Is foil base surface stability a ticking time bomb?
Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing, aluplast asks could problem foil surface stability mean that installers and fabricators are storing up problems for the future?
According to Palmer foils have seen growth of 45% in volume since 2013. They’re a key driver of higher margin sales in PVC-U. So all good then? Well for the most part ‘yes’ but there have been a number of reports flagging base surface stability as an issue, with potentially significant liabilities for fabricators.
Foils are invariably sold with a 10-year guarantee so if they’re failing for whatever reason, manufacturers and systems companies could face potentially crippling replacement costs.
So what’s causing the problem? Well it appears that surface stability can be more of an issue in profiles using recycled content.
This is a significant challenge for the industry. Sustainability is key, you only need to look at the negative exposure plastics received more generally at the start of this year to understand the importance of recovery of end of life product.
The challenge is that the origin of recycled content isn’t always clear and that can make it very difficult to predict its behaviour and ultimately surface and dimensional stability. Virgin ‘skinning’ of recycled profile doesn’t necessarily provide a solution if the substrate is not stable.
This can have a significant impact on surface gloss and consistency of finish because it’s ‘unknown’ and variable and can be very difficult to control.
We’re also one of the very few systems companies to have invested in cutting-edge dual extrusion technologies. This uses two compound screw feeds, ensuring that any recyclate used is isolated within the inner webs of the profile and not anywhere near the profile wall
This allows us to separate and at the same time lock recycled material away from areas of the frame visible to the end-user or which perform a structural role, which means that aluplast can guarantee the surface, finish quality and dimensional stability in all of our Ideal 70 systems slim sightline ecotech options.
The hi tech extrusion process delivers a deep gloss finish and critically a stable substrate for the millions of metres of foils we supply each year and we believe that we have a very strong offer.
Critically, having doubled our foiling capacity in the last year accompanied by investment in the lasts CNC foiling technologies, we are able to under-write our foil offer with absolute confidence.
Foils are delivering significant growth but if we can’t guarantee through life performance, this growth could cause significant pain down the line for installers and fabricators, which makes your choice of system critical.