Composite panels

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General information about GRP and aluminium composite panels

Aluminium composite panels are a versatile lightweight construction solution. The panels consist of a honeycomb core made of polypropylene (PP) between two aluminium face sheets. Due to the sandwich composite, the panels offer high bending stiffness and compressive strength with a low dead weight. They can be precisely cut to size or milled and are also visually appealing thanks to the high-quality aluminium surface with RAL lacquering.

GRP composite panels also consist of a sandwich composite made up of different components depending on the intended use and the properties required for it. They are offered in various designs and dimensions. The core layer is often a honeycomb core made of polypropylene (PP) or a rigid foam core made of polyurethane (PU). The cover layers are made of GRP plastic fabric (GRP stands for Glassfibre Reinforced Plastic (GPR)). In some versions, the plastic fabric is coated with a hard varnish, a so-called gelcoat, which seals the composite panel against moisture, protects it from UV radiation and pressure damage and makes subsequent varnishing unnecessary.
Special GRP composite panels such as Top-air power GRP antislip, which can be used as lightweight floor panels for truck box bodies, have a glass-fibre reinforced tension member. These composite panels for vehicle construction can be used to make self-supporting structures for payloads of up to 2 tonnes. They are optionally available with a sanded GRP surface that provides slip and abrasion resistance.

Production of aluminium composite panels and GRP composite panels

In the production of aluminium composite panels, a honeycomb core made of polypropylene (PP) is bonded to the aluminium face sheets in such a way that a strong sandwich composite is created.
In the production of GRP composite panels, a PP honeycomb core or PU rigid foam core is bonded to cover layers of glass-fibre reinforced plastic fabric. Depending on the design and area of application, surface treatments are then applied. For example, a gel coat can be applied to seal against moisture, to protect against UV radiation and pressure damage and to increase abrasion resistance. This is a hard lacquer consisting of silicic acid with thickened synthetic resin. It is also possible to sand surfaces made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic to increase slip resistance.

Where are aluminium composite panels used?

Aluminium composite panels are used indoors and outdoors and in a wide variety of industries:

  • In the construction industry, e.g. as façade cladding, parapet cladding, partition walls, privacy screens.
  • In interior design, e.g. as wall cladding in bathrooms and kitchens or for wall design
  • In the advertising industry, e.g. as advertising signs and information boards
  • In trade fair construction, e.g. for trade fair stands and wall design
  • In vehicle construction and shipbuilding as a building material for vehicle superstructures and interior panelling.

Advantages of aluminium composite panels and GRP composite panels

Aluminium composite panels convince with their positive properties:

  • high bending stiffness
  • high compressive strength
  • low weight
  • good UV and weather resistance
  • high quality surface
  • easy to process