Alpolic; Aluminium Composite Material
Alpolic is the brand name of the aluminium composite material produced by Mitsubishi for over 40 years in Japan. Sorba has used this material in various projects since 2004. In these past years Mitsubishi and Sorba have developed a close relationship, this relationship became even tighter when Mitsubishi opened a new production facility in Wiesbaden, Germany. The new production facility gives us the opportunity to offer shorter delivery times and sharp prices. It also made it possible to invite architects and clients to the special colour lab and choose or develop the colour of their liking.
Alpolic is a trusted and much used material for Sorba. This is because we value the quality of the product and the wide range of finishes and colours we can offer. The high quality guaranteed by Mitsubishi makes Alpolic an ideal material for façades and infrastructure projects, even in challenging environments like train stations and coastal areas.
Aluminium composite material is a composition of a mineral core and two sheets of aluminium. The different varieties are made by processing the aluminium in different ways. The two main finishes are coated and anodized. Other varieties of Alpolic are made by replacing the aluminium with other metals. Below we tell you more about the characteristics of Alpolic and the different varieties.
We always use the Alpolic/fr, which has a mineral core with a low density. This makes the material 15% lighter than solid aluminium with comparable strength. Standard Alpolic/fr is 4.0 mm thick, but there are lighter and heavier varieties. The lighter variety is 3.0 mm, which makes it particularly suitable for ceilings, interior walls and partitions. The heavy quality Alpolic/fr is 6.0 mm to 8.0 mm thick. The heavy quality aluminium composite is needed for panels with large dimensions and/or high wind load. For roofs and canopies this high quality can be used when walkability is needed.
|Material||Alpolic||Aluminium||Weight Ratio Aluminium = 100%|
|Thickness in mm||Weight kg/m²||Thickness in mm||Weight kg/m²|
Alpolic/fr contains a fire-retardant mineral core and is classified as category B according to European classification. Category B is defined as “Combustible materials: Very limited contribution to fire” By using Alpolic/fr the fire safety class of the entire building can be improved.
When projects have higher demands regarding fire safety, Alpolic also has Alpolic A2. With this variety the composition of the mineral core is changed which gives it the fire class standard of A2 from the European classification. The material is part of the group of Non-Combustible Materials.
Alpolic has continued its research and a new version of Alpolic has been produced and even has the A1 label of the European Fire Safety classification. This A1 type Alpolic is already being used in Australia and will soon be available across Europe as well. The A1 qualification gives the aluminium composite material a better qualification than coated solid aluminium with classification A2. The Alpolic A1 material is a unique product for Mitsubishi, which shows the company has high quality technological products. Although the material isn’t available in Europe yet, Sorba can give quotations based on the new Alpolic A1 going forward.
Special requirements apply to rear-ventilated façade constructions. Not only the individual building materials, but also the entire system including substructure, insulation, joining elements, etc. must meet the fire safety requirements. In Great Britain, extensive large-scale fire tests were carried out by the testing institute BRE according to BS 8414-1. ALPOLICTM composite panels /fr and A2 fulfilled the high requirements of BR 135. This was proven in 11 different test setups.
Different varieties of Alpolic
Versatility is one of the strengths of Alpolic. The aluminium composite material has a wide range of applications, but also a big variety of colours and finishes. Therefore it can be used in a wide variety of projects. Read about the different kinds of Alpolic down below.
Coated Alpolic is unique because it uses Lumiflon based coating system. Comparable aluminium composite materials use PVDF coatings. The Lumiflon coating that Alpolic uses has a couple of advantages over PVDF coatings:
- Gloss rate: Matte (15%) to high gloss (90%) possible; PVDF range is only 25% – 40%
- Unlimited colour pallet
- Improved chemical resistance
- Lower cleaning frequency
- Improved scratch resistance
Another advantage is that Lumiflon coating can be repaired on site, because it is a thermoplastic that is air drying.
The effect of various gloss rates in one project.
Endless colour options with Alpolic
The Lumiflon coating makes it possible to offer an endless colour pallet. Next to the standardized colours Mitsubishi offers, it is possible to develop a unique colour. Alpolic offers 4 different finishes; Solid, Metallic, Sparkling and Prismatic. All these finishes can be made in the standardized colours. It is also possible to give a pattern to the coating. This way Aluminium Composite Material can be an alternative for wood, marble, metals etc.
A selection of the standard colours that the Lumiflon coating offers. Aside from these standard colours, Alpolic offers the possibility to develop and apply your own colour in your project.
The different finishes:
- Monotone Slate
- Metallic Silver Gray
- Sparkling Gray
- Prismatic Champagne
For Alpolic there is the option to anodize the aluminium used for the composite material. The aluminium gets a surface treatment that adds a protective layer but keeps the characteristics of aluminium visible. Through the surface treatment the protective layer becomes one with the material and doesn’t add an extra layer. During the anodization process colour and extra texture can be added to the material
Alpolic Metal Varieties
The brand name Alpolic from Mitsubishi also extends to other materials. These different composite materials have most of the same processing possibilities as aluminium composite material, but don’t get extra protective treatments, because these metals have corrosion resistant properties.
Titanium Composite Material
The titanium version of Alpolic, also called Titanium Composite material (TCM), is the best choice regarding corrosion. TCM is ideal for highly corrosive environments. Titanium Composite Material is only available in a matte finish.
Stainless Steel Composite Material
The Stainless-Steel composite material is available in a hairline, matte and mirror finish The use of stainless steel is beneficial because it is very durable, even in environments that are prone to corrosion like roofs, façades, but also infrastructural projects.