Grey is the new black when it comes to aluminium windows and doors, but more colours are available for those looking for more choice. Andrew Cross, Marketing Manager at Kestrel Aluminium Systems, explains the options available.

Once upon a time most domestic windows and doors in the UK were either black or white. These neutral colours fit with any style of property and fabricators and installers would offer them as standard, with customers rarely suggesting, or perhaps even being aware of, any other choices.

But times have changed, and as aluminium frames have become increasingly popular in the UK compared to other materials, so have the wider range of colours that aluminium frames make easy to provide.

Grey has become the new black (or white) when it comes to aluminium frames. This colour was originally made popular by the huge influx of bifold door installations we have seen in recent years, as homeowners looked to improve their homes and ‘bring the outdoors in’ to make the most of the Spring and Summer sunshine. Then, once the grey doors were in situ, homeowners began looking to add grey windows as well, so that everything would match on the façade of their home.

Anthracite grey is the colour most often seen on new window and door systems, but the market is now starting to question whether this colour may have been over-sold, with people looking for other colour options to help their properties stand out from the crowd.

There are, in fact, many different colours that property owners can choose. One of the benefits of aluminium as a material is that it is easy to finish with any RAL colour that the specifier chooses. RAL is a colour matching system that defines colours for paints, coatings and plastics dating back to 1927. The benefit of RAL colours is that each colour is given a specific number, which is then used by manufacturers to ensure that every product they make using that number will have an exact colour match. When it was first invented there were 40 RAL colours available, but there are now more than 200 classic RAL colours in many different hues. Any one of them can be used to powder-coat an aluminium door or window section – you’re not just limited to traditional neutral colours.

Through Kestrel’s in-house powder coating facility, for example, you can specify aluminium windows and doors in any of these RAL colours. Pastel Green (RAL 6019) and Sage Green (RAL 180 60 20), for example, are wonderful colour choices for traditional properties, as are the pastel yellow colours that you may have seen on more traditional cottages. Kestrel can also provide frames in any RAL with a typical lead time of five working days, so there is no need to delay a project while waiting for the windows.

Powder coating provides a long-lasting finish that helps protect the aluminium frames for many years. It also creates a strong protective barrier against damage, scratches and chips and helps the metal remain rust free. While untreated aluminium won’t rust, exposure to oxygen can cause it to oxidise and form a chalk-like substance on the frame, which the powder-coating will prevent by sealing the aluminium away from the open air.

The coating is applied by spraying polyester-based, coloured powder onto the aluminium section using an electrostatic charge to ensure the powder adheres to the aluminium. Then, the product is heated to melt the powder and ensure a smooth coating that is chemically adhered to the aluminium. Once the system cools down, the process is complete.

Kestrel Powder Coating, sister company to Kestrel Aluminium, has been providing powder coating to the relevant quality standard (BS EN 12206) for many years. The company has now been awarded a QUALICOAT license in recognition of its inhouse powder coating process. QUALICOAT is a global quality label organisation committed to maintaining the quality of lacquering, painting and coating on aluminium and its alloys for architectural applications.

Receiving a QUALICOAT coating applicator approved license shows that Kestrel’s state-of-the-art powder coating plant offers fantastic customer service, and uses only the highest-grade polyester powder paints.