5 Reasons Metal Wall Panels are a Smart Choice

ALPOLIC – As architects seek more variety and sustainable building materials, metal wall panels made from recycled aluminum offer a solution. When it comes to green—and versatile—options, ALPOLIC, the world’s leading manufacturer of aluminum and metal composite materials manufactured from up to 50% recycled materials, is leading the way.

Produced by Mitsubishi Chemical Composites America, ALPOLIC Materials is helping engineers and architects create better, more beautiful buildings. Jim Moses, technical services manager at ALPOLIC, points to the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office Headquarters in Phoenix, which used a majority of metal composite material with a natural zinc finish, as one key example where an architect had a grand idea and was able to realize it using the product.

These are a few reasons to consider ALPOLIC Materials.
1: They’re Versatile.

If you’re looking for a lot of finish looks in a product line that’s easy to work with from a construction point of view, ALPOLIC is an obvious choice, Moses says. ALPOLIC materials are lighter in weight, easier to fabricate into complex forms, and easier to install than traditional materials, while still offering flatness, durability, stability, vibration damping, and ease of maintenance.

2: They have multiple color and finish options.

With almost 80 stock colors as well as a wide selection of glosses and finishes like wood, stone, and prismatics, plus the typical micas and metallics, and the ability to specify custom colors, you can match ALPOLIC materials to virtually any color or finish. For instance, Butler Tech Bioscience Center in Ohio made good use of the material’s flexibility and color options by using contrasting colors in ALPOLIC’s metal panels coated in Valspar’s Valflon.

3: They’re cost-efficient.

ALPOLIC is a lower-cost way to clad what otherwise would be an ordinary building and make it stand out. For instance, auto dealers often use ALPOLIC panels to freshen up their buildings and make them look bright, shiny, and new. “The versatility of the types of buildings you can clad is one of the hallmarks—you don’t have the issues found with plate or more fragile cladding alternatives,” Moses says. ALPOLIC also offers special trim touches and shimmer or effect finishes to accent an entryway or window wall.

Kraig Kessel, cofounder of design firm Kraido, developed a prototypical look for chains like Jiffy Lube using ALPOLIC. “From the building aspect, I need brand integrity to be maintained over time,” he says. “It has to last, and it has to be uniform. ALPOLIC is not going to corrode or fade and will look just as good on day 2,000 as it does on day one.”

4: They’re Sustainable.

ALPOLIC keeps its footprint as small as possible, recycling the excess paint as well as the aluminum and core materials. It also publishes a material ingredient report to ensure the materials won’t cause environmental issues. The company has a commitment to lead-free coatings, with a fire-retardant core in the panels that’s good for the environment and human health and wellness. Its recycling program, Encore, reclaims metals and reuses materials from previous projects.

ALPOLIC’s dedication to sustainability is also expressed through its Kaiteki Institute, established in 2009 by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation with the aim of realizing kaiteki, a sustainable condition that’s comfortable for people, society, and the earth (“kaiteki” is the Japanese word for comfortable). The institute is focused on finding solutions to various environmental, energy, water and food, and health care challenges. “The finishes are good for the environment and customer because they last for a long time,” says Rick Harford, ALPOLIC’s manager of sustainability and kaiteki. “We’re trying to make good business decisions that are not only good now, but for decades to come.”
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5: Quality control is on point.

Kessel loves working with ALPOLIC because of the company’s dedication to service, seeing him through projects such as the Jiffy Lube design. “We had some pushback, initially, and ALPOLIC was there to get us through it. I can’t stress the service dimension enough. If there’s an issue, they’ll be all over it,” he says. “Their facility is so clean you can eat off the floor. I was intrigued by their level of quality control—they’re looking at coating, looking for imperfections. You get checkpoints on multiple dimensions, and if there’s ever an issue, they’re there to solve it.”