Aluminum composite panels (ACP), made of aluminum composite material (ACM), are flat panels consisting of two thin coil-coated aluminium sheets bonded to a non-aluminum core. ACPs are frequently used for external cladding or facades of buildings, insulation, and signage.
ACP is mainly used for external and internal architectural cladding or partitions, false ceilings, signage, machine coverings, container construction, etc. Applications of ACP are not limited to external building cladding, but can also be used in any form of cladding such as partitions, false ceilings, etc. ACP is also widely used within the signage industry as an alternative to heavier, more expensive substrates.
ACP has been used as a light-weight but very sturdy material in construction, particularly for transient structures like trade show booths and similar temporary elements. It has recently also been adopted as a backing material for mounting fine art photography, often with an acrylic finish using processes like Diasec or other face-mounting techniques. ACP material has been used in famous structures as Spaceship Earth, VanDusen Botanical Garden, the Leipzig branch of the German National Library.
These structures made optimal use of ACP through its cost, durability, and efficiency. Its flexibility, low weight, and easy forming and processing allow for innovative design with increased rigidity and durability. Where the core material is flammable, the usage must be considered. The standard ACP core is polyethylene (PE) or polyurethane (PU). These materials do not have good fire-resistant (FR) properties unless specially treated and are therefore not generally suitable as a building material for dwellings; several jurisdictions have banned their use completely.
The cladding materials, particularly the core, have been implicated as a possible contributing factor in the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London,as well as in high-rise building fires in Melbourne, Australia; France; the United Arab Emirates; South Korea; and the United States.Fire-rated cores, such as mineral wool (MW), are an alternative, but are usually more expensive and often not a legal requirement.
The aluminum sheets can be coated with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), fluoropolymer resins (FEVE), or polyester paint. Aluminum can be painted in any kind of color, and ACPs are produced in a wide range of metallic and non-metallic colour as well as patterns that imitate other materials, such as wood or marble. The core is commonly low-density polyethylene (PE), or a mix of low-density polyethylene and mineral material to exhibit fire retardant properties.