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Today, builders are using a number of advanced and popular materials for the construction of buildings, homes, and offices. Some of these materials are expensive while some are budget-friendly, for example, aluminium composite panels (ACPs). Though inexpensive, they give your office or home a great look.
ACPs have been one of the popular building materials for cladding for the last many years. These types of panels are made of two aluminium sheets and hold many advantages. These panels come with energy efficiency, low price, and various construction possibilities. The material is specially designed for the construction of ventilated facades, their renovation, or rehabilitation.
There is no difficulty for a well-established builder to pick any new material. But to facilitate them, there are some schemes, loans, and grants that are offered by the government— one of them is the homebuilder grant.
You can read more about the homebuilder grant in construction industry here.
In this article, we will be discussing ACP and its benefits that make it a popular building material.
How are ACPs Made?
ACP is an outer structure cladding material used to make appealing and solid exteriors. It comprises two slim aluminium sheets attached to a non-aluminium center which is called polymer core. The thickness of aluminium skin is typically 0.5 mm, and the core is 3 mm thick which makes a total of 4 mm thick sheet. These sheets are coil-coated.
These panels are produced by a continuous lamination process. Initially, this material was designed for signage, but in recent years, it has become an essential material in the façade development industry because of its various advantages. There are three types of ACPs:
● ACP FR: It normally has a polymer core of around 30%, which is in grey. The potential to spread fire is high in these types of products.
● ACP A2: It has a polymer core of less than 10%, which is of light grey colour. The potential to spread fire is low in these products.
● Aluminium honeycomb: It has no polymer core. All things being equal, they have a honeycomb-designed aluminium core. The potential to spread fire is low in these products.
What are the Benefits of ACPs?
The aluminium composite panels are highly modified products. Thus, they have many benefits, which include:
1. High dimensional stability
As a material, the composite board doesn't show any sort of distortions in its dimensioning. This implies that the material will remain stable for the long term, no matter whatever the size is, and without losing its properties.
2. Multiple finishes
The wide scope of finishes that this composite panel permits give it an extraordinary flexibility. From textured to solid, mirror or wood type, the composite board can be adjusted as per the requirement.
3. Resistant to impact
Ongoing investigations have confirmed that aluminium is suitable in building facades because of its long life and protection from wear and erosion. Thus, this makes it an impact-resistant material that is beneficial for facades.
4. Completely recyclable
The core material and cover sheets of the aluminium composite board can be reused constantly. Because of its characteristics, aluminium can be reused in many ways. This is another benefit of using ACPs in your building material.
5. Quick and easy to assemble
The draping frameworks for the assembly of ACPs are intended to facilitate simple and quick assembly on façades. Similarly, if a cassette is harmed, then it is effectively replaceable. So, you don’t need to worry about it.
The thickness of aluminium makes it an ideal material for foundation frameworks on ventilated facades. This is one of the lightest weighted materials.
From these points, it is easy to understand why ACPs turned out to be so popular among designers and builders. However, there are some disadvantages too that are not considered while building a structure. Fire safety is the main concern, which makes this material sometimes unfavorable.
What About Fire Safety?
As mentioned above, fire safety is the main concern in these products. Old style panels had flammable polymer cores. One of the first ACPs was highly combustible and has flammable properties. Thus, the panels were not safe in case of a fire
However, certain regulations limit the amount of polymer in panel construction. The old polymer was made of polyethylene, a thermoplastic polymer that is highly flammable. Out of three types of ACPs, only ACP FR has 30% of polymer material, which is the reason for the spread of fire. The other two types have very low fire-spread potential, which makes them safe to use.
The Bottom Line
Aluminium composite panels are currently used in many ways. As they can be modified and transformed differently, one can use them to make any shape for the exterior of buildings. With the advantages mentioned above, these panels are one of the top materials on every builder’s list.