Alternatives to Prepainted Aluminum

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 6/1/2005

Question: We are a lighting fixture manufacturing company.


We are a lighting fixture manufacturing company. We design and manufacture lighting fixtures that are used in museums, art galleries, and high-end residences. We feel we waste quite a lot of time by painting some aluminum sheet and steel sheet parts with high-temperature black paint. Basically we need to wash all the parts before the first layer of paint, air-dry it, give it a second coat, again air-dry it and then finally oven cure it.

The only reason we need to paint the parts in black is to help the heat-dissipation process in order to pass UL testing. We buy pre-painted steel sheet but pre-painted aluminum is costly (we have not had a chance to really research this though).

Do you know any coatings chemical processes that dissipate heat as efficiently as a black paint coating, which can short-cut manufacturing process time? Or, do you know any companies that sell inexpensive pre-painted aluminum sheet?

The method has to be relatively environmental friendly, with no excessive costs to invest. It must be fast curing and dissipate heat well. This is going be a great help if you could give us some advice. Y. K.


One alternative to black painted aluminum that comes to mind is black anodized aluminum. You could also apply a black finish by powder coating, electrocoating or autophoretic coating. Since you read the Painting Clinic, you know I don’t like to give advice. However, if I were you, I would fully investigate the costs of prepainted aluminum. Since the application costs for coil coating aluminum or steel should be similar, the real difference should be the cost of the base metals. I suggest you contact the National Coil Coating Association at 401 N. Michigan Ave.; Suite 2200; Chicago, IL 60611-4267. Email: These folks will not only answer all your questions, they will aim you in the right direction.


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