With its shimmering, iridescent exterior, Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral beckons visitors with its unique appearance as its color changes in different light and at different angles. Opened in November 2013, the Port’s welcome center showcases the first use of Valspar’s new Kameleon™ color mica coating as spray-applied to Firestone Metal Products’ UNA-CLAD metal wall panels by Linetec, one the nation’s largest finishers of architectural aluminum.
Working closely with Kenpat USA, the subcontractor responsible for the exterior metal façades and wall system, Firestone engineered and fabricated the façade’s metal panel system.
Architect GWWO Inc. selected Valspar’s Blue Pearl II color-changing paint to capture the themes of revitalization and change it sought to represent for the Port Canaveral area. Along with its unique appearance, the finish must withstand Florida’s hurricane wind speeds, unrelenting sun and salt spray.
Kameleon Colors offer the same protection as Valspar’s 70% PVDF Fluropon product family in pearlescent pigments that shift in color when viewed from different angles. Applied in a three-coat system, Kameleon colors consist of a primer, basecoat and color coat, and are available for both extrusion and coil products.
Linetec also applied a clear coat over the Blue Pearl II for enhanced durability. As with other 70% PVDF resin-based coatings, Kameleon Colors meet the stringent exterior, architectural specification AAMA-2605.
Linetec’s paint plant manager Paul Bratz says, “No one has sprayed this before, but our knowledgeable staff was up to the challenge. There was some trial and error during the process. It was critical that each paint run maintained the same parameters. The spray conditions, paint prep and application consistency of the paint itself were all critical. The slightest change could alter the look of the paint.”
To ensure consistency and minimize variation, Linetec modified its existing paint protocol process. Bratz explains, “The amount of paint needed for the entire project was determined and ordered as a single batch at the beginning of the project. Valspar prepared the special mica technology paint all at one time with excellent consistency, taking out the variable of multiple paint batches.”
In addition to the Kameleon Colors’ Blue Pearl II finish on southern seaside elevation, Linetec also applied Valspar’s Fluropon White finish to the northern elevation’s aluminum-framed curtainwall offering views of the bustling port. The entire project was painted in four phases, starting in March 2013 and ending in May.