Coil-coated flat steel brings variety to building facades, onto the streets, and into private homes. Axel Pohl, Sales Manager of the Color product area, tells us which industries show the most demand for pladur® products and talks about the most popular colors and patterns.
Which industries purchase your products?
Our pladur® product is mainly used in the construction industry, the garage door industry, and the utility vehicle and household appliance industries. In addition to offering standard products, we have also developed innovative custom projects for all of these industries, often in cooperation with our customers.
Which innovations are you referring to in particular?
Well, for the construction industry there is Reflections One®, a specially coordinated collection of over 100 colors that help to integrate building facades into the surrounding environment. We also developed and patented the multi-layer product pladur® E, which is ideal for external covering on refrigerator trucks.
What are the differences between the pladur® products?
The products use different types of steel, alloys, and coatings depending on the industry in question and the requirements of the individual customer. Sometimes functionality is the top priority, and other times aesthetics are more important. Take refrigerator trucks, for example: While it’s important for the vehicle to look good, it is more important for it to be resistant to scratches, corrosion, and chipping caused by flying stones. For refrigerators and garage doors on the other hand, end users want attractive products that inspire strong emotions.
And what do the products have in common?
For all these products we deliver the final coating free of charge. Regardless of the industry, customers who order a pladur® product save money as they don’t need their own finishing shop, so there’s a definite advantage in terms of cost.
That doesn’t meant that customers have to choose between style and function, does it?
No, naturally all of our coated steel products offer the same high level of quality, and a garage door designed to look like wood can both look good and withstand extreme weather conditions. Our pladur® Wrinkle product, for example, is a specially developed coating for steel roof tiles designed to create a robust, wear-resistant surface with an elegant, matte finish.
How environmentally friendly is the process of manufacturing coil-coated materials?
Generally speaking, our product is highly environmentally friendly because it can be recycled – including the coating, of course! Our pre-treatments are chromate free, we avoid pigments containing heavy metals, and we always use cutting-edge technology. So when it comes to pladur®, steel is going green.
What are the most popular looks in the Color area?
As regards facades, natural looks – coatings designed to look like stone or wood as offered by the pladur® Relief stone and Relief wood product range – are particularly popular at the moment. Relief wood is popular in brown, but also in gray tones, which give it a unique, abstract appearance. For multi-story buildings, customers gravitate toward a metallic look, for example, Reflections Pearl®, and for household appliances, bright colors are in fashion: white goods are getting more colorful by the minute.
Do you deliver to small- and medium-sized companies as well as OEMs?
We are willing to do anything for our customers across the board, and building and maintaining close customer relationships is key. As a flexible and diverse supplier, we develop customer-specific solutions to complement our wide selection of standard products. thyssenkrupp Steel Europe is an innovative, strategic business partner.
What buildings would you like to see decorated in your products?
I already know the answer to that question: As a huge Borussia Dortmund fan, I would love to cover the Signal Iduna Park stadium with pladur® in black and yellow.