Aluminum Overview

The twentieth century witnessed an explosion of new materials and assemblies for construction. Avant-garde architects who subscribed to the tenets of Modernism embraced reinforced concrete and glass to create remarkable new buildings. If concrete and glass were the first two critical material legs of the stool for Modern architecture, aluminum was the important third leg. We can thank aluminum for the changing image of modern cities and towns: the clarity of lines, the feverish desire to grow skyward, the beauty, functionality and environmental compatibility of present-day megalopolises. Imagine a light, but strong metal, not prone to corrosion, non-toxic and durable, and which can be given virtually any desired shape. Aluminum is a tool for unlimited creativity in the hands of the architect, making it possible to create structures that cannot be made from wood, plastic, or steel.

Corrosion Resistance and Longevity
The physical properties of Aluminum make it a very unique and useful material to be used as an exterior building surface. Given Aluminum’s ability to resist continued corrosion, it’s not uncommon for a properly designed roof or wall panel system to last over 30 years in most climatic conditions. When specifying Aluminum for building and architecture projects, following established design and fabrication guidelines for optimizing coating quality ensures maximum aesthetics can be achieved for roof and wall applications in acidic or coastal environments.

Thermal Expansion and Contraction
It is especially critical to allow for sufficient thermal movement for Aluminum panels, with an expansion rate twice that of steel. Even in California’s temperate climate, aluminum will actually expand almost an entire inch for every 30 feet of panel when exposed to extreme temperature differentials. If clips or fasteners restrict the panel when the expansion or contraction of the metal occurs, the surface of the panel will buckle. This increase in deflection is more prevalent with larger panels. Restricting the movement of the panels will also cause the solder or sealants that help make the system watertight to break down over time. All components should be given approximately ¼”- ½” at laps, ends, joints and seams to allow for thermal expansion

Conventional installation and fabrication techniques, similar to those used for other architectural metals, apply to Aluminum.. Its workability is comparable to copper. Standard metal forming tools, processing and machinery are employed. Aluminum is Tig weldable, and accepts adhesives and sealants well. Aluminum is available in coil and sheet widths up to 72” wide. Typical thicknesses from .015” to 1.00” Plate

Green Building Product
Sustainable materials are key elements of green buildings. Some benefits of sustainable materials include durability, long life, recyclability, and energy and thermal efficiency. Aluminum ranks highly in all of these categories.

A Cost Effective Building Material
Aluminum is economically priced with other architectural metals, it’s corrosion resistance lowers the installed unit cost. Long-term savings from durability and low maintenance make Aluminum a competitive architectural building material on a lifecycle basis.

Ø Anodizing / Painting offer durable limitless design options.

Ø Competitively priced.

Ø 100% Recyclable – Sustainable Green Material.

Ø Highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal.

Ø 25 Year Warranty

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