The Science of COLORSTEEL®

Since the early 80’s, COLORSTEEL® has been protecting New Zealanders from the elements. 

For more than three decades COLORSTEEL® has proven its ability to keep homes, commercial premises and rural buildings safe from anything our harsh and variable climate throws our way. The enduring success of COLORSTEEL® is no accident. It’s the direct result of a relentless commitment to research and development, carried out by a dedicated team of scientists who call on local knowledge, global expertise and an extensive testing programme to ensure each and every COLORSTEEL® product will stand the test of time. The result is COLORSTEEL® MAXX® and COLORSTEEL® ENDURA®, each designed with New Zealand’s challenging and variable climate in mind. Just two more reasons why COLORSTEEL® is New Zealand’s favourite roof. 


A lot of resources are required to create a product as strong and as versatile as COLORSTEEL®. Fortunately, we’ve got a lot at our disposal. New Zealand Steel, who make COLORSTEEL®, are owned by BlueScope, a global leader in metallic coated and factory painted steel. In fact, BlueScope are recognised as the world’s third largest manufacturer of such products. 

Our unique paint systems are created by New Zealand Steel’s Research and Innovation team in collaboration with some of the largest paint manufacturers in the world. They work in conjunction with their counterparts at BlueScope, where more than 70 scientists and technologists are employed. This partnership provides our team with access to BlueScope’s extensive database – providing invaluable insights into the ongoing performance of both our own products, and those of our competitors.


We know that durability and colour performance are all-important to Kiwis. To ensure COLORSTEEL® delivers exactly that, we subject it to extensive testing, with more than 20,000 test panels in 17 sites across the globe. These include COLORSTEEL® panels as well as samples of our competitors’ products, and those of COLORBOND®, our counterparts in Australia. 


Adhesion Tests confirm whether the paint has adhered well to the substrate and won’t crack when rolled, while the Pencil Hardness Test explores the hardness of a coating. Accelerated methods like Q-fog and UVA/LAB predict how our products will perform in every environment imaginable, with data taken from global exposure tests providing critical insights into high UV, geothermal and corrosive environments. All of this helps to confirm the industry-leading durability of our products, and their compliance with AS/NZS2728. 

“We evaluate every potential component in the harshest conditions possible, searching for those that work in unison to enhance performance. That’s how we create an incredibly resilient system that we know will perform in New Zealand’s unique environment.”
Dr Troy Coyle, Head of Innovation, New Zealand Steel 
Lead is not intentionally added to any part of the COLORSTEEL® product, including metallic coating and paint systems.  Moreover, COLORSTEEL® falls well below the “lead-free paint” requirements in standards such as AS4361:1998 Guide to lead paint management Part 2: Residential and commercial buildings and AS/NZS2728:2013 Prefinished/prepainted sheet metal products for interior/exterior building applications - Performance requirements.

Science of COLORSTEEL® Brochure

Download our Science of COLORSTEEL® Brochure to learn more about the research and development that goes into our products.

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