What Material is Used for Refrigerator PCM Color-Coated Panels?

As living standards rise, home appliances closely related to daily life are increasingly pursuing stylish appearances. Colored panels for air conditioners, refrigerators, and other products have become mainstream. So, what material is used for refrigerator PCM color-coated panels?

What is Refrigerator PCM Color-Coated Panel Material?

a. What is PCM for Refrigerators:

PCM, or Pre-painted Steel Sheet, primarily involves applying one or multiple layers of coatings on metal coils through roller coating and baking them at high temperatures to create a composite material.

b. Characteristics of Refrigerator PCM Color-Coated Panels:

Apart from offering decorative effects like single color, pearl, and patterns, pre-painted panels boast rich colors, high production efficiency, fast turnover, and environmental friendliness. However, they may have relatively lower flatness compared to laminated panels, and the color variety is somewhat limited, making them more suitable for side panels rather than high-end refrigerator panels.

c. Classification of PCM Color-Coated Panels by Application

Hardware Appliances: Refrigerator shells, DVD shells, air conditioner shells, washing machine shells, speaker shells, water heater shells, chassis cabinets, curtain rods, whiteboards, projection boards, etc. (mostly indoor applications with stamping processes and environmental requirements).
Construction: Steel structure factories, electronic cleanrooms, garage doors, rolling gates, sandwich panels, corrugated panels, etc. (mostly outdoor applications exposed to UV radiation, wind, sand, rain, acid rain, atmospheric corrosion, etc.).

Refrigerator PCM Color-Coated Panels
PCM Color-Coated Coil

Difference Between Refrigerator Color-Coated Panels and Laminated Panels

a. What are Refrigerator Laminated Panels?

Refrigerator laminated panels, known as VCM (Vinyl Coated Metal), typically refer to products formed by surface treatment of galvanized substrates, followed by coating (roller coating) or bonding with organic films and baking. They are also called PET/PVC laminated color-coated steel panels.

b. Characteristics of Refrigerator Laminated Panels (VCM):

These panels feature a stunning appearance, excellent processing performance, corrosion resistance, and scratch resistance. They can achieve a variety of colors, patterns, and pearl shimmer effects. The film material on the surface has special treatment capabilities, displaying various colors and textures, such as wood grain, stone grain, brick, leather, etc.

c. Types of PVC Film for Laminated Panels:

Glossy Film: A film with a high glossiness level, composed of a layer of PET film compounded on the surface of PVC film, serving as a composite film itself.
Matte Film: A film with a lower glossiness level, made entirely of PVC material, with some textured effects like embossing on the surface.

d. Applications of Laminated Panels (VCM):

These panels have a smooth and flat surface, but they are relatively expensive. They are commonly used in refrigerator panels or high-end wine cabinet side panels, set-top box casings, etc. The application demands for the film are relatively high.

Which is Better: Refrigerator Color-Coated Panels or Laminated Panels?

Both panels belong to metal sheet metal, and before tempered glass panels emerged, most refrigerators used these two materials, mainly for mid-to-high-end refrigerator panels. Generally marked as color-coated steel, sheet metal, or PCM color-coated panels, these are all basic materials.

a. Check the Base Material of Both Panels:

PCM is a pre-painted metal plate, where the color is pre-painted onto the metal plate using coatings, and then the pre-painted metal plate is cut and formed into the final product.

VCM panels are metal laminated panels; that is, a PVC and PET film is applied to the surface of the metal plate. This allows various patterns to be printed on the film.

b. Examine the Surface Effects of PCM and VCM:

VCM panels are laminated panels, and PCM is a pre-painted panel. VCM panels have a very smooth and flat surface with brilliant color effects. PCM has relatively poor flatness, and the color effect is more single.

c. Compare the Prices of PCM and VCM:

VCM is more expensive. PCM is a pre-painted color-coated sheet with an environmentally friendly paint surface, and its price is relatively cheaper compared to VCM.

d. Understand the Usage Differences Between PCM and VCM:

PCM is generally used for refrigerator side panels. This type of panel is not suitable for the front panel of high-end refrigerators; mainly, it is used for side panels. VCM is generally used for refrigerator panels, and products with high requirements for the film are preferred.

IV. Shangang Steel Appliance Color-Coated Panel

Material Specification

Thickness (mm): 0.3-1.0mm
Width (mm): 800-1380mm
Coating: Polyester (PE)
Back Coating: Polyester (PE), Epoxy (EP)
Primer Coating: Polyester (PE), Polyurethane (PU)
Process Structure: Double-coating and double-baking on the front; double-coating or single-coating on the back
Substrate Type: Electro-galvanized sheet, hot-dip aluminum-zinc sheet, cold-rolled sheet


You gain valuable insights into the world of refrigerator color-coated panels, enabling informed decisions based on factors such as appearance, cost, and application requirements. Whether opting for the cost-effective PCM for side panels or the premium VCM for high-end products, you can navigate the choices in home appliance aesthetics with a better understanding of these innovative materials. Contact us for more information.