Aluminum Plates vs. Aluminum Composite Panel Claddings

aluminum composite panel claddings

Metal buildings and modern facades are becoming more and more common these days. Architects and builders use various metal panels to create beautiful and functional facilities for their clients. Aluminum plates and Aluminum Composite Panel Claddings are two of the best materials to make your home beautiful and energy-efficient.

What Are Aluminum Plates?

Aluminum plates and sheets’ journey begins with mining the mineral used to create this metal. It is called ‘Bauxite,’ and it is the raw material for aluminum and where it comes from.

After mining the material, they need to extract the alumina from the crushed bauxite. The extracting process involves using hot caustic soda and lime mixture. The result of heating and crushing the bauxite and its purifications are crystals and the alumina needed for aluminum metal creation.

The journey continues with the process of aluminum metal creation. Electricity and carbon are used in this process. This process is called electrolysis; it converts the alumina into a liquid state. There are different forms that this liquid aluminum is poured into that produce slabs or sheet ingots, which are then used to create sheets and aluminum plates.

The rolling machine rolls these through after being heated up to 400 ÂșC, resulting in a thin metal sheet.

The next part of the journey for these aluminum sheets is called “Cold Rolling .”This is where these sheets are flattened into different thicknesses according to the orders that have been made or customer needs.

aluminum plates

Types of Aluminum Plates:

  1. Low-temperature service type
  2. Corrosion-resistant type in various corrosive environments
  3. Atmospheric corrosion resistant type
  4. High tensile strength aluminum plates.
  5. Abrasion-resistant type

Aluminum plates might be manufactured by specialized plants or large metal factories small in size. They are many different types of aluminum products that can be produced, and other types include rolls, sheets, bars, slabs, etc.

Industrial Usages of Aluminum Plates

Aluminum plates are often used for military or Construction and structural applications, offshore and marine equipment, and pressure vessels. The aluminum plate’s grade is also crucial, depending on the application.

How are Aluminum Plates used in Different Industries?

The largest consumer industries include:

  1. Building machines: Aluminum plate systems are used in manufacturing components for agricultural machinery, for example, blades, parts of seeding, harrows, devices, and plows. In manufacturing land and heavy underground machinery, for example, crane jibs, components for mining that are highly stressed, handling machines and roads, housings, casings, etc., to manufacture parts for cargo and passenger transport, aluminum plate products play an essential role.
  2. Construction of other structures and bridges: welded boxes, support profiles that are made by cutting and welding elements from metal plates and section columns, I-beams, aspects of the superstructure of bridges and building floorings, pipes that are medium and large in diameter that can be used both for utility lines (cabling, chimney stacks, pipelines, etc. and as supports for structures and bridges.
  3. Ships and large-diameter pipe manufacturing: LNG cargo ships are mainly used to transport natural gas for long distances. There are fishing boats with a wide variety of aluminum alloys fitting for different waters. They got a thick shell, which provides safety and super high strength.

Aluminum Plates in Buildings:

An aluminum plate is widely used to stabilize structures and different buildings. Aluminum Plate Systems are widely used for projects that require details. This implies that some classes are more suited to various activities than others.

Aluminum plates are one of the best aluminum cladding systems that are used for modern home facades.

Equipment Used for Lifting Aluminum Plates:

For short or long, thin or thick plates, the lifting job has always been tricky for mills or metal structures where containers must be moved and handled daily. Manufacturers have to use reliable lifting magnets for Aluminum plates so they don’t have to worry about dropping a plate during the move and have good efficiency in moving them around as needed.

aluminum composite panel cladding

What are Aluminum Composite Panel Claddings?

An aluminum composite panel is a modern building material made of 2 thin aluminum sheets bonded together with a non-aluminum core. And there is an aluminum outer finished surface, a high-density insulated core, and an aluminum inner surface. If the inner surface is visible from the inside, the finishing of its surface will matter.

Main reasons to consider Aluminum Composite Panel Claddings:

  1. Robust durability and lightweight
  2. High weather resistance
  3. Cost-effectiveness
  4. Easy installation
  5. Low maintenance
  6. Easy to be repaired

Aluminum composite material is made from different types of core substances, which should be assessed for suitability and strictly reviewed.

These include:

  1. Mineral Fibre (usually stone mineral wool)
  2. PUR (Polyurethane) foam
  3. PIR (Polyisocyanurate) foam
  4. Polystyrene and PF (Phenolic foam)
  5. Aluminum Cores (These cores are either made of an aluminum honeycomb structure or solid aluminum.)

The critical point here is to consider their fire-resisting capabilities & the height of the structure for which aluminum composite panel claddings are used.

The covering found in these types of panels varies depending upon the use. For example, in doors and windows, the thermal insulation in the boards is light and with the option of metal or timber reinforcement. Aluminum Composite Panel Claddings are used for:

  1. Building cladding systems, both internally and externally.
  2. Aluminum composite panels are used for windows and doors.
  3. Architectural elements and facade glazing.
  4. Partitions and internal walls.
  5. ACM Panels are used in signs and display boards.

Why using Aluminum Composite Panel Claddings is Recommended:

A wide choice of colors is the first benefit of having aluminum composite panel claddings with special coatings. Aluminum composite material is very resistant to corrosion and can last long, even in the harshest weather conditions.

Aluminum composite panels’ advantages are many, and knowing them will ensure that using ACM panels in your next project will be a good choice.

Best Use of Aluminum Cladding for the Kitchen

aluminum cladding for the kitchen

Can you affix your kitchen walls with aluminum panels? This is a common question in the home interior decoration or updating process. Architects currently utilize aluminum cladding for the kitchen designs that can be perfect for industrial interior style. One of the materials they use is an aluminum composite panel known as an ACM panel.

One of the most popular aluminum cladding systems, the ACM panel, can be used as a decoration material in your kitchen design. However, since this area has its unique functionality in your house, it is essential to be cautious when choosing materials and aluminum cladding for the Kitchen.

The best way to know if it is a good choice for you to use aluminum cladding for the Kitchen is to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of these metal materials.

Note: The primary usage of aluminum cladding materials is in the building facade and architectural projects. They are mainly used for protecting the building against various external factors such as rainwater, snow, and intense wind loads. Know aluminum cladding details to understand why these materials are one of the most used systems in the construction industry.

What are Aluminum Cladding Panels or ACM Panels?

The full name of the ACM panels that are the best aluminum systems for the Kitchen is an aluminum-plastic composite board referring to a three-layer composite panel with a mineral fill core layer and two aluminum sheets on both sides.

The surface of these aluminum cladding panels is covered with a decorative and protective finish. According to their application, aluminum panels are divided into four categories which are:

  1. ACM panels for building curtain walls
  2. Aluminum composite panels for exterior wall decoration or building facade
  3. Aluminum cladding panels for advertisement applications
  4. ACM panels for interiors
exterior aluminum cladding
Aluminum Cladding for Home Exterior

Moreover, according to their function, these metal claddings are divided into three primary categories:

  1. Fire-Rated ACM Panels (fireproof boards)
  2. Antibacterial Mildew Panels
  3. Anti-Static Aluminum Composite Panels

According to ACM cladding’s decoration and coating, these panels are divided into five beautiful classes which are:

  1. Coated Decorative ACM Panels
  2. Oxidized Pigmented Aluminum Cladding for the Kitchen
  3. Foil Decorative Aluminum Panels with Color Printings
  4. Brushed ACM Boards
  5. Mirror Aluminum Cladding Panels

These aluminum panels are perfect materials if you use and install them in the right place and correctly.

Pros and Cons of Aluminum Cladding for the Kitchen

Aluminum composite panels have various advantages that make them one of the best materials among aluminum panels for your kitchens. However, they also have some drawbacks that you need to know to make the best decision for your Kitchen.

Pros of Aluminum Cladding for the Kitchen

The primary benefits of aluminum cladding panels are:

  • Aluminum Claddings are Lightweight Materials
  • Have Proper Properties for Kitchen
  • ACM Panels are Perfect Sound and Shock Insulators
  • Aluminum Cladding for the Kitchen is Affordable
  • Aluminum Panels are Durable and Last Long
  • ACM boards Offer a Good Decorative Effect on Your Interiors
  • Installing Aluminum Cladding in the Kitchen is Easier than Other Materials
  • Aluminum Composite Material is Waterproof
  • High-Quality Aluminum Cladding Panels are Anti-Corrosion
  • ACP does not Require Regular and Complex Maintenance Process
  • You Can Easily Replace Old Panels with New Ones
  • Aluminum Claddings are Flexible Construction Materials
  • You Can Design Even the Most Complex Styles with Aluminum Cladding Panels for the Kitchen
  • ACP is Fireproof Material Making It a Safe System for Your Kitchens

Cons of Aluminum Panels for the Kitchen

Here are the primary disadvantages of aluminum cladding for the Kitchen that you should be aware of:

  • It is generally better to use ACM panels for exterior wall cladding.
  • The core material of aluminum claddings and their fasteners are poor electrical conductors.
  • The core material of old aluminum composite panels generates toxic gases when exposed to heat. (this problem is solved with modern ACM panels)
  • Some ACM panels exposed to heat can have surface problems caused by the expansion of the core material.

Aluminum Composite Panel Kitchen Applications

Now that you know aluminum cladding can be a practical choice for decorating your Kitchen, you should know where you can use them. Most interior designers use aluminum panels in three elements of the modern Kitchen:

  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Kitchen Cabinets

Since aluminum composite panels have metallic surfaces and project an industrial feel, designers utilize them to create the industrial vibe for interior wall coverings.

Since ACM panels are lightweight and durable, using them for kitchen cabinets is a wise choice.

The best way to turn your Kitchen into a modern industrial styled area is to install aluminum cladding panels on the ceilings.

How to Cut ACM Panels?

Cut ACM Panels

ACM panels (aluminum composite material) are the most modern building cladding materials, beneficial for recent architectural projects. Aluminum cladding manufacturers utilize different fabrication and installation methods to complete a project with the best results. One of the most common ACP fabrication systems is cutting them in any demanding dimensions equivalent to the project and client’s needs. Cutting these building materials is not as straightforward as many people think, and it is often challenging for manufacturers to fabricate them with precision when the exterior renovation is required. This particular process is considered the initial stage of any composite material fabrication process. Building material suppliers and manufacturers utilize various tools and equipment to cut ACM panels. For instance, circular milling cutters and saws are known as hand-held tools for this purpose. Other industrial tools include a CNC router, laser cutting machine, shears, and chisels used for cutting aluminum composite panels. By using these tools, fabricating different aluminum claddings is possible with precision.

Cutting ACM Panels with a Laser Cut

A fiber laser cut system can cut metal materials, including aluminum sidings (another suitable building material for facades) and ACM panels. Modern laser cutting devices can penetrate any metal material without creating tooling wear. When it comes to fabricating ACP materials, a CO2 laser cut machine can do a perfect job. The laser cutting technology is popular due to its unique ability to not leave any shadings on the product’s surface after completing the cutting procedure.

This metal fabricating machine generates a small laser beam, allowing manufacturers to cut ACM panels with higher precision than other router bits and die cutters. Additionally, laser cutting devices can complete complex patterns and provide more freedom than standard cutting tools. By using these particular machines, manufacturers can cut ACM panels with high yield points while delivering high quality and material waste reduction.

Cut ACM Panels with Shearing

One of the oldest metal cutting methods with machines is shearing. Cutting ACM panels with this method is almost similar to using scissors to cut paper. The shearing machine’s blades come together at a minimum offset for fabricating the boards in desired blank sizes, known as blade gap. The wider or thicker the ACM panel, the wider the blade gap between the cutting tools must be. This will decrease the required tonnage amount for fracturing the metal. The components of a shearing device are the mainframe, bed, hold-downs, square arm, gaging, control, and blades. Building material manufacturers utilize two types of sear: swing bear and guillotine, which are available in both mechanical and hydraulic mechanisms.

CNC Routing Machine

Another popular industrial machine that is used to cut ACM panels is the CNC router. This machine is also used to fabricate other metal cladding systems. The CNC cutter operator removes the material precisely to provide a better working flow and reduce the stickiness of the fabricating boards. Using lubricants can also minimize stickiness. Experts utilize a feed rate calculator due to tighter windows of the feed and speed when cutting aluminum composite materials.

Cutting Aluminum Composite Panels With Circular Saw

For creating straight line cuts on ACM panels, the most efficient tool is the circular saw. Cutting aluminum cladding with this method can be done with a DIY process. However, it is essential to follow safety protocols. The operator must evaluate the tool before starting the cutting process. This saw should never be turned on when the cutting blades face the composite panel. Wearing safety goggles is necessary to protect the eyes from dust or flying debris during the metal fabrication process.

Cut ACM Panels with a Jigsaw

Most experts prefer to cut ACM panels with a jigsaw when it comes to lower-budget projects. Jigsaw itself is a versatile industrial tool that can create straight cuts and fabricate sheet metals with any thicknesses. This tool allows experts to create curves and angles. However, it is essential to utilize A 24-toothed blade for a smoother cut for cutting aluminum cladding systems.

Cutting with Cold Chisels

For cutting ACP with cold chisels, the tool must be 2cm wider than the working piece. After choosing a suitable chisel, this tool must be sharpened to a 60 or 70-degree angle with a preferable guide. The alignment of the device is better to be done with screw and hammering. However, the operator should never use a claw hammer.

Best Metal Cladding Systems for Building Facades

acm panels

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.