Engineering & System Performance
AL13™ manufacturing facilities are ISO certified, and/or PPG certified (coating facilities). We also have our own quality assurance measures to ensure product is going out properly.
To ensure installs are being done correctly, AL13™ has install guides for various substrates as well as install guide videos. Upon request AL13™ can provide an install manager to help with specific project; to provide product orientation for the installers (note: please ensure that the installers have read all of the relevant AL13™ documentation, and watched the videos.)
Wind Load Testing
AL13™ has conducted windload testing that determined what PSF (pounds per square foot) the system could endure. The AL13™ system failed at 91 PSF (or 4.36 kPa). The failure in this case however wasn't catastrophic (ie. the panel doesn't fall off the wall), the panel buckled at the top and purged the built up pressure - but remained securely in place.
*note: the AL13™ system is so well ventilated that it was impossible to achieve any real pressure behind the panel during the test. To determine failure mode/pressure the system had all the ventilated areas (corners of panels, etc.) taped to seal the air pressure in behind the panel. In a real world situation these vents would allow any acting pressure to equalize to the substrate and not act on the AL13™ system. A copy of this test is available upon request.
Rain Screen & Pressure Equalization
Building code in certain regions prescribes that cladding systems must conform to standards that prevent moisture accumulation in a wall (see leaky condos). These requirements allow for moisture to drain through behind the cladding system, as well to aid in airflow to ventilate the cavity.
Requirements typically state the following: 80% of the cladding assembly must be spaced away from the substrate by at least 10mm. AL13™ exceeds this requirement on it's own (without the use of strapping, or 3rd party rain screen products)
For reference: AL13™ panels are spaced (approx.) 15mm away from the substrate with a typical average of over 90% across the wall.
AL13™ has also passed the AAMA 508 standard: "Voluntary Test Method and Specification for Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Wall Cladding Systems"
The AAMA 508 is a collection of tests, a selection of the published information is below
Wind-Pressure Resistance - ASTM E330: Passed
Properties Against Water - ASTM E331: Passed at 479 Pa
Properties Against Air - ASTM E283: 0.61 L/s/m2
Pressure Cycling – ASTM E1288: passed 100 cycles
note: this data can also be found in our specifications (NMS specsheet)
General Canadian Code Compliance
The AL13™ cladding system isn't specifically mentioned in Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada (NBC). For cladding materials that aren't mentioned in Part 9, the code refers to Part 5 – Environmental Separation (sentence 18.104.22.168.5), which contains a general set of performance requirements for all cladding systems.
AL13™ cladding used with appropriate air and moisture barriers meets the requirements for a drained and vented cavity mentioned in Part 9 of the NBC as well as requirements for a first and second plane of protection from precipitation. It also meets the requirements for minimizing/preventing water ingress into the building interior outlined in Part 5.
Note: the AL13™ panel system installed as part of a wall assembly complete with the required moisture/air/vapor barriers meet the requirements for cladding in the current National Building Code of Canada.
Regarding inquiries related to CAN/CGSB-93.1M: CAN/CGSB-93.1-M is for sheet aluminum such as standard aluminum siding. The standard doesn't apply to AL13™, nor are there any provisions in Part 9 of the Building Code that deals with ACM specifically. When cladding isn't referenced in Part 9 (only the most common cladding is), the code refers to Part 5 – Environmental Separation, which contains more general terms regarding water penetration resistance, air leakage, as well as other items. The AL13™ cladding system meets Part 5 requirements.
AL13™ has been tested to the following Fire Safety standards: ULC S135, NFPA 271, ASTM E 1354, NFPA 285, ASTM E84
Why AL13™ uses the S135 Standard: S135 was developed relatively recently, first noted in 2005 NBC to address engineered products with “limited combustibility”. It is similar in intent to S114 but uses a cone calorimeter to measure combustibility.
The S114 was developed to test “elementary building materials”, and has a restrictive Pass/Fail criteria. (not designed for ACM, composite, or aluminum products). The S114 test isn't really applicable to composite materials because of the high temperature of the test (750 °C) - which is above the melting point of the aluminum itself, so no aluminum materials would pass the S114. The ULC-S135 test is a newer standard, brought about by the shortcomings of the S114, and is a more calculated approach to fire safety engineering - allowing non-combustible materials to qualify that may have failed the S114 due to its restrictive pass/fail criteria
ASTM E84 results:
AL13 FR Core Flame Spread Index: 0 Smoke Developed Index: 30
AL13 PE Core: Flame Spread Index: 20 Smoke Developed Index: 5
Oil Canning / Expansion & Contraction
The majority of metal panel systems, including roll formed metal roofing and cladding experience oil canning. Oil canning is influenced by the thermal expansion/contraction of the metal and the method used to attach the panels. The more a panel is restrained from expanding and contracting (ie. more fixed points) the more the panels will warp or oil can to accommodate the thermal stresses. The AL13™ panel system benefits from no fixed points on the panels themselves. The panels are allowed to float, expanding and contracting as necessary. Oil canning however is still possible (especially if installed incorrectly) but is greatly reduced.
Like every other building material, the quality of the install is directly related to the ability of craftsmanship of the installer. The AL13™ system may exhibit certain oil canning related symptoms if:
a) the installer has not taken the time to properly install the system, and/or
b) the substrate is extremely out of plane and not flat, causing the surface of the AL13™ to reflect that (albeit to a lesser degree).
The panels themselves are allowed to expand and contract freely within the aluminum frame components. Expected expansion/contraction over the panels length is roughly 2.7 mm in each direction (2.7 mm overall increase and 2.7 mm overall shrinkage from nominal sizing) over 100°C (202° F) (across the 8 ft length). The aluminum framing components have an expected expansion of less than 3 mm over 100°C (202° F). The extrusions tuck under one another to allow for the minimal expansion, also at butt joints there is always a small amount of room available. In practice we don't ever see any issues with any part of our system throughout expansion/contraction.
The 4 MSDS for the AL13™ system components are available on the website for download (these should also be available for installers from the dealers). M.S.D.S. = Material Safety Data Sheet.: include general health and safety related information on the product, including composition/makeup, first aid measures, safety precautions, warnings, etc.
Find the MSDS's here
AL13™ offers fasteners for three different substrates;
Wood/Metal, primarily for OSB/Plywood but will also work in 18ga. steel - #12 Hex Head Tredecim coated with EPDM washer & mini drill-point, 1-1/2" long, sold in packages of 500
Metal, for 18ga. steel z-girts or furring bar - #10 Hex Head Tredecim coated with drill-point, 3/4" long, sold in packages of 500
Concrete - for pecast, tilt-up, CMU's or any concrete wall (min 2000PSI concrete reccomended) - 3/16” Hex Head Tredecim coated with matched tolerance drill bit, 1-1/4" long, sold in packages of 100
All fasteners are Tredecim coated. This treatment offers over 3000 hours of salt spray protection and is compatible with aluminum and other dissimilar metals.