Aluminum panels are a popular material for exterior wall design due to their functional and aesthetic benefits. Aluminum panels are economical, resistant to external factors, durable, and sustainable, making them an ideal choice for cladding and facade applications. American Metalcraft's solid plate aluminum panels are 100% recyclable and can contribute to LEED points. It is important to follow certain steps when selecting aluminum panels for a specific project including:
1. Chose an appropriate gauge metal based on location - The type of metal gauge will differ in projects due to location. For buildings within high-wind or harsh environmental locations, it is important to choose a thicker gauge metal. While a thinner gauge can reduce costs, a thicker gauge is usually recommended for high-wind areas. Thus, it is best to consult with local manufacturers to ensure a safe product that meets different code requirements.
2. Determine which aluminum panels are within your budget - Achieving the desired design while staying within a budget can be challenging. Aluminum panels provide long-term economical benefits such as durability, low maintenance, and weather resistance. American Metalcraft's aluminum panels are anti-corrosive and weigh 65% less than steel.
3. Understand fire safety requirements - Fire safety requirements vary, thus certain areas will require aluminum panels with different fire ratings. Solid plate panels are a reliable choice for wall systems. Aluminum metal wall panels are non-combustible and are tested to meet different requirements for wall assemblies, insulation, and fasteners. The strongest panel finish can be achieved with an AAMA 2605 PVDF coating.
4. Ask the manufacturer for AAMA testing - When selecting a rain screen material, it is important to ask the manufacturer if their system is AAMA tested. The 508-14 specification evaluates the weather resistance of a material through a variety of different tests. Thus, a manufacturer should provide approved testing data to show they are a reliable source for achieving a high-quality rain screen system.
5. Specify your aluminum panel thickness - The thickness of an aluminum panel affects its flatness, which can be very important in certain projects. Choosing the appropriate aluminum panel thickness can also help avoid oil canning, edge wave, and stiffener readthrough. Common aluminum plate thicknesses include 0.08-inch, 0.09-inch, 0.125-inch, 0.19-inch, and 0.025-inch. Consult with a manufacturer to specify a thickness that works with your project location wind loads and maximum panel face.