The rise in popularity of composite material as the material of choice for rainscreen cladding has been exponential over recent years; in a recent report by Grand View Research Inc. on the predicted growth in the rainscreen cladding market over the next decade, composite material was the leading material, accounting for over 25% of total market volume in 2014.
But what is composite material, and what makes it such a good specification choice for your project?
Composite material is defined as a material made from two or more separate materials that have significantly different physical or chemical properties, and when combined, they produce a material with characteristics completely different from the original individual components.
There are a number of properties that make composite material so popular and are expected to continue to drive demand for the material; these include higher strength, increased durability and design flexibility.
We provide three composite material options for our rainscreen systems, Aluminium Composite Material (ACM), Copper Composite Material (CCM) and Zinc Composite Material (ZCM).
Aluminium Composite Material:
ACM is the most popular of our composite material options, and has been used on some of our most prestigious case studies, including the BskyB Believe in Better Building, Manchester Cancer Research Clinic and the Nottingham Odeon student accommodation site.
As well as exceptional strength and load bearing capacity, and a superior strength to weight ratio, ACM panels have a unique flatness which give rainscreen cladding panels an incredibly smooth, monolithic surface. Available in either a Polyethylene (PE) or Fire Resistant (FR) core material, ACM also has environmental benefits in that it is 100% recyclable.
One of the biggest benefits of specifying ACM is the choice of finishes it gives you to fully realise your design requirements; the finish options available with this material range from a natural style, to something more sparkling, to a wood effect, or a huge range of metallic colours. And, once you’ve chosen a finish, you can be assured of its longevity, as the continuous coil application of the material ensures a consistent, long lasting colour.
Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) is available for use on our Optima FC, Optima TFC and clip on coping rainscreen cladding systems.
Copper Composite Material:
Choosing Copper Composite Material (CCM) allows you to combine the natural beauty of copper with the flatness and versatility that come from using composite panels. CCM has a lighter weight than heavy gauge copper, but doesn’t compromise on strength and durability.
There’s also a number of design possibilities when specifying CCM; its flexibility allows it to be moulded into complex shapes, and the material also forms a natural green patina to transform its bright, natural finish into a more distinguished, classic look over time.
Also available with our Optima FC and Optima TFC rainscreen cladding systems, CCM is a great choice to give your project a visual impact as well as inherent strength and flexibility.
Zinc Composite Material:
Similar to other composite material options, Zinc Composite Material (ZCM) gives design flexibility, extreme flatness and enhanced durability. Some other features of this material are that it’s a non-corrosive, environmentally friendly product which gives 100% clear water runoff, and that any scratches or imperfections on the panels simply melt away over time due to the way the natural patina of the material develops.
ZCM is primarily available in natural blue-grey, pre-weathered finishes that mature over time as it is exposed to the elements, and this makes it ideal for historic or older buildings.
Another benefit is that it can be used with a wider range of our rainscreen cladding systems, including Optima FC, Optima TFC.
Are you thinking of specifying composite material for your project? Speak to our technical experts to find out more.
The training facility and showroom at Sotech is open to specifiers and contractors, where all of our Optima Rainscreen Systems are on display alongside the widest selection of materials and finishes, including pre and post coat aluminium, ACM, Copper, Zinc, Stainless Steel and Anodised.
Sotech has invested heavily in sophisticated design and manufacturing technology.
All Sotech Optima Rainscreen Systems have been independently tested to meet CWCT rigorous specification for rainscreen. Contact us today on 0191 587 9213 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your project.