Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about Sotech Optima Rainscreen Systems. If there is a question you cant find the answer to or you need more information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Panel Sizes

Optima FC+


Optima TFC



Optima IPC



Notes


1.5mm AluminiumNANA3800 x 300mmMaximum panel size
2.0mm Aluminium3800 x 600mm3800 x 600mm3800 x 600mmMaximum panel size
3.0mm Aluminium3800 x 1300mm3800 x 1300mmN/ATypical panel size, other sizes available

PRECOAT MATERIAL

2.0mm Preocat Aluminium3800 x 600mm3800 x 600mm3800 x 600mmMaximum panel size
3.0mm Precoat Aluminium3800 x 1300mm3800 x 1300mm NATypical panel size, other sizes available
4.0mm ACM5800 x 1300mm5800 x 1300mmNATypical panel size, other sizes available
Alpolic NC A15800 x 1300mm5800 x 1300mmNAMaximum panel size

NON-FERROUS METAL

1.0mm Brass NANA3800 x 300mmMaximum panel size
1.0mm CopperNANA3800 x 300mmMaximum panel size
1.0mm ZincNANA3800 x 300mmMaximum panel size

FERROUS METAL

1.5mm Corten Steel3800 x 600mmNANAMaximum panel size
2.0mm Corten Steel3800 x 1300mmNANAMaximum panel size
1.0mm Stainless SteelNANA3800 x 300mmMaximum panel size
1.5mm Stainless Steel3800 x 1300mm3800 x 1300mm Maximum panel size


Minimum Panel Sizes

Sotech System


Flat Panel

Corner Panel

Optima FC+300 x 500mm150 x 150 x 500mm
Optima TFC300 x 500mm150 x 150 x 500mm
Optima IPC150 x 500mm100 x 100 x 500mm

Panel Criteria

Corner Panels should be kept as small as possible to allow for the effective application of 3rd party finish’s, transportation and site application. Corner panels should not exceed the sizes layed out within the table’s above for both faces combined. Any anodised corner which exceeds 350 x 350mm cover will need to be internally bolted and assembled on site due to tank restrictions. Please take these considerations into account as the internal bolt aesthetic may not be a possible option.
Sotech have a range of standard perforation options which can be applied to our pressed product ranges. These are all in house Sotech tools and are readily available for use on your projects. Bespoke patterns and processing options such as laser cutting are available, please speak with a member of our Technical Team for more information.

Project Specific Calculations And Details

All Sotech panel stiffening requirements to ensure compliance with L/90 are determined via Finite Element Analysis (FEA) which is an in house ran application. To allow analysis to be undertaken for your project you will be required to provide the following information.

1. Building Elevations
2. Building Section & Detail Information
3. Windloading Calculations
Sotech can provide you with Project Specific Static Calculations for our Optima Range of Systems. The following information will be required for us to undertake these calculations for you. 1. Building Elevations 2. Building Section & Detail Information 3. Windloading Calculations
Sotech do not currently offer a design or scheduling service. Information of 3rd party sub-contract design companies can be provided with experience of Sotech Systems. This service will need to be established directly with the Installer & the Design Provider and not through Sotech Ltd.

Sotech have a range of Standard Arrangement Detailing for each system which can be downloaded from the links below.

Non-standard detailing can be developed with our Technical Team, please contact them should you have a need for any non-standard detailing.

In addition, Sotech do offer a range of standard order templates which can be downloaded from the below links.

Optima FC+ 
Optima TFC
Optima IPC 

Any non-standard panels will need an individual panel drawing provided in order to manufacture. The drawing must include the below for manufacturing purposes.

  1. Horizontal & Vertical Sections
  2. Panel Face Dimensions
  3. Return Fold Dimensions
  4. Specific Part Reference
  5. Grain Direct (if applicable)
  6. Quantity


Sotech currently use Revit, Inventor and Solidworks drawing software should any bespoke parts require Sotech’s input for manufacture.

We are able to accept the following file types DWG, DXF, SAT, STEP & IGES.

Sotech Minimum Order Areas

Sotech currently operate minimum order areas for our products, some of the minimum order areas are in place due to the requirements our specific suppliers in order to manufacture raw material. A break down of our minimum areas are below for you viewing.


Material


Minimum Order Area

Aluminium - Polyester Powder Coated & Anodised350/m2
Aluminium Composite Material 350 – 500/m2 (Subject to Colour)
Novelis Precoated Aluminium 500/m2 (Subject to Colour, bespoke finishes may occur additional order area)
Luxe Coat Precoated Aluminium 500/m2
Reynolux Precoated Aluminium 350-500/m2 (Subject to Colour)
Euramax Precoated Aluminium350-500/m2 (Subject to Colour)
Other Non-Ferrous Metals (Zinc, Brass, Copper)350/m2
Ferrous Metals (Stainless Steel, Corten Steel)350/m2


Ancillary Products such as Coping’s, Cills, Drips etc will be reviewed as a “Project Package”, we do not currently process Flashings and Fabrications and stand alone product. Insulated Panels are not currently part of Sotech’s product range.

Product warranty

Different material and finish’s carry various warranty offerings, predominately based upon the project's geographical location & localised pollutants. As a guide below are the upper ranges of warranty offerings per finish type. The below should be used as a guide, exact offerings are confirmed following the warranty application process.


Material


Possible Warranty Periods

Anodising 40 Years
Polyester Powder Coating25 Years
Precoat Aluminum 40 Years
Aluminum Composite Material25 Years
Corten No Warranty Available


Increased warranty periods for Polyester Powder Coating (PPC) may be possible if a greater specification of powder is applied. These powders are generally referred to as D2525/ Class 2 or 68 Series Powders and are termed “Super-Durable”.

Class 1 (D1036) Powders achieve a 1 year “Florida Exposure” category when the paint retains a Gloss level of 50% of its original application during testing.

Class 2 (D2525) powders achieve a 3 year “Florida Exposure” category when the paint retains a Gloss level of 75% of its original application during testing.

For system warranty’s all Panels and Supporting Structure (brackets and rails) need to be purchased through Sotech and its supply chain.

Fire Classifications

The Optima Range of Secret Fix (FC+) and Discrete Fix (TFC) have undertaken BS8414 Testing, the certification documents are available via our fire testing page.

What materials are Euroclass A1 classified?


Click here to access our quick reference guide and further details.



The surface finishes applied to our panel systems have a direct impact on the panels Fire Classification. Polyester Powder Coated (PPC) offer our panels systems an A2-s1,d0 Classification generally. Whilst other finish’s such as Precoat (PVDF) and Anodised Aluminum offer our products an A1 Rating.

Please see the below supporting information available for you to download and review, should you have any questions please feel free to talk to our Technical Team.
ALFED Aluminium Federation Classification Document (Link pending)

Transportation

Sotech have a network of haulage suppliers we use to get your goods to site. Our network are specifically chosen to offer the best possible range of delivery options to suit site requirements. The core of all our providers have FORS Bronze Accreditation as standard, Silver is subjected to availability. Please speak with our Sales Team regarding your requirements.

Our providers are members of the R.H.A (Road Haulage Association)

A snapshot of the general fleet on offer are below:

10.5 Ton Flat Beds & Curtain Siders
14 Ton Curtain Siders
18 Ton Curtain Siders
27 Ton Flat Beds & Curtain Siders
44 Ton Flat Beds and Curtain Siders

Pick Up’s Trucks are available for any smaller loads, alternatively parcels can be sent by any of our parcel couriers.

Good are shipped on pallets (sizes to suit your project) each pallet is shrink wrapped and banded for safety. Each panel will be separated by polystyrene packing blocks to prevent any metal to metal contact of your goods through transit. Timber framed pallets are available for any projects requiring crane offload on site.

Each pallet has a contents list attached for you to easily identify your goods without the need for opening each pack before it's required.

(We do advise ventilation cuts are placed into the shrink wrap to allow air to circulate on site) Pallets can be packed in accordance with your install needs, please speak with our Sales or Production Teams  regarding any specific requirements for your project.

Need a sample?

To request a sample, arrange an appointment or ask a question:

Phone

Call +44 (0) 191 587 9213

Visit our showrooms

London rainscreen cladding Showroom

London Showroom

Our brand new London showroom in Bloomsbury is free to anyone to visit. If you contact us in advance, we can arrange for a technical representative to meet you there to discuss your unique requirements and demonstrate our systems.

 

26 Store St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BT

 

Opening hours:

 

Mon – Fri: 9.00am – 5.00pm

 

Please note that Sotech’s showroom in the Building Centre is not usually staffed. To be met by one of our Technical Experts at the Building Centre (or at your offices), please call +44 (0) 191 587 9213.

Sotech Rainscreen Cladding Training Centre

North East Showroom

Our North East showroom in Peterlee includes our state of the art manufacturing facility and training centre. Installers are welcome to visit for training on our products or to discuss upcoming projects. Architects are invited to discuss their unique requirements and get advice on specifications.

 

Unit 2 Traynor Way, Peterlee SR8 2RU

 

Opening hours:

 

Mon – Thur: 8.00am – 5.00pm | Fri: 8.00am – 4pm

 

Sotech’s North East showroom is home to its state of the art manufacturing facilities. To arrange a tour, followed by a meeting with one of our Technical Experts, please call +44 (0) 191 587 9213.

Testing / Warranty

Safety has always been our primary concern. Sotech’s commitment to authentic engineering capability has been witnessed over several years in the testing of products as they are being developed. All Sotech Optima Rainscreen has been witnessed and certified by CWCT for wind serviceability and safety, air permeability and water penetration. We have completed several successful fire tests and welcome and encourage full scale system testing.

 

Useful links: 

 

Speak to an expert

If you require advice with design detail, assistance with a specification or to discuss your project in detail contact our technical department who have over 38 years’ experience in the construction industry. The team is on hand to provide knowledge and support at every stage of your project.

SOTECH Safe Hands M

SOTECH: A SAFE PAIR OF HANDS

 

Established in 1982, Sotech is a leading manufacturer of bespoke metal rainscreen cladding and architectural facade systems. When you choose us, you’re choosing a safe pair of hands.