Construction material suppliers and manufacturers are developing various types of products and materials for the current building industry. The building facade, a cladding system, is the crucial element of any residential or commercial facility that exterior designers and architects focus on for creating attractive and aesthetic designs for their clients. Thus, manufacturers provide various cladding systems with unique characteristics. Due to the importance of energy in the current era, metal wall cladding systems have become the most famous building facade materials in the market. Metal wall claddings come with various materials, including steel, copper, CORTEN, aluminum, etc. However, aluminum metal wall claddings are the dominant products in this industry, including aluminum plate systems, ACM panels or aluminum composite panels, and aluminum siding. However, most people will be confused when choosing Aluminum siding or ACM panels.
Moreover, manufacturers create walling systems with aluminum in two main categories: aluminum siding and aluminum composite panels. It is essential to mention that some other products such as aluminum longboard sidings and aluminum wood sidings are practical and are combined with traditional materials for people who prefer classic looks for their buildings. This article will help you choose between aluminum sidings or ACM panels for your next project.
What is Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP or ACM panel)?
The first Aluminum Composite Panels or ACM panels were produced and invented in the 1960s by various companies. ACM panel cladding systems consist of two exterior layers of aluminum sheets and one core substance. The traditional aluminum composite panels did not have fire-resistant characteristics due to the highly flammable polyethylene core. However, after the growth of technology, ACM panels manufacturers managed to use FR (fire-retardant) core for their new materials, making them fire safety construction materials.
There are generally three types of facilities in the building industry: type A that features more than four floors, type B has three floors, and type C consists of less than two levels. ACM panels are practical for all types, but they are most efficient for classes B and C. Aluminum composite panels (ACM panels) are available in various colors and sizes. The standard dimensions of ACM panels in Canada are 3mm, 4mm, and 6mm.
Pros of ACM panels
- The primary material of ACP cladding systems is aluminum, meaning they can be fabricated into any desired shape due to the material’s flexibility.
- In addition to the flexibility ad lightweight characteristics of ACM panels, they are durable and rigid cladding systems. Thus, they can last for decades without having any damages.
- Aluminum composite panels feature an easy installation process as they are lightweight and have a defined workflow.
- Most people choose their construction materials from the prices that are available. Thus, Aluminum composite panels cost can benefit builders.
- Composite panels are versatile as they feature different colors and finishes.
- They are UV and chemical-resistant.
- Modern aluminum composite panels are perfect sound insulation solutions,
- ACP panels are 85% recyclable, making them environmentally friendly materials.
ACP Cladding Materials Cons
- In extremely harsh weather conditions, ACP materials are susceptive to dent.
- While installing ACM panels, the contractor and the builders should seal the cladding boards properly and make them waterproof.
What is Aluminum Siding?
Aluminum siding cladding is a construction material that has been used for cladding systems for decades. These functional materials are the perfect choice for locations that have mid to low temperatures, such as Canada. The primary material in aluminum siding claddings has remained the same from their first day of production. However, construction material suppliers started using various cutting and new fabrication machines for cutting, shaping, bending, and installing. These sheet metals are developed through a process that has less impact on the environment than other traditional cladding systems. Manufacturers roll pure aluminum with special devices and store them or send them to the construction site. To have a vision about how long these materials can last, you can easily find that the existing buildings in Canada have had their siding applied since the 1970s.
Pros of Aluminum Siding Materials
- Aluminum siding materials are cost-effective materials and are highly affordable.
- These construction materials are 100% recyclable, and they will not end up in a landfill.
- Metal wall claddings with aluminum are energy efficient and great insulators during cold and hot seasons.
- They are considered low maintenance materials, and unlike other materials, they do not require regular cleaning.
- Aluminum siding panels are durable and can last for a long time.
Aluminum Siding Cons
- Aluminum contracts and expands due to temperature change which can cause popping noises can be annoying for occupants.
- As aluminum is a soft metal, sidings made from this substance are susceptible to dents and scratches.
- These aluminum cladding systems consist of painting coats worn out after years of rainwater and sunlight exposure.
- Current architects prefer ACM panels to aluminum sidings because traditional sidings are out of style, and creating contemporary designs will be hard.