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Anodised vs powder coating finishes | A guide to aluminium sandwich panels

At Panel Systems, we provide A2 non-combustible architectural panels for window infill and curtain walling applications. Each panel has been specifically designed with a non-combustible core of Nexus Lamella, the fire safe material for composite structures.

Our range of FR-A panels are available in both anodised and powder coated finishes. Here, we explain the difference between anodised and powder coated finishes, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each option.


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Anodising – the process

Aluminium naturally develops a thin layer of oxide on its surface when exposed to air. This oxide layer is passive, and no longer reacts with the surrounding environment. Anodising is an electrolytic passivation process used to take advantage of this oxide layer and increase the thickness of the layer on metal parts. A hard and durable finish, an anodised finish maintains the beauty and natural metallic lustre of aluminium while reinforcing its natural ability to withstand the elements. A key benefit of anodising it that it offers excellent wear, scratch and corrosion resistance. It will also not peel or blister.

An anodised layer is also flexible in that it can be dyed to create a range of colour effects, while still revealing the glow of the underlying aluminum. Anodised aluminum panels offer a distinctively sleek, clear finish that’s extremely tough and durable.

Our FR-A Non-Combustible Panel Type 3 features an anodised finish. Find out more about our A2 FR-A Non-combustible panels here.

Powder coating – the process

Powder coating is pigment in a powder form and is a dry application, often known as “paint without solvent”. This makes it an environmentally-friendly alternative to other finishing treatments. It is a popular option due to the exceptional range of colours and textures that can be achieved.

In the process of powder coating, there are several steps involved:

  • The aluminium is first pre-treated through applying a metal prep chemical solution to neutralise surface impurities. This cleans off any lingering debris and prepares the aluminium to be sprayed.
  • The powder is applied with the help of a spray gun. This gun applies a negative electrostatic charge to the powder, which makes it attracted to the grounded metal part.
  • Curing - The powder remains attached to the object while it’s cured in an oven, turning the powder coat into a uniform, solid layer.

Our FR-A Non-Combustible Panel Type 2 and 4 feature a powder coated finish. Find out more here.

What are the key differences between each option?

Aside from the differences in the process of each option, a key difference between each is that anodising provides better wear, scratch and corrosion resistance in comparison to powder coating. However, powder coating can offer a slightly better selection of colours and textures.

Anodising also creates a more natural-looking finish in comparison to powder coating, and creates a more natural-looking finish. Powder coating, on the other hand, tends to be easier to repair.

Powder coating vs anodised – a comparison

Powder CoatingAnodising
Colour choicesOffers more colour choices and shades, and is slightly more flexible in terms of design options.Can offer slightly less colour and a limited range of shades compared to polyester powder.
AppearanceCan offer better uniformity of colour and batch consistency.Anodising creates a more natural-looking finish that reacts to light.
SurfaceEasier to repair and match to existing, older painted products.Anodising creates a harder surface than powder coating.
DurabilityCan offer better chemical resistance.Anodising will not fade, peel or flake. An anodised coating becomes part of the surface.
UsesPowder coating applied to a variety of metal surfacesAnodising can only be achieved on aluminium surfaces.

Panel Systems A2 FR-A Non-Combustible Composite Panels

FR-A non-combustible architectural panels are created with non-combustible materials which are ideal for use in new construction projects or if an existing building is not compliant with current fire safety standards. The panels can be used to replace non-compliant spandrel panels to create better safety.

Panel Systems’ range of non-combustible A2 tested insulated panels for glazing and curtain walling applications are manufactured at the company’s Sheffield based facility. The range achieved A2-s1,d0 classification when tested against the procedures detailed in EN 13501-1:2018. Each panel has been specifically designed with a fire resisting, non-combustible core of Nexus Stone Wool Lamella, the fire safe material for composite structures.

Available in both Anodised and Polyester Powder Coated (PPC) aluminium facings, the panels are subject to a bespoke, controlled manufacturing process, which includes stringent quality checks in all elements to ensure that each one meets the required standard of the tested specifications. The panels also have excellent thermal & acoustic properties (calculations of which are available upon request) and can be manufactured to meet specific U-value and wind loading requirements.

View our A2 FR-A Non-combustible composite panels here.

Why choose Panel Systems?

When looking to purchase FR-A non-combustible panels, there are a number of benefits to choosing Panel Systems as a supplier:

Sheffield-based, on-site team
We are centrally based in Sheffield and able to manufacture and deliver product throughout the UK.

Support and bespoke service
Our technical team is on hand to offer technical support in order to meet performance criteria for specific applications.

With over forty-five years of experience in the industry, you can benefit from our expertise, whatever your panel needs. Whether you require panels in small or large quantities, our team will be able to manufacture the amount you require to suit all project sizes.

We aim to provide quality product and service for your given application.

Get in touch to discuss your specific needs with our team.

Contact us

Get in touch to find out more about pricing, or to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Get in touch to find out more about pricing, or to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Call us on 0114 249 5626

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