Architects and builders use metal cladding systems for their modern building designs and construction projects. But you may ask, why? Various factors push architects towards using metal cladding systems for their clients. Although there are different claddings that you can choose for your new or renovation projects, some of these construction materials are more common nowadays. Some of these metal cladding systems feature anodized finishes. What is an anodized finished cladding system? You will understand the concept after finishing reading this article.
What are Metal Cladding Systems?
Metal cladding systems are exterior wall products that are made from various metal materials. What is Cladding? In simple terms, building cladding is the protective layer of a building or the skin of a construction. These building facade systems protect your home’s structure from external elements such as dust, wind, rainwater, snow, etc.
Metal cladding systems protect your homes and buildings and add an aesthetic element to the piece of architecture on which they are placed. However, architects also use other types of building claddings, including wood siding, stone, stucco, and concrete. Although you may want to use these metal products for your building’s facades, some people prefer to install them for their roofing systems.
What are Different Types of Metal Claddings in the Architecture World
With the current wide array of metal types and finishes, there is no doubt you can create custom metal cladding systems for your house. However, it is essential to know the most common types of building metal panels in the architecture world. Here are six of the metal cladding types that architects appreciate:
- Aluminum: Aluminum Siding
- Aluminum: ACM Panels
- Stainless Steel
- CORTEN Steel
- Galvanized Steel
Aluminum is one of the most found and abundant metal substances obtainable from the earth’s crust. This metal’s flexibility allows ACP companies and manufacturers to produce different cladding panels. Two of the most popular metal cladding systems that are made from aluminum are Aluminum Sidings and ACM panels (Aluminum Composite Material). These claddings can last at least 35-40 years and resist corrosion with little maintenance. Stainless steel and CORTEN steel also do not rust and provide eye-catching characteristics for your homes. Copper is another metal cladding material that creates a unique and striking look for your building.
Advantages of Metal Cladding Systems
Metal cladding systems are perfect materials for building facades due to their advantages. More people find their benefits the more people invest in different types of metal building claddings. Here are some of the simple examples of why using these building claddings is a great idea:
- Most Metal Cladding Systems are Lightweight
- Metal Building Facades are Strong and Durable
- They Require Low Maintenance
- Depending on the Type of Metal, It Can Last up to Fifty Years
- Metal Claddings are Energy Efficient and environmentally Friendly
- They are Aesthetically Pleasing
- Metal Panels Come with Various Types and Finishes
Unlike traditional cladding materials, including wood siding, metal claddings such as Aluminum Composite Panel Claddings do not put unnecessary weight on your building. These beneficial characteristics of aluminum panels provide an easy installation process. Moreover, despite their lightweight, metal panels are incredibly sturdy and can withstand even the most potent wind loads. Thus, they are the ideal materials for buildings that are in danger during windy seasons. Plus, aluminum claddings do not corrode or crack, and they may even be impact-resistant.
If your home features traditional cladding materials such as bricks and wood, you probably know how challenging it is to maintain and replace them after just a few years of tear and wear. After installing aluminum composite panels, you will not have to worry about such problems. These metal claddings do not require the regular, costly maintenance that traditional cladding materials do. However, we recommend you check your metal facade panels every so often to ensure everything is good.
The longevity of metal cladding systems is outstanding. While most aluminum claddings on average last about 50 years, the highest-quality ones can even last 70 years. Compared to wood and brick that can last about 12-20 years, metal panels are the better choice.
Most modern steel and aluminum claddings reflect solar radiant heat and reduce cooling costs. Additionally, almost all metal cladding systems are recyclable, and new panels can be made from recycled cladding panels. It is also evident that steel and aluminum claddings serve a functional and efficient purpose. However, they also add aesthetic characteristics that can attract the human eye easily. Metal building facades are classy, sleek, chic, and attention-grabbing, making your house the standing-out building in the neighborhood.
You may experience challenges when choosing a building facade style for your home. With a metal cladding system with various finishes, textures, and styles, you will have limitless choices and ideas for your building design.
What are Anodized Finishes
One of the essential systems manufacturers utilize to produce better metal cladding systems is anodizing, an electrochemical process that converts the metal panel’s surface into a decorative, anodic oxide, and corrosion-resistant finish. The anodic oxide mainly comes from aluminum and is composed of aluminum oxidization. The metal oxide is not applied to the surface of metal claddings like plating or paint but is entirely generated from the underlying aluminum substrate. Anodized finished metal cladding panels’ surface cannot peel or chip, and it features a porous structure allowing for secondary sealing and coloring.
More Details About Metal Cladding Systems with Anodized Finishes
As with any anodized finishing and coloring, variations between metal cladding panels will occur on anodized aluminum composite panels. There are steps that ACP manufacturers take to maximize surface uniformity on anodized ACM panels, including:
- Modern manufacturers produce enough aluminum composite panels to complete a project or application on the initial order. Any additional demands would be made using other aluminum coils and would have a different texture and color finish compared to the original order.
- Aluminum Composite Panel direction should be vertical or horizontal to allow the grain direction to maintain its constant characteristics. Aluminum cladding panels perpendicular to each other will show a color variation on the building’s facade.
- When you buy aluminum composite panels, you should check for an identification number and directional arrows on the non-anodized side of the board. Always remember that the installation and fabrication of ACM panels should be arranged to maintain the constant direction of the ACP for the best possible results in color consistency.
- More extensive building projects requiring more than one aluminum coil will be produced from panels as similar as each other in textures and colors. However, it would be best to keep in mind that there will be variations in style color whenever multiple aluminum composite panels have to be utilized.
- It is best to install ACM panels or anodized aluminum sidings by elevation for large-scale projects. Additionally, you should avoid using multiple aluminum cladding panels on the same height to minimize the style variation between the boards.
- During ACM coating and fabrication, it is essential to use full-sized panels to check the color uniformity.
- ACP companies and manufacturers produce aluminum panels in the most extended length and each width in case of any unexpected damages during installation or fabrication on the construction site. Additionally, you should expect color variation during the replacement of new panels.
- We recommend you order all needed ACM panels at one time to minimize the color and texture variation.
- It is crucial to remember that all architectural anodized aluminum composite panels will craze when the products are formed or rolled. Crazing means that fragile lines will appear on the surface of the aluminum claddings during bending and mechanical forming.
Now you should know what happens to an aluminum composite panel when anodized. (h3)
Stabilizer Marks: Most long aluminum composite panels may have a slight indentation on the edge of their length. This is usually caused by a stabilizer that is used to prevent the aluminum panels from bowing during the process.
Cleaning: You can use a mildly abrasive cleaning technique to clean anodized finished ACM panels. Be careful when using solvents since they can affect gaskets and sealers that are placed in the wall system.
Racking or Tong Marks: ACP manufacturers clamp aluminum panels during anodization. The marks can be left after removing the clamps. In this case, you may want to refinish the aluminum composite panel for better durability and aesthetics.