What is Colorbeam? Why do we use it?
Simply put, Colorbeam is the newest, state of the art, sunroom specific framing system. It was developed thru a collaborative effort of prominent sunroom builders, designers and structural engineers. The Colorbeam design goal was to create a more robust alternative to traditional aluminum framing that had been developed in the 1950’s and has seen little improvement since. Colorbeam is a family of aluminum profiles designed specifically for sunroom construction in hurricane prone regions of the Southeast United States.
“Traditional” or standard aluminum profiles used in the patio enclosure industry have many inherent weaknesses. The creators of Colorbeam set out to design a new system from scratch that incorporated the most durable design elements currently available to aluminum fabrication and design. The goal was to improve upon the shortcomings of traditional sunroom components: Weak connections, corrosion, structural fatigue, denting, limited color choice and profile degradation caused by thermal cycling, to name a few.
Colorbeam incorporates a unique heat management coating system developed by PPG Aerospace Coatings: “The technology is based on infrared-transparent stainers that allow solar heat to pass through topcoat pigments to a white primer coat, which reflects the heat away from the aircraft. An eggplant uses much the same trick to prevent its dark skin from getting so hot that the white interior would bake before it ever reached the oven.
Similarly, the skin of an aircraft painted with the new PPG heat-management system remains as much as 25 degrees cooler, while interior cabin temperatures are reduced 5- to 7-degrees. In addition to being a big energy saver for airlines that need to run air conditioning systems to keep their passengers comfortable, the technology gives airlines much greater freedom in choosing aircraft livery colors.”
This heat management technology allows Colorbeam to be offered in a wide array of standard colors and unlimited custom colors. Popular dark colors especially earth tones are not a problem with Colorbeam.
To learn more visit: PPG Heat Management Coatings
Prior to Colorbeam, sunroom professionals struggled with the same problems that came with using inferior aluminum profiles.
Alternative assemblies using thermal breaks only serve to hide the basic problem: Traditional aluminum conducts heat extremely well at the surface. As it heats and cools on a continual basis a process called Thermal Cycling takes hold. As a result, materials are degraded as substandard coatings become stressed and susceptible to corrosion, critical connections fail from expansion and contraction causing roof leaks and even structural failure in some extreme cases during high wind events.
A 55% increase in wall thickness of Colorbeam profiles allows for much stronger connections that are critical in high wind events. Thin gauge traditional aluminum profiles provide for poor screw retention which ultimately leads to structural failures as shown above.
When used in conjunction with MegaSIP structural insulated panels, the Colorbeam Framing System makes for a sunroom that is unequaled in the industry today.