Cladding systems can be used in almost all parts of a building including walls, balconies, windows, and even awnings. Since it has become available for commercial use, it has continued to skyrocket on the market due to its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, the release of a new regulation regarding the QBCC cladding assessment narrowed down the choices you have for your establishment.
Therefore, if you are one of those people looking to invest in cladding, watch out for these three most common combustible cladding.
• Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP)
This is considered the most famous culprit of fire incidents. This has gained attention when Lacrosse Building in Melbourne and London’s Grenfell Tower caught fire with rapid spread across floors due to this highly combustible cladding.
Aluminium Composite Panels, or ACP in short, is a sandwich cladding composed of a polymer core in between two thin aluminium sheets. Though aluminium sheets aren’t exactly combustible, the core in polymer between is. The sheets outside won’t be able to withstand heat from fire due to relatively low melting points, allowing the fire to reach the core.
These shiny panels have become popular due to low costs and are considered to be a lighter alternative of heavy cladding. This has become the standard cladding system of most buildings in the country until the new regulation was released in 2018. Combustible cladding audit experts are continuously assessing buildings that are known to have combustible cladding. Visit us at DMA Engineers
• Timber Material
Timber has long been used as a classic cladding with the use of plywood. With the common knowledge of timber being a combustible material, manufacturers still continue to promote and sell plywood cladding. Aside from its availability, it is also a cheaper option for people who want to get the best out of their money.
Plywood or hardwood timber, when caught in fire, can fuel it up more which promotes rapid fire spread This can lead to bigger damage. Wood awnings, as well as furniture, may also worsen the spread of fire, compromising the safety of lives and your property. It’s best to know the risks by talking to a combustible cladding consultant.
• Vinyl or PVC
Polyvinyl chloride, or simply vinyl, is widely used in establishments as the main component of pipes as well as cladding and is considered a great substitute for wood. However, the implementation of the QBCC cladding assessment made the owners think twice about using this material.
Fire melts polyvinyl chloride instantly, making it a fire hazard when used as cladding for houses and buildings. The undeniable aesthetic value, durability, and cost-effectivity still make it a top alternative of timber and aluminium composite panels, especially for residential homes. Despite the combustible cladding laws being implemented, the great demand for the market from vinyl manufacturers remains high.
These materials are still probably seen in a lot of residential homes and commercial buildings up to this day; however, the government is constantly looking for ways to help each and every one. The state’s aim to eliminate, or at least minimize fire incidents, has paved the way to a more secure and safer lifestyle of Queenslanders. If implemented strictly and properly, the QBCC cladding assessment may become a breakthrough which will be followed by the biggest cities around the world.
Visit https://dmaengineers.com.au/services/fire-engineering/combustible-cladding-assessments/ for more details regarding cladding assessment.