What is the Difference Between an ACM Panel and an Insulated Panel?

  • Est Time: 10 mins
Tags: Fire Testing
Read the information below and watch the video for an understanding of the difference between ACM and insulated panels. Don't forget to test you've understood everything by taking the short quiz afterwards.

There is some confusion regarding Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) and insulated sandwich panels.  However, the composition and function of both products are very different.

Aluminium Composite Material (ACM)

Aluminium Composite Material, sometimes referred to as Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) or a type of Metal Composite Material (MCM) and primarily used to provide aesthetic qualities to buildings, are flat panels or cassettes that consist of two thin aluminium sheets bonded to a core filler that form part of a built-up rainscreen facade system. 

There are generally three types of core material used:
1 Polyethylene – a highly-flammable, solid, thermoplastic material;
2 Fire retardant polyethylene – typically consisting of 30% polyethylene and 70% mineral; and
3 Mineral – typically including less than 10% polyethylene.

ACM panels with polyethylene cores have been linked to a number of high profile building facade fires. 

Insulated Sandwich Panels

Insulated panels, on the other hand, are defined as self-supporting, double skin, metal faced panels. They are generally steel faced, form part of a building envelope for roofs and walls, or internal walls and ceilings, and provide excellent weather protection, high levels of insulation and aesthetic qualities. Insulated panels can also
be used to provide internal compartmentation.