To our amazement, these types of fasteners have recently been utilized by many fabricators as a means of cutting down on manufacturing time and increasing production throughput.
There seems to be a large misunderstanding in the architectural community of what represents a pressure equalized rain screen system (PER), particularly when specifying wall panel systems. Far too often the pressure equalized rain screen system, or AAMA 508-07, “Voluntary Test Method and Specification for Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Wall Cladding Systems”, is referenced, however the AAMA 509-09, “Voluntary Test and Classification Method of Drained and Back Ventilated Rain Screen Wall Cladding Systems is presented in the specification details, which leads to confusion.
The Aluminum Composite Material or ACM industry has become very competitive both in the US and Canada over the past 15 years. We can likely attribute this to the large influx of new fabricators now on the scene. The law of averages dictates that with the increase in fabricator base we are also likely to see a number of companies who in an effort to win jobs, will attempt to deplete margins and further commoditize a great product like ACM.
More often than not, when we are contacted by construction industry professionals who may be interested in manufacturing aluminum composite (ACM) panel systems for their own projects, there is usually a degree of apprehension about the risk of altering their current businesses model, to add a new product or service. To address that fear, you must first look at the ACM Panel industry overall.
We often get asked this question by people looking to construct a building that will stand the test of time, free from long-term defects. The importance of specifying a tested panel system is that there are standards that exist (AAMA 508-07, NFPA 285, ASTM 283, 330 and 331) to guide architects and specification writers in how to pick appropriate products that are available to them within the master building specification.