BlueScope’s testing program for COLORBOND® steel is unique in that procedures replicate building applications in actual Australian conditions; multiple exposure sites range from moderate environments to very severe.

BlueScope’s testing procedure includes modified tests in which samples of COLORBOND® steel are placed on ‘hot racks’. ‘Hot racks’ - black, insulated boxes -which face north at 45 degrees enable close simulation of the ‘skin temperatures’ of real insulated roofs.

The testing played a part in choosing the six new colours that have been added to the range and gives COLORBOND® steel a real advantage over imported alternatives.  COLORBOND® steel has been specifically designed and tested in Australia to perform in our unique and demanding environmental conditions.

By recreating actual building applications – including varying pitches, profiles, product types and unwashed areas – BlueScope’s research actually exceeded

testing standards for steel building products, giving a real understanding of how new COLORBOND® steel would perform once launched.

The six new COLORBOND® steel colours – Basalt®, Wallaby®, Gully™, Cove™, Mangrove® and Terrain® – were tested on hundreds of panels over the four-year testing period before being analysed by BlueScope’s Weathering Laboratory.

A meter was used to measure each colour’s gloss retention by looking at the scattering of reflected light, and a colorimeter showed how much a colour had changed by the amount of degradation of the paint resin and pigments.

This performance data was used to select the final six new colours. All 22 COLORBOND® steel colours have demonstrably better gloss retention compared with previous-generation COLORBOND® steel sample panels.

For example, after four years of exposure testing at Rockhampton in Queensland, previous-generation COLORBOND® steel in the colour Surfmist® had retained 76 per cent of its original gloss, whereas the improved paint formulation for new COLORBOND® steel in the same colour retained 85 per cent over the period – an improvement of nine per cent in these test conditions.

BlueScope confirmed that new COLORBOND® steel retained its colour and gloss for longer in the test conditions compared with previous-generation COLORBOND® steel, improving on what our testing has shown is already a best-in-class performance for Australia’s unique and demanding environment.

*COLORBOND®, BlueScope® and ® colour names are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. ™ colour names are trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2013 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.