After installation, a rainscreen panel and insulation panel might look quite similar, so much so that it can be difficult to tell the difference at first glance. However, there are substantial differences between the two which are highlighted below.
Insulated panels are also known as composite panels. They are factory engineered objects which are durable and directly attached to a structural frame. They are free of cavities and instead use a single and solid design. It isn’t unusual for some insulated panels to come with a rigid thermosetting core which is bonded auto adhesively with metallic facings that result in a robust and durable unit.
Furthermore, these insulated panels must adhere to the stringent standards which have been established via the insurance sector for fire performance. These panels have been applied to buildings for more than forty years, especially structures which are used for education, retail, health and hospitality. They’ve also been subject to extensive testing and research and are well known to architects, engineers and building designers who have written about them frequently in independent technical journals. This has allowed insulated panels to be adopted worldwide.
Rainscreen panels are aesthetic, non-structural and thin. They are applied to the external skin of buildings and will protect the interior against inclement weather conditions. It may be constructed from a variety of materials such as zinc, aluminum steel or ceramics, composites or laminate. Rainscreen panels differ from insulated panels in the following three ways:
While insulated panels are free of cavities, they play a key role in the design of rainscreen panels, where a cavity exists between the internal and external layers. The purpose behind this design is preventing moisture from reaching the primary building structure through ventilating their cavity. As such, rainscreens are essentially a walled assembly that uses external cladding, continuous aerated space with a barrier wall and drainage plane. This enables it to shed most rainfall and its air cavity will allow evaporation and drainage. The barrier wall can also be used for offering backup liquid protection.
If a building is not protected by adequate paneling, water will penetrate in five different ways, which include kinetic energy (rain which is wind driven), gravity, pressure differential, surface tension and capillary action (where water flows inside narrow spaces).
To counter this, paneling material must be able to force the water down external panel surfaces, shed water through the usage of lap sealants, utilize flashings that have drip edges and use sealant among layer flashings to prevent capillary action. While both insulated panels and rainscreen has their advantages, you want to choose a panel system that is simple to install and inspect, repair and that requires minimal components. Rainscreen panels in particular are prized due to their ability to deflect most liquid.
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