Aluminum Composite Panels Edges

Aluminum Composite Panels (ACP) is modern, cold, lightweight material, it gives aerodynamic feeling for architecture. Aluminum Composite Panels Edges’ details and finishing is the beauty. Throughout this post we will discuss the different edge types, there are three main edges types: ACP edge’s profiles, Folding ACP and Gluing ACP edges. Edge types beauty is to have glossiness continuity of ACP panels to achieve aerodynamic feeling design. ACP designed to be able to groove and fold, this by using different machines and techniques. Also there are a method to install edge’s profiles.

ACP Edge’s Profile

Aluminum composite panels edges’ profiles available in different shapes to fit different applications. F profile use for right angle edge, while H profile use for straight angle edge, this beside other profiles for special uses. These profiles are available in different colors according to RAL index, also some materials like mirror and golden mirror …etc. Notice that ACP edge’s profiles have to fit ACP colors, if color isn’t available paint it using powder coating. Advantages of edge’s profile, it’s easy to install, edges will be straight, cutting finishing will be fair enough. However ACP edges’ profile are easy to install, but profile doesn’t have aesthetic value, where profile level is higher than sheets. Different levels mean glossiness won’t be continuous through different sheets, This hide the beauty of aerodynamic glossiness.

aluminum composite panels trim profile edge
aluminum composite panels trim profile edge
aluminum composite panels trim profile edge
aluminum composite panels trim profile edge, Alhelou Petrol by ORIGIN DESIGN 2018

ACP Folding Edges

Despite its difficult and has high cost method but it shows the beauty of ACP. The folding concept by creating a groove at the back of ACP that allow the sheet to fold. The groove placement has to be well measured. The grooves implemented by a blade installed at router, or table saw, CNC machine cut and create grooves at one stage. The Blades are available in different sizes and shapes to reach the needed groove for required application. The difficulties facing folded edges’, it’s hard to level panels together, it’s a sensitive in-site mission need accurate. The high aesthetic value by having straight same level, and continuity of soft glossiness.

Aluminum composite panel folding type
Aluminum composite panel folding type
Aluminum Composite panels glossiness
Aluminum Composite panels glossiness, Alhelou Petrol by ORIGIN DESIGN 2018

ACP Edges Gluing

For special cases like curves we could use edges’ profiles or to glue edges. Glue edges will appear better, however it’s sensitive and has many processes to implement. Although Gluing is weak compared to edge folding and profiles, and it won’t last for a long time. 
To implement edge gluing, it requires to cut both sheet ends at 45 degrees. Then gather them using Sikaflex, and avoid using indoor silicon. Notice that SikaFlex will glue in a while mean both sheets need to stay temporarily in place until SikaFlex dry. Check if SikaFlex dried by doubt it by a needle , if needle is clean this mean its dry, otherwise needle will have remains of SikaFlex. After that using small brush paint the edges with the same color of ACP. This Method is useful also for 3D applications and decorations ends.

Aluminum composite panels gluing edges, Alhelou Petrol by ORIGIN DESIGN, Gaza 2019
Aluminum composite panels gluing edges, Alhelou Petrol by ORIGIN DESIGN, Gaza 2019

Generally, Details have a big effect. The photo below shows a petrol station in circular shape and curve section I have designed and implemented for Alhelou Petrol station in Gaza 2018. The job was very sensitive and accurate, and edges’ finishing added much to this project. The client was happy and proud with the design and results. Now you have a good knowledge about ACP edges’ connections, feel free to ask any question. i like to hear from you. 

Alhelou station by ORIGIN DESIGN, Gaza 2018
Alhelou Petrol by ORIGIN DESIGN , Gaza 2018

How to Buy Aluminum Composite Panels

ACP catalogs & samples
ACP catalogs & samples

Aluminum Composite Panels ACP is aluminum panels’ use for decoration’s cladding in architecture applications. ACP contains of two sheets of aluminum, in the middle a core layer of low density polyethylene LDPE. The aluminum painted in the required color to fit the architecture requirements. This post will discuss how to select aluminum composite panels and it specifications.

Aluminum Sheets came in 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2 mm thicknesses, in my experience 0.4mm was the best choice. When then thickness is thin it could cut easily, and thick aluminum can damage through bending process. The back of the sheet can be thinner and not painted in require color. But some producers make both layers in same thickness, each size has a different color for marketing issue. The overall thickness came in 2, 3, 4, 5 mm, including the aluminum sheets. Normally the core made of LDPE, PE affected by sun and could easily burn. There is fire rated core as alternative. Generally, core material has to be elastic in order to bend, notice that LDPE could dry with time and become easy to break. 

How to test ACP

Testing the best bending material, make a V grove as shown in the below photo. Then fold it several times until it breaks, count how many times it takes to break. Of Course longer will resist more while and after installation.

ACP bending test
ACP bending test

ACP usually came in size of 1.22×2.44 m, however this size doesn’t fit the architecture applications.  As an alternative there are some other sizes in market like 1.5×3.05 m. As any panels manufacturing technique, using reel technique, can customize panel width while length can reach 6 meters. The problem faces large size panels is transportation and shipping, where forklift struggle while holding these sizes.

ACP Painting

Customers select aluminum composite panels required painting color according to RAL index using PVDF painting. Metallic and High glossy paints are available as alternatives. The aluminum sheet is covered with film to protect aluminum from scratching, therefore be aware to get a thick film. In some products there is treatment using nanotechnology to keep the panels clean.