ACM panels development has a long history behind it, making it one of the modern world’s functional materials. These panels are stylish products that are practical for renovation and building construction projects. These materials are made from aluminum and a core material that are bonded to create stable characteristics. The development of aluminum composite panels dates back to the 1960s. At that time, Swiss aluminum researchers proposed the idea of combining aluminum alloy panels with other types of substances. They carried out a considerable number of inspections before producing ACM panels on a large scale. Finally, the confirmation of the production process of aluminum and low-density polyethylene composite panels occurred. After several years of research and exploration, in 1969, a German company officially launched and started a brand named ALUCOBOND to produce these materials for further projects.
Why Producing Aluminum Composite Panels Was Revolutionary?
ACM panels development’s primary reason was to meet the special requirements of particular industries for unique properties and advantages of aluminum composite panels such as lightweight, corrosion-resistant, high-strength, and exterior cladding decoration. Thus, the early targeted applications for these materials were mainly marked by the development of pace for the transportation industry.
With the growth of experimental research work, the functionality of aluminum composite panels was further recognized. Most of their features were practical for architectural projects; hence manufacturers started using deep-processing technologies and equipment for faster development. Additionally, engineers managed to solve the expansion and contraction issue of these products. At present, the largest application market for ACM panels is related to the construction industry. These composite panels’ functionality is integrated from the thorough research and experimentation work of early researchers.
Creating aesthetic and practical cladding systems is the primary purpose of ACM panels development. For proving that these panels are safe and reliable for exterior claddings, various experimental research has been carried out on the durability, strength after the cornering, and the ability to overcome the wind load.
For applying ACM panels effectively to the cladding system, much work has been done on the product processing, fabrication methods, and installation systems. These precise experiments have become more prominent in Europe, where aluminum composite panels were first developed and used. This continent established a strict certification process and revies for constructing facade products and installation procedures. Due to the different performance characteristics of aluminum composite panels in contrast with traditional cladding materials, most governments require that the manufacturers of the products provide a full range of applications technical manuals, including raw material specifications, processing, and overall performance. Other factors are essential: wind load calculator for every product, storing them, and how the cleaning and maintaining are done. Manufacturers and contractors should first submit the manual to the architect, project owner, and legal third party. Then, the construction unit must verify if the properties are compatible with the project. All of the factors above have played influential roles in promoting the functionality of ACM panels in cladding projects.
In the 1990s, ACM panels development found its way into China. Therefore, their production growth took a new considerable step in the industry. The variety of advantages of ACM panels, the production technologies, and application fields allowed these products to achieve unprecedented development. In about ten years, these materials became extremely popular in the whole world. Canada also utilizes aluminum composite panels for modern commercial and residential projects regarding safety regulations and standards.
Significant Events in the ACM Panels Development History
1968- ALUUCISSE and BASF was developed successfully in Germany
1969- Germany began the mass production of aluminum composite panels under the product name ALUCOBOND
1978- Swiss established the second ACM panel systems in the United States
1979- Manufacturers were successful in producing the first fire retardant grade ACM panels in that time
1984- The first project with aluminum composite panels was completed in Asia
1987- Mitsubishi Chemical Functional Products company launched ACP materials in Japan
1989- At that time, non-combustible and fire-resistant aluminum composite panels came out, and a US company launched its first low-density composites with a polyethylene core
1990- China managed to complete one of the most significant projects by utilizing non-combustible ACP materials.
1993- Production of aluminum composite panels improved by laminating heat compounding methods
1994- The first continuous hot compound production line was successful in its trial
1995- Germany introduced its first waste aluminum automated separation and recycling center for achieving 100% recyclable composite panels
1999- National standards jointly drafted companies that were processing ACM development
2000- For strengthening the quality supervision of ACM panels development, a national testing center for cladding materials was established
2002- A new branch of building materials in China was created for more extensive production of ACPs
2003- The editorial committee of the first ACM panels found a technical book about these particular materials