If you have ever been to New York, you have probably enjoyed the unusual decorative structure of the buildings. The city has always been famous for its constructions, but how did they make these amazing structures? Of course, such buildings’ engineering is not the main point of our article; however, what we consider is the decorative materials used in those buildings. You may be surprised to know that aluminum composite panel (ACP) is one of the primary decorative elements for designing such creativity. In this article, we will talk more about its usage, design, and installation.
The history of ACP panel
The history of aluminum composite panels goes back to the 1960s when they were initially designed to be used for signage. However, in the late 1980s, architects and constructors discovered ACP panels and decided to use them as building materials. The high-quality features of aluminum composite panel soon became popular worldwide, making construction, internal, and external decoration not only durable in the long-term but also cost-effective. After becoming internationally recognizable, aluminum composite panel found one of its biggest problems: the highly combustible core. However, companies have tried to solve the issue by providing a low-percentage of polyethylene in the core and making it fire resistant.
What is ACP?
To put in simple words, ACP is the new-age decorative material used for signage, building exteriors, internal decorations, and insulation. The inside of an aluminum composite panel consists of a top and a bottom layer. An aluminum sheet covers both of these layers, and a core sandwiched between these two is made of polyethylene. The base of the panel is sometimes called LDPE, which stands for low-density polyethylene. The components of an aluminum composite panel from the top layer to the bottom layer includes protection film, polyester resin-based coating, primer coating (used in case of PVDF only), aluminum core, adhesive film, polyethylene core (LDPE), aluminum core, and anti-corrosive service coating.
What makes aluminum composite panel so unique?
Previously, high-pressure laminate (HPL) and stone were mostly used for decorative materials. Though they gained popularity quickly, they mainly were restricted due to the lack of flexibility and difficulty in use. Consequently, what makes the panel so unique is the flexibility and ease of installation. First, aluminum composite panels are resistant to chemical materials. In other words, they are resistant to any liquid, whereas you can’t find this feature in HPL or stone.
Second, they are easy to install. It wouldn’t take much of your time to establish an ACP sheet in your building or work-place. ACP is also used for external cladding. Therefore, it is no surprise that one of the ACP features is UV resistant, which does not apply to stone or HPL. Then, ACP can be used in different weather conditions worldwide. The fourth unique feature of ACP is its flexibility. No matter where you want to install an aluminum composite sheet, you can bend, fold, and turn it. For those concerned about our green earth, you might want to know that ACP, unlike HPL or stone, is recyclable. Contrasting to HPL, ACP is also borer, termite, and fungi resistant.
Other features of ACP
The unlimited number of ACP features against other decorative materials has made ACP so special and unique. As mentioned, the panel has more than five significant characteristics, which makes this decorative material unique. However, we need to say other features of ACP, which might help you to know more.
- The flexibility of ACP is one of the main features of this panel, but adaptability also means that cracking the sheet is, to some extent, impossible. Therefore, you can use these materials for the long term to come.
- Aluminum composite panel is available in different colors and finishes, which makes it suitable for various purposes. They are also available in different finishes like sand, mirror, wood, and 3D.
- If you have ever worked in construction material business, you would know the importance of weight. ACP is so lightweight that it can be used in any facility, even aircraft.
- Within our modern age, the importance of insulation is even more noticed. aluminum composite panel could help more since it provides insulation to our buildings.
- If you are a little obsessive about having a germ-free environment, then you are in luck! These panels have antimicrobial properties.
- Aluminum composite panel is very economical. You might ask yourself why we mentioned the economic feature of ACP at the end! Because we believe that the high-quality characteristics of ACP are much more critical and eye-catching compared to the aluminum composite panel price.
The applications of ACP panel
Generally, ACP is used for internal or external applications, although the usage is different. For external applications, you can use these products for aluminum cladding. The applications are the canopy, overhang, façade, soffit, and more. For internal applications, however, you can use ACP for wall covering, false ceiling, cupboards, wardrobes, tops, modular kitchen table, column covers, and more.
Other usages of aluminum composite panels include thermal insulation, bus body, office interior, display panels, and logos and letters. The usage of ACP panels has gone even further, including transportation and aircraft industry. Most aluminum composite panel manufactures have developed panels not only for decorative internal and external design but also for transportation and trains. As you can see, the number of aluminum composite panel applications is growing, and it is estimated that the industry will mature even more by 2022.
Aluminum composite panel disadvantages
Although the advantages of ACP are much more than the downside, we need to mention some ACP problems as well. ACP is very durable during reasonable conditions and weather. However, if you live in a tropical state, you might tell your ACP provider to bring panels to withstand harsh weather conditions such as storms or hurricanes. ACP could be a little susceptible to dents in severe weather, yet the companies are doing their utmost to provide panels to withstand such extreme situations.
Though this might not be considered as a disadvantage, you need to tell your provider to seal the panels as the best way possible. If the panels are not sealed, you might have water leakage when the rain comes.
There is no doubt that the disadvantage of ACP could completely be solved if choosing the right manufacturer. Most companies, nowadays, have provided rigorous panels which could stand in any condition. On the other hand, companies have professional installers to seal the panel outside or inside of the building. Therefore, By choosing the appropriate manufacturer, you can quickly solve the ACP disadvantages mentioned above.
Since the architectures and contractors are looking for lightweight and durable decorative materials with insulation values, there has been a growing interest in the aluminum composite panel industry for the past few years. Being available in different sizes, ACP has undoubtedly gained the attention of not only architectures but also engineers in other sectors such as transportation and aircraft. The flexibility, chemical resistance, ease of installation, and being cost-effective have all assisted these panels to become number one in the construction industry and decorative materials.
Source by ACP