Aluminium panel signage supplier Alupanel will introduce a fire-resistant core to its premium range, after high-rise building fires sparked by aluminium cladding led to public pressure to discontinue their use.
Alupanel says authorities have begun systematically reassessing the use of aluminium composite material with polyethylene core, a non-compliant product in some architectural applications. Concerns from the general public have received support from architects, certifiers, and designers for cladding solutions as well as other applications.
Troy Mackintosh, manager, Alupanel says, “We have been working on this product for a long time. Given everything that has happened in the UK, we thought now would be a good time to bring it to the market.”
Alupanel is not produced by the same manufacturer that produced the aluminum cladding on the Grenfell apartment tower, which went up in flames. He says, “We are not connected to that manufacturer at all. Alupanel is produced by Multipanel in the UK, and we have not had any fire issues that I am aware of. We have decided to transition our premium products to a fire resistant core.
“The Alupanel has been used for 12 years in Australia and New Zealandf. It is rigid, clean, smart look, and is light and easy to use. We have three grades of product, depending on the requirements. We are changing our top end product there to FR. They are a little heavier, but still light. It also has a high gloss finish to it.”
The new version of Alupanel will be Alupanel FR, an aluminium composite material with the Fire Resistant (FR) Core, which Alupanel hopes will alleviate concerns. The company will not impose the additional costs of producing the FR core on the customer. Alupanel says this will allow it to offer the new FR product at the same competitive rate as the PE Core.
Mackintosh concludes, ““This will ensure that there are no barriers for Alupanel Users when moving to the FR Core.”