ACM Panels Installation Guide with Details

ACM panels installation

Building a residential facility, an office, or a board for advertisement can sometimes be a challenging and daunting task due to the complexity involved in the installation process. Developing a structure from 0 to 100 requires having a precise plan and schedule, but it also needs to be cost-effective and enjoyable. The essential part for building construction or an advertisement board mostly depends on various elements, including the contractor, project budget, and materials used for the purpose. This is why modern building materials come to the picture, including ACM panels.

Some factors for building a new office or home may not be in the customer’s hands. However, choosing and installing suitable building materials is unquestionably a choice. Choosing and buying construction materials for a custom facility or commercial building has become more manageable after manufacturers started developing aluminum composite material panels (ACM panels). However, before utilizing them in your next project, you will need to know what ACM panels or ACP materials are and how ACM panel installation should be done.

What are Aluminum Composite Materials (ACM)?

ACM panels manufacturers developed these functional materials with beneficial characteristics making the head product in construction and architecture. Compared to other construction materials, Aluminum composite panel (ACP) and supplies reveal their advantages. By looking at some high-quality ACM panels characteristics, including durability, rigidness, flexibility, and lightweight, the difference between other traditional cladding materials is evident. Additionally, it is easy to recycle ACM panels for other projects. Furthermore, the numerous applications of ACM panels make them the perfect choice for architects and builders.

Aluminum composite panels feature two primary layers of aluminum sheets and a core substance placed between other layers. Although ACP materials have not raised severe issues after their development, the core materials have been a leading obstacle. In other words, old composite panels didn’t feature non-combustible core material. However, ACM panels manufacturers managed to find and utilize FR (fire-retardant) substances and solve the issue once and for all. ACM manufacturers changed the polystyrene to a mineral-filled sense, and these materials gained approval from building regulations for safety. Thus, it is essential to check if the core is made from FR materials before ACM panels installation.

ACM Panels Installation Process

Although ACM panels are functional for various applications, including transportation, signage, industry, and more, they are primarily used as exterior building metal cladding systems and interior decoration materials. ACM panels installation involves different steps depending on the client’s demands. Thus, it is better to contact the ACM panel manufacturers and gather the details when buying aluminum composite panels.

Aluminum Composite Panel Installation Steps:

  • Measurement: The first step of installing any building material is to measure the dimensions and size of the demanding product. It is essential to do the measurements precisely. Even the slightest mistakes can cause money and time loss.
  • Fabricate: After determining the accurate size of the aluminum composite panels, the board provider should fabricate them in the demanding dimensions. ACM panels manufacturers utilize various professional tools for cutting, folding, bending, and drilling their materials. Installing supporters and fasteners can also take place in this step.
  • Waterproofing: Another essential step of ACM panels installation is waterproofing. The weather barrier which should protect the structure needs to be installed before applying the aluminum composite claddings. In this step, a primer should be applied to the framings, and then the barrier is utilized to seal the cladding materials.
  • Applying the Mounting System: Builders use a mounting system to ensure the straight alignment of ACM cladding panels. After applying the mounting system, the cladding boards are installed in a fixed order. The order depends on different factors, such as the priority of shaped areas and corners.
  • Installing ACM Panels: In the final stage, ACM panels should be installed on the mounting. It is better to ensure that the primary profiles (clips) are connected to the aluminum composite panels. Then, the installer must screw the boards to the wall. After ACM panels installation, there will be a gap between the boards. Most ACM manufacturers utilize a strip for matching and hiding these gaps. Other supporters, such as shims and additional clips, are utilized in the final stage for leveling and attaching the cladding materials.

ACM Panels Installation Guide for Outdoor Application and Purpose

ACM panels outdoor applications require different installation methods. All methods require accuracy and precision. Due to the wind loads in the back of the composite panels, it is crucial to install weather resistance barriers. As told earlier, fire retardant core also represents a significant role in ACM panels cladding systems.

  • The primary consideration for aluminum composite cladding panels is preparations. Choosing a fixed direction is essential to paint ACM panels. (Arrow direction on the protective film)
  • For preventing damages and scratches on the boards, it is better to roll, cut or drill the product from the back.
  • Developing a sketch for ACM panels installation is essential since some sections such as windows and doors need to be installed before other portions.
  • Builders should install the first panel in areas such as corners.
  • Permanently remove the protective films as each section’s installation is done.
  • Aluminum composite installation for exterior wall cladding is crucial. The ACM panels should be sealed in the correct order. Otherwise, water leakage will possibly be an issue during rainy weather.

How Strong Is Aluminum Composite Panel?

aluminum composite panel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Low Cost of Maintenance

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

Cost-Effective Solution While Being an Efficient Material

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

High Functionality of Aluminum Composite Panel

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

Corrosion-Resistant Characteristic

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

Non-Combustible Aluminum Composite Panels for Construction

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

How to Repair Aluminum Sidings

Aluminum Sidings

Aluminum sidings are versatile products that are perfect for covering the construction and applications that require cladding. They are ideal choices for regions that have low to mid-temperature. These sidings do not rust, blister, burn, rot, or get eaten by insects. However, they can scratch, dent, fade in time and corrode. The good news is that it is straightforward to replace or repair aluminum sidings. It is essential to improve the product as soon as any issue starts appearing on the surface to avoid further damage. The process has the flexibility for DIY terms, but it is better to rely on professionals for achieving better results.

Aluminum sidings join together similar to other sidings, which means that patching a damaged area or replacing a panel is the main step of repairing these products. It is crucial to remember that instead of corner posts, they are metal corner caps present in these products. In older installations, these materials were often suitable for wood sidings cladding systems. With the growth of technology and the internet, even if not finding local suppliers for caps, it is straightforward to find these repairing products in online sources. It is possible to shape and cut a piece of sheet metal in a pinch to fit with the old cap as a template. It is also crucial to know that aluminum sidings should receive a painting process once in a while. Most of the repairs for these products will take less than an hour, and the only requiring knowledge is to know how to cut and measure outcomes.

Essential Materials and Supplies to Repair Aluminum Sidings

Regardless of the simplicity of the aluminum siding repairing process, experts should utilize some special equipment and supplies. Followings are the most common materials for the repairing process:

  • Electric Metal Shears: This is a tool to cut metals while providing a pressure-sensitive trigger for rotating the cutter and do the work.
  • Metal Snips: One of the valuable tools for repairing sidings is metal snips that allow experts to improve cut quality and minimize the burrs.
  • Scrap Material: It is best to save the removed sidings and utilize them when a similar product is required during the repair work.
  • Waterproof Repair Tape: This tool is perfect to create a watertight bond for sealing up gaps and holes in every type of siding product.
  • Gutter Sealant: This type of sealant helps seal up seams and gasps present in the siding’s cut edges.
  • Repair Epoxy for Aluminum: Repair Epoxy is ideal for filling small holes from nails, bolts, and screws.
  • Protection Equipment: Like every industrial procedure, aluminum siding repairing requires safety and protection equipment. These equipment include latex gloves that are perfect for working with sealant and epoxy, cut-resistant gloves that can protect hands from the sharp edges of the siding, and safety glasses to protect the eyes from the cutting process.

Repairing Process

Repairing Aluminum sidings follow standard yet straightforward procedures. Every step of the process requires precision for better results. Here are the main stages of repairing aluminum siding.

  • Cutting Away the Area That Has Issues: The first step is ripping and cutting down every piece covering the damaged part and removing it with a crowbar or another suitable tool. This step is also beneficial for ensuring if there is no water damage beneath the siding.
  • Applying the Waterproof Repair Tape to The Edges of Aluminum Sidings: The second step is to cover up the gaps to provide extra insurance against moisture. The tape can bond to aluminum for a water seal purpose while allowing for contraction and expansion of the product as the temperature changes. It is essential to apply the tap around the hole and overlap it with the intact siding at a certain distance. This stage is beneficial for holding down the edges of existing sidings.
  • Cutting off the Flange from the Bottom Strip: In this step, it is better to use electric metal shears and cut off the bottom Flange at a high pace. It is effortless to trace the conduit’s shape onto the panel’s back and cut it out with the same tool. Additionally, it is good to cut away the nailing strip on the top to overlap with the existing product.
  • Applying Gutter Sealant to The Back Edges: This step is efficient if the old siding is not in the best shape and contains dents at the edges. Gutter sealant can hold the edges of the patch to the existing cladding material. It is essential to put on latex gloves to provide safety and then run a bead of sealing product along all the cut edges except the nailing strip, which is usually at the top. Then comes the pressing siding piece process into its place and driving nails through the ribbon and backing.
  • Sealing All Edges with Silicone or Gutter Sealant: For preventing water insulation, it is essential to fill all the edges with more gutter sealant while ensuring seasonal movements.
  • Painting: Once the sealant and epoxy repairs the damaged parts, it is possible to touch the paint in specific areas. It is better to clean up the aluminum siding before applying the new finish to the product.