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The design of precast cladding falls into two categories:
Self finishes are manufactured with designed concrete mixes. Their surface appearance derives either directly from the profile of the mould in which they are cast, or from work undertaken on the surface of the panel after removal from the mould.
In the case of all faced panels, the precast concrete acts as a carrier for another material, e.g. reconstructed stone, brick or tile.
SELF FINISHED CLADDING:
Texture of self finished cladding
The picture below is an example of a three-dimensional textural pattern applied to precast concrete claddings.
The pattern is produced by a simple result of face-down casting in moulds containing profiling elements or rubber liners which when removed, produce the voids shown.
Aggregate faced self finished cladding:
Lightly exposed aggregate finishes are usually achieved by face-down casting of the concrete with the addition of a lighter retarder.
When the concrete has set and the moulds are removed, the panel is washed down and then acid-etched or grit or sand-blasted to remove the remaining fines surrounding the aggregate.
Stone faced self-finished cladding:
The production of natural stone using concrete requires the most rigorous quality control of the sand, aggregates and cement used. A slight variation in the mix could be enough to alter the colour of a panel and cause it to stand out amongst the others.
When the mix is controlled properly the results can be outstanding. The panels can give the impression of intricately carved and profiled masonry, at a fraction of the natural cost.
Brick faced claddings
Brick-face architectural cladding panels offer the major benefit of allowing intricate brick detailing, such as arches and corbelling, to be undertaken off-site; thereby removing extremely time-consuming operations from the critical path of site activities.
There is also the likelyhood that higher standard of workmanship will be achieved in the production shop.
Stone faced cladding:
Any type of stone can be used provided it has the necessary durability to natural weathering, and strength when used in a relatively thin veneer. The pattern of joints can be expressed or subdued as required.
Details for faced claddings:
For faced cladding panels the concrete acts as a carrier to the facing material. A typical fixing detail is shown below: