With its Reynobond®|Reynolux® with EcoClean, Alcoa Architectural Products has launched an aluminium cladding panel that cleans both itself and the surrounding air.
This means that for the first time there is aluminium cladding that is both economic and environmentally friendly. With the aid of the sun and moisture, it renders particles of dirt and smog harmless, thereby contributing to cleaning the cladding itself as well as the surrounding air.
These cladding features mean that the building is no longer just a structure, explains Guy Scheidecker, Marketing and Distribution Manager for Alcoa Architectural Products. With Reynobond®|Reynolux® with EcoClean architects can create a quality appearance that will last for a long time. This self-cleaning capability means that cleaning costs are reduced over a buildings lifetime. On the other hand, manufacture is slightly more involved, but this has only a minimal impact on the overall price of the cladding. Depending on the type of cladding system, Alcoa assesses the increase in price as between 1.5 and 5 percent. There is no increase in effort or time for processing and installation specialists, however. Reynobond®|Reynolux® with EcoClean is just as easy to process and fit as traditional cladding products. And when the overall costs over a building lifetime are taken into consideration, a façade made up of Reynobond® or Reynolux® cladding coated with EcoClean is even more economic. In addition, the building is rendered more attractive, and permanently so, as the cladding will continue to keep ridding itself of dirt.
To its powers of self-cleaning must be added that of air-cleaning. 1,000 m2 of Reynobond®|Reynolux® with EcoClean disperse as much smog as approximately 80 trees. This is equivalent to the daily emissions of four cars. In terms of the environmental audit, EcoClean cladding represents an interesting factor for any investor interested in conveying a positive image. This is why specific enquiries are already being made by businesses wanting to utilise this aspect in their brand communications.
This is how the new coating works. Under the incidence of sunlight, the light-sensitive titanium dioxide coating, called EcoClean, acts as a catalyst, even in conditions of low humidity. On the surface, the electrons released by the UV light form radicals, and these break down organic substances such as bird lime, moss, exhaust fumes and smog particles. At the same time a superhydrophilic (water-attracting) and extremely smooth surface is formed. Even with just small amounts of rain or dew, the substances that have been broken down simply slide off the building, leaving a clean façade behind.
For four years researchers at the American parent group Alcoa have been working on transferring the titanium dioxide-based HYDROTECT technology of the Japanese firm TOTO® to coated aluminium. Up until now, titanium dioxide could only be applied to specific surfaces such as concrete, glass, plastic and ceramic, as it attacks all organic matter, including finishing coatings. The method developed by Alcoa, however, for which a patent is pending, prevents destruction of the finish coat and allows titanium dioxide to be applied to Reynobond® aluminium composite panels and Reynolux® aluminium sheet.
More information can be found at www.excellence-in-innovation.eu/index.php/EcoElean-en.html