What is Aluminum Composite Material (ACM)?

3rd Feb 2022

WHAT IS ALUMINUM COMPOSITE MATERIAL (ACM)?

Introduction

Aluminum composite material (ACM) is a three-layer composite sheet with plastic as the core layer and aluminum on both sides, and the ornamental surface of the product is covered with decorative and protective coating. In recent years, ACM building materials have grown in popularity.

Over the last few decades, ACM materials have become increasingly popular in the construction sector. Because of their variety and modern, sleek appearance, many designers want to use them in their creations.

While all ACMs will be made of thin aluminum sheets, customers will have two choices for the core material. Polyethylene, or PE cores, are the first material accessible for use in ACM panels. Customers prefer ACM panels with PE cores because they are more affordable and lighter, and they are a popular choice for buildings up to two stories tall. Builders are increasingly opting for more contemporary specialized fire retardant cores for larger buildings. Though fire-resistant cores are more expensive, new fire safety requirements may mandate multistory constructions to include these panels.

Where To Use ACM?

Curtain walls, outside wall decorating and advertising, and interior wall decoration are all areas where ACM is commonly employed.

You should also keep in mind that the specs of acm building material vary depending on how the material is used.

ACM for Building Curtain Wall

The top and lower aluminum panels must have a minimum thickness of 0.50mm, and the total thickness must be at least 4mm. The aluminum material should meet the GB/T3880 specifications. Aluminum alloy sheets from the 3000 and 5000 series should be used in most cases. Fluorocarbon should be used to coat the materials.

ACM Materials for Exterior Wall Decoration and Advertising

The top and lower aluminum panels should be manufactured of rust-resistant aluminum with a thickness of at least 0.20mm and a total thickness of at least 4mm. A fluorocarbon coating or a polyester coating is most commonly used.

ACM Material for Indoor Use

Upper and lower aluminum panels are typically made of an aluminum plate with a thickness of 0.20 mm and a minimum thickness of 0.10 mm, with a total thickness of 3 mm. The coating is either polyester or acrylic.

ACM materials can also be utilized in airplanes, cabinets, and automobiles, among other applications.

Why Is ACM So Popular

Rigidity

In comparison to a single-layer aluminum plate, the aluminum-plastic composite panel has a higher elastic limit, is less readily bent, and can retain good flatness performance in a natural state for a long period without excessive external force.

Weight

ACM is made of aluminum and a small density plastic core material. Because of that, when compared to aluminum panel, or other metals, ACM has the same rigidity and thickness but is smaller and less hefty too.

Rich in Color and Perfect For Decoration

The layers of the aluminum-plastic panel can be colored in a variety of ways, and the design can be customized to fit any application. As well, photocopying technology is used to replicate granite, wood grain, and metal patterns, resulting in a distinctive texture and high-quality pattern design.

Durable

The metal and core material thermal composite technology is used in the aluminum-plastic composite board, and the bonding is strong. Surface coatings are made of various materials depending on the application environment, with fluorocarbon coatings having superior weather resistance.

High Surface Flatness

The surface flatness of the aluminum-plastic composite panel is higher than that of a single-material metal sheet, especially the large-sized sheet material, thanks to a continuous thermal composite production process. It has a flat and homogeneous appearance and is utilized for architectural decoration.

Great Cost

Pre-coating continuous coating and metal/core material continuous thermal compounding are used in the manufacturing of aluminum-plastic composite panels. It has a high production efficiency and low raw material cost, making it a material with good cost features when compared to common metal veneers.

Good Environmental Conditions

The recycled aluminum and plastic core elements in the discarded aluminum-plastic panel have a low environmental impact. Furthermore, fluorocarbon coatings are used on wood-aluminum composite panels and outdoor ornamental aluminum-plastic panels, which have exceptional durability and low daily maintenance expenses, lowering the entire life cycle cost.

Is ACM Fire Resistant?

There are several classes to define and describe the fire protection and combustion performance of ACM:

A2

The A2 fire protection rating is for non-combustible construction materials that are difficult to burn.

B1

The B1 classification is for flame- and fire-retardant building materials that have good flame- and fire-retardant properties. When the material comes into contact with an open flame in the air or is difficult to ignite at high temperatures, the fire will not spread quickly. After removing the fire source, the combustion will come to a halt as quickly as possible.

B2

For flammable materials, the third fire-resistant performance class is B2. These substances have a unique fire-retardant property. Similar to wooden columns, beams, staircases, and trusses, when exposed to a fire in the air or at a high temperature, it will burn and ignite, causing the fire to spread.

B3

The B3 class of construction material is the least efficient in terms of fire safety. They are flammable materials that do not have any fire-retardant properties. As a result, they are regarded as flammable and dangerous, making them the worst choice for building claddings.

The normal ACM panel cannot go below the B1 grades. For example, not every plastic aluminum composite panel can be fireproof, and the specific performance is defined based on the non-combustibility grade. The B3 grade has a flammable raw material rating, while the B2 grade is a combustible building material. As a result, if a building owner wants to select a fire-resistant material, it is critical to consider the product's fire rating feature.

Conclusion

Indoors or out, ACM materials can be used for applications that require high strength, low weight, and a sleek, modern appearance. Not only can the panels come in a limitless array of colors and finishes, but they can also be cut, routed, and roll-formed, giving architects and designers the freedom to create magnificent forms and shapes. Many users of ACM appreciate how easy it is to fabricate compared to bare sheet metal. Furthermore, ACM can keep its appearance and shape for a long time. The panels' more flexible plastic core prevents warping and distortion caused by heavier sheet metal, while the aluminum layers provide long-term durability, rigidity, and stiffness in any climate.