Distributor of aluminium panels for signage and shopfitters, Alupanel, is introducing a fire-resistant core to its premium range, after high-rise building fires sparked by aluminium cladding led to immense public pressure to discontinue their use.
Alupanel says authorities have begun systematically re-assessing the use of Aluminium Composite Material with Polyethylene Core, which is a non-compliant product in some architectural applications.
Due to pressure from the general public, these concerns are being mirrored by architects, certifiers and designers for cladding solutions as well as other applications due to the possible risk with polyethylene core in fire situations.
Alupanel says it is for this reason that have decided to provide a fire resistant option to the non-cladding market of signmakers, shopfitters and builders.
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.
Mackintosh explains, “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. 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.
“This will ensure that there are no barriers for Alupanel Users when moving to the FR Core.”
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