What are aluminum composite materials?

Aluminum composite material panels (ACM Panels) have captured the attention of architects, builders, and custom house builders in recent years, setting them apart from other construction elements. A simple comparison reveals the clear advantages of ACM panels.

Upon closer examination of high-quality ACM panels, their remarkable features such as durability, flexibility, and rigidity become apparent. The versatility of ACM panels has made them the top choice for architects and contractors across a wide range of applications.

Initially, ACM panels faced challenges due to fire-safety concerns. However, advancements in addressing these issues have led to increased popularity. The pioneering company 3A Composite invented ACM materials and held a patent until 1991. Subsequently, as the license expired, numerous manufacturers invested in ACM panels, resulting in over 200 manufacturers available today.

ACM panels consist of two aluminum layers with a core sandwiched between them. While the aluminum layers have remained unproblematic, the core has posed a recent obstacle.

The fire-safety concern of ACM panels lies in the combustible or inflammable core material. Initially, polystyrene was used as the core element, but its highly combustible nature prompted ACM manufacturers to transition to mineral-filled or fire-retardant materials. These alternatives have gained approval from relevant building regulations.

Therefore, it is crucial to consider the fire ratings of ACM panel materials before installation to ensure compliance and safety.

ACM panels find applications in various industries such as signage, transportation, and interior/exterior cladding of constructions. However, their installation process primarily differs based on the specific usage and requirements of the client. It is crucial to maintain communication with your ACM panel provider throughout the purchasing and installation process.

Here are the general steps involved in ACM panel installation:

Measurement: Precise measurement of the panel size is essential. Accuracy in this step is crucial, as even a small mistake can impact subsequent actions.

Fabrication: Once the panel size is determined, your provider can fabricate the panels accordingly. Special cutting tools are used to fold, cut, drill, and install fasteners and extrusions.

Waterproofing: Waterproofing is a critical stage in ACM panel installation. A weather barrier is applied to protect the structure. A premium primer is first applied to the plywood, followed by the installation of the weather barrier to ensure water leakage prevention.

Mounting System: A mounting system is utilized to ensure the panels are installed in a straight line. Once the mounting system is in place, the panels are applied in a specific order, taking into consideration factors like corner priority and unique shaped areas.

ACM Panel Installation: The panels are installed onto the mounting system in this final step. Ensure that the clips and main profile are properly connected to the ACM panels before screwing them to the wall. After the ACM panel installation is complete, there may be gaps between the panels, which are typically concealed using matching strips provided by ACM panel manufacturers. Additional elements such as shims for leveling the panels and clips for attaching them may be used during this stage.

It’s important to note that the specific installation process may vary depending on the manufacturer’s guidelines, project requirements, and industry standards. Regular communication with your ACM panel provider and following their recommendations will help ensure a successful installation.