Understanding ACM Exterior Wall Panels

Exterior Wall Panel Systems

The exterior wall panels manages and controls the movement of heat and air into and out the building enclosure. It also provides structural support for the exterior facade. The exterior wall assembly must include a variety of components and systems that can work together in close proximity to achieve this complex list of interrelated design goals.

A few of the most common components and systems found in exterior wall panels include structural elements, drainage plan (air and water barrier), and vapor retarder (as needed). Exterior cladding includes, specifically for this article, aluminum composite material (ACM), wall panel assembly.

Understanding ACM Exterior Wall Panels ACM Panel Supplier & Contractor CLADDING 8@72x 100 1 1
structural element for exterior wall panels

structural element

The exterior wall system’s structural elements include the structural supports that hold the veneer or other exterior cladding to the structure. These structural elements must be able to support the veneer’s self-weight and withstand environmental loads such as wind loads. These structural elements include the sheathing, primary wall structure, and secondary framing elements (e.g. cold-formed metal furring) as well as other members that are specific for certain exterior wall panels.

drainage plane for exterior wall panels

drainage plane

The exterior wall system’s structural elements include the structural supports that hold the veneer or other exterior cladding to the structure. These structural elements must be able to support the veneer’s self-weight and withstand environmental loads such as wind loads. These structural elements include the sheathing, primary wall structure, and secondary framing elements (e.g. cold-formed metal furring) as well as other members that are specific for certain exterior wall panels.

vapor retarder for exterior wall panels

vapor retarder

In order to effectively manage moisture in the built environment, it is necessary to take all forms of moisture into consideration. The vapor retarder stops water vapor from flowing between the interior walls and exterior assemblies. A vapor retarder is defined by code. It is usually incorporated into drainage planes using products that can act as a water barrier, an air barrier, or a vapor slower.

insulating element for exterior wall panels

insulating elements

The exterior wall system’s insulation elements regulate the heat flow. It reduces heat loss or gain and increases the efficiency of the HVAC system. This is because less energy is needed to maintain the desired temperature.

acm cladding

exterior cladding (acm)

Exterior cladding is the protective finish or layer that is attached to the exterior of the building envelope. It is an important part of the building’s overall aesthetics. It also protects against rainwater penetration. The exterior wall assemblies should meet code-required requirements for structural support, continuous insulation, and moisture management.

acm core materials for exterior wall panels

acm panels: core materials

ACM panels consist of three layers: A thin aluminum skin that is bonded to a core with low density. They can be made from a variety of cores, including corrugated, solid, and aluminum honeycomb.

  • Corrugated polypropylene core panels are made of two sheets of aluminum that have been bonded to a core extruded thermoplastic. This is a discontinuous process and uses adhesives between dissimilar materials.
  • The solid polyethylene core panels consist of two sheets made of aluminum sandwiched with a core of extruded thermoplastic material. This continuous process is free from glues and adhesives that are used between dissimilar materials. These panels can be ordered in either a PE or FR core.
  • The aluminum honeycomb core panels consist of two aluminum sheets bonded to an aluminum honeycomb center.

what we concluded

The exterior wall system manages and controls the movement of heat and air into and out the building enclosure. It also provides structural support for the exterior facade. The exterior wall assembly must include a variety of components and systems that can work together in close proximity to achieve this complex list of interrelated design goals.

A few of the most common components and systems found in exterior wall panels include structural elements, drainage plan (air and water barrier), and vapor retarder (as needed). Exterior cladding includes, specifically for this article, aluminum composite material (ACM), wall panel assembly.