Information about the material

Transport and storage

As a rule, RHEINZINK products must always be kept dry and well-ventilated during storage and transportation. When transporting materials, please use covered vehicles, especially in changeable weather conditions. When storing materials on the construction sites, provision should be made for the material to be stored in a dry and well-ventilated storage area.

If the points detailed below are not observed, the formation zinc hydroxide is likely to occur on the surface of the material and must be avoided

  • Covering of coils, panels or profiles without ventilation
  • Change in temperature condition in Storage area
  • Storage on damp ground /soil
  • Transport/storage on damp pallets
  • Observe the correct procedures for stacking materials during transport and storage  (prevent the chafing of coils)

On request, we also deliver our coils with a cardboard sleeve. This sleeve serves to reinforce the coils and prevents distortion if they are stored for a long time.

To be observed during processing

  • When handling Rheinzink It is highly recommended that gloves are worn to avoid fingerprints on the surface
  • When marking the surface; use soft pencils, not sharp, pointed tools
  • Bending radii: a minimum bending radius of 1.75 mm should be observed. The following calculation applies to the minimum bending radius. Metal thickness (t) exceeds 1.0 mm: 1.75 x t [mm].
  • Roll forming: forming trays with standard roll formers is recommended, manufacturer’s recommendations must be observed. Any soiling or deposits on the roller sets should be removed to prevent damage/ contamination to the materials surface.
  • Metal temperature: if the metal temperature is < 10°C please ensure that the surface is warmed with a hot air gun in order that edge bending and seam joints can be easily formed.
  • Soft-soldering: Prior to applying the soldering flux, the surface coatings of RHEINZINK-prePATINA graphite grey or artCOLOR products need to be removed by abrasion. After that, the soldering flux can be applied as usual. We recommend the Felder brand “ZD-per” soldering liquid.
  • Products supplied with a protective film: Film is used to protect the surface of the material during fabrication handling and installation. Sunlight/UV radiation, frost, temperature change and humidity may alter the properties of protective films. We, therefore, recommend removing the film immediately after installation

Maintaining high standards and visual quality of our material is paramount to our success. We recommend the following procedures are observed. These apply in particular to the artCOLOR product line.

  • Standing Seams should be formed manually using a hand seaming tool. For additional protection, a soft cloth or membrane can be used to separate the tool from the painted surface and avoid tooling marks.
  • A self-adhesive protective fleece may be applied to tools that are used to fold or bend the material to avoid surface abrasions
  • Only use nylon / wood hammers, mallets and dressers to avoid scratching the metal surface
  • Metal temperature: If the metal temperature is < 10°C, the material should be heated in parallel with the forming and rolling processes as well. At “junction points” or other critical details, it may be necessary to warm the forming area even if the temperature is ≥ 10°C.this will help with easing the material into the detail required.  Heat gently and do not use naked flames. The temperature of the material must not exceed 80°C.

Cleaning RHEINZINK-CLASSIC and RHEINZINK-prePATINA surfaces

RHEINZINK is a natural material that develops a protective layer on its surface, the so-called patina. By developing the patina, the material protects itself, which normally makes coating the surface unnecessary. At the same time, natural ageing and contact with rainwater ensure continuous self-cleaning, so that, in contrast to coated materials, the RHEINZINK material requires no cleaning or maintenance.

However, dust, plaster/cement residues or fingerprints etc. may cause soiling during construction works. Bird droppings are a further source of staining. Normally, these can be removed directly after contamination using RHEINZINK Sweeper solution. Sweeper is a surface protection oil suitable for cleaning metals used for roofing and facades. RHEINZINK Sweeper instructions can be down loaded from the download section.

Possible impacts on the zinc material

Influence of metals installed above

No effect:

  • Aluminium, bare or coated
  • Lead
  • Stainless steel
  • Galvanised steel (Cut steel will rust. The run-off will stain the surface of zinc cut. Edges should be protected.)

Critical effect:

  • Copper (avoid)

Materials installed above zinc and the effects they can cause

Protective coating, e.g. Enke Multi Protect, is necessary if any of the following products are used above zinc

  •  Bituminous roof sheeting without Mineral /gravel protective coating (acid corrosion will occur)
  • PVC roof membranes (acid emission will occur)
  • ECB roof membranes (acid emission will occur)

If other products are used, we recommend you contact the manufacturer regarding the expected pH values caused by decomposition from UV radiation. pH values between 5.5 and 11 will not affect RHEINZINK material or lead to corrosion damage.

Effects from other materials

  • Soft wood boarding installed above zinc may cause surface staining to eaves flashings or roof drainage products. However, they will not have a corrosive effect on the material
  • Mineral boards such as lime, cement and gypsum, in combination with humidity can have a corrosive effect on metals. A suitable separating layer must be installed between the RHEINZINK profiles and these construction boards to prevent corrosion. Installation sequences should be observed when using renders avoid getting mortar on the surface of the material 
  • Rock salt can have a corrosive effect on metals. Therefore, facade claddings should have sufficient clearance at ground level to avoid surface staining. As rule, ≥ 30 cm is recommended height
  • Brick cleaning acids have a corrosive effect on metals. (Please avoid)
  • Only neutral-reaction silicone sealants should be used with a pH level between 5.5 and 11 

Wooden facade claddings above RHEINZINK

The use of timber cladding above zinc and the Interactions between these two materials is dependent on the wood's pH value. The pH value is an important chemical property that indicates the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. pH values between pH 5.5 and pH 11 will not affect RHEINZINK material or cause surface corrosion.

We are not aware of any cases where, surface water from a timber facade has caused significant corrosion that would lead to reduction of the service life of an area clad with RHEINZINK. Nevertheless, the surface water from some types of wood, such as oak or red cedar, may cause severe discolouration to the surface of the metal, affecting the visual appearance of the material.

We therefore strongly recommend that suitable details are used that prevent run- off and deposits discharging onto the façade, and allow surface water from these areas to be collected

Influence of oil heating

As with all bright roof covering materials, discolouration may become visible, caused by deposits of exhaust gas contents from oil combustion. Heating oil still contains small portions of non-combustible ash as well as sulphur, and sometimes also iron-containing additives. The resulting deposits on the surface have no influence on the service life of our material.

Instructions for using the RHEINZINK-CLASSIC and RHEINZINK-prePATINA product lines

Patina formation

The products from this range all have natural surfaces that start developing a so-called patina of zinc carbonate, once they are exposed to the atmosphere. This water-insoluble surface covering of alkaline zinc carbonate (patina) forms due to the influence of atmospheric oxygen, water (rain, humidity) and carbon dioxide from the air. This is why the surface of the material is maintenance-free and, being a natural product, does not require any care or cleaning. Small scratches on the surface will vanish after a certain time due to the formation of the patina.

The development of the patina does not occur immediately but over time and can vary on different areas of the building. Firstly small grey blemishes form, which grow together as the formation of the protective layer progresses creating the known uniform blue grey patina. This process is characteristic of the changes the bright rolled surface will go through. Depending on the intensity and impact of moisture, the orientation and location of the building and also the inclination of the clad area, it may take weeks or years to fully weather.

Generally, the following rule applies: the more intense or the longer the rainwater remains on the surface, the faster the patina develops. Often, architects even use this property of the material as a design feature to emphasise the natural ageing of the building.

The advantages of the RHEINZINK-prePATINA product line

As an alternative to using bright rolled material, our “pre-weathered” surface variants are highly recommended. It is the only material on the market that has a truly natural surface that is neither coated nor painted. This unique coloring is developed from the metal alloy itself. Comparing both, our prePATINA blue grey, with our prePATINA graphite grey the latter has a slightly higher copper content, so that a darker shade develops as a result of our unique RHEINZINK pickling process.

The prePATINA surfaces offer the specifier a preweathered finish ex works. These unique surfaces are very close to the patina that develops, once the material is installed on the building

In contrast to this, on all other surfaces such as (phosphated or painted) there is no natural patina these surface coating prevent the material from naturally weathering  

Working and fabricating with RHEINZINK

Should scratches occur on the surface during assembly, these will eventually disappear when the material begins to weather and the formation of the patina takes hold.

Changes to the colouring

As this is a natural material, it will also react with its environment. Discolouration may occur, among other things caused by air bourn deposits or pollen / dust. However, stains may also be caused by thawing salt, bird droppings or by placing other objects, such as ash trays or flowerpots, onto the horizontal surfaces.

Fingerprints

Fingerprints can be avoided by wearing gloves during handling.

Depending on their intensity, fingermarks caused by sweat on the metals surface may not completely disappear.  Natural weather exposure may reduce them slightly, but they will remain visible for a considerable period of time.

The only reliable method of removing these surface markings is abrasive cleaning of the affected areas using stainless steel wool or similar materials followed by treatment with our acid-free RHEINZINK Sweeper finishing oil.

The abrasive treatment will remove the surface of our “pre-weathered” material making it appear bright rolled again. These areas will re-patinate in the open air, allowing the patina to form again. How long it will take for the patina to regenerate depends in particular on the orientation and inclination of the components.

The weathering of zinc in a coastal climate

The use of RHEINZINK in a marine climate can lead to white surface deposits due to the salty atmosphere. These natural deposits are integrated into the patina and due to the color contrast, are more visible on darker surfaces. The function and useful life of the material is not affected when used on roofs, facades and other components. Generally, the natural patina appears lighter as the material weathers and the chlorides combine with this process to protect the surface of the material.

Salt deposits are a phenomenon that will occur regardless of the materials chosen and the application. It is purely visual impairment that does not affect the life expectancy or function of the product. However it will change the appearance of the material. Darker colour will become lighter see (images below)

Areas that are not regularly washed by rainwater such as soffits, fascias, leeward facing facades and the underside of gutters will show a marked increase of airborne salts on the surface.

Many coastal countries suffer with adverse weather conditions which can extend inland for quite some distance, please be aware that darker surfaces can be affected and the surfaces will change its appearance. We have no control over this process or responsibility for the weathering of the material.

Please contact your RHEINZINK technical support office for their recommendations on suitable materials

Surface undulations

Roll formed materials are subject to surface undulations caused by the rolling processes. This can be optically emphasised when the material is installed, due to the reflection of light bouncing off the surface of the material

DIN standard EN 988 for rolled titanium zinc sheets/strips, allows for surface undulations of 2 mm, prior to further processing of all surface formats. These deviations become almost invisible to the naked eye depending on the direction the material is laid and the position the surface is viewed from. These surface undulations will virtually disappear once the formation of the patina begins to take hold. On the bright rolled surfaces the reflections will be stronger due to the reflective properties of the material but these will soon disappear as the material weathers.

On preweathered surface the development of the patina is less noticeable but the material will still face challenges from the elements. The period of time within which the formation of the patina develops will depend on the weather conditions. (In particular humidity)  For this reason we unable to be specific on how long this process will take before the surface of these materials become fully patinated. 

Colour tolerances

RHEINZINK-CLASSIC and prePATINA blue grey and prePATINA graphite grey, are natural surfaces that start developing a protective patina when exposed to the atmosphere. A unique pickling process developed for the prePATINA line, gives the RHEINZINK alloy the look of a natural patina ex-works that would otherwise be created by natural influences after a long exposure to the elements. The pickling process creates an even coloring which, cannot be compared to any RAL colour and is unique to Rheinzink.

During the production process of the prePATINA finishes, slight colour differences may occur to the surface of the material that is of a purely optical nature. These will vanish once the material has been installed and the formation of the patina takes hold.
To rule out any visual impairments relating to the surfaces, you should specify special requirements regarding the consistency of the material in order to achieve an even surface finish for your project

Furthermore, due to the higher copper content in prePATINA graphite grey, the copper may react with the atmosphere and a natural, slightly green tinge may occur on this surface.

Soffit claddings

Under certain conditions, patina formation / weathering on soffits may vary considerably due to lack of exposure to the elements. This may depend on the overhang and /or orientation of the soffit. Zinc hydroxide may form under certain circumstances and salt deposits will also be more evident particularly in maritime climates. I may be necessary to use a painted finish for these elements in order that the surface can be washed and regularly maintained.