What Paint is Best for Your Metal Roof? PVDF vs. SMP

What Paint is Best for Your Metal Roof? PVDF vs. SMP


– What type of paint is best for your metal
roof? Today, industry experts from Valspar, make
an appearance on Q&A Mondays to answer some questions. Hi, I’m Thad Barnette from Sheffield Metals,
and welcome to The Metal Roofing Channel. We are here for another Q&A Monday, and I’ve
got Rick Afton and Jeff Alexander from Valspar on call with me. Thanks for joining me today, guys. – [Jeff] It’s a pleasure, Thad, thanks. – So, first, tell me a little bit about yourselves,
and your experience in the industry, please. – Thad, I’m Jeff Alexander, and I’m the Vice
President of Sales for Valspar’s coil coating division. And, I’ve been at Valspar for 21 years, And
prior to that I was in the steel industry, and I was in the steel industry for 11 years. – Alright, Rick? – Hi, this is Rick Afton, I’ve been in the
coil coating business, on the technical side of things, for 41 years. I’m located out of Bowling Green, Kentucky,
now. I’ve dealt with both research, development,
innovation, and management as the Global Technical Director for Valspar Coil and Extrusion. – So, today, we’re gonna be talking about
Kynar versus SMP. So, why don’t you guys tell me a little bit
about each and the differences of each. – [Rick Afton] First of all, Thad, I want
to point out something, kind of a misnomer on Kynar. Kynar itself is not a paint, it is a trade
name. A registered trademark for a resin. And so, with that, I’ll tell you a little
but about the two of them. Kynar is the resin called PVDF or polyvinylidene
fluoride. It is used in combination with acrylics to
make coatings that we refer to, as a general category, as PVDF. SMP, on the other hand, is an acronym for
siliconized modified polyester. And it is also a very good coating for weathering,
and when you look at the two paints themselves, and what they offer, both of these types of
coatings are considered premium coatings for performance, outside weathering, and so forth. PVDF, if you look at it from the standpoint
of good, better, best, PVDF is generally looked at as the best coatings, followed closely
by the better coatings, which would be the SMP or siliconized modified polyester coatings. – Why is SMP used more in agricultural applications
than PVDF? – [Jeff Alexander] So, the ag panel market
from a square footage basis, is much larger than the PVDF market space would be. Broader applications, ranging from some residential
roofing, to typical agricultural-type buildings. The reason SMP is used in these spaces, generally
you have less dynamic, more brilliant colors. They tend to be a little more of the typical
standard color offering of whites, tans, light stones, ash gray, some greens, but the super
bright colors generally are not going into this market space. Those colors would tend to go the PVDF route
versus the siliconized polyester route. The siliconized polyester coatings tend to
be harder, a little more scratch resistant, so that situation plays well into the ag panel
market as well. – You know, I did want to elaborate on the
word “hardness”. We think of, as Jeff said, scratch-resistance
and that sort of thing, but there is a significant difference between the two chemistries. PVDF tends to be more flexible and less hard,
as was said, and SMP’s gonna be a little bit less flexible and harder. When you’re forming the panels, both for commercial
and ag, the SMP product tends to work better because of both the ratio of hardness and
flexibility. For a situation like Jeff mentioned where
the bright color spaces, Thad, and in the bright color spaces, things like bright red
or various types of blues, or bright greens, those kinds of colors, generally are reserved
for our use with PVDFs rather than SMPs, just because of, as I mentioned earlier the good,
better, best. So, you want the best weathering type coatings
with those pigment combinations for the brightness and space. Ag buildings are not that bright normally,
as Jeff mentioned, more of the Earth tones, and those kinds of things. – So, for brighter colors, you want the best
option for fading characteristics. – [Jeff] And also, Thad, a lot of the PVDF
product goes into roofing. The siliconized polyester products, while
roofing is certainly included, tend to be the sidewall panels, a little less exposure
to UV. – How about in commercial applications? Is there a difference with SMP and PVDF used
in commercial applications? – [Rick] Building on the last question, we
get a number of, there are a number of color requests that go into the commercial monumental
building area, and these requests typically have a very high percentage of unique colors. These are for architects that want to have
a special color for their building, or a special texture, or special metallic look. So, there tends to be a lot more metallics,
and those special colors for these buildings. And, the color space for the commercial monumental
buildings tends to be more of a one-off, or a specific job-related color, or a texture
or metallic. We don’t talk about metallics very often at
all with SMPs but we talk about metallics very frequently with the PVDFs because of
these monumental buildings, and these commercial buildings that you asked about. So, color space is much wider, when you’re
looking at the commercial building area. – [Jeff] Well, I agree with you, and I do
think it does come back to vertical versus non-vertical on choice also. We see a lot of the PVDF used for roofing
and other non-vertical applications. And, partly due to the weathering capabilities
of the PVDF, and also due to color selection. – And one thing I didn’t say earlier, and
I need to say, is we have exposures on the fence of PVDF where we put them out in South
Florida, and we have exposures that date back 50 years. – [Thad] Wow, okay. – [Rick] So, 50 years of time with PVDF, and
they still have color and gloss and integrity, and that sort of thing. Those are the longest panels that I’ve seen
out there on the fence. And, it speaks pretty highly of that technology. – Are there any other kind of testing methods
used other than long exposure panels? – [Rick] Yeah, we when qualifying any paint
system, any coating system, there’s a rigorous set of testing that goes on both physical
type testing, and then accelerated weathering or accelerated humidity testing, those kinds
of tests. Typically those are done at the beginning
of a project, so you know what the process is or what the results will tend to be for
any particular platform of chemistry. – [Jeff] I would say that while the PVDF chemistry
has been around for a long time, certainly in our case, we’ve made great improvements
to the entire formulation. And, also there’s the whole generation of
effects and texturized types of PVDF coatings out that we have now that are certainly becoming
more and more popular. So, while the base technology has been around
for a long time, a lot of improvements and modifications and effect-type appearances
have been made to it too, to make it even more attractive to the architectural market
space, to residential roofing, and some of the commercial markets. – So, what in addition to appearance have
been made as far as improvements go? – [Jeff] Well, I’m sorry, Rick, go ahead – [Rick] I think to build on what Jeff’s saying
and what you’re asking Thad, our trade name for our PVDF is Fluropon. The Fluropon family, however, Thad, has numerous
parts to the family. We have our textured Fluropon, for instance,
that we didn’t have in the early days, right. We have various types of gloss ranges, various
types of metallic versions. We have a couple of new products where we’re
using chemistry that gives you a very highly shimmering look when you look at the colors. So, the unique appearances portion to these
chemistries have come a long way in the last five years or so. In the case of SMP, the same in some cases
where we have what we call a crinkle coating, and it is micro-wrinkled/textured coating
which brings a whole new element to roofs perhaps made with this type of SMP. – Right – Kind of a muted gloss, and yet a very traditional
type shingle appearance that some of the other coatings don’t have. So we have come a long way in the areas of,
as Jeff said, appearance or effects type coatings. – So, these are all different types of formulations,
so there’s not just a single PVDF choice, is that correct? And there’s not just a single SMP choice? – That, that would be correct. I refer to the PVDF and the SMP as platforms,
so it’s the platform for gloss, and then you’ve got subsets in the platform. – Yeah, and I think that’s a really good way
to describe that because I think that’s another misnomer out there, that there’s one choice
for each. – Yeah, yeah, and when you’re looking at roofs,
like Jeff mentioned earlier, when you’re looking at roofs, and you’re thinking, besides the
weathering, which you understand is a core, for the need there, but there’s a reflectivity
too for people that are flying planes over roofs, and a more muted, lower gloss, kind
of a roof, tends to be a very positive thing from the standpoint of safety for those people
going over the roofs. So, it’s even more than just the look, it’s
the whole package. I think it should be said, and Jeff you can
elaborate on this, but SMPs generally are a coating area we continue to try to make
improvements to. In other words, we’re basically, in our business,
on our third generation of an SMP. We had Coil Clad Ten S that went for 21 years,
and then we had something called WeatherX, so now we’re at Weather XL. But we continue to look for improvements for
that SMP chemistry. PVDF really stands on its own merits, it is
30% acrylic and 70% PVDF and there’s not a lot of improvements that you can make on something
that weathers for 50 years. So, that’s why, in that area, we tend to do
more of the effects, or color space, or those things. Jeff, do you have any input to that, too? – [Jeff] Well, I would say that we have expanded
our color spaces in SMP and somewhat PVDF also, due to the technology gains in pigmentation. We make some of our own colorants, but we
rely on our suppliers to bring us innovation in that area as well. So, we’ve expanded into color spaces, warrantable
color spaces that, a few years ago, we would not have been able to warrant those colors. So, that’s an important advancement also. – Yeah, and one last thing, too, that we haven’t
covered, Thad, is the area of solar reflectance. And this, of course, is a big item now, and
has been growing over the past probably 12 years or so. We try to make sure that we give the best
solar reflectivity emissivity type coating that we can for the colors that are requested. And, when I talk about that, that gets into
energy savings groups like Energy Star and LEAD and Greenbuild those kinds of organizations
are very interested about this kind of process. So, we attempt, on all color matches coming
in in these two areas, to make them solar reflective approved. – Yeah, good point. So, I’m going to go ahead and wrap this up
here, guys. I think we’ve had a really good conversation. Any last things that you guys want to say
before we close? – [Jeff] Well, I’d just like to thank you,
and thank Sheffield Metals for all the great support that you’ve shown us, and hopefully
we’ve shown it back, and it’s been a great partnership for a really long time. So, thanks a lot. – Yeah, and I appreciate Jeff and Rick coming
on the show, for sure. Comment below with any questions, subscribe
to The Metal Roofing Channel, and as always, I’m Thad Barnette from Sheffield Metals, and
I’ll catch you next time.

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