Best Metal Cladding Systems for Building Facades

best metal cladding systems

The building cladding system is a non-load-bearing layer attached to the exteriors of a home to protect the facility from the external threads of weather while providing an element of aesthetic appeal. Traditional building facades were made from wood and bricks, which were not so efficient and long-lasting. Thus, building material suppliers and manufacturers started offering metal cladding materials that are durable and beautiful. Metal wall claddings come in a range of options, including Aluminum, Zinc, Copper, and Steel. These building facades feature vertical and horizontal panels and overlapping tiles. This article introduces the best metal cladding systems that any architect or homeowner should consider using and adding hardwearing hardware to the facility for their next project.

Aluminum Cladding System

Aluminum is a lightweight yet robust metal that manufacturers utilize for producing various types of metal cladding systems. Since aluminum is a soft metal, it features high formability. Two of the famous metal cladding systems made from this substance are ACM panels and aluminum sidings. ACM or aluminum composite material comprises three thin layers: two aluminum plates and one fire-retardant core. The durability of metal cladding systems depends on their thicknesses, which is why building material suppliers provide different grades of aluminum sidings.

Aluminum composite panels and sidings are among the most waterproof metal cladding systems that protect the building from moisture issues such as corroding and rusting, making them the perfect material for coastal areas. Aluminum cladding is considered low-maintenance material requiring minimal cleaning and can be repainted easily. There are aluminum siding available that have wood pattern finishes with a soft color palette and thin horizontal paneling, perfect for people who want to have classic-looking homes. The ACM panels installation process is relatively straightforward, resulting in lower labor costs. Although this metal is an abundant resource, it is not renewable. However, ACM panels are entirely recyclable, making them environmentally friendly materials. Due to the vast array of benefits of ACM panels and aluminum sidings, architects constantly use these metal cladding systems for their projects.

Zinc Metal Cladding Systems

Zinc is a highly versatile metal cladding system becoming more popular among architects who create contemporary and modern building designs. Like aluminum sidings, zinc is a soft and malleable substance, providing a flexible and more straightforward construction process. These metal cladding systems are highly durable and low maintenance. Zinc cladding is also resistant to oxidization due to its natural behavior of generating a protective layer known as patina. The average service time and life span of zinc are about 60 to 80 years.

Zinc metal cladding systems are sustainable choices that are non-toxic and recyclable. It is necessary to remark that it takes less energy and effort to produce zinc claddings than other metal facades. Some building material suppliers provide pre-weathered zinc, which is treated to mimic and age visually patina. The pre-weathered material is perfect for locations where the patina does not naturally form. Additionally, there are various finishes for zinc cladding systems. Another essential characteristic of this metal cladding is that it is fire-resistant.

Copper Building Facade

Copper is a timeless metal material that generates an attractive patina and character with age, making it perfect for modern and traditional building facades. This metal’s warm bronze tone creates an iridescent brownish color through natural weathering before generating a green color.

This metal cladding system is lightweight and durable, like ACM panels, essential for the significant building construction process. Additionally, copper building facades feature a very long lifecycle and require no maintenance and treatment without having tears and wear.

Copper is naturally a warm and beautiful metal that complements wood, stone, concrete, glass, and other cladding systems. These metal cladding systems are combined with zinc and timber to provide better durability and aesthetics.

CORTEN Steel Metal Cladding Systems

CORTEN steel, which is weather-resistant steel (copper-chromium alloy steel), is more resistant to atmospheric weathering than all-metal cladding systems. The chemical composition of CORTEN steel reacts to pollutants that exist in the air and generates a protective oxide film. The protective film regenerates itself over time, making the cladding system a long-lasting material. Most weathering steel metal claddings have a reddish-brownish layer and gain darker hues over time.

Despite the rustic look of CORTEN, this metal has twice the tensile strength of standard steel, making it perfect for structural and building cladding material.

Corrugated Steel Facade

The corrugated steel facade is a lightweight, durable, and robust building material that weathers perfectly. It features a wave-like pattern appearance that has become a recognizable and timeless element in contemporary and traditional architecture. The noticeable feature of this metal cladding system is that it can add depth and textures to a building facade and is available in various colors.

Building Materials for Modern Architecture

building materials for modern architecture

As a consequence of the industrial growth and revolution, modern architecture improved and evolved in response to new building materials and technologies, resulting in the sleek and beautiful building facades shunting ornamentation and taking over earlier traditional systems, products, and methods of construction. The building materials help architects in attaining the physical and final form of their design. Construction industry products are the only tangible that offers various intangible feelings and emotions. For instance, people who want a warm feeling can opt for claddings with wood pattern finishes, or the cold and contemporary feel can be obtained by utilizing metal wall cladding systems. The selection of suitable building facade materials holds an equal share in designing compared to functionality and aesthetics.

Aluminum Building Materials in Modern Architecture (ACM Panels and Aluminum Sidings)

Aluminum is a metal substance that is abundantly available in nature. Building materials manufacturers utilize them to produce various types of metal building claddings, including ACM panels. These modern systems possess high quality with strength and lightweight characteristics. The benefits of ACM panels made them famous among modern architects as they are airtight and feature easy installation procedures. Aluminum siding cladding materials are corrosion resistant and have a perfect behavior at extreme temperatures. Generally, the glass facade of modern buildings is supported by lightweight and robust aluminum frameworks. There are other new products made from this particular substance, known as transparent aluminum, which provide excellent transparency and form in contemporary architecture.

Glass in Modern Building Designs

Along with ACM panels and aluminum sidings which are metal cladding systems, glass is a modernistic building material that provides transparency and light while offering visibility and protection for the facility. Many modern architectural buildings justify the extent of the glass building designs. Construction materials manufacturers managed to develop the glass building facade with a lower U-value, high thermal insulation characteristic, suiting the environment and helping in the facility’s energy efficiency.

Steel Building Materials in Modern Architecture

Steel metal claddings are products that can be used as a structural element as well as visual material. They can withstand tensile forces, making them the effective structural material as an RCC reinforcement and space frames, trusses, section beams, etc. In addition to building cladding systems, steel is suitable for doors and window frames, handrails, door handles, balustrades, etc. Modern building materials made from steel possess qualities such as strength, lightweight, durability, recyclability and can withstand various climate conditions like Aluminum Composite Panels (ACM panels) and aluminum sidings.

Brick in Building Facades

Brick blocks used for building facades form a creative style through innovative ideas and skilled builders. Despite the robust and rigid form of brick products, they have proven that using them can develop beautiful specimens over some time. Modern building materials manufacturers are working towards transforming the small construction product into a durable facility unit.

Concrete Building Materials in Modern Architecture

Concrete building materials are the backbone of modern architecture. These materials are made of cement, dine, and coarse aggregates attached to each other in a specific ratio. Concrete can be fabricated and molded into any desired form easily by utilizing appropriate scaffolding, forming a beam slab, column, foundation, cladding, etc.

Natural Stone for Modern Designs

Natural stones have been in the building industry since the time of humanity’s evolution. However, they are still modern building materials. Despite their heavy and bulk properties, they are appreciated by modern architects in the building industry due to their prominent variety of colors, textures, and sizes.

Wood Pattern Finishes

Metal cladding systems with wood pattern finishes are one of the newest building materials used to create a warm feeling and comfort for the homeowner. These materials are perfect for people who want to have a more traditional-looking building while benefiting from advantageous characteristics of metal cladding systems such as ACM panels and aluminum sidings. Wood pattern metal claddings feature high tensile strength, sound absorption, heat, and electrical resistance, making them exceptional for modern architecture.

Tiles Designs with Unique Style in Modern Architecture

Tiles designs are modular units created from complex substances, including ceramic, glass, or stone. They are applied as covering products over walls, tabletops, and floors. These unique building materials are commonly used in modern building architecture due to their efficient finishing. The beneficial characteristics of these products, including easy repairing, size variety, accessible transportation, variety of colors, and texture, made them a popular choice among architects and interior designers.

Aluminum Composite Panel Recycling Process

aluminum composite panel recycling

Aluminum Composite Panel or ACM panels are popular construction materials that are used for cladding systems. Architects and builders have been utilizing these products to create aesthetic buildings for decades. However, due to the various beneficial properties of ACM panels, their popularity is still growing. Some of the few essential advantages of ACP materials are affordability, durability, versatility, lightweight characteristics, and functionality. Aluminum Composite Panels feature unique designs that can satisfy renovation projects with ventilated cladding systems. They can fit into all fields of architectural projects, including commercial and residential buildings. However, some issues will occur on aluminum composite boards after years of usage, needing to be repaired or replaced. What will happen to the old panels? Thanks to the recyclability of these panels, it is easy to recycle ACP materials and use them in new projects. This article will provide everything that you should know about the aluminum composite panel recycling process.

Basics of Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP or ACM)

Aluminum composite panel suppliers and manufacturers use aluminum plate systems for developing ACM panels. Aluminum is one of the most found elements in mother nature, making it easier to extract it from the ground for industrial utilizations. The substance is available in many silicates, and then it is extracted from the mineral called bauxite. Manufacturers utilize complex and particular procedures to obtain pure aluminum. Due to the anti-corrosion characteristic of aluminum, building material suppliers use them to create various supplies and cladding systems to provide long-lasting building facades. One of the materials that are perfect for architectural application is aluminum composite panels made from the combination of aluminum and fire-retardant core (mineral fill).

ACM Panels Applications and Usages

ACM panels are famous for modern and contemporary building cladding systems or ventilated facades. Aluminum composite panels cladding systems consist of layers that solve insulation problems and make them facade materials for building facades. Additionally, they provide efficient thermal behavior for the buildings and can save a considerable amount of energy. ACP facade panels allow the construction to feature a chimney effect between its external layers, generating continuous ventilation. Meaning, during cold seasons, the air circulation pace will slow down and preserve the heat inside the building. In hot seasons, the heat gets evacuated, creating cool and comfortable interiors for office workers and home occupants.

Recycling Process

Aluminum composite panels (ACP) are fully recyclable. Despite their affordable price, ACM panels manufacturers and suppliers try to recycle old and damaged panels and do not prefer throwing them away. The high value of composite cladding panels is a significant economic influence for aluminum composite panel recycling. These claddings can be recycled repeatedly without losing their value and physical properties. Additionally, the energy that the recycling process consumes is a minor fraction of the production needs. The process is done by following essential stages and requires special devices to complete the procedure. The steps and phase are as follows:

  • Crushing
  • Grinding
  • Circulation Water Cooling
  • Sieving Stage
  • Electrostatic Separation

The aluminum composite panel recycling process starts with cutting the boards into more miniature sheets. This step is done to provide a more straightforward working process due to the large dimension of ACP materials. Without cutting ACM panels, it is impossible to complete the recycling procedure. Due to the robust bond between the aluminum sheets and the FR core, it is not easy to deal with the pre-cut panels of ACMs. Thus, grinding these materials into powder is crucial by using special grinding devices, making them easy to separate.

Girding ACM panels will generate considerable heat, resulting in burnt pieces and operation rate reduction. Thus, the aluminum composite recycling process requires a circulating water cooling system to lower the temperature of the workpiece during the grinding phase. The sieving stage features a screen that vibrates and involves sending the small pieces without grinding them back to the milling for further recycling. The powder produced in the grinding sage will need electrostatic separation, which is the last phase for developing new panels. The electrostatic separator can divide the core substance for the exterior layers according to the conductive differences between the aluminum and the mineral fill core.

Machines and Devices used for Aluminum Composite Panel Recycling Process

Waste ACM panels are the most valuable raw substance to recycle for complete PVC and high productivity properties. As told, manufacturers utilize various devices and machines to complete the aluminum composite panels recycling process. For example, YX-800 is an ACM recycling machine that features a high handling system. This industrial machine is primarily used to recycle aluminum composite scarps on old building facades and advertising billboards.

Aluminum Siding or ACM panels for Building Facade

alumtech bond acm panels or aluminum siding

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.

Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP) Compared to other Building Materials

Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP)

Currently, there are a wide array of construction materials available for architects, constructors, and builders. Selecting and buying suitable building material for the demanding project depends on numerous factors, including price, versatility, durability, finishes, and purpose. Thus, clients and architects must choose the most suitable construction materials for their projects and applications. One of these materials widely used in modern and industrial cities such as Toronto is Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP), also known as ACM panels claddings and roofing systems. In the current industry, Aluminum composite panels are utilized not only for construction but for other applications in different industries.

Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP) Structure

ACM panels are also referred to as aluminum composite sheets, sandwich panels, and ACM materials. As told, these modern products are widely used in construction projects and other industries. The thing that made ACM panels unique and different compared to other building materials is their structural properties which provide outstanding quality and functionality among other particles.

The importance of each construction material is summarized in its structure. In other words, if the architect or customer wants to know whether the building material features the suitable quality and characteristics for the demanding project, they will need to learn about its structure and form.

Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP) Core Material

The Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP) features a three-layered structure, including two sheets of aluminum and one fire-retardant core substance. This central core of ACP materials is the essential part of these building materials. However, at first, some issues started when the fire behavior of these construction materials went under question. The early aluminum composite panel featured a PE core substance that is sustainable to fire and spreads quickly. This problem is solved with various solutions. However, some countries abandoned PE cores, and others allow builders to utilize them for low-rise buildings.

Though the former systems seemed to be reliable, modern manufacturers provided better resolutions for aluminum composite panels. They typically utilize fire-retardant (FR) substances to make ACM panels safer than other construction materials. These solutions are perfect for exterior applications, including using ACM panels for cladding systems where safety plays a massive role in the building’s facade. The FR core materials can be varied depending on the local building codes and requirements. However, the common fire-retardant substances are mineral materials and honeycomb, which manufacturers utilize in their aluminum composite panels.

Coating Materials on ACM Panels or ACP Finishes

Although the substance used in the structure’s core is of great importance in an Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP), coating materials on ACM panels are also essential and affect the overall quality. Generally, manufacturers utilize two types of coating for these construction materials. The first one is PE finish, which is the same as for PE core. Thus, this can cause issues similar to the core material. However, it is possible to utilize this coating as the leading material on the surface for interior applications. Some of the internal usages of the PE coating include perforated and decorative panels, wall partitioning, and false ceiling.

On the other hand, experts recommend using coating materials such as PVDF or Nano aluminum composite panels for cladding systems and other external applications. These coating types provide better durability and quality and offer better safety and resistance against fire. Additionally, Nanocomposite panels are anti-dirt and water-retardant. Thus, they will require lower maintenance, and cleaning them is very straightforward.

Best Qualities of ACM Panels

The aluminum composite panel (ACP) has advantageous characteristics, qualities, and features, making it the perfect material for building cladding systems and facades. Due to its structural components and properties, ACP material is one of Canada’s most used building materials. The followings are the primary and beneficial characteristics of aluminum composite panels (ACP).

  • Flexibility, Versatility and Durability: One of the unique characteristics of an aluminum composite panel (ACP) is its flexibility, versatility and durability. Most construction materials do not feature three of these properties at once. It is accessible to fabricate and installs ACM panels, and they will last more than 30 years if maintained properly. Due to the versatility of ACP materials, manufacturers can produce various cladding products with different styles and shapes, allowing architects to create limitless designs for their clients.
  • Chemical and Water Resistance: ACM panels are manufactured in a way to withstand harsh weather conditions. These building materials are water and chemical resistant, and they can be utilized in different portions of a facility. This advantage of ACP materials makes them the perfect cladding materials for locations with high humidity and temperature change. However, if these panel systems are not installed properly, they can have leakage. Thus, it is essential to follow a rainscreen installing instructions precisely.
  • Lightweight Material: Most clients should pay considerable money to labor costs when constructing a new building. However, due to the lightweight characteristic of an aluminum composite panel (ACP), it is easy to install these building materials for cladding systems resulting in lower labor costs.
  • Aesthetics: Architects prefer using metal wall cladding systems, including ACM panels, which are the perfect materials for building facades, as they are modern, flat, and sleek. Most manufacturers create ACP materials in different color finishes and textures. Even ACM panels with wood pattern finishes are available for clients who prefer to have a mixture of contemporary and classic designs for their building’s cladding system.

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.

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.

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 Strong Is Aluminum Composite Panel?

best metal cladding systems

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.