Getting to grips with guarantees

Guarantees

Satisfaction guaranteed?

I have recently had a new central heating boiler installed, all shiny and quietly efficient so I filled out the warranty form expecting that once registered my boiler would outlast me. But then I checked the terms and conditions, which read, “warranty void if…”

“Not installed by an approved company in the right location”

“Not used according to the instructions”

“Is not maintained by a CORGI approved installer every 12-months”

“Is subject to extremes of temperature”

I bought the boiler because I want a good product, guaranteed but I know that it is fitted in the roof and won’t be maintained every 12 months and certainly not by an approved installer.

Like the boiler manufacturer, powder coating applicators offer guarantees, but the user has a responsibility to maintain the finish just like any other piece of capital equipment. Remember powder coating is protecting your biggest asset, your building.

So, what is guaranteed and who guarantees it?

  • Gloss level. All finishes have a nominal gloss level. A guarantee does not say that the gloss level will be the same in 15, 20 or 25 years. What it says is that the gloss level will change uniformly when exposed to defined environmental conditions. 
  • Colour. Similar to the gloss level, colour will change uniformly over the years.

Colour and gloss are characteristics of the powder and are guaranteed by the powder manufacturer as long as the applicator has records of correct application.

  • Adhesion of the powder to the substrate. This is the responsibility of the applicator alone. Powder manufacturer approvals or 3rd party approval does not guarantee that the powder coating will stick.

The reader will notice that I haven’t mentioned Qualicoat or British Standards when surely if powder is applied to Qualicoat or British standards then it is guaranteed. Wrong.

Qualicoat are a commercial organisation who have established procedures, specifications and best practice for the manufacture and application of powder coating and the limitations of performance, but they are not offering a guarantee. This is similar with British or European standards on which the Qualicoat specifications are largely based.

Powder application by Qualicoat approved applicators does not give the customer a better guarantee of performance just as using an approved boiler installer does not mean your boiler will last forever.  Many powder manufacturers have approved applicators who are audited by them on a regular basis and they themselves may not be Qualicoat approved. This does not weaken a guarantee. The powder manufacturer guarantees the gloss and colour and the applicator guarantees the adhesion, which is no different to a Qualicoat approved applicator.

Powder coating characteristics of gloss and colour change over time are very well defined and linked to international standards, the adhesion is clearly a binary decision.

Architectural powder coating has been established for over 40-years and the growing number of documented, real-time examples of longevity of correctly applied products and continual laboratory testing is establishing a correlation between test results and field experience. Clients across the world are gaining even more confidence in the long-term performance of powder coating.

So, in conclusion, for ‘satisfaction guaranteed’, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Be clear about the installed conditions of the coating and the life expectancy required.
  • Talk to your powder coater, without exception a reputable company will be happy to give advice.
  • Make sure that you select a powder coating from a reputable manufacturer, offering the level of colour and gloss longevity that you require.
  • Check that your powder coater is approved by the powder manufacturer.
  • Pay attention to the maintenance schedule. This won’t be onerous - just a wash down every 18 months in normal environmental conditions. 

As for my boiler - I’ve got some thinking to do.......

 

 

 

 

 

 

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