A1 has many unique properties. These contribute to its strength, durability, weight to strength ratio, nontoxic, easy to manufacture and its ability to comply with many of the necessary test requirements of the construction industry, specifically those in regard to performance to fire and performance under impact.
A1 has a low toxicity both in its component parts and in its manufacturing process. Its potential use is wide-ranging and could effectively replace much GRG, GRC and GRP in many of the situations where those materials are now used, both in- and outdoor. In comparison with GRC, A1 offers much greater versatility as a panelized cladding system in that the manufacturing tolerance can be much tighter.
A1 possesses a high resistance to ultraviolet degradation. It can, therefore, be used in the situation where other materials would suffer.
Special or 'one off's' units can be easily produced alongside standard run and if site tolerances have not been strictly observed the panels can be 'humoured' to fit and made good on site. Of great significance is the material's high strength to weight ratio which allows much lighter fixing systems and sub-grids.
All these attributes contribute towards further potential savings having started with a material, which has already cost advantages over alternatives.
A1 should be viewed as a matrix in which a variety of filler materials can be incorporated, either to enhance mechanical performance or for the sake of appearance. It is possible for A1 to include any non-reactive filler up to, and in some cases exceeding 200%. This allows a great deal of freedom when deciding upon encast and ex-mould finishes.
An extensive and impressive range of finishes has been produced. These include a variety of metals (bronze, brass and copper and stainless steel), pigmented materials imitating terracotta, brick and pottery and encast stone finishes from white marble through to dark granite, Portland and Bath stone. It is thus possible to create a finish to meet the architect's or designer's specification rather than, as is usual, the designer or architect having only two or three established finishes from which to make a choice.
The standard finishes that can be produced are extremely high, both in their resemblance to the materials that they are imitating and in the quality of the surface finish.
A wide variety of finishes can either be incorporated into the material as a facing in the mould, where this is going to be backed up by a lamination or other composite foam material, or they can be included in the mix if the material is being used as solid cast. The method of manufacture obviously varies from situation to situation depending upon the design.
A range of fine textures and colours can be further produced. These include leather cloth through this specialised process.
A1's excellent weight-to-strength ratio means that when used as a lamination the designer is allowed greater freedom to produce large panels incorporating, if required, complex and fine details. When this is considered in combination with the ease of fixing and calculation of load, A1 can be seen as a major step forward in pushing back the boundaries of design limitation.
The surface finish of A1 is extremely durable and will withstand aggressive use. For public areas, the material can be treated post-mould with an anti-graffiti coating which allows for the removal of paint, crayons, pens, etc. In normal maintenance conditions, the material can be simply washed with detergents and water or, if required, with stronger substances such as solvents, with no detriment to the surface finish.
|Mixing ratio||2 parts powder 1 part acrylic resin|
|Colour||creamy white. The colour of A1 can vary slightly with every production batch.|
|Density (wet)||1.75 kg / dm3|
|Density (dry)||1.66 kg / dm3|
|Processing time||20 minutes|
|Demoulding time||approx. 1 hour|
|Shelf life||1 year unless opened|
|Hardness||85º Shore D|
|Expansion during hardening||< 0.6 %. This can be reduced by using an A1 additive|