Aluminium is a product with unique properties, making it a natural partner for the building industry. Thanks to its strength, durability, corrosion resistance and recyclability, it has become an essential product for the building industry and over the past 50 years its use in building applications has shown continuous and consistent growth.
Applications of Aluminium in Construction and Building
Aluminium extruded, rolled, and cast products are commonly used for window frames and other glazed structures ranging from shop fronts to large roof superstructures for shopping centres and stadiums; for roofing, siding, and curtain walling, as well as for cast door handles, catches for windows, staircases, heating and air-conditioning systems. Most recently; aluminium has played a significant role in the renovation of historic buildings. The characteristics and properties of aluminium as a material have lead to revolutionary and innovative changes in building techniques and architectural and engineering projects. Aluminium is leading the way into the future of the construction industry.
Aluminium also meets the architect demands for a strong but safe material.
Aluminium in Fire
For example, being a metal, aluminium will not burn and is therefore classified in fire protection regulations as a non-combustible construction material. Aluminium alloys will, however, melt at around 650°C (a temperature reached in a fire after a certain time), but this behaviour is seen by fire authorities as an advantage. Industrial roofs and external walls are increasingly made from thin aluminium cladding panels, which may be designed to melt during a major fire. This opens the building and allows heat and smoke to escape, thereby minimising the temperature load on the structure and facilitating the extinguishing of the fire. As a result, the structure of the building can be saved, thereby avoiding the need to completely reconstruct the building or demolish it. At the same time, aluminium panels do not release any harmful combustion gases in fire conditions.
Aluminium in Penetration Barriers
Where high security is required, specifically designed aluminium frames are used in the constriction of explosion, bullet or burglar proof windows and doors. While the glass for such applications may be heavy, the overall weight of the structure is kept down to manageable proportions due to the light weight of the aluminium frame.