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.

How to Clean Aluminum Siding

Clean Aluminum Siding

It is essential to Clean Aluminum siding to maintaining the beauty of a facility and make it look fabulous like its first day of construction. Aluminum Siding is one of the most popular choices for building facades across Canada and the world. The durability and versatility of this cladding system are some of the many reasons behind its popularity. Aluminum sidings can last long if cleaned and maintained correctly. However, many homeowners who choose this type of cladding material do not know how to clean aluminum siding. For getting the most out of this product, it is required to invest some money and time to keep it looking like it is straight out of the factory. There are various methods available to clean aluminum siding, and each one has its unique advantages and challenges. However, all systems follow one principle, which is introduced in this article.

Methods used for Cleaning Aluminum Siding

Before choosing the appropriate cleaning method for aluminum sidings, it is essential to learn about techniques used for the purpose. The followings are a few of the practical cleaning systems that can wash the building’s cladding material thoroughly.

Rinsing: Like running a dishwasher on the rinse cycle before using the standard process to have better results, it is necessary to deliver a quick rinse before performing the metal siding’s primary cleaning. The rinsing can be accomplished with a well-directed stream of water from any source of water, especially from a hose. It is crucial to direct the spray in a downward direction over the cladding material. Suppose the spraying is done in the upward drift. In that case, it will cause water penetration under the material by gaining entry in the drainage holes located under the lower section of the aluminum siding. This can also happen in the ACM panel cleaning process. Most of the grime and dirt will fall be cleaned with a simple rinse. However, it is recommended to work from top to bottom.

Hand Washing: The easiest DIY method to clean aluminum siding is hand washing. By using this technique, homeowners can remove any dirt remaining on the building’s cladding. Utilize a bucket of warm water with cleaning solutions along with a soft-bristled brush and start scrubbing any grime existing on the siding. It is essential to clean with the length of the siding product, starting at the top and proceeding downward. For preventing the surface from drying out, it is better to do the cleaning in few meters from top to bottom and then do the rinsing. Wash dirt and soap off using a hose, directing the stream in a descending trail. If there are still stains on the product’s surface, it is required to use the mildew or pressure washing method.

Mildew: If there are stains caused by mold, it is practical to use a solution of one part bleach and four-part water and then spray the mixture on the spots. The cleaning method for removing mildew will often be required in more humid areas. Scrubbing with just a simple soft brush and water with detergents will not obliterate the mold thoroughly.

Pressure Washing: For more persistent stains, using a pressure wash to clean aluminum siding will be necessary. These machines can be obtained or rented at affordable prices from home improvement centers. Utilize a pressure washer that accommodated the mixing of the water and the cleaner together. Never use potent pressure due to the potential damages it can cause to the cladding material. This technique will remove every dirt, and it requires top to bottom workflow.

Choosing a Cleaning Method

The essential step to clean aluminum siding or other cladding products including ACM panels is choosing the suitable method for the material. As told, various systems can be used to complete the cleaning process with the best results. There are primary tasks to do before starting the process, which is as followed:

  1. Check for Rotting or Loose Panels: It is essential to remove or replace siding panels or recyclable ACP materials that show signs of damages or rots. Always nail and fix considerably loose boards. Always avoid using the pressure washing method until the fixing and repairing are done completely. Pressure washing can increase the instability and push water through the aluminum siding and soak into the building’s structure. If the homeowner is not confident with the DIY repair process, it would be best to contact a trustable siding contractor.
  2. Check the Aluminum Siding for Mildew: The second thing to check is to look for green, grey, or black stains while examining any grooves and the bottom of the cladding when the owner decides to clean aluminum siding. This step is essential for the area of the building that does not get much sunlight. For destroying and cleaning mildew, using the most potent cleanser is required. Even pressure washing will not prevent decay from growing back quickly.
  3. Look for Chalking on the Siding with Paint Finish: The last step for choosing the best method to clean aluminum siding is to put work gloves on and rub gloved hands on the surface of the cladding material. Consider using the pressure washing technique if there are signs of chalking, dirt, or grime on the gloves.

Rainscreen Construction Principle (Part II)

Rainscreen Construction Principle

Rainscreen Construction Principle basic idea is to have an exterior surface or cladding layer that can break the force of sideways, wind load, water movement, resulting in preventing water penetration into the building’s structure. For most of the buildings, from modern to traditional ones, water is the biggest enemy. However, producing a complete watertight cladding system is challenging. Thus, manufacturers started working on the rainscreen construction principle decades ago to provide better protection for the constructions in the city. Rainscreen comes in different styles and types. One of the most popular types is the ACM panels or ACP materials used widely in the modern era. These particular products offer numerous advantages along with their waterproof characteristics.

In the rainscreen construction principle part 1, we discussed the basics of these practical systems and their structure that engineers designed for better watertight characteristics. This article covers essential information about this principle that anyone in the building industry must know.

Rainscreen Construction Principle Types

The rain screen construction principle is based upon two distinct and separate barriers on the building’s cladding. The outer barrier controls most rainwater while the inner leaf performs multiple functions, including moisture and air barrier, insulation, and the structural wall. The outer section allows the water to penetrate through open joinery, and the volume of the penetration depends on the design principle. This is where two distinct types of products come into the picture: the Drained/Back-ventilated and Pressure-equalized/Compartmented systems.

Both rainscreen systems are available in ACM panels cladding materials and different siding for the facade. They use the principle of controlling water leakage without stopping it from penetrating through the exposed outer surface completely. However, the internal design of both systems functions differently based upon the approach. Moreover, the Rainscreen construction principle has been generalized and consolidated into one unified product in specifications combined with both types’ characteristics. For complicating and confusing matters, the water, and air resistance standards from the traditional building cladding systems are applied to these modern designs and specifications of the exterior material’s exposure. Placing the water and air tightness codes on the outer surface of the barrier contradicts the underlying fundamentals of the Rainscreen Construction Principle. Now let’s get to the fundamental of each system.

Pressure-Equalized/ Compartmented Rainscreen

In this article, we focus on the Pressure-equalized rainscreen principle, which is very design intensive. Please read the third part of this article to learn about Drained/Back-ventilated systems for ACM panels.

Pressure-equalized systems are susceptible to design variations and deviations from their design principle. The openings in this system are created uniquely for both static and dynamic pressure equalization allowance across the rainscreen. The essential factor that separates this system from the D/BV principle is the design and the use of the compartmented method within the cavity. The reason behind the compartment is that the pressure equalization can only happen within limited periods and in the case of controlled volume behind the Rainscreen system. This equalization is essential due to the none-uniformity of wind loads, constantly changing across a single cladding of a building.

The vent numbers and their geometry calculation depend on the cavity volume, allowing sufficient airflow in and out of the internal equalized area quickly enough to respond to the ever-changing wind loads. This promotes the pressure differences between the ACM panels or other types of panels used in the system and the internal compartment pressure resulting in equalizing the air pressure on the external cladding and the inner sides of the building facade. If the conditions exist properly, forces causing water movement will decrease; if not, they will be eliminated.

The effective area of the vent holes in this type of rainscreen construction principle depends on three factors which are:

  • The airtightness of the air barrier on the inner section
  • The stiffness of the cladding material and its inner leaf
  • The volume of the compartments that make up the internal air space

The compartments are the essential elements of a proper pressure-equalized rain screen principle. They come with crucial properties, characteristics, and functionalities. Followings are the reasons why these elements play an indispensable role in the PE systems:

  • They control lateral and vertical airflow.
  • They size the volume of the space that the vent openings must be designed for facilitation.
  • The most crucial role of compartments is limiting water infiltration and controlling the water drainage when air-pressure disequilibrium occurs.

The characteristics above show that rainscreens with non-compartmentalized cavities cannot be pressure equalized. However, many of this system’s construction factors and elements are almost similar to the drained/back-ventilated rain screen construction principle. Still, they have several significant and essential differences, which we have discussed in the third part of this article.

Rainscreen Construction Principle (Part I)

Rainscreen Principle

Rainscreen principle is an industrial product that is used widely in residential and commercial facilities for various purposes. This product utilizes the open rainscreen principle and is a subset of the screened-drained classification of wall designs. It incorporates all essential characteristics that the building industry requires. Additionally, the authentication of the open rain screen is its capability of equalizing air pressure and ventilation allowance.

What is The Rainscreen Principle?

The rainscreen product and principle, as today’s industry knows, owes much of its development to such men as Birkland and Garden. However, the terms open rain screen principle, and rain screen appeared in the 1960s. These respectful men examined five primary forces that cause rainwater infiltration in a wall. They also looked at the existing wall designs and materials that used cavities and interior drainage to control water departure. Thus, they found that if all of the five forces behind the water infiltration through a cladding can be eliminated or controlled, then the rainwater or the water present on the wall will not penetrate the building.

It is essential to note that it is not conceivable that architects or building designers can prevent the exterior section of the facility from getting wet nor guarantee that no openings will develop to permit the entrance of the water. However, researchers prove that incorporating an air chamber into the wall or joints where the air pressure is equal to that on the exterior can prevent rainwater infiltration. In essence, the external layer is an open rain screen that damages the wetting of the facility’s primary wall or air barrier.

Engineers have reasoned that the air pressure difference existing between the exterior and the interior of the wall system results in air currents that carry the moisture or water into the building’s Cladding. Unfortunately, at the first stage of rainscreen development, manufacturers could not produce products to provide a strategy to relieve air pressure differences that the Cladding was experiencing. If any building designer created a moderate pressure, it was incidental. Air pressure was the cause of water infiltration that many had not considered at the time. However, years of research and studies have shown that this force is the dominant contributor to water leakage.

Structure of a Rainscreen

As told, rainscreen provide air ventilation due to their unique structure. This product features three primary components:

  • A screen or outer layer.
  • A pressure equalization chamber with a perfect sealing system on all sides except at the vent.
  • A vent or opening that connects the air chamber to the exterior.

More specifically, for countering other forces that can cause air infiltration, a rain screen has other practical features. Therefore, manufacturers create products that have a more comprehensive design to develop the rainscreen principle fully. The structure of a fully developed main screen contains:

  • Screen or Cladding- the screen is a durable material that is exceptionally non-porous and is generally in the form of a panel. This section of a rain screen allows the water to run off both sides of the product.
  • Open Joints or Air Vents- this section of a rain screen includes gaps for ventilation. The product features a labyrinth type of interlocking dry joints for controlling momentum, surface tension, gravity, and capillary action forces. For better sealing and more efficient protection, it is possible to use wet seals such as caulk behind the Cladding.
  • Air Flow Toward and Out of PECs (Pressure Equalized Chamber)- the primary wall of the rainscreen products is divided into much smaller self-contained chambers. Each PEC size is determined precisely and as airtight as possible. The more profound and more extensive the section is, the more air intake is required. Thus, bigger vents will be needed.
  • Chamber Baffles- these are the sidewalls of the pressure equalized chambers that should resist the pressure and wind loads inside the section. Thus, they need to be relatively airtight. Chamber baffles can be any divider such as a structural connector or clips that support the Cladding.
  • Air and Moisture Barrier- these barriers create an airtight blockade between the chambers and the inside of the facility. They must be strong adequate to handle the exterior loads from wind and pressure. Some materials can double the air and water barrier for better sealing characteristics.
  • Drip Edges, Flashing, and Drainage Channels- drip edges and flashes funnel water out of the pressure equalized chambers and run away from the facility. In addition, rainscreen panels may have feature channels that evacuate liquids that drain along the surface or the back sides of the cladding material such as ACM panels.
  • Waterproof insulation- This particular section is optional, and many manufacturers do not utilize them for creating and installing buildings rainscreen panels.
  • Inner Wall Structure

If you want to know more about Rain screen principle, you should read the Rainscreen Construction Principle (Part II) article.

The Best Properties of ACM Panels

The Best Properties of ACM Panels

The Best Properties of ACM panels are what the building industry requires to improve cities and facility’s attractiveness and durability while satisfying construction regulations and standards. Aluminum composite materials or panels are modern construction and decorative products first invented in Germany in the 1960s. These materials take other traditional material’s place, such as cement and wood, in the market.

The best properties of ACM panels made other substances no so significant in the construction industry. Additionally, older and traditional materials are not environmentally friendly products, and they get damaged or even destroyed easily. Thus, architects and builders need new and valuable products to improve facilities with higher quality and resistance. ACM panels are the ideal solution since they provide a wide array of benefits.

What are Aluminum Composite Panels?

Before getting to the best properties of ACM panels, it is essential to know what exactly are aluminum composite panels. Like other composite panel materials, these products are made up of three necessary yet thin layers, including two Aluminum layers and one primary core material. Customers demanding projects can change the core substance since it can vary the product’s fire exposure behavior. For example, the core material may be a solid mineral or honeycomb filling, but the standard ACP products feature polyethylene or considerably combustible polyurethane substances.

The combustibility of the core material made issues for the past few years. Thus, manufacturers decided to change the core material for exterior cladding applications to prevent feature disasters. ACM panels are practical for applications where the project requires a mix of high structural materials. As a result, manufacturers create products with different yet high quality by using the correct core substance. The quality and the best properties of ACM panels have made various companies and manufacturers invest in the production process. The world statistics estimates that more than two hundred companies are active in the aluminum composite panel industry, and the numbers are still growing day by day.

Know the Best Properties of ACM Panels to Understand Their Value

As told, many companies and manufacturers spend their money on developing factories to create ACM panels. However, customers often want to know the reason behind this large-scale investment. ACP materials come with various advantages that made them famous. The best properties of ACM panels include:

Lightweight Characteristic:

ACM panels are one of the most lightweight construction materials in the building industry. This property of ACP materials makes them the ideal choice for cladding applications. Additionally, compared to other traditional materials such as brick, stone, and even other composite materials, ACM panels are considered the lightest.

High-Quality Surface:

Manufacturers and factories coat and cover ACM panels with two kinds of substances which are fluorocarbon and polyester. These two substances allow developers to create a high-quality product with a perfect surface. Additionally, aluminum composite panels are hard to break and can handle harsh external conditions for decades.

Durability:

One of the best properties of ACM panels is their durability. Every construction material should long last, and ACP manufacturers are aware of that. Thus, with the mix of zinc, magnesium, copper, and aluminum, they create stable products for cladding. This specific advantage of these panels shows up in advertisement projects where durability is in priority.

Fire Resistance:

Modern era construction regulations require so many different properties and factors. One of the common significant factors is the level of fire resistance of the building. Thus, if homeowners use fire-resistance materials, they can benefit from lower taxes. Modern Aluminum composite panels are covered with fire-retardant materials, which make them more fire-resistant products. Therefore, even if the product catches fire, it will not spread to other portions of the facility.

Sound Insulation:

Due to the sound pollution increment in the modern age, buildings require cladding materials to improve sound insulation and provide a more relaxed area for occupants and workers. Aluminum composite panels are the best materials for noise reduction purposes. This property is due to the arc type core in these materials, taking the sound waves and providing acoustic properties.

Thickness:

ACM panels are available in different thicknesses to satisfy any demanding project. Their gauge can be changed equivalent to the customer’s usage. Additionally, the core substance can affect the depth and the width of the panels. The overall thickness of ACP material varies from 3 to 6 millimeters. Generally, for cladding systems, manufacturers produce these materials with a thickness of more than 4 millimeters.

Flexibility:

ACP materials are famous for their flexibility and easy fabrication process. Manufacturers can easily bend, cut, fold and shape them. Thus, designers and architects can create limitless exteriors for buildings depending on the customer’s desires. Even if a piece of ACM is damaged and requires replacement, the homeowner can change only the panel with a problem since it is easy to install.

Among the best properties of ACM panels, other characteristics can be considerably beneficial for the construction industry, including being cost-effective, weather resistance, corrosion resistance, environmentally friendly, flat, and available in various colors and finishes for more satisfying designs.

How to Recycle ACP Materials?

Recycle ACP materials

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.

Recycling Process

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.

How Strong Is Aluminum Composite Panel?

aluminum composite panel

The aluminum composite panel is an industrial building product that is practical for cladding and facade applications. The building facade is the first element people notice when they see a construction, including home and commercial facilities. Every building design should have a unique soul, and it must represent the owner and a specific brand. Most of the facilities in the modern era have a perfect plan and soul, and due to the availability of different materials, architects can expand and improve their designs equivalent to the needs of the current time. However, products made from materials such as wood and steel are not very easy to work with for better creativity. Additionally, these materials have drawbacks such as fading of paint and heavyweight, making them challenging to install and maintain long-term usage.

Due to the growth of architecture ad modern materials, it is easier to have creativity when designing a facility. One of the practical substances which relieve the overall process of creating claddings is aluminum. Utilizing aluminum composite panels is an efficient way to add a modern touch and elegance to a building by producing shapes and patterns that were not easy to create decades ago. They are elegant, stylish, and easy to work with, but they have a wide array of benefits and advantages for which landlords and building owners must consider using them. The following are the primary characteristics that make ACP materials strong and efficient for any construction project.

ACM Panel is a Perfect Material with High Durability for Creative Solutions

Manufacturers can create shapes and designs with aluminum composite panels that are harder to produce with other facade materials. These panels will help architects and builders to create a look that is aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. Every construction material has to have high durability, and by combining it with zinc, copper, and magnesium, aluminum can become very durable and robust. Aluminum panels can be cut, drilled, bent, perforated, folded, and fabricated without losing their fundamental integrity. Due to the flexibility and durability of these materials, they have become ideal choices for all types of projects which require almost thirty years of life span.

Aluminum Composite Panel is a Strong and Lightweight Product Comparing to Other Composite Materials

Aluminum Composite panels are among the classification of the lightweight material while being extremely strong, making them perfect for cladding systems. Compared to steel claddings, aluminum is 66% lighter, a perfect and suitable alternative for architects who used to utilize steel for their projects. Most manufacturers compete to create more robust and lighter ACM panels to provide for contractors or building companies.

Low Cost of Maintenance

The cost and effort of maintaining ACP cladding systems are almost nonexistent compared to wood, steel or solid walls. If the construction project is located in a rural area, aluminum composite panels can receive a cleaning process twice a year; they should be cleaned once a year for urban areas. In low rainfall and coastal zones, once a year is appropriate. However, if the material exists in heavily industrialized areas, twice a year will do the job. Additionally, the cleaning process for aluminum composite cladding is relatively easy. For removing the soil, cleaning experts must use water rinse with moderate pressure, and in the worst case, other chemical solutions can clean the material thoroughly. It is essential to contract and consult with a distributor or contractor before considering hiring a cleaning expert for the cladding.

Cost-Effective Solution While Being an Efficient Material

Due to the very light characteristic of aluminum composite panel, there is no need for many fixing points, which lowers the labor and material cost and makes them a cost-effective solution for a building facade. Additionally, the installation and fabrication methods are easy for these panels resulting in lower maintenance and labor cost.

High Functionality of Aluminum Composite Panel

Manufacturers create a large variety of aluminum composite materials for cladding systems and panels while providing efficient functionality and suitable characteristics for building standards such as thermal, sound, and wind insulation, earthquake safety etc. Some of these functional properties lower the energy cost for the building owner. Other characteristics are anti-graffiti and easy cleaning, corrosion-resistant and recyclability.

Corrosion-Resistant Characteristic

ACP materials receive a pre-treating process for having a protective film to keep allowing them to have corrosion-resistant characteristics. However, aluminum panels themselves creates a thin layer of oxide when exposed to air, making the facade resistant to rusting and damaging. If the building is located in some extreme humid location, a special coating and maintenance are required to protect the product from further damages.

Non-Combustible Aluminum Composite Panels for Construction

Some of the aluminum composite panels are classified as non-combustible materials for construction while respecting fire-resistant standards and regulations. When exposed to a temperature as high as 600 degrees Celsius, aluminum melts, but the essential thing is that they are inflammable. As a result, these materials are environmentally friendly construction products that do not generate toxic gas even when a fire occurs.