Cladding is a crucial element of any building, especially when the facade needs to comply with new fire safety standards. After the Grenfell Tower tragedy, it has become mandatory to use non-combustible cladding on buildings over 11m in England and Wales. However, not all cladding is created equal and choosing the right one is essential. With MechSlip, our award-winning brick slip cladding solution, you can ensure that your cladding complies with the new standard.
With a reaction to fire rating of A1, our system is the perfect option for those renovating or constructing residential apartment buildings or high-rise offices. It delivers a modern aesthetic while also meeting the new fire regulations.
We worked together with our sister company, Mitsubishi Chemical a1cladding.co.uk Infratec, to develop Australia’s first and only A1 cladding. The result is a stunning product called ALPOLIC NC/A1. It’s an aluminium composite material with a non-combustible mineral core and contains zero polyethylene. It achieves a Euroclass A1 fire rating, which is the highest European fire protection class and significantly outperforms solid aluminium and cement cladding products.
The A1 classification is based on a stacked level of testing with increasing stringency. Classes A1, A2 and A3 are the safest materials that do not contribute to the spread of flames, emit minimal smoke or flaming droplets and do not ignite at all. In comparison, a material classified as B has moderate fire performance and may still ignite and propagate flames to some extent.
In addition to its excellent fire resistance, A1 has a very good mechanical properties and is easy to process, shape and fabricate. It has a high degree of flatness and a superior strength to weight ratio and is highly resistant to weathering, corrosion, impact and colour fading. It is also extremely low in moisture content and can therefore be exposed to the elements without the risk of degrading or deterioration.
It can also be easily bonded to other materials such as concrete, wood or steel. The bonded surface can be painted with a variety of paints to match the existing façade and it can be used in combination with other facade components such as window frames and doors.
A1 is very durable and can be used in areas with a harsh environment, such as industrial sites. The material can withstand hail, snow and other extreme conditions. However, it is important to keep in mind that A1 can be damaged by (rain)water if it has been (very) long exposed to moisture and does not have the chance to dry out.
To avoid this, we recommend to inspect the A1 objects at least once a year and to give them the opportunity to evaporate the residual moisture in a covered area with room temperature for some days. The duration of the drying period depends on the thickness of the A1 object, the humidity and the temperature where it is stored. It is also advisable to apply the A1 coating only after the residual moisture has disappeared.