Metal Roof Technology and Production

Metal roofs, made from metal pieces or tiles are usually painted or stone coated steel. There are various types of metal roofs on the market, each one carrying its own pros and cons. The manufacturing ways of this roof differ, depending on the type of metal.

How are Metal Roofs Produced?

Standing seams metal roofing:
The type of metal used for metal roofs are aluminum, zinc, copper, steel and stainless steel with the most popular being galvanized steel and aluminum.

First, the metal coil needs to undergo a dipping process, such as a galvanization process. In this specific process the coil goes through a boiling mixture of galvanic and molten zinc or zinc and aluminum, this forms a thin layer around the coil that makes it become very corrosive. Aluminum coils do not need to go through this process.

The metal goes through a machine that makes the metal into a thick metal coil and the end product is an actual metal roofing panel. The coils get fed into a roll former, running through a series of rolls that makes bends and curves, made possible through with a hot furnace that has cooling tubes and ammonia gasses inside the chamber that softens the metal.

Afterward, a cleaning and drying process gets the coils ready for painting. A painting machine will first apply a solar reflective paint on both sides and then direct the coil to a baking chamber for a high-temperature bake-on drying process which happens two times to make sure the primer is applied even. A different cycle allows for the main color to be added in two layers.

The processes are controlled by a computer, a smart control unit can easily automate the manufacturing process. It is precise when it comes to the speed the coils run on the cutting length of the coils.

From here on the coils gets shipped to different metal roofing manufacturers where the coils will get split according to the manufacturers’ standards. Smaller coils with standardized sizes get formed into different types of metal roofing panels. These coils can also be sold to sheet metal shops or contractors.

At the end of the day, most standing seam metal roofs come from the same three or four places, the only difference is the manufacturer custom-made panels. Each manufacturer will give different prices and warranties that should be taken into consideration, but the main factor that will ensure a good quality roof depends on the quality of the installation.

Sheet metal shop:
It is not just the metal panels that are needed for a metal roofing system to function. Metal roof accessories make up a big part of a metal roof. These accessories include the drip edge, gable trim, valley pans, ridge cap, flashings etc. Precise manufacturing is required for these accessories. The flashings are made in a sheet metal shop and also on a computerized machine that is known as a sheet metal brake which is automated to ensure precision. An automated hydraulic shear cuts the strips of metal. These finished flashing products are stored on a heavy duty rack where a forklift will do the loading.

Stone Coating:
Some metal roofs are stone-coated steel and this progress starts at standing-seam-panels. The metal gets coated with stone chips and with the help of acrylic film it gets attached to the steel. In this way, the roof keeps the aesthetic benefits of a traditional roofing material that become more durable.

Different technology for Different End Products:
There are different metal roofing technologies in addition to the final roof. Let us take a look at some of them that are being used for a metal roofing:

Cool Coating:
Today it is very important for building material to have some sort of “green” factor. When coating a metal roof with a cool pigment it causes the similarly colored coating to have a higher solar reluctance, because it absorbs less infrared sun rays.

Standing Seam Roof:
Vertical metal panels get connected through raised seams to form a standing seam roof. This causes a solid structure which allows for better insulation, because the roof is able to move under thermal expansion. Standing seam roofs are not only popular for their practical benefits, but also due to the clean and smart finish. Standing seam roof are not new on the market, but it has grown in popularity due to advanced technology.

Trends and styles:

As exterior designs are changing with times, the roofing styles and trends are not left behind.

Metal roofs have always been a practical and efficient choice when it comes to roofing options, but today they are seen as adding style and sophistication to your home.

Besides from the conventional metal types, there are other more exotic metals out there that can be custom formed by a fabricator for roofing, examples of these are rolled zinc, terne coated steel and titanium. When it comes to metal roofing style, there are different once to choose from as well, these include shakes, shingles, tile and slate.

As the solar panels are making innovation regularly by new progress, it is safe to say that standing seam metal roofs are a good alternative for a non-penetrative solar installation. The fact that metal roofs are very durable and can last for a long time makes them a safe choice when it comes to supporting solar panels.

As metal roofs are setting trends and are being seen as a more eco-friendly roofing option, the metal roofing industry is upgrading metal roofs. New styles, colors and innovations can be accepted from the metal roof manufacturers as the market is increasing its demand.

Written by Matt from Georgia Roof Pro editorial team.

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