- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 25 Apr 2019
Metal composite panels
Metal composite panels (or metal composite materials - MCM) are typically used in the external cladding of buildings. They can be bent, curved and joined together in an almost unlimited range of configurations, making them popular with architects and engineers of complex structures.
They first emerged commercially in the 1960's and are now frequently used as a wall cladding, in cornices and canopies, and for joining areas between other building materials such as glass and precast panels.
Two metal skins are bonded to an insulating core, forming a composite ‘sandwich’ panel. The metal component, can be aluminium, zinc, stainless steel, titanium and so on, available in a wide variety of colours, finishes and profiles. The core may be manufactured from an insulating material such as polyethylene or from a fire-retardant material, with a range of thicknesses available depending on performance requirements.
- Weather resistance.
- Acoustic insulation.
- Thermal insulation.
- A consistency of finish that requires little maintenance.
- They do not wrinkle as the external skins are bonded to the core under tension.
- They are lightweight.
With improvements in manufacturing technology and installation techniques, metal composite panels have become very affordable compared to other systems. They can be more cost-effective and can be installed faster than precast panels, granite or brick exteriors, and have reduced structural support requirements because of their lighter weight.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
How to research a building when there are no primary sources.
A re-thatching project has supported a critically endangered skill.
What inspired the Metabolist movement in architecture?
A radical transformation of three agricultural barns.
How to evict a tenant
The top 10 priorities for health and wellbeing.
Why some clients make BREEAM a contractual requirement.
Raising the roof in Southwark.
The difference between consultant switch and novation.
CIAT has been promoting the discipline in India.
Ensuring thermal comfort and allowing users to control their own environment.