Galvalume was invented by Bethlehem Steel in 1972. It is a trademarked name, but many people use it as a generic term to describe a metal roofing product consisting of steel coil coated with a metal alloy. That alloy is 45% zinc and 55% aluminum and looks similar to galvanized steel, but the visible crystals are smaller and close together, giving it a smoother appearance. Galvalume has a cousin, Galvalume Plus. The only difference is Plus has a thin, clear acrylic coating. Because Galvalume Plus can be roll-formed dry without vanishing oil, it is very easy to form and install safely.
The combination of zinc and aluminum in Galvalume enhances both the positive and negative effects of aluminum. Galvalume has barrier corrosion resistance and heat resistance similar to aluminized material and good bare edge galvanic protection and forming qualities like galvanized material. Consequently, Galvalume and Galvalume Plus will resist rust, the elements and fire while providing a sturdy and protective covering. Galvalume® is more corrosion-resistant than galvanized steel, but because aluminum provides barrier protection instead of galvanic protection, scratches and cut edges are less protected. Galvalume is offered in both bare and pre-coated versions. Most Galvalume®–like galvanized steel– is coated. But Galvalume has an excellent performance life in bare exposures as well. Both galvanized steel and Galvalume® weigh 100 to 150 pounds per 100 square feet and contain about 35% recycled materials. The cost of Galvalume and Galvalume Plus are about the same as that of galvanized steel.The coating used on Galvalume is very important because it is critical to the length and conditions of the entire warranty of the panel product. Coated metal roof panels have progressed from a single coat straight polyester paint system in the early years to Poly vinyl idene fluoride(PVDF) acknowledged as the premium resin for coil coatings. It is a kind of fluoride, a family that includes such well known products as Teflon and Halar. PVDF resin has superior chalk resistance and gloss retention as well as stain and chemical resistance. It is softer than polyester, making it highly formable without risk of cracking. Current pretreatments and primers along with superior paint coating have increased product warranties dramatically.