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Up And Coming Trends: An ACM Manufacturer's Perspective



By Shawn Crouthamel, CSI, CDT
Architectural National Sales Manager, Laminators Incorporated

Choosing the right materials for any architectural project is a major feat. Whether you're a building owner, architect, general contractor, distributor, fabricator, or installer, you all take part in seeing a project through from start to finish. Which ultimately means you've been involved in making these important decisions.

The products are a fundamental part of the overall vision. It is a lasting representation of how a business views itself, how it aspires to be viewed by others, and how others recognize and remember it.

This is where trends come into play. Trends are a significant part of being remembered. So, what types of trends have we been seeing? 



Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) panels are typically 4’ or 5’ wide by 8’, 10’, or 12’ in length. However, more and more we've seen architects and building owners seem to like the aesthetic provided by fabricated panels in unique shapes and various sizes. The ability to have ACM panels partially or fully fabricated before they arrive at the job site can significantly reduce time on the project and ultimately save on labor costs.

Another trend is the request for partially fabricated panels that are routed and cut to the final size but then shipped flat to minimize freight costs. Final bending and mounting accessory attachments can easily be done at the installer’s shop as the project progresses. Click for information on Laminators Incorporated's Architectural Services.

Colors And Finishes


From bold and vibrant to natural and cool tones, the building’s aesthetic is an extremely important concept when selecting panel colors. As buildings are being designed with more contemporary and innovative designs, it’s important the panels complement its motif.

Custom colors continue to be a popular request, especially on Corporate Identity projects where it’s crucial to extend the visual aspect of the brand onto the building itself. Choosing the right materials for any Corporate ID application can be a big obstacle. The products [type and look] are a fundamental part of the overall vision. In addition, exterior applications require more durable materials that are fade-resistant and can withstand strong weather conditions.

Another growing trend is the use of natural finishes. Over the years, ACM finishes have evolved and can be made to resemble wood, natural metals, and stone. You can now get the natural look of wood without worrying about it throughout the years.  

In addition to a variety of durable colors, the type of finish is also something to consider. ACM panels are also available in smooth, stucco-embossed, anodized, matte, and metallic finishes. Click for information on Laminators Incorporated's colors and finishes.

Panel Types


ACM panels range from 3-6mm in thickness and remain very popular given their ability to be utilized in many different applications on the exterior of a building.

A wide variety of customizable composite panels are available to meet specific project requirements. The array of cores—corrugated plastic, solid plastic, and insulated foam—as well as the various panel thicknesses, sheet sizes, and double/single-sided sheets are available to satisfy any project.

While we recommend our Omega-Lite® architectural panel for many exterior architectural applications because of its superior flatness and 30-year paint performance, many of our customers also choose to use our insulated/foam core panels and plywood core panels. Click to see Laminators Incorporated's panel selection.



Requests for customizing panel shapes, sizes, colors, types, etc. will continue to increase. Matching custom colors and shapes to exact specifications to maintain consistency with corporate identity projects continues to be a popular demand. Because of this, the need for engineering assistance, custom fabrication, tested installation systems, and all associated support services, including take-offs and field training, is extremely important. Click to see how Laminators Incorporated can help with corporate imaging.

About Laminators Inc.

Laminators Logo Laminators Incorporated, a leading manufacturer for nearly 60 years, offers a complete line of composite panels for the commercial construction and sign-making industries in the United States and Canada. Laminators’ lightweight systems are exceptionally strong and durable, and provide various application solutions making the panels quick and easy for users to fabricate and install. Laminators Incorporated is committed to providing value through high-quality products, innovative application solutions, and superior customer service. To learn more, visit www.laminatorsinc.com.

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