Alubond secures technology breakthrough by developing A1 fire rated Aluminium Core
The Fire-Retardant A1 Aluminium Composite Panels are fully non-combustible and do not produce any smoke in the event of fire, offering an ideal sustainable alternative to façade cladding materials.
Date: Dubai, UAE, December 23, 2020
Metal Plast Industries, a fully-owned subsidiary of the diversified multinational business conglomerate Mulk Holdings International, has successfully developed Fire Rated A1 grade Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) core and a proprietary bonding system exclusively for Alubond A1, which will reduce the spread of fire in high-rise buildings globally.
A technology breakthrough, this is considered a game-changer in the fire rating standards of exterior facades and makes Alubond A1 the world’s safest and highest fire rated composite panels. This is another feather to the world’s largest ACP manufacturer.
“I am pleased to announce that we have started manufacturing Alubond A1 Fire-Retardant ACPs that will reduce and stop fire incident in civil structures and save properties and lives across the world,” Adnan Ul Mulk, Founder of Metal Plast Industries and Vice-Chairman of Mulk Holdings International, said at a press conference.
“We are proud to be the first manufacturer of A1 core in the Middle East – at our flagship industry at Hamriyah Free Zone. The game-changing product has been developed by our own Research and Development team and will soon be exported to other markets in the world and it shall be our endeavour to make the world safer with Alubond A1.”
Metal Plast Industries is the first company in the Middle East and Europe to be manufacturing A1 cores. The company has started offering live demonstration of their A1 core manufacturing capability to global experts and buyers in their expansive facility located in Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah, UAE, where the new A1 core was tested to achieve below 1 MJ/Kg heat release – an industry benchmark.
Metal Plast Industries’ dedicated Research and Development team, led by Mr Rajiv Ranjan Jha, worked tirelessly to develop the game-changing Alubond A1 Fire-Retardant Core meeting international and UAE Fire Code standards. The Team used a combination of hybridisation and Nano technology by adding nanomaterials and reinforcement fillers to a matrix of minerals to achieve the desired strength and non-combustible performance of the A1 core.
Some of the currently popular construction materials with an A1 grade used in exterior facades are Natural stone and solid metal. A composite panel of 4mm with two layers of aluminium skin bonded to an inner core of minerals to achieve A1 standards has always been a dream of the industry.
Alubond A1 has achieved better standards including lowest heat release over high lamination, such as heat value less than 1.0 MJ/kg and peel strength above 7.0 Newton per square metres. In many ways, Alubond A1 is ahead of the curve among all fire-retardant aluminium products.
Bilal Khan, Professional Engineer at WSP Dallas, Texas, said, “Health and safety of the end user is always a top priority in engineering design. Alubond is leading the market by prioritising health and safety with the release of the A1 ACP panel.”
Alubond is the world’s largest ACP and MCM Brand with over twenty-five million square meters of manufacturing and processing capacity with manufacturing facilities in Europe, UAE, Turkey, Oman and India. The newest addition – the A1 core – is a further proof of excellence and innovation.
Rajiv Ranjan Jha, the man behind the development of this technology, stated, “After 10 years of successful implementation of FR B1 granules and A2 core, our R&D team developed the world’s highest fire rated A1 core for cladding.
“Our R&D team is now in the process of adding more patented technologies such as light weighted fireproof cladding, conductive nano core for cladding and nano ceramic dust free cladding.”
The Fire-Retardant A1 ACPs are non-combustible and do not produce any smoke in the event of fire. It therefore offers an ideal sustainable alternative to façade materials made of metal or other cladding materials used for ventilated rain screen cladding façades systems.
The FR-A1, which is a more advanced and a much safe product, is a significant improvement from the existing FR-A2 ACPs in the market. Fire is the biggest cause of accidents in high-rise buildings in the world and in the UAE which has the third highest number of skyscrapers in the world after China, USA and Japan. The UAE also hosts 18 of the world’s tallest 100 towers including Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world.
The UAE, UK and the world including has suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises in recent years. The reason for the blazes, building and safety experts say, is the combustible core used in ACP cladding. The new A1 non-combustible core will rest the risk of rapid spread of the blaze.
Fire incidents on an average killed 43,200 people per year in 23 years, from 1993 to 2016, according to a research report on 39 cities worldwide conducted by the Centre of Fire Statistics, 2018. Experts say, unless the old buildings are retrofitted with non-combustible core cladding the danger of fire incidents remains high, causing material damage to the building structures as well as lives.
Sania Mulk, an architect from Virginia Tech University, commented, “For an architect, material choice is always validated through fire-rated safety standards first. The new A1 Core will appeal to architects not only through its design capabilities but also from its safety standards.”
Alubond A1 is particularly suitable for areas where very high fire protection or the use of non- combustible façade materials is required – for example on high-rise buildings or high-risk buildings, fire exit staircases and the like. Alubond A1‘s excellent product and processing properties as well as its wide range of choice of finishes guarantee almost unlimited architectural design possibilities – both in refurbishment and new buildings.
For the uninitiated, let us explain the journey of fire rated cores through time.
What is fire rating?
In a nutshell, fire rating is fire protection standards set in place by law for protection of buildings. The European standard for fire protection, for instance, is a classification system called BS EN 13501-1- a fire classification of construction products. It is considered to be the highest standard with up to 5 steps rigorous testing.
● Non-Combustibility Test (BS EN ISO 1182)
● Heat of Combustion Test (Calorific value) (BS EN ISO 1716)
● Burning Item Test (SBI) (BS EN 13823 Single)
● Radiant Panel Test (Floorings only) (BS EN ISO 9239-1)
● Single-flame Source Test (BS EN ISO 11925-2)
How is A1 an imperative standard?
Based on the performance, products are given the EUROCLASS rating classified as A1, A2, B, C, D, E and F. A1 being the highest rating signifying non-combustible materials. The A1 rating is the strictest fire rating standard in the world that validates a product’s non-combustible nature. This makes it an ideal choice in the development of high-rise buildings. For a trusted, quality proofed foundation, these are the products one should look out for.
What does Alubond’s latest creation speak of?
Alubond U.S.A had an impressive array of products to start from initially: From a full range of Fire Rated Metal Panels to Honeycombs, A2 Mineral Core ACP, B Mineral Core ACP and Exotic metals MCM. While the latest breakthrough has made them the pioneer manufacturers of A1 core in Europe and the Middle East, it has only served to make them the market leaders in hitherto unseen standards. And rightfully so.
New should not necessarily mean unfamiliar. We at Alubond understand our client’s needs and the requirements are always adjusted likewise. The A1 core is as easily handled, stored and transported as the A2 core and coil forms before that. The familiarity is an absolute plus to the newer arenas of construction this product opens single-handedly. It also comes with an impressive choice of options in colours to choose from so as to suit every palate and design.
The A1 Fire Rated panels are the solution!
About Alubond USA
Alubond USA is a global Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) brand originally developed by American Building Technologies INC (ABTI) located in Rockford, Illinois, USA, and in UAE by Eurocon Building Industries, a group company of Mulk Holdings.
Under a 2004 sale agreement between ABTI and Mulk Holdings, the brand and manufacturing rights were acquired by Mulk Holdings UAE. Mulk Holdings currently holds worldwide manufacturing and distribution rights of Alubond USA brand.
The Alubond growth story started with a major expansion plan in UAE with three production bases of 6 lines and One Coil Coating Line making the facility today perhaps the largest single production base in the world with over 8 million square meters of production capacity. In a strategic expansion plan, Mulk Holdings established Alubond Europe in Serbia, with a 2 million square metres capacity. This facility is focused to cater to the established European market of 40 countries with Russia and other nearby countries.
European Clients of Alubond USA will benefit with close proximity and Euro One certification of the facility and be able to take advantage of Serbia’s Free Trade agreement policies with these markets. In a major expansion plan of 2010, Mulk Holdings signed a joint venture agreement with DAC Systems India to launch Alubond DACS India Ltd to cater to India and Australasia Markets. The New Facility will have two High Speed ACP Production Lines as well as one fully automated state of The ART Coil Coating Line with an initial production capacity of 3 million square metres and planned to ramp up to 5 million square metres.
A state-of-the-art High Speed Coil Coating Facility suitable for both ACP and Solid Aluminium coating up to 2 milimetres thickness is also being established in Sri Lanka as part of Mulk Enpar Investments. The New production bases in Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia increased the installed production capacity of metal composite panels to over 15,000,000 square metres and coil coating capacity to over 20,000 tons per annum making Alubond USA the world’s Largest Metal Composite Brand!