As an affordable construction material, aluminum composite panels are well known for their durability, lightweight, and thermal and insulating properties, but aside from its practical features, ACP is also widely used for embellishments and creative design work. With its impressive malleability and near limitless options of color, pattern, and finish, you can use aluminum composite panels to liven up your building’s exterior. Two popular methods to achieve this are wall claddings and curtain walls.
For such a versatile material, which of the two methods make better use for your ACP?
In construction, a wall cladding (or siding) is an extra layer of a different material attached to an existing exterior of a building. Its main purpose is to protect the building from natural elements, such as harsh weather, but it can also serve decorative purposes as well. Many materials can be used for wall cladding; aluminum composite panels being one of them. The metallic exterior of aluminum claddings provides a clean and sleek finish to buildings, making it a favorite material choice for industrial, modern, and retro-style buildings.
Often confused for a storefront, curtain walls are non-load bearing, non-structural outer walls that span multiple storeys. Their purpose is not to support the building in any way. Instead, they are used to divert wind and deter rainfall, and to provide decoration to the building. If glass panels are used, the curtain wall can bring in natural light. If the curtain wall is made of aluminum composite panels, then it offers privacy as well as provides some insulation. Curtain walls also feature their own drainage system, which can be handy during the rainy season.
Similarities and Differences
Wall claddings and curtain walls are both popular ACP applications. They are commonly used in commercial high-rise buildings because they exude a modern, urban look, while also being easy to maintain and clean. Architects like to make use of these exteriors to add pops of color to an otherwise drab or dull-looking building. They are great ways to make use of ACP’s insulation and water-resistant properties because they are a building’s first defense against climate and weather.
One key difference between these two applications is their purpose. A curtain wall can block wind and rainfall, but it’s not as structurally sound as a wall cladding, which is applied to protect and insulate the building itself. And since their design resembles more like a frame, curtain walls do not cover a lot of areas. Wall claddings, on the other hand, cover a large span of the building, if not the entire building itself.
Curtain Wall or Wall Cladding?
If we’re talking about maximizing ACP’s features, which range from torsion strength to heat resistance, then wall claddings are the best application for this versatile material. But there’s nothing wrong with using them for curtain walls either since they still offer some form of protection despite not covering many areas. Overall, both curtain walls and wall claddings make good use of aluminum composite panels, so whichever one you choose, you’re bound to be satisfied with the results.