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27 Oct 2022 by Network Architectural | Facade Cladding & Ceiling Systems
Today Network Architectural, the Australian distributor of high-quality architectural cladding solutions, issued a challenge to insurers and government departments and agencies to take a closer look at one of our industry’s most pressing safety challenges.
“It’s clear that some in the insurance industry have been steering Australian architects and designers towards a single class of cladding (solid aluminium) because they’ve missed the science. They’ve mistakenly ascribed higher fire risk to all composite panels, rather than to the polyethylene core material of some composite panels which is the real risk factor,” said Clint Gavin, Network’s National Sales Manager.
For example, ALPOLIC™ NC (manufactured by Mitsubishi in Japan) is a non-combustible mineral core (zero PE) cladding which has outperformed 3mm Solid Aluminium in NATA-accredited AS5113 Large Scale Fire Tests.
“We’ll never sell 3mm solid aluminium cladding”
Network Architectural is a strong proponent of the chain of responsibility and the duty of care it owes to people who are buying buildings, working in them and living in them.
“We believe so strongly in ALPOLIC™ that we’ve knocked back many offers for us to distribute branded 3mm solid aluminium cladding,” said Clint. “We know it’s a hot topic and there are still some doubters. That’s why we put both products to the Blowtorch Test”.
Scientific evidence is clear
Network Architectural had full confidence that this blowtorch test would demonstrate how the two products perform under extreme heat, having witnessed how solid aluminium performed in NATA Lab AS5113 tests, and given the team had already seen evidence that ALPOLIC™ NC is safer under these conditions.
It’s been an open ‘secret’ in the industry for some time that solid aluminium has some highly- concerning performance characteristics under extreme heat and flame.
Specifically, the results of all large scale wall tests performed in Australia and around the world, reveal that when solid aluminium cladding is subjected to extreme heat, large chunks of flaming and molten aluminium are seen to fall to the ground.
Network Architectural is issuing a challenge to all promoters and distributors of 3mm solid aluminium cladding in Australia to do the right thing and release their AS5113 Full Scale Fire test results without delay.
ALPOLIC™ NC fire safe cladding option and its fire-resistant aluminium counterpart , ALPOLIC™ FR, are backed by a 20-year full replacement warranty from manufacturing giant Mitsubishi.
As well as its superior performance under high temperatures and fire conditions, ALPOLIC cladding is known for lower maintenance, lack of oil canning effect, and proven results under Australian conditions over 35 years. With monthly shipments from Japan, Australian architects and designers can be assured that ALPOLIC™ by Mitsubishi not only performs better but that it will be available on time when needed on site.
Network Architectural is the exclusive Australian distributor of high-quality architectural solutions including Mitsubishi ALPOLIC™ NC, ALPOLIC™ FR, Fibreclad, Prodema, and Durlum Metal Ceilings. www.networkarchitectural.com.au