Lifestyle, Tech

Distinguishing Between Aluminium and Composite Cladding: Understanding the Contrast

In Australia, aluminium is more and more being used for exterior cladding instead of traditional timber and weatherboard. However, there are two types of aluminium cladding and architects and their clients should know how to distinguish between the two and how to decide which to use. They must decide whether they are going to work with pure metal sheets or install composite cladding. Everyone involved in designing and creating a structure must understand the difference between the two types to make an informed choice.

To help clients, this article discusses some of the aspects to keep in mind when the type of material for the exterior has to be decided on.

Solid aluminium plates

They are plates of pure metal. Usually, they are treated with chrome and fluorocarbon spray. They are ideal to use outdoors and because of their lightweight, easy to install. It is strong and durable and often used only for construction, but can also be utilised as decoration material.

They are also not in any combination with other materials which might cause possible combustion risks. Because the sheets’ melting temperature is 660 degrees Celsius they won’t ignite easily. The possibility to cause or enhance a fire is very slim. Therefore, the sheets are safe to use even in high fire-risk environments.

Composite cladding

Although various composite materials, such as wood panels, are available, we’ll focus only on aluminium products in this article. Alucobond cladding, for instance, is widely used in Australia. The Alucobond cladding sheets and panels comply with all of Australia’s applicable official regulations.

Generally speaking, a composite panel consists of outside layers sandwiching the core between them. In cheap products, this core is often made of highly combustible and flammable material. Usually, these cheap composite products are manufactured and sold at a much lower price than solid metal sheets or safe composite material with a low combustion and fire risk, such as Alucobond panels.

What installers Sydney should know

Cladding installers Sydney should know that it is safe and easy to create an Alucobond installation because

  1. the sheet’s core is made of fire-repellent material, and non-toxic flame-retardant materials are added,
  2. it instals just as easy as solid metal panels, and
  3. it can be used on the exterior of any structure.

On the other hand, an aluminium plate is not aesthetically as beautiful as a composite sheet, but it withstands winds and extreme temperatures better.


To ensure that the right cladding material is used, the pros and cons of both must be weighed up against each other. Only then an informed decision can be made. If the choice is to use composite material, ensure to use a product such as Alucobond Australia, which conforms to all official specifications and standards.

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