The Difference Between Colorbond and Zincalume

Colorbond and Zincalume steel are two of the most popular types of steel technologies used in today’s construction industry and have widespread applications from roofing to steel framing. They are both products of intensive research over the years and as such, COLORBOND and ZINCALUME are registered trademarks and several steel companies continue to manufacture and carry out research on them.

Colorbond and Zincalume comparison

Colorbond Steel

The idea of creating Colorbond steel started in 1843 in England where it was discovered that corrugating a thin sheet of iron could produce a very strong, resistant yet lightweight building material. However, regular painting was required in order to maintain a clean look. Painting was an expensive maintenance practice. Due to this, a new solution was thought of. It was Colorbond steel.

Colorbond steel is pre-painted steel, which combines the superior strength of steel with the corrosion resistance and general hardness of a zinc/ aluminum alloy coating. The aluminum coating gives the sheets a clean and colorful look. Colorbond steel also has very high thermal efficiency, since it absorbs less heat and cools more quickly.

Colorbond steel is also very light and quite flexible. This makes it very popular for roofing and other construction jobs. This along with the fact that it is also resistant to cracking, peeling and chipping makes it a very popular type of steel.

Zincalume Steel

Zincalume steel was introduced in the market in the 1970s. It is the result of many years of extensive research. Some of its outstanding qualities include long life span, high resistance to corrosion and high thermal efficiency.

Zincalume steel is a premium metallic-coated steel product that consists of 55% aluminum, 43.5% zinc and 1.5% silicon, by volume. However the entire coating is about 80% aluminum. The coating gives it a lifetime of almost four times that of galvanized steel.

Some of its other prominent properties are:

  • Lightweight
  • Edge protection
  • Resistance to termite attacks
  • Non combustible

In addition to this, this type of steel is resistant to termite attacks, which makes it an excellent choice for roofing.


So that brings us to the question, what is the difference between Colorbond and Zincalume? These two types of steel are very popular in the construction industry and there are several differences and similarities between them. The most obvious difference is that Colorbond steel is painted while Zincalume steel is not.

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