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.