All the latest cladding options, whether you’re looking for protection from fire or radiation, or just an elegant ceramic finish. But first, a look at how concrete can provide the lightest of finishing touches
Kawneer’s cladding range
Architectural aluminium specialist Kawneer has launched three cladding systems. The AA100 curtain wall has the benefit of not requiring site-applied sealants, so its installation is not dictated by weather conditions. The AA 201 unitised curtain wall is intended for fast-track construction on a variety of projects ranging from large offices to small projects. The AA 4001 framing system has been designed for use with Building Schools for the Future projects. The inclusion of a concealed vent allows it to comply with school design guideline BB95 and it also meets guideline BB93, which covers acoustics.
High-pressure laminate rainscreens
Eternit has added five metallic colours to its range of high-pressure laminate rainscreen cladding panels. This takes the number of colours available in the range, called Lamina External, to 66. The panels, which are coloured on both sides, are suitable for installation over cladding, facias, soffits and balconies. A range of concealed fixings is also available.
Weathertight tiled finish H
Kingspan Insulated Panels has launched a product called Thermalite that combines the advantages of an insulated panel system with the visual appeal of ceramic tiles. The panels are erected in the same way as the company’s other insulated panels. Kingspan says the product is easily integrated with other cladding systems and fenestration. Six different tile colours are available.
Kingspan Insulated Panels
Recycled foam panels
Italian company Lamital has launched a composite wall panel called Lamital-Lite. The company says it is both lightweight and moisture resistant, and is composed of a recycled foam plastic core faced with a high-pressure laminate. It is available in a range of core thicknesses from 3 mm to 13 mm, plus the thickness of the laminate. Two sheets are available: 2440 × 1220 mm and 3050 × 1220 mm.
Laminated cladding for interiors
High pressure laminate maker Formica has launched a collection called Range Additions 2006. The product is suitable for interior cladding applications and includes two new surface textures called MicroDot and Naturelle. MicroDot is matt and is intended to feel like smooth wood; Naturelle is a grid of concave dots with a satin finish.
High-frequency radiation protection H
External wall insulation specialist Sto has launched a cladding solution intended to stop electromagnetic radiation emitted by electronic devices, including mobile phones and phone masts, penetrating the walls of a building. The company says the product, called StoShield Mesh AES, provides 99% protection from high-frequency radiation. It consists of a double layer of wire mesh with insulation board sandwiched in the middle, and is finished with Sto’s render system on the exterior.
Product innovation: Light as concrete
The impressive versatility of concrete has been taken to a new level with the launch of Cladding Solutions’ rainscreen cladding panel. Called Fibre C, it is a mere 13 mm thick and weighs 26 kg per m2 yet the makers say it has the strength of a much heavier traditional precast concrete panel. The panels are available in a range of sizes up to a maximum length of 5.2 m and are available in a choice of seven standard colours including terracotta red, green and ivory. Bespoke colours are also available.
Its strength is created by a matrix of glass fibres. Continuous strands run through the concrete and loose fibres are randomly distributed throughout. It is cast between polythene sheets and allowed to cure for the conventional 28 days. When the polythene sheet is removed, the surface has a semi-gloss finish that the company calls Solo. For specifiers who want a matt finish, the surface is sandblasted; this finish is called Ferro. Patterns such as logos can be sandblasted into the surface of either finish.Curved panels are available and, as the product is also suitable for flooring, a seamless join between wall and floor is possible using a curved section. The product is suitable for a range of other applications too, including interior wall linings and exterior seating. The company is working on the next generation product and says a 10 mm or even a 8 mm thick sheet is in the offing.