Different Types of Clips used in Aluminum Claddings systems are becoming a prevalent approach for creating more thermal efficient support systems. They can fit into all types of applications, especially for aluminum composite panel cladding systems. This system consists of vertical and horizontal girts attached to recurrent clips, which are then fastened to the main structure through the exterior insulation. The fasteners often penetrate the external insulation system, and in some designs, the web of the rails cuts through the portion of the system. In these particular cases, the railing demotes the cladding’s thermal performance, which is often similar to the continuous horizontal and vertical girts; thus, it should be avoided as much as possible. The rails used in these systems are generally made of galvanized steel z-girts, hat-channel particles, or extruded aluminum materials. Clips used in Aluminum Claddings are often created from stainless steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and plastic. For more thermal efficiency, manufacturers tend to decrease the conductivity of the clips.
The primary strategy with all clip systems is to maximize the spacing while using a few supplies as possible. However, it is essential to satisfy the structural requirements. This maximum spacing is often legislated by the stiffness of the rail portions and cladding wind loads. Low conductivity products are also beneficial since more clips are required at locations with more details. One of these supporters’ essential advantages is their variety of types:
- Galvanized steel clips.
- Stainless steel clips.
- Aluminum T-clips.
- Thermally isolated galvanized fasteners.
- Fiberglass clips and long screws.
Here is the introduction to all types that are used in the aluminum cladding markets.
The first type of supporting clip system which utilizes intermittent generic metal production is galvanized steel system. This type is made of cold-formed galvanized steel. It often takes C-channels, L-angles in 4.8 inches long to fit the insulation cavity, and 16-20 gauge Z-girts forms. It has dimensional adjustability characteristics that come from the use of separated back-to-back L-brackets that are screwed to each other as they are installed or the use of metal shims created on the wall behind the clips. The supporters are usually attached to horizontal or vertical rails, often hat-channels, Z-girts, or C-channels. Cladding is then attached to the rails with often short screws. The rail section should not penetrate the insulating system as it can degrade the cladding system’s thermal performance. The clips’ thermal efficiency is often affected by the spacing, length, and gauge of the supporters. The standard spacing is about 24-48 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally, depending on the claddings loads. The galvanized steel clips’ thermal efficiency range is considered from less than 50% to as high as 70%. Some manufacturers can produce pre-painted galvanized steel clips for more application possibilities in addition to typical options available.
Stainless Steel Clips used in Aluminum Claddings
Another clip type that is very similar to galvanized steel supporter is the stainless steel system. These products are made of stainless steel profiles while having galvanized railing systems. This type is considered a more thermal efficient system due to its conductivity which is four times less than galvanized steel. Depending on the spacing and clips dimensions, this systems thermal efficiency can range from 65 to 80%, which is considered a very high number for the purpose. In the installation procedure, pre-drilling the stainless components can help with the attachment. Some manufacturers produce clips that include pre-drilled back to back L-bracket to provide easier installation and adjustability.
The third type of clip system is made of thick aluminum T-shaped extrusion. This system has horizontal girts attached to the top of the clips. The horizontal girts often cut through the whole exterior insulation and reduce the performance; thus, attaching vertical rails to the horizontal girts is needed. Aluminum has a conductivity property that is 3 to 4 times more than galvanized steel. The main advantage of this system is minimizing the structural efficiency of the rails. The thermal efficiency of aluminum t-clips ranges from a low of 40% to 70%, and it depends on the spacing of the horizontal girts placed into the insulation system.
Thermally Isolated Galvanized Clips used in Aluminum Claddings
One of the most efficient clips systems is the thermally isolated galvanized clip consisting of proprietary heavier gauge steel supporters with 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch plastic pads installed between the backup structure and the supplies. Many experts use plastic washers to reduce heat transfer and improve the insulation system. Vertical and horizontal girts are attached to the clips with standard screws, and the cladding needs to be installed on the girts. Plastic components reduce the heat flow to perform similar to stainless steel systems. Depending on the manufacturers spacing and details, the thermal performance of isolated galvanized clips varies between 60 to 90%.
Another common Clips used in Aluminum Claddings system is fiberglass clips. This system utilizes low-conductivity fiberglass clips. Fiberglass is about 200 times less conductive in comparison to other types. Thus it improves the thermal efficiency and performance significantly. The pins are connected to the vertical or horizontal galvanized steel rail with one or two long screws through the shear block clip back to the cladding structure. In the fiberglass systems, Z-girts or hat channels are utilized as the horizontal or vertical rail elements entirely on the insulation exterior. The supporters are often pre-clipped to the metal girts and then screwed to the wall as a unified system. This can increase the installation pace. There are two types of fiberglass available in the market that have their unique structural, fire, and thermal performance properties. These properties heavily depend on the spacing of the clips and the types of screws used for attachment. The efficiency of lighter aluminum composite claddings for this type of clipping system can exceed 90%.