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.

Benefits of ACM Panels Metallic Series

benefits of ACM panels

The benefits of ACM panels are what the current building industry needs for attractive cities and durable construction projects. Aluminum Composite Panels ensure safety and satisfy building codes and regulations across the globe. These construction materials are sleek and modern systems that were first introduced in the 1960s. Due to the benefits of ACM panels, these cladding materials took over other products such as wood and cement in the market. 

The benefits of aluminum composite panels compared to other building materials made them the dominant cladding material in the industry. It is essential to mention that traditional and older cladding materials are not environmentally friendly products and can be damaged or destroyed easily when exposed to harsh weather conditions. Thus, current builders and architects appreciate using new and valuable systems to improve facilities with higher quality and weather-resistant characteristics. The benefits of the metallic series of ACM panels are what everyone is looking for to build an aesthetic building facade with high functionality.

What are ACM Panels?

Aluminum Composite Panels or ACM panels, like other composite products, are made from different layers. However, these products feature three thin layers, including two layers of aluminum sheets attached to a fire retardant core material. Manufacturers utilize various types of core substances equivalent to the customers demanding project. The core material can change the fire exposure behavior of the cladding system. For instance, the center can be made of solid minerals or honeycomb filling, but the old ACP systems feature combustible polyethylene, which is unsafe for industrial cities. 

The core material’s combustibility made few issues for past years when most builders were using traditional ACM panels. Thus, current aluminum composite manufacturers change the core substance of external cladding systems to prevent future disasters. Although ACM panels are more expensive than other cladding systems, ACP materials are perfect for projects that require a combination of high structural building materials. Thus, building material suppliers provide systems with different qualities and core substances. The benefits of ACM panels push suppliers and manufacturers into investing in the hybrid system production process. A reliable world statistics estimates that more than 200 companies are active in ACM panels production, and the numbers are still increasing as the need for modern and functional buildings grows. 

Benefits of Aluminum Composite Panels 

When choosing and buying building materials for a project, clients demand to know the advantages of available products. Here is the list of the benefits of ACM panels that anyone should know before choosing the cladding system for the application.

Lightweight Characteristics and ACM Panels Installation

Aluminum composite panels are popular due to their lightweight characteristics in the building and construction industry. This property allows builders to benefit from the ACM panels installation process, which is relatively straightforward.

High-Quality

Aluminum Composite material suppliers and manufacturers apply a special coating to the materials, including polyester and fluorocarbon allowing developers to produce high-quality cladding systems with a perfect metallic surface. ACM panels metallic series are hard to break and can overcome different kinds of harsh weather conditions.

The Durability of ACM Panels

One of ACM panels’ best properties that made them the perfect cladding material for cold areas is durability. Building cladding systems should last long, and ACP materials are ideal for the purpose as they consist of zinc, copper, and other metals that increase their durability. However, the homeowner may want to replace the cladding system with other systems such as aluminum siding. In this case, there should be no worries about throwing the composite panels in the landfill. On the other hand, there are various aluminum composite panels recycling methods that manufacturers utilize.

Fire-Resistant Characteristics

Modern building standards require fire-resistant characteristics for safety purposes. New Aluminum Composite Panels do not spread the fire or melt due to their FR core material. 

Various Thicknesses

ACM panel manufacturers provide products in different thicknesses allowing architects to create limitless designs. Clients can choose the gauge they require for the project. However, there are standard sizes that most ACP materials come in. Generally, the materials that are utilized for cladding systems have a thickness of more than 4mm. 

Flexibility and Versatility

The flexibility and versatility of aluminum composite panels are two of the beneficial characteristics that architects appreciate. Manufacturers can create cladding systems in any demanding shape by bending, cutting, and folding the panels.