Cladding seems to be one of the most commonly searched construction phrases on google right now and there’s a lot of misinformation about cladding and curtain walling across the internet. So now seems the right time to address the issues around weather-proofing curtain walling.
First of all, what is curtain walling? Curtain wall systems are non-structural cladding systems for the external walls of buildings. They are generally associated with large, multi-storey buildings and they separate the interior structure from the exterior. It only supports its own weight and the loads imposed on it like wind loads, seismic loads etc, which they transfer back to the primary structure of the building. Unlike many traditional forms of construction they do not form a fundamental part of the primary structure of the building. Typically, curtain wall systems comprise a lightweight aluminium frame onto which glazed or opaque infill panels can be fixed. Confusingly, these infill panels are often described as ‘glazing’ whether or not they are made of glass. In fact they can be fibre-reinforced plastic, terracotta, stone or brick veneer or even louvres and vents.
There’s two main types of systems:
- Stick systems: installed piece by piece on site, with the glazing inserted into the frame from the inside or the outside
- Unitised systems: pre-fabricated in modules off-site and delivered in panels.
Panels are often composites with the facing materials bonded to, or ‘sandwiching’ an insulated core, a profiled metal core or a mineral core. Frame and panel designs are very complex, as they need to perform multiple functions from providing fire, smoke and acoustic separation to keeping the building clean.
We offer a variety of products for weather sealing and non-structural bonding curtain walling systems, no matter what the substrates. More importantly, at Hodgson we have the technical know-how to help you choose the right one for your project.
For example our premium silicone sealant Silfix U9, is widely regarded as one of the best low modulus silicone sealants, always 100% silicone, not fluid extended. That gives it totally reliable, shrink-free properties with great adhesion to many of the substrates found commonly in curtain walling projects.
Ask us more and we will be pleased to help you with your curtain walling sealant requirements: email the tech team at [email protected] or call for a chat on 01482 868321