Next Generation ZINCALUME® steel featuring Activate® technology will enter production in the second quarter of 2013, bringing to fruition almost 20 years of efforts by BlueScope Steel to develop a longer-lasting metallic-coated building product.

BlueScope Steel market manager - commercial and industrial - Manu Siitonen, said BlueScope Steel has invested over $100 million in perfecting a better ZINCALUME® steel product.

He said the breakthrough metal coating formulation of Next Generation ZINCALUME® steel improves the already high corrosion performance of the current product.

"ZINCALUME® steel is renowned in Australian building and architectural circles for the galvanic action of the zinc in its coating, which gives it a self-sealing property and increases its lifespan", said Mr Siitonen.

"With Next Generation ZINCALUME® steel, we have perfected a new formula that improves the galvanic action of the zinc. With the addition of a new magnesium compound, it activates the aluminium in the coating composition to provide even more effective corrosion resistance.

The result is a product that is more resilient when drilled, cut or scratched.

"Ultimately, the chemistry of Next Generation ZINCALUME® steel metal coating formulation makes it stronger in harsh construction environments and opens up the possibility of new applications for builders and specifiers."

Next Generation ZINCALUME® steel metal coating formulation has undergone 10 years of accelerated laboratory testing and 17 years of environmental field testing to ensure it exceeds the durability of the current ZINCALUME® steel product.

"The improved coating also enables a more efficient use of natural resources through the reduced use of zinc and aluminium, lessening Next Generation ZINCALUME® steel's environmental impact."

Since its launch in 1976, ZINCALUME® steel has been a standard-setter amongst steel roofing, cladding and construction products.

In 1994, second generation ZINCALUME® steel was launched, featuring the addition of a resin coating that improved mark resistance, and made the steel easier to handle and roll-form.

*Compared to original ZINCALUME® steel (AZ150 coating) in all LCA environmental impact categories when used in Commercial & Industrial roofing applications. This improvement is the result of innovation in the metal coating formulation that delivers an increased lifespan while using fewer metal resources.