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The First Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) Panels Go Up

September 17, 2011 - The last major construction item on the epic Creative Co-Op is the trim work on the exterior of the building. We got almost 50% of the Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) panels built and applied this week - and they look great! In the last blog post we took a look at how the panels were fabricated, so this post will focus on the east wall and application of those panels.

The panels we are using are manufactured by the Mitsubishi Company under the trade name ALPOLIC. Aluminum and Metal Composite Materials (ACM) offer superior flatness, vibration dampening, durability and ease of maintenance. ACM is produced by continuously bonding two thin sheets of aluminum on either side of an extruded thermoplastic core. The aluminum surfaces have been per-finished and coil-coated in a variety of paint finishes before bonding. ALPOLIC ACM offers the rigidity of heavy-gauge sheet metal in a lightweight composite material. It is an awesome material to work with.

We are using ALPOLIC®/fr which is an advanced cladding with excellent fire retarding characteristics. For the epic Creative Co-Op we chose a 4mm silver, but it’s also available in a wide array of attractive color options. For commercial buildings it is one of the most popular choices in the world for external claddings. Applications of ACM's can also be used in any form of cladding such as partitions, false ceilings etc. Aluminium Composite Panels are also widely used within the signage industry as an alternative to heavier, more expensive substrates. We found all kinds of applications for the product in our building.

ALPOLIC®/fr has been used for landmark projects around the world. It combines aesthetic, budgetary advantages, and meets all the fire codes. ALPOLIC®/fr is curvable to a 6" radius and can be welded to form complex shapes. You can see the official product data sheet here. Much of the raw materials used in the manufacture of the ALPOLIC product is recycled. Although we are not seeking LEED Certification, the ACM would have resulted in 1-2 points toward this certification. 

Next week we will continue adding ACM panels to the east wall, and with some luck will start adding the metal trim around the building and ADA ramp. 



 




Posted by on September 18, 2011


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The east side of the building with several ACM panels installed.

There is a one inch gutter between the panels.

In this close-up you can see how the panels are held in place with L clips fabricated out of 1 inch x 1 inch aluminum angle.

Outside corner detail - the panels were applied to strips of ACM framed around each panel.

Adam adds strips of ACM to the wall to frame each panel.

The panels are different sizes and depths. This makes for some really cool shadows.

Pre-built panels are placed on the ground in front of the wall.

Adding a panel is a 2 man job.

We are talking a time lapse of the panel construction and will add it to our blog when the work is done.

A side view of the wall.

Alan uses spacer blocks between the panels while Adam aligns it to the wall.

The ALPOLIC protective film was left on during construction, then removed.

Turning the corner of the wall is tricky, but looks great.

Panel view from the side.

We also got some more painting work done this week.

 
 
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