Nowadays, aluminum composite material (ACM) is the number one cladding material for high-rise buildings and residential facilities. However, aluminum composite panels weren’t always the dominant metal claddings before. Before ACM panels came into the construction market, aluminum plates, also known as aluminum siding systems, were the preferred choice for most building companies, architects, and homeowners.
When ACM panels were first produced, these composite materials were dispersed into the market in a massive amount by ACP companies to seize a significant share of the construction market. Since their beginning, aluminum composite panels have been sold on a large scale since ACM panels are more lightweight, cost-effective, and durable than traditional aluminum siding systems. These composite materials came with various color and texture finishes, including wood grains.
Aluminum composite materials (ACM panels) still offer beneficial characteristics to date, and some other properties have been added to them over the past years to increase their viability and appeal. Today’s ACP materials can be fabricated and rolled easily, making them perfect for architectural projects requiring complex shapes and designs.
Essential Things to Know Before Buying and Using ACM Panels
Before purchasing and using these aluminum cladding systems for your building, you need to know a few essential things about ACM panels. The first essential thing you need to be aware of is that they are two primary types of aluminum composite panels available in the market for your applications which are:
- Fire-Resistant (FR) Core or Fire Rated ACM Panels
- Polyethylene (PE) Core or Non-Fire Rated Aluminum Composite Material
The primary difference between FR and PE ACM is that the non-fire-rated aluminum composite panels have a thermoplastic polyethylene core material. In contrast, the fire-rated ACP contains mineral-filled thermoplastic material.
Another essential aspect of aluminum composite material is that it is a combustible product. Thus, it is crucial to determine which building regulation and code ACM falls under and then test it to comply with the rules. With this, you can increase the life span of the aluminum cladding system and ensure the safety of your building’s structure and its occupants.
Although aluminum composite material is an excellent construction material to use in modern buildings, it can sometimes seem a little pricey. Thus, many homeowners prefer to go for cheaper aluminum composite panels, which are not certified since they want to avoid spending a lot of money. However, you should know that ultimate costs and expenditures can follow this big mistake during the lifetime of the building. While many cheap ACM panels are non-certified, several other composite panels are certified, high-quality, and genuine. So, you may ask why these ACP materials are more affordable or less expensive than other aluminum cladding materials in the market? We have revealed that in the next section.
The Difference Between Expensive and Cheap Aluminum Composite Materials (ACM)
As told, some ACM and aluminum composite panels are more expensive than others. The reasons behind their higher price are high-grade materials used to produce them, and the labor involved in their construction is generally more skilled. Thus, it is expected for cheaper ACM panels to have less resistance against extreme weather conditions and are more likely to rust when exposed to humidity.
The coating that is applied to expensive ACM is PFC which automatically makes it more costly than uncertified aluminum composite panels in the market. Another essential characteristic that makes some composite materials more expensive than others is their fire-resistance level. ACP materials that are fire-rated and provide better safety have a higher cost. Additionally, choosing expensive aluminum composite panels offers several other benefits and advantages for the construction, including:
- Expensive ACM panels can last longer than cheap ones.
- Fabricating High-quality Aluminum Composite Panels is easier than low-quality ones.
- Expensive ACP materials are energy-efficient since they insulate the building facade perfectly.
- When it comes to sound insulation, high-quality aluminum claddings are the best choice.
- Expensive aluminum claddings come with better water-proof characteristics.
- High-quality aluminum composite panels do not require regular maintenance, while cheap ACM panels will need frequent cleaning.
- An expensive aluminum composite material will add value to your home, and buying high-quality ACP is considered an investment.
- Aluminum composite material with higher quality comes with lighter weight, and installing them is more straightforward.