November 26

COLORBOND® and ZINCALUME® Water Tanks

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Zincalume® Water Tanks or Colorbond® - Rainwater Harvesting Options

What is Zincalume® Steel?

Since 1976 BlueScope Steel has been producing ZINCALUME® Steel; a versatile, durable and lightweight alloy primarily composed of Aluminium and Zinc. ZINCALUME® has a wide variety of uses for Australians from all walks of life, from water tanks and gutters, to roofing, sheds and cladding.

ZINCALUME®, whilst a little more simple and rustic in appearance is still a durable and reliable structural material for any rural water tanks, and is a viable cheaper alternative to COLORBOND®.

Next Generation Zincalume® Steel

Since late 2013 BlueScope Steel’s primary ZINCALUME® has been the Next Generation ZINCALUME® Steel. This new generation of ZINCALUME® (AM125) has 10 to 25 per cent less environmental impact than the previous generation (AZ150) ZINCALUME® Steel in terms of cradle to the grave environmental impacts according to an assessment by Environmental Resources Management.

This independent Life Cycle Assessment of the Next Generation ZINCALUME® product took into consideration 18 impact categories, including; climate change, human toxicity, metal depletion and fossil depletion, concluding that the reduction in extraction and refining of metals used to coat the next generation ZINCALUME® steel along with its longer lifespan, was the major influence on this reduction.

Keeping Water Fresher - Inside and Out

ZINCALUME®’s new Activate™ technology is the primary cause of the longer life of Next Generation products due to a more efficient galvanic protection thanks to the addition of a new magnesium compound, which activates the aluminium, resulting in a tougher protective coating. Another benefit of ZINCALUME® steel is its potential cradle to cradle lifespan, meaning that not only is ZINCALUME® made from partly recycled materials, but also once the product needs to be repaired or replaced, the steel can be recycled multiple times – which cannot be said for all building materials. 82% of all metals produced in Australia are recycled or reused; the highest rate of any solid waste generated in Australia.

Of the impact categories assessed by Environmental Resources Management, the largest reduction was seen in freshwater eutrophication, which refers to the impairment of water due to the addition of nutrients reducing the available oxygen to support aquatic life. This, combined with Pioneer’s AQUALINER Fresh® antimicrobial water tank liner means that the both the water in your tank, and any water that comes in contact with it, stays fresher and cleaner, for both you and the environment.

What is Colorbond® Steel?

Until the 1950’s, regular painting of galvanised iron was seen as the only way to keep your iron looking vibrant, before Chicago based Lithostrip Corporation and Pre Finish Metals discovered a way to successfully bond paint to a galvanised base. By 1966 the first coil of COLORBOND® rolled off the line and was available in six colours, revolutionising the building industry in Australia.  COLOBOND® is a preferred steel choice when it comes to fire water tanks due to its superior strength and heat resistance.  Since then approximately six million tonnes of COLORBOND® steel has been produced, and nine in ten new homes built in Australia feature some products made from COLORBOND®, be it roofs, fences, gutters or water tanks.

Newly Improved Colorbond® Steel

COLORBOND®’s new steel (AM100) features BlueScope’s new Activate™ technology, which ads magnesium to the COLORBOND® coating, which has improved its corrosion resistance, and similarly to the next generation ZINCALUME® product, requires less materials to create and has a longer lifespan. This has been backed up by BlueScope offering an increase of up to six years for warranty periods in a range of roofing and walling products. The new COLORBOND® steel is 100 per cent recyclable, and has been designed to be easy to remove and reuse.

All COLORBOND® steel products are made with the paint bonded to the galvanised base, meaning that it never has to be repainted, and will maintain its original colour for the lifetime of the product, unlike powder painted ZINCALUME® products, and the new Thermatech® bonding helps protect the product from the elements.

Award Winning Thermatech®


A major feature of the new COLORBOND® steel product is the Thermatech® technology, which reduces the amount of heat that can permeate the steel, and has been approved for the catchment of rainwater for drinking; meeting the Australian and New Zealand safety codes for products for use in contact with drinking water.

This aided COLORBOND® in taking out the Innovation of the Year Award at the 2014 Sustainability Awards, beating out nine other finalists.

Pioneer Rural Steel Water Tanks

ZINCALUME® and COLORBOND® have long been the standard choices for Pioneer when it comes to manufacturing steel water tanks.  Offering a 20 year conditional warranty, Pioneer can only afford to use the highest quality Australian steel to ensure longevity and durability.

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