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rainscreen cladding

How FEA can help you specify the right system

Specifying the most suitable rainscreen solution for your project can be challenging, and often involves using a different system than you might have first expected.

At Sotech, we pride ourselves on how extensively we test our products to ensure they maintain the highest standard of quality and safety for our clients; though our systems are tried-and-tested both on our own premises and at an independent facility, it would be impossible for us to test every various iteration of every system we provide, simply due to cost and time constraints.

To tackle this issue, we use Finite Element Analysis software (FEA) to create simulations of our systems and theoretically test how different panels will react to certain loads or conditions.

FEA allows us to not only ensure that our rainscreen products are safe and secure when facing adverse conditions or large amounts of pressure, it also provides evidence for the reasons why we have recommended a particular system.

Our process at Sotech involves listening to architects, rather than selling to them; that means understanding exactly what you want from a system and providing advice on a solution that we, as technical experts, believe will work best for the project. Conducting extensive research and testing using FEA is just one way that we can gather data that supports our choice of solution, as well as assuring you that the system we are recommending is the right one.

The design for your project may include rainscreen panels of a certain width, or with particular aesthetic features, but these elements could mean that the system is technically unable to face the windload that it is expected to receive, putting the whole project at risk. FEA is designed to act as a risk assessor; it picks up on these potential issues and enables us at Sotech to help you specify a system that avoids them.

Specifying a rainscreen system is like trying to solve a puzzle; factors like size, strength, substructure, appearance and windload all need to be considered and negotiated in order to find the right solution for your project. At Sotech, our technical expertise and years of industry experience mean that we can work with you to provide that solution and successfully make your architectural vision a reality.

To find out more about FEA, or for assistance with specifying a project, call our technical team on 0191 587 9213, or email technical@sotech-optima.co.uk.

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