During the mid-1970s, Metra began supplying zinc to metal roofing contractors and metal fabricators throughout the British Isles. Since those heady days, the use of hard roofing metals has increased as architects recognised the aesthetic capabilities of zinc, copper and stainless steel, giving them endless design possibilities.
A subsequent increase in newer and more modular building designs has also resulted in a demand for a zinc alloy strong enough for use as a viable flashing material, but also soft enough to be formed like lead.
Metra Metals, a leader in the industry, recognising a gap in the market decided to pioneer a lead replacement product that would fill this gap. In addition to the development of the lead replacement itself, a suitable coating for the surface and an adhesive to be used for the underside also had to be sourced.
After two years in development, the new product, METZ Super Safe Flashing was successfully produced as a ‘lead replacement’ product made from a special malleable zinc alloy. Among the many unique selling points of this product was how it could be used for flashings and detail works wherever lead is used, without any of the health and safety issues surrounding lead itself.
The next step for Metra post development was to make sure the new product found acceptance in the market with end users and clients, allowing them to promote it with absolute confidence.
To achieve this, the company needed an expert, independent assessment and certification so they contacted the BBA.
To achieve BBA Certification, Metz Super Safe Flashing was tested for product performance data including dimensions and mass per unit area, tensile strength and elongation and the effects of heat ageing and water exposure.
Resistance tests were also conducted including UV ageing, water penetration, salt spray and impact resistance.
As with all BBA Agrément Certificates, the manufacturing process was evaluated by BBA Audit & Inspection’s Manufacturing System Assessors (MSAs), including the methods adopted for quality control and details of the quality and composition of the materials used.
Metra Non-ferrous Metals has since launched their innovative new product into the market, with METZ Super Safe Flashing now being promoted by a major national builder’s merchant.
Having marketed the product safe in the knowledge that it has passed all the required tests, MD Trevor Goodey commented that “the BBA application and testing process has been a very smooth and rewarding experience, with good assistance all the way through. We couldn’t have asked for more support in launching our innovation to the market.”
Find out more about the METZ Flashing system and how the BBA can help in creating new standards for the construction industry.