Recent fire events in Grenfell London, Istanbul Hospital, Docklands Melbourne, The Torch Dubai involved Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP). This type of paneling consisting of two thin aluminium sheets bonded to a non-aluminium core, and are used for decorative external cladding or facades of buildings. Aluminium Composite Panels (ACPs) are manufactured with various cores ranging from the flammable Polyethylene (PE) core up to the fully non-combustible Aluminium honeycomb core. It is important to note that, there is a considerable price difference between the flammable PE cored material and the fire retardant and fire-proof cored material as mentioned above.
ACP has been used as a light-weight but very sturdy material in construction which made them very popular in the construction industry, although the standard ACP core is polyehtlene (PE) or polyurethane (PU). These materials do not have good fire-resistant (FR) properties unless specially treated and are therefore not generally suitable as a building material for dwellings.
The cladding materials, particularly the core, have been implicated as a possible contributing factor in the 2017 Grenfell Tower in London, as well as in high rise building fires in Melbourne, Australia, France, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Turkey and the United States. Fire-rated cores, such as mineral wool (MW), are an alternative, but are usually more expensive and often not a legal requirement.