ACP materials popularity is continuously growing within the construction industry due to its various advantages, including low price, energy efficiency, recyclability, and construction functionality. These materials have a unique design to satisfy renovation and rehabilitation projects in ventilated facades. ACP solutions can adapt to all fields of building and architectural applications. In this article, we will mainly introduce and concentrate on the recycling process of these panels. However, before getting to the process introduction, it is better to know the preliminary information about the characteristics and properties of aluminum composite panels.
Basics of ACP Materials
As it is evident, manufacturers utilize aluminum to produce ACM panels. Aluminum metal is a common element in nature, making it easier to find and extract for further utilizations. This material is located in many silicates, and then manufacturers extract it from the bauxite mineral and apply a complex procedure to obtain pure aluminum. Due to its low density and corrosion-resistant characteristics and being a perfect conductor, it is a suitable element for various industrial processes. Among its typical uses, aluminum materials’ mirror-like appearance helps designers create modern and sleek designs. Thanks to its physical properties, manufacturers can combine aluminum with other materials to produce new products, including ACM panels.
Uses of the ACP Materials
The most common usage of ACP materials is in ventilated facades. These cladding materials feature several layers that stand out for their effectiveness in solving insulation issues and make them a type of coating system for building’s exterior. Due to their physical properties, buildings can achieve efficient thermal behavior. The most notable thing about these ventilated facade systems is that they allow the construction to have a chimney effect between its exterior layers. The chimney effect generates continuous ventilation in the chamber while maintaining a stable temperature, resulting in greater energy efficiency than more conventional cladding systems. Thus, during winter, air circulation slows down and preserves the heat, while in summer, the heat gets evacuated, and the circulating air is renewed.
The ACP materials are entirely recyclable, and despite their cost, the manufacturers of the world try their best to recycle these materials and not to throw them away directly. The high inherent value of aluminum materials is a significant economic stimulus for its recycling. Aluminum composite panels scarp can repeatedly be recycled without decreasing their value or diminishing their physical properties. Additionally, the energy that manufacturers utilize to complete the recycling process is a mere fraction of primary production requirements. The process involves a few but essential steps and requires machines to meet the recycling procedure. The method of aluminum composite panels recycling working as follows:
Crushing: The first step of recycling is cutting the aluminum composite panel into smaller pieces. This is done to provide easier workflow due to the large size of these panels. Without cutting ACP materials, there is no way to start the recycling procedure.
Grinding: Due to the perfect adhesion between the aluminum and the core material which holds the panels together, it isn’t easy to deal with these pre-cut pieces of ACPs. Thus, it is essential to grind these tiny particles into powder by utilizing special grinding machines to make them easy to separate.
Circulation Water Cooling: It is crucial to note that the grinding process can generate considerable heat which will lead to burning some pieces, resulting in reducing the separation rate. Thus, manufacturers utilize a circulating water-cooling system to reduce the temperature during the grinding stage of the panels.
Sieving Stage: The sieving stage, which features a vibrating screen, involves sending the small pieces without grinding them back to the grinding mill for further grind process. The produced powder will follow its process by continuing to the next stage.
Electrostatic Separation: The last step of recycling the ACM panels is utilizing the electrostatic separation method. According to the different conductivities between the core and aluminum, the electrostatic separator can easily divide the core material from the aluminum composite materials.
Machines Used for Recycling ACP Materials
Waste aluminum composite material is the most valuable raw material to recycle for complete PVC and high productivity characteristics. One of the machines used for the purpose is the recycling machine named YX-800, a device with a high handling property. This machine is mainly used to process and recycle scrapped ACM panels that often come from old outside walls of buildings, decorative panels for interior walls, notice boards, billboards, renovation, and portable house projects.