Aluminum Plates were the primary material for metal panel fabricators, manufacturers, and architects worldwide before aluminum composite panels known as ACP materials were introduced to the industry. As the production of ACM panels started its growth, building and construction materials manufacturers begin to flood the market with these particular products. Thus, aluminum plate usage began to decrease over time, and aluminum composites took the massive share of the market away from old method panels. Aluminum composite sheets offer a wide range of standard finishes and colors while being cost-effective due to their lightweight and easy formable characteristics.
The advantages of ACM panels allow them to grow their popularity among architects. Designers started utilizing them in different types of applications and projects. However, there is no doubt that solid aluminum plates have still time and place for usage where their advantages dominate ACP materials. Before determining the main differences between these practical products, it is essential to understand the purpose and definition of each.
Aluminum plates are non-laminated solid pieces of aluminum products. They are available in standard width sizes, including 91.44, 122, 152.5, and 183 centimeters. These materials are often utilized in heavy-duty projects such as transportation, aerospace, and military products manufacturing. In some cases, builders choose to use them as cladding materials. However, they are practical for applications that require different shapes and forms to satisfy the surface of jets and fuel tanks.
Aluminum plates feature rigid characteristics at super-cold temperatures. Thus, these paneling systems are also perfect for producing structural sections in ships and railcars. Additionally, aluminum plates are not heavy as other industrial metals resulting in easier installation and lower labor cost. Thus, they are also appropriate for buildings that require facades and cladding products.
In contrast with solid plates, aluminum composite panels are laminated products featuring standard dimensions of 4 and 6 millimeters with a 20 percent metal skin on the surface of each edge of the product. These functional materials come with a wide array of colors and finishes. Thus, they can offer more significant quantities of fabrications and designing ideas for building claddings. The advantages of ACM panels allow architects to utilize them in both exterior and interior applications. Designers can create a sleek and modern appearance for demanding projects, including facade renovation and construction with these materials.
Manufacturers create different techy products with aluminum composite materials for modern architecture, such as aluminum sidings and longboards. The main benefits of these panels include lightweight, high impact strength, corrosion resistance, and sound insulation characteristics. It is essential to note that these panels are available at a lower cost than solid aluminum plates in the market.
Now that you know the basics of aluminum composites and aluminum plates, it is time to introduce the primary differences between these two products to help you choose the efficient product for your upcoming project.
Standards and Regulatory: Construction and building regulations are changing from time to time throughout continents worldwide. These regulations include full-scale wall installations, non-combustibility requirements for cladding materials. When it comes to determining the ideal material for the cladding system, it is better to consider the non-combustibility of aluminum plates. However, engineers and manufacturers put their effort to improve ACM panels’ fireproof characteristics and have managed to pass some of the regulatory tests.
Finishes and Colors: Generally, both ACP materials and aluminum plates can receive most of the finishes and colors available in the market. However, aluminum composites are dominant materials when it comes to efficient and quality finishes. They come with limitless finishes, including high-gloss, stainless steel, wooden, and various colors. For example, one of the trendiest materials for building cladding systems is wood siding products created with wood finishes on aluminum composite panels.
Fabrication Procedure: For making traditional aluminum plates, fluorocarbon sprays are used to spray and process sheet metal pieces. Sheet metal processing is primary about fabricating and transforming panels into different sizes and shapes depending on the project’s requirements. Bending, cutting, and welding are a few of the standard fabrication systems manufacturers utilize for various purposes. These fabrication procedures are considerably difficult for aluminum composites compared to solid plates. Thus, precision and higher skills are required for these methods, but machines allow experts to do the job at a higher pace and accuracy in the modern era. For completing the fabrication procedure for any ACM panels, it is recommended to utilize separate machines with different specifications.
Installation: ACP materials are the dominant products in the market when it comes to ease of installation. These particular advantages of these materials are due to their lightweight characteristics. However, solid plate claddings are not excessively heavier than composite materials. Thus, using them can also be an efficient way to lower the labor cost in projects that require hand-installing systems.