Metal wall panels or metal cladding, have become a popular choice for modern commercial construction. Used primarily as a cladding application, metal paneling has been around since the mid-19th century and has evolved to offer an array of unprecedented benefits.
Overall, metal panel wall systems have a long lifespan, require minimal maintenance, and offer superior protection against the elements. This, along with the dynamicity of design options and finishes available, metal cladding has quickly become the go-to solution for architects and contractors who are looking for the ideal balance between functional and visually appealing structures.
What Is A Metal Panel Wall System?
A metal panel wall system is a modern building construction technique that involves the use of prefabricated metal to form the outer layer of a building. The panels are commonly made from aluminum or steel and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. In addition, metal paneling typically consists of three main layers: an interior panel, insulation, and an exterior panel. The panels are attached to the building’s frame using a support system, which can be exposed or hidden depending on the design.
Due to the modular nature of metal paneling installation, metal panel wall systems are known for their ease of assembly, strength, and durability, making it an unambiguous choice for designs that require robust materials. Some of the industries that utilize metal panel wall systems include:
The 3 Main Types Of Metal Wall Panels
- Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) – Insulated Metal Panels are composite exterior roof and wall panels with metal skins and insulating foam cores. They offer superior insulating properties, which can contribute to high energy savings and more comfortable indoor environments. IMPs are also lightweight, easy to install, and come in a variety of profiles, colors, widths, and finishes. They are ideal for all types of commercial and industrial buildings, including schools, retail centers, and power plants. IMP’s are an excellent option for buildings with straightforward designs that do not demand intricate geometry.
- Solid Plate Aluminum and Metal Composite Material (MCM) Panels – Plate Aluminum wall panels are formed out of a solid sheet of aluminum. The use of solid aluminum offers the benefit of unlimited design flexibility as well as a superior strength and impact performance when utilized in high traffic areas. Metal Composite Materials have been used in construction projects for nearly 40 years. These panels are formed by bonding two metal skins with an engineered plastic core between them. The result is a metal/plastic composite. MCM panels offer design flexibility and the ability to be formed into various shapes and configurations in nearly any color. Though installed on various building types and applications, they are frequently used to join other building materials, such as glass and precast panels.
- Single Skin – Single skin wall panel systems can be classified into two different categories. roll formed Corrugated products and formed profile panel systems. Corrugated metal panels are a popular option for residential and commercial roofing applications, featuring excellent ventilation and wavy patterns that add unique aesthetic elements. They are made of lightweight materials, making them easy to install, and come in various colors and finishes. Corrugated panels are commonly used on agricultural buildings, storage sheds, and other commercial and industrial buildings such as warehouses and factories. That said, profiled single skin metal wall panels are a popular choice due to their durability, longevity, and easy installation. For instance, Americlad’s flatlock and Ameripro systems are designed with concealed fasteners, providing superior aesthetics with the added benefit of being safer and more secure than exposed fasteners found in typical corrugated panels. Moreover, their lengthy lifespan and sleek appearance is excellent for commercial/industrial investors looking for a long term value-add.
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The Benefits of Metal Wall Panels
While many materials offer advantages, metal wall panels come with numerous benefits that make them a top choice for architects, builders and building owners.
- Aesthetics: One of the most obvious benefits of a metal panel wall system is its aesthetic appeal. With shiny and matte finishes, these panels can be shaped into an array of patterns, making them look ultra-modern or vintage.
- Low Installation and Maintenance Costs: Installing metal wall panels can be quicker and less expensive than using materials like brick, concrete, or granite. They require minimal support structure and are often lighter in weight, making them relatively easy to install. Regarding maintenance, metal wall panels have an added advantage since they don’t rot, decay, or corrode easily. As such, they can be maintained at minimal cost over an extended period.
- Fireproofing: Metal wall panels can act as a barrier to fire, helping to keep an active fire from spreading and areas cool during intense heat. This benefit can be especially useful in areas prone to wildfires or buildings requiring strict fire codes.
- A Choice of Materials: Today’s architectural metal panels offer abundant material choices to fit nicely with almost any type of design. They can be made from zinc alloys, galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or copper. Many types of finishes can be added to accentuate the natural metal finish or add more depth with different textures or colors.
- Rain Screen: Metal paneling can serve as a rain screen/barrier, keeping water from entering inside the building – perfect for areas with high precipitation levels. As a result, you prevent mold and decay and ultimately save time and money on building maintenance and repairs.
- Durability: Metal walls are tough and resilient, making them impervious to everyday wear and tear. These panels do not dent, tarnish or ding easily, which in turn provides the confidence that they will maintain their beauty for decades.
- Malleability: Metal panels can be bent to conform to curves or to create shapes, while others can be specifically engineered for the installation with the desired shape. Because metals are malleable, they offer many more design possibilities than competing materials.
Maximize Design Flexibility, Durability, and Aesthetic Appeal
From superior protection against the elements to dynamic design options, metal paneling offers architects and contractors an ideal solution for modern commercial construction. If you’re interested in finding out more about metal panel wall systems and how they can benefit your next project, contact Americlad today for a quote.
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