Architectural metal industry companies were at home this week in Pittsburgh, also known as the Steel City. Hundreds of exhibitors took part in the show, which took place October 16-18 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Several companies focused on new products and solutions for the architectural metal industry.
PPG is here in its hometown with a number of new products and a focus on some current market trends. Scott Moffatt, market manager for coil and extrusion building products, said there’s been a big shift with architects wanting to move away from standard colors toward specialty and stylish coatings. One example, is a pigment in the coating that changes colors depending on the angle. With its new Mineral Series color line the company is able to offer new design options that blend seamlessly into urban landscapes with semi-transparent earth tones that subtly shimmer when exposed to sunlight.
“When sunlight is on the coating, it dazzles and sparkles,” said Moffat, who explained this is done with the company’s liquid coating products. “Architects are looking for something that will complement stone and masonry … they are becoming more creative with color.”
To help architects meet these unique requests, PPG has a pigment expert who will work with them to get the exact color they are looking for.
“We’re seeing a lot more in special effects,” Moffatt added. “Color is definitely becoming more custom.”
Petersen Aluminum was also at the show and has several new products coming soon. These include four new Box Rib Wall Panels, which unlike its other panels, will all have 90-degree angles. The panels, which are coming soon, according to Rob Heselbarth, director of communications, will be available in a variety of rib patterns. Each profile is offered in a no clip panel or a clip-fastened panel to accommodate expansion or contraction. The panels provide design flexibility, combined with bold aesthetics and easy installation. In addition, Petersen will also be adding a wood-grain coating option for all of its products.
Rheinzink is based in Germany, which is where its products are manufactured, and has U.S. offices in Woburn, Mass. The company manufacturers zinc in coils and sheets which are fabricated for a variety of architectural applications, including facades. According to Lisa Colainni, marketing manager, the company spends a lot of time working with architects to educate them about the material. She says not only do they like the aesthetics, but also the longevity of the material. She explain the lifespan on a wall is more than 150 years and 80-100 years on a roof. She said that colleges and universities in particular like it because it has low to no maintenance.
“It’s not a paint so it won’t fade,” she said. “And if it’s scratched it re-heals (re-patinas) itself naturally.”
In addition to metal companies, there are also several equipment suppliers, including several that are no stranger to the glass industry. Wood’s Powr-Grip was on hand, featuring two products that can be modified for both the glass and metal industries. Barry Wood, vice president of marketing and commercial development, said the lines are similar, but the pads are different for lifting metal compared to glass. He said there are similar considerations for both markets. For example, the glass industry has shifted from lifting just the glass to lifting and installing a unitized system. That’s a similar situation with installers lifting and installing pre-fabricated metal panels. And like with glass, the metal installers are able to reduce the installation time and not risk damaging the panels.