The 35th Qualicoat World Congress will be held as a virtual event based in London on the 17th November, UK & Ireland members were told at the organisation’s recent meeting. Members and other country Association across the globe will be present to offer papers and reports on the Association progress.

Members also heard that the Environmental Agency will be inspecting all commercial premises in the future on the basis of containment of harmful chemicals, should a flood or fire occur. This follows several well documented cases of pollution of local waterways and all members are being encouraged to put their plans into place to pre-empt this future requirement.

The yearly training of Qualicoat applicator members Lab Technicians is due to take place later in the year as it is a requirement of members licence that they attend a course at least every two years to demonstrate that applicator members complete production testing to maintain the high quality expected by the industry.

The discussion of technical issues forms the main body of members meetings, one of the topics discussed was the exposure category ‘C5’ which is mentioned in BS EN 12206, which references ISO9223 test site classification ‘C5’. The BS EN 12206 ‘Paints and varnishes. Coating of aluminium and aluminium alloys for architectural purposes. Coatings prepared from coating powder.’ This standard closely follows the Qualicoat standard, but the question was raised of who checks which outdoor exposure test sites meets the exposure rating? ‘Hook of Holland’ and ‘Genoa’ are outdoor tests sites that are claimed to be C5 rating, but are they independently checked for their corrosive atmosphere? Whilst not the responsibility of Qualicoat to find such locations, it is important for specifiers when these exposure categories are used in specification documents.

Fire resistance of coated aluminium was again raised as a growing issue in the Construction Industry, especially with regard to large insurance companies who seem to be making their own assumptions as to what rating is acceptable for external envelope use. There is a very clear mandate that materials used above 18m (in England) should meet either A1 non-combustible or A2-s1,d0 classification, with the latter being perfectly suitable for high rise developments. Insurance companies are just asking for A1 in an attempt to reduce risk even further, but their suggestion for reduced risk is unfounded. It was agreed that Qualicoat would complete a paper for open distribution which would clearly define what is agreed, what is appropriate for use in high rise applications and why.

The next Qualicoat UK & Ireland members meeting is planned to take place as a physical meeting held in Birmingham in October.

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