matt surfaces are soft and velvety to the touch. The pioneering Precis feature, unavailable in powder coating until now, opens up new heights in aesthetics and light interaction with coated surfaces.
Since 2018, we provide the market with the technically upgraded Flex superdurable powder coatings, that combine the exceptional Interpon D2525 weatherability with the flexibility of standard durable systems; this feature reduces the risk of cracks after any mechanical tooling, including bending the metal components after the powder coating application process. This is an outstanding technological feat of our Polymer Technology Center laboratory and, through the increased toughness of the surface, ensures that all metal assets look their best for many years to come.
Our latest innovation from 2019 is Interpon X Pro. With his technology, our smooth powder coatings, in matt or satin finish, are now increasingly resilient to micro-scratching at the powder coating plant, in packaging, transport or at final assembly. The X Pro technology opens ever increasing possibilities in projects that require prefabrication and it is consistent with BIM software, which is becoming the main tool for control in architectural design, at an ever growing pace.