What are Nano Aluminum Composite Panels?

Nano aluminum composite panels

Nano aluminum composite panels (ACM panels) are among the newest building materials available in the market, with various advantages. Currently, nanotechnology is creating an industrial revolution noticeable in all aspects of the modern life system. Manufacturers started applying this technology to aluminum composite panels and other construction materials to solve their drawbacks and grow their usage in current architectural projects. The nano-aluminum composite panel features all the previous advantages of the ACM panel, such as anti-scaling, durability, functionality, anti-corrosion, etc.

Nano Aluminum Composite Panels Applications

The traditional aluminum composite panels (ACM panels) are still one of the materials that are commonly used for various structures, products, and building claddings. The construction industry highly welcomes materials such as ACP materials due to their flexibility, versatility, lightweight, and other beneficial characteristics. However, constructions with aluminum composite panel cladding systems face numerous limitations and sensitivities. Cleaning and maintaining the building’s facade is an essential task for both low-rise and high-rise facilities. Thus, the building facade and its clean appearance involve maintenance and the facility’s value as a whole. Moreover, this becomes more crucial for larger and polluted cities.

Nano ACM panels have come to solve the cleaning and maintaining problem. The technology allows cladding systems to clean the aluminum surfaces of the facade on their own without requiring any particular chemical or unique methods.

How Nanotech Works in ACM Cladding Systems

The water droplets on the plant leaves or the ones on a greasy surface are generally spherical, and they are always separated from the surface. This natural event means that the surface is probably dry, and water molecules are attached to form the spheres. This happens due to the physical properties of any substance. Thus, science has divided surfaces into two general classifications, which are hydrophobic and hydrophilic.

The hydrophilicity of a substance’s surface means that the molecules of a particular amount of water tend to depress the area. Thus, water molecules form a narrow-angle or say the droplets’ height is low. In contrast with hydrophilicity, water particles on a hydrophobic surface tend to bond to each other rather than the material. In this case, droplets form a prominent sphere with a broader angle, and the height of the particular amount of water is higher. Additionally, hydrophilic surfaces feature high energy, and in contrast, hydrophobic substances have low energy surfaces. However, with the knowledge of nanotechnology, the physical properties of any surface can be transformed into a selective character. Thus, with the growth of technology, it is possible to create hydrophilic surfaces and change their properties.

Textured surfaces made in another nanoscale feature a greater distance between the air and molecules. This can cause hydrophilicity decrement on the surface, and water droplets will stick to more together than the desired surface. The same can happen with nano aluminum composite panels as water drops do not spread on the surface of the ACM panel and stick to each other. As water drops move on the cladding system, they will absorb the dust or strain and pass through the building facade. Thus, the nano aluminum composite panel’s surface gets cleaned thoroughly without extra cleaning chemicals applied. Additionally, the nano-coating existing on these cladding systems makes it difficult for the dirt and dust to adhere to the ACP surface, resulting in solid stains on the building facade execution.

It is essential to mention that Aluminum composite panels are low maintenance materials naturally, and even with nanotechnology, it is possible to clean them with detergents and cleaning tools. Aluminum sidings and ACM panels cladding systems do not require special equipment for cleaning. The crucial thing about nano cladding materials is that it makes the cleaning process much easier for high-rise buildings.

Advantages of Nano Aluminum Composite Panels

As nano aluminum composite panels have auto cleaning, they bring essential benefits for the building’s owner, which are as followed:

  • Homeowners can save money and energy by using nan ACM panels.
  • The building’s facade will last longer than other cladding materials.
  • The construction and its facade maintain its appearance, resulting in preserving the building’s value, prestige, and overall status.

Like any other composite material, Nano ACM panels consist of various layers, including the core or central layer, the front, rear cladding sections, and finally, the coating surfaces. The modern tech coating is applied to the last layer of the products. The final layer serves the cladding systems as a protector against different elements, including:

  • Urban pollution
  • Oil
  • Wearing over time
  • Sun rays
  • Harsh weather conditions
  • Acid rains
  • Alkaline substances

Why ACM panels are more expensive than other Cladding Materials?

ACM panels

Exterior cladding systems for new construction and renovation projects have become a must-have architectural element for commercial or residential facilities. In contrast with traditional methods of simply painting structures, contractors and homeowners prefer to add functionality and support to their building’s facade using various cladding materials, including ACM panels, wood sidings, longboard sidings, etc. For homeowners on their first renovation or new building project, choosing the most efficient cladding system from the array of materials and styles that the market offers can be a daunting statement. If the project requires modernity and flexibility of exterior cladding, it will be challenging to choose between wood, vinyl, ceramics, and aluminum composite panels. The first thing that most people consider when selecting their exterior paneling system is the price. While building materials such as wood and brick tend to come in at about 3$-14$ per square foot, with high-end wood cladding, which is the most expensive system currently, ACM panels often cost anywhere around 15$-35$ per square foot. However, there are several reasons behind the relatively expensive cost of aluminum composite panels.

Advantages of ACM Panels that Make Them More Expensive Than Other Systems

Aluminum composite panels (ACM panels), also known as ACP materials, are created by bonding and securing two aluminum sheets to unique core material. These panels are designed and engineered to provide long-lasting durability for homeowners who want to invest their money in the new construction or renovation of buildings. Using ACM panels offers numerous benefits when used as a facility’s cladding material, making them relatively expensive than other cladding systems. These practical advantages are as followed:

ACM Panels Provide the Best Durability Among Cladding Systems

The production process of ACM panels for providing cladding systems is the key to their popularity. Two sheet metals adhere to a thermally resistant polyethylene core which often features thin characteristics. The resulting aluminum composite panels are lightweight, and molding or fabricating them into different demanding shapes and styles is relatively straightforward. These particular rain-screen systems consist of additional coating that enhances their waterproof property and protects them against dents due to high-impact weather conditions. Metal panel cladding products are all factory-tested for their ability to withstand various damaging external factors. All ACM panels that are adequately produced offer:

  • High wind loads resistance
  • Structural supports during precarious conditions
  • Presumption deflection
  • Air infiltration and leakage protection
  • fireproof characteristics (safety regulations require fire-resistant features for exterior cladding systems)
  • Moisture and humidity resistance (for buildings in locations with high humidity levels)

These characteristics of ACP materials make them unbreakable and impervious to tear or wear from the worst of weather conditions during the year.

The versatility of Aluminum Composite Panels

Other cladding materials such as wood, vinyl, and stone can provide unique visual aesthetics and appeal for architects. However, these cladding systems have a limited range of styles, making them challenging for creating a new and modern appearance for the building. For instance, the stone is often preferred for its rustic, rough appearance and cannot accept other paints or finishes, resulting in the color choice reduction for customers. Moreover, molding and fabricating stone and wood can be challenging due to the current designs featuring curves and modern looks.

In contrast with traditional materials, ACM panels are incredibly flexible and lightweight, making them the perfect materials for fabricating in different designs. Additionally, the light characteristic of ACP materials allows builders to install them more straightforwardly. Manufacturers can shape aluminum composite panels into circles and curves as well as more traditional rectangles or squares. Another essential factor making these cladding systems more versatile than other paneling materials is that choosing any color during the mixing and finishing stage is possible, allowing architects to select from any color under the sun to suit the aesthetic requirements for their customers.

ACM Panels Require Low Maintenance During Their Lifespan

Wood siding cladding systems that are entirely made from natural wood require regular maintenance. While the natural appearance is more appealing to some people, using non-composite cladding materials requires consistent painting, oiling, and finishing. Water infiltration and pests can easily cause several damages to these products, including splitting, erode, and cracks.

On the other hand, ACM panels don’t require regular maintenance, primarily when the building is located in temperate areas. Cleaning aluminum composite panels usually require a simple wash and buff for removing any visible stains. With the highly reflective nature of aluminum surfaces, ACP materials are incredibly resistant to tear and wear from UV rays existing in sunlight, allowing them to maintain their finish and appearance for even decades.

Rainscreen Construction Principle (Part III)

Rainscreen Construction Principle

Rainscreen construction principle has become an essential part of the buildings industry over the years. With the growth of technology and engineering, manufacturers managed to produce modern and efficient cladding materials such as ACM panels considered rainscreen systems for the building’s exterior. This principle’s primary purpose is to protect the facility’s structure from damaging elements such as wind loads and water infiltration.

In the first part, we provided the basics of the system, which every customer or specialist in the building industry must know. These practical systems are available in two types: Drained/Back-ventilated, which rely on the ventilation cavity, and pressure-equalized methods, which employ drainable compartmentalization for water penetration limitation. PERS method is functional during pressure disequilibrium and facilitates fast pressure equalization. It also minimizes and under certain weather conditions to eliminate water in the product’s cavity. However, you should read the second part of the article for more information about the pressure-equalized system in the rainscreen construction principle. Moreover, in this article, we will discuss mainly the D/BV and its functionality.

Drained/Back-Ventilated Rainscreen Construction Principle

Drain/Back-Ventilated rainscreen construction principle is a practical method of protecting the facility’s exterior, which is utilized in many cladding materials such as aluminum composite panels or ACM panels with various properties, advantages, and functionalities. This system employs a series of boards, sheet metals, or planks called claddings fixed to vertical support channels or rails. The supports are the outer exposed barriers or leaves.

Joints in the external claddings are open but have a unique design to obstruct water infiltration by wind force or kinetic energy. It is essential to note that engineers create these systems to minimize the infiltration, not eliminating it thoroughly. Water leakage occurred from variable air pressure due to the wind is inevitable. Thus, a considerable amount of water can infiltrate the outer leaf through its open joints. However, the system permits the water to run down the interior surface of the outer barrier with a particular control system by the ACM panels designs including vertical channels or rails combined with water head leaves in a horizontal jointing system which directs the liquid flow to the vertical components. Little wetting in the inner barrier surface can happen, which is acceptable and will cause no issues.

The series of vertical channels have a design to collect the infiltrating water and drain it through gravity action. Additionally, they cross-direct at penetrations to the lower level and external section of the outer barrier. The system penetration should have continuous flashing and detailing to collect and direct water to the external obstacles or redirect it into the vertical drainage channels.

The minimum allowable width of air space known as a cavity between the outer and inner barriers is essential to facilitate positive back-ventilation in the ACM panels. This can promote rapid evaporation of any rainwater deposited in the surfaces of the inner surface of the aluminum composite panels or any other rainscreens. However, cavity depth should be considered to be in addition to the center of cladding applied to the building’s facade not to restrict the ventilation flow.

The internal leaf is typically the structural building close wall. Thus it can accept various construction methods. However, the water-resistant insulation should be applied to the exterior side of the cladding material and is an optional term to the thermal design requirements. The use of insulation is to maximize useable building space and rule out condensation and cold bridging to the interior surface of the inner barrier. Since the Dried/Back-Ventilated rainscreen construction principle is not a pressure equalized system, the aluminum composite materials or aluminum sidings considered building claddings must have a precise design to withstand 100% of the wind load.

Difference Between the Two Types of Rainscreens

D/BV rainscreen construction principle and PERS are both designed to increase the efficiency of the building. However, like any other industrial system, they have their differences.

The most notable thing about drained and back-ventilated systems is that leakage for claddings is allowed, and there is no deliberate attempt to minimize the effects of wind loads. Instead, the cavity behind the cladding material is drained, and positive back-ventilation usage promotes the evaporation speed of any rainwater on the inner barrier.

On the other hand, the main point about the pressure-equalized rainscreen construction principle is that without relying on sealants or gaskets in the installation process, every effort is made to minimize or eliminate the leakage through the joints. However, there could be some minor leakage into the cavity, and a drainage mechanism is essential. Additionally, positive back ventilation is utilized to increase the evaporation rate of water which permeated through the inner barrier of the ACM panels.

How do you paint ACM panels?

Paint ACM Panels

ACM panels are modern and practical cladding materials currently used for various applications, including commercial and industrial building projects. Due to the wide range of ACM panels advantages, from extreme weather durability and minimum requirements for maintenance to aesthetics and modern appearance, architects and builders prefer to use them instead of traditional building cladding materials. However, for many reasons, which we will discuss in the next paragraph, one of the most critical questions for aluminum composite materials is how you should paint ACM panels.

Aluminum composite panels often offer a longtime service which can sometimes exceed 20 years if maintained properly. However, customers may encounter minor damage or peeled paints on the cladding material when buying a home with ACM material for its facade. The good news is that by utilizing proper painting supplies and particular substances, resurrecting these metal claddings will not be challenging, and such issues should no longer be a concern. Thus, it is more cost-effective to paint ACM panels rather than replacing them or reinstalling a new board. The paint finish recovering process is considerably straightforward, and most homeowners can take care of it without any need for professionals.

Equipment and Tools Needed to Paint ACM Panels

Some essential equipment and tools are needed to paint ACM panels with the best quality, resulting in more durable finishes and better aesthetics. These tools and equipment are including:

  • Primer with an Oil Substance: This is used for sealing any porous surfaces, and it will allow the paint for better coverage of ACM panels.
  • Acrylic Paint: For better paint bonding on the cladding material, it is practical to utilize exterior acrylic paint.
  • Brushes with Synthetic Fibers: When working with acrylic brushes, it is essential to use synthetic fiber brushes to paint ACM panels.
  • Lambswool Roller: For having a smoother paint finish and maximizing the surface area coverage, utilizing a lambswool roller can be helpful.
  • Simple Ladder: Use a ladder to reach and access the higher sections of the cladding material.
  • Plastic Bucket: The painter can hang the paint bucket from the ladder during the process, increasing the work speed.
  • Plastic Paint Trays: It is necessary to utilize plastic paint trays for lambswool rollers.
  • Drop Cloths: It is essential to keep the painting area clean with drop cloths during the job to avoid splattering the paint on the floor, which will be difficult to remove.

ACM Panels Painting Steps

There are a few yet essential steps to take when considering painting ACM panels without asking for help from experts. These painting steps are also practical for other cladding materials, including Aluminum sidings. Each phase has its particular role, and to paint ACM panels, the painter should follow them precisely.

Step One: Preparation for Painting ACM panels

Preparing aluminum composite panels for painting starts with scraping off paints that are already damaged or peeled with a scraping tool. Then the painter should remove any mildew with ten-part water to one part bleach combination. If the ACM panel is dingy, it is recommended to rent a power sander and sand down the cladding.

Step Two: Applying the First Coat of Primer to Paint ACM Panels

The second phase to paint ACM panels involves creating a first coat of primer when the weather is mild and dry for preventing different factors such as rain and debris from destroying the paint finish. Using a paint-roller will make the process easier, and it can apply the primer evenly while taking a few seconds per 0.09 meters. Additionally, it is essential to use the first coat in only one direction for maximizing the dry time.

Step Three: Adding a Second Layer of Primer

After applying the first coat of primer, the painter should add the second layer after the first layer is dried thoroughly. Generally, primer takes about four hours to dry. Thus, it is more efficient to start the process accordingly.

Step Four: Start Painting the Cladding Material

The most efficient way to paint ACM panels is to do the process from top to bottom by using long and even brush strokes. For better results, it is recommended to paint the aluminum composite panels in the same direction as installed, whether horizontal or vertical.

Step Five: Applying the Second Coat of Paint

After the fourth step, it is essential to wait about two hours to dry and then apply the second paint layer. This phase will help the painter correct any flaws that occurred during the cladding material painting. Buying an extra gallon of paint is practical for additional touchups.

Step Six: Inspect the ACM panels to Find Issues

Once applying both layers of paint is finished, the paint-finish must be left to dry for at least 3 hours. Then it is crucial to inspect the work for missing spots, drips or bumps. If there is a sign of the old ACM panel finish notable beneath the new finish, the painter should apply one more paint coat.