Volume 29, Issue 3 - Fall 2015
Care of Architectural Aluminum
Fabrication of the Fenestration Product
Handling and intra-plant transport of “in process” components and sub-assemblies should employ rubber wheeled carts or dollies. Wood, corrugated paper or plastic spacers should be used between pieces to protect the material surfaces from scuffing, marring and abrasion.
The principal contributor to the abrasion of painted surfaces is the accumulation of aluminum waste during sawing and machine operations. Frequent removal of chips, borings and slugs by brushing or with pressurized air is recommended.
Packaging and Shipping of the Finished Product
Packing the finished product properly is one of the most important steps the fabricator can take to help ensure that the product will arrive at the job site undamaged. Packaging techniques include nesting, interleaving, banding, wrapping, boxing and crating.
Jobsite conditions should be determined in advance so that packing can be compatible with the equipment available, storage conditions and the labor to be used.
Unloading and On-Site Storage Prior to Installation
Unloading and storage should be scheduled to avoid premature delivery and ensure that materials receive minimum handling and storage time at the construction site.
Products should be stacked properly to avoid distortion, allow for air circulation and protect against abrasion.
Assemblies should be stored in a clean, dry location, preferably indoors.
Damage to finishes is extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible, to fix in the field. For this reason, foremen, installers and workers of all trades should be instructed in the proper handling of aluminum.
In many instances, additional protection against physical damage can be provided by using temporary wood frames around the heads, jambs, and sill sections of doors and windows and other exposed parts where traffic damage could be extensive.
A major source of damage to in-place aluminum architectural components comes from adjacent or overhead masonry work. Any mortar, plaster, concrete, or other wet preparations that inadvertently splash upon the aluminum must be immediately wiped clean before they dry and the area washed liberally with water.
In-Service Maintenance and Cleaning
AAMA 609 and 610-15, Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for Architecturally Finished Aluminum, is published as one document; it picks up where CW-10-15 leaves off. Intended for use with anodized or painted architectural products, it outlines methods, equipment, and materials for cleaning and periodic maintenance of finished aluminum after construction. In general, always correctly identify the aluminum finish to be cleaned when selecting an appropriate cleaning method. Never use aggressive alkaline or acid cleaners on aluminum finishes. Test-clean a small area first and do not mix different cleaners.
Periodic maintenance inhibits long-term accumulation of soil which, under certain conditions, can accelerate weathering of the finish. The more frequently aluminum is cleaned, the easier and less costly succeeding maintenance will be.
Dean Lewis is the educational and technical information manager for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association in Schaumburg, Ill.
Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal