Wood Grain & Custom Finishes

Wood Grain Finishes - Aluminum That Looks Like Wood

We pride ourselves on delivering innovative solutions that are environmentally responsible and will stand the test of time. Wood grain powder coating is both extremely durable, and unlike liquid finishes that contain solvents, is eco-friendly. With over 1,000 wood grain colors available to choose from and the option to use custom graphics, there is a solution for every project.

What is powder coating?

Powder coating is the process of applying a free-flowing, flour-like powder to an electronically grounded part using an electrostatically charged spray gun. Afterwards, the part then goes into a curing oven, where it creates a “skin”. When the "skin" dries, it forms a firm, durable finish resistant to scratches, cracking, peeling, UV rays, and rust.

The process of making the powder coating includes:

  • Batching – weighing the raw materials to determine the yield.
  • Premixing – the raw materials are mixed so that a consistent mixture is fed into the extruder.
  • Extrusion – this process includes feeding the material into a rotating mechanism, compounding, and cooling. After the extrudate is sufficiently cooled, it is broken into flakes that can be fed into a pulverizing machine.
  • Particle Size Reduction – the particle size is reduced from flakes to a size that is usable for the customer’s application, which is typically the consistency of flour.

What is the powder coating application process?

Powder coating finishes require a clean surface for adhesion, so the first step is cleaning the substrate. Depending on the material, pre-treatment can include a chemical wipe down, sandblasting, an iron phosphate pre-treatment wash, or a 5-stage chrome-free pre-treatment wash.

Aluminum is usually pre-treated during a 5-stage wash system, and then the powder is electrostatically applied, using a spray gun with a positively charged tip. The part being powder coated is grounded by nature onto load bars. The powder “jumps” onto the part and holds on electrostatically until it goes into the curing oven. As the temperature in the oven rises, a chemical reaction occurs causing the powder to change to a gel form, and then it snaps, becoming a shell, or "skin", around the aluminum part.

What are the benefits of powder coating aluminum?

  • Environmentally Friendly – The rising use of powder coating has contributed to the reduction of solvent-based processes that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Unlike wet paint, the waste from powder coating isn’t hazardous either. 
  • Meets AAMA 2605 Specification – Powder coating is specified because it meets AAMA specifications and it is completely eco-friendly from start to finish. As of January 2020, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) merged into one organization, the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance, or FGIA.
  • Maintenance – Wood structures will inevitably rot, split, or warp outdoors and maintenance will require sanding, painting, staining, or sealing 2-3 years. Aluminum is non-porous and can withstand long term outdoor exposure.
  • Durability – Liquid paint is applied from 1 ml- 1.5 ml thick, comparable to a piece of notebook paper, making it more susceptible to scratching. The “skin” that is formed during the powder coating process is between 2-4ml thick, adding a stronger, thicker finish to protect the substrate.
  • Lightweight – Depending on the application, the thickness of the finish can make a big difference. A thick piece of real wood would take up a lot of space in an elevator for example, whereas a flat panel of aluminum would not.
  • Fire Resistant – Where real wood cannot be used, like an aircraft, wood grain aluminum extrusions are the ideal solution.

                                                                                                    

avadek wood grain powder coat canopy in Tomball, TX
 Project: Baker Hughes in Tomball, TX
Photo taken upon project completion in March 2018 

avadek wood grain powder coat canopy in Tomball, TX
Photo taken 2.5 years later in October 2020
No split, rotten, or warped wood!

How many finishing patterns are available?

There are currently 1,000 wood grain patterns to choose from. Aside from the wood grain colors, designers have additional options including stone and marble patterns, rust, blackened steel, and custom graphics like a logo or photo.


What part of my design can I apply wood grain?

Everything from shade systems and pergolas, to ceilings, wall panel systems, and storefronts, can have wood grain powder coat applied. Take a peek at our Wood Grain Aluminum Solutions brochure below for more application and design inspiration. For more specific questions on applying wood grain to your design, please contact our design team at design@avadek.com or fill out our contact us form here.

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AVAdek / Air-Vent
12130 Galveston Road BLDG 1, Webster, TX 77598
713-944-0988 / 800-777-4031