How hot does aluminium composite panel get?

2023/04/11

Aluminium composite panels, or ACPs, are commonly used in building facades, signage, and interior design. They offer several advantages over traditional materials such as metal or glass, including lightweight, durability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. However, one concern that some people have is how hot ACPs can get under exposure to sunlight or fire. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the temperature of ACPs and their safety implications.


What is Aluminium Composite Panel?


Aluminium composite panel is a sandwich panel made of two layers of aluminium sheets bonded to a core of polyethylene or mineral-filled thermoplastic material. The bonding process involves adhesive films or an extrusion coating technique that creates a strong and seamless bond between the layers. ACPs can have different colours, finishes, and surface textures, depending on the design requirements. They can also be cut, shaped, or drilled to fit specific shapes and sizes.


Substrate Colour


One of the main factors that influence the heat absorption and reflection of ACPs is the colour of the substrate. Darker colours tend to absorb more light and heat than lighter colours, which reflect more light and heat. For example, a black or navy blue ACP can reach a surface temperature of over 80°C on a sunny day, while a white or silver ACP can stay below 50°C. Therefore, it is recommended to use lighter colours for ACPs that are exposed to direct sunlight.


Insulation and Ventilation


Another factor that affects the temperature of ACPs is the level of insulation and ventilation around them. ACPs that are installed in a well-ventilated and shaded area tend to stay cooler than ACPs that are enclosed or exposed to high temperatures. ACPs that are insulated from behind with an air gap or a thermal barrier also tend to reduce heat transfer to the building interior. Additionally, ACPs that are installed with fire-safety measures such as fire-rated insulation, sprinklers, or smoke detectors can provide extra protection against fire hazards.


Fire-Resistance and Flame-Retardancy


Speaking of fire hazards, ACPs have been a topic of concern in recent years due to some incidents where they contributed to the spread of fires in high-rise buildings. The core material of ACPs, which is usually made of combustible thermoplastic or polyethylene, can melt and release toxic gases when exposed to flames. Therefore, it is essential to choose ACPs that have fire-resistant or flame-retardant properties, i.e., they are designed to resist or slow down the spread of fire. Some of the standards that regulate the fire performance of ACPs include the EN 13501-1, ASTM E84, and A2-s1,d0 or A2-s2,d0 classifications.


Testing and Certification


To ensure the safety and quality of ACPs, they should undergo rigorous testing and certification procedures by accredited labs and institutions. Some of the tests that ACPs may be subjected to include the ASTM D1929 (ignition temperature), the ASTM D1781 (bending stiffness), the ASTM D522 (thickness), and the ASTM E1354 (flooring spread of flame). The certification bodies that provide third-party verification of ACPs include the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), the Florida Building Commission (FBC), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).


Conclusion


In conclusion, the question of how hot aluminium composite panel can get is a complex one that depends on various factors such as substrate colour, insulation, ventilation, fire resistance, testing, and certification. ACPs that are designed, installed, and maintained according to industry standards and best practices can provide a safe and reliable solution for building construction and decoration. Consult with a qualified ACP supplier or engineer to determine the optimal ACP specifications for your project.

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