patinated antique look Windows Advice

What is Patination?

Achieving an antique aesthetic to glazing

Patination is the process of using chemicals to develop or form colour on the surface of metals, particularly bronze and copper. The application of chemicals to the surface of the metal speeds up the natural ageing process which results in a colour change. The colour of the metal can be altered depending on the length of time that the chemicals are left on the surface of the metal for.

The process of Patination is similar to rusting whereby the colour of the metal changes due to chemical reactions within the air, however rusting isn’t a beneficial process for the metal. Patination can occur gradually over time due to natural weathering however, to create the desired finish straight away the process can be accelerated.

Architectural Bronze Patination - Shopping centre Antwerp

Patination is often desired to create an antique and aged aesthetic to the surface of metals which further enhances the traditional industrial aesthetic of the Mondrian® glazing systems. This is highly desirable in architectural design, especially within glazing designs to create a heritage aesthetic while maintaining modern high thermal performance values.

The patination process causes a ‘tarnish’ to the surface of the metal which alters the original texture and colour of the surface of the metal. On copper and bronze a green patina colour naturally occurs over time through weathering, this patina provides a protective coating for further weathering and it also creates a unique finish to the metal. However, if green isn’t the desired look on Bronze then there are other options including BMA finishing.

Many of the Mondrian® systems from IQ Glass are available in Architectural Bronze which can be finished with a BMA Patina finish. What is a BMA finish? BMA stands for Bronze Metal Antique finishing which gives bronze a dark bronze colour which is achieved by applying specific chemicals to the surface of the metal.

A BMA finish is a highly successful method of achieving an antique bronze finish to elements of architectural construction and glazing systems. The length of time the chemicals are applied to the bronze determines the colouration, e.g. whether a light, medium or dark finish is desired. Once the required colour is achieved another chemical is applied to stop the patination process, to stop the colour from changing even further.

Even though a chemical is applied to stop the accelerated ageing of the surface, the bronze will still age gradually over time. The location of the glazing will determine how fast or slowly the bronze will age, as the level of exposure to the sun and rain will change the speed the metal will age over the years.

EBE 65 Architectural Bronze glazing Shopping centre Antwerp

Patination vs Chemical Blackening?

Chemical Blackening is a process that produces a durable, aesthetically pleasing black finish to architectural designs. Chemical blackening differs from the usual method of adding colour to a metal through a Polyester Powder Coat (PPC) as the black finish is achieved through applying chemicals to the surface of the metal which forms the black colour from the chemical reaction.

Chemical blackening results in a smooth surface finish with a matte black appearance. Blackened steel provides deep tones to create a black finish to the metal, to achieve a brown (light-dark) patination can be used to achieve a softer colour than black. Brown tones create a heritage aesthetic that gives the architectural design an antique feel.

IQ used patinated bronze to create a luxurious finish to bespoke window and door systems, to enhance the aesthetics of the architectural design. The chemicals that IQ use contains a high percentage of copper which provides a high level of resistance to corrosion.

IQ Glass can offer a patinated finish to the Mondrian systems, to see these systems in person at the IQ Glass showroom in Amersham simply call 01494 722 880. During the showroom visit, a member of the team can discuss your project with you and offer you advice on the type of system and configurations that would best suit the project.