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Corrugated Aluminium Sheet: A neat adaptation of a brilliant idea

Most of us will be familiar with the 19th century architect and engineer Issambard Kingdom Brunel and at least some of his awe inspiring designs for bridges, railways, tunnels and ships. However, there is another less well known, but no less accomplished engineer and architect from the same period and his name is Henry Robinson Palmer. Apart from founding the Institute of Civil Engineers, Henry Palmer also patented the first Monorail design in 1821 and is credited with inventing corrugated iron and the galvanising process.

Corrugated Aluminium
Gatecrasher Nightclub - Corrugated Aluminium

The principle advantage of corrugating materials is that although it doesn’t make them any stronger as such, it does increase their rigidity by virtue of spreading any applied load along the length of the corrugations.

Combining Henry Palmer’s brilliant corrugating idea and applying this to a modern day corrosion resistant and lightweight material such as aluminium sheet produces an outstanding multi functional product.

As with all claims for improved product performance, some clear cut evidence is required to demonstrate just how much of a difference the corrugating process makes to the rigidity of an aluminium sheet.

Ceram Research therefore recently carried out deflection testing on our range of wavy Anolight aluminium sheets and compared the results with a control sample of flat aluminium sheet. The test results exceeded my expectations and will be shortly uploaded onto our website. In the meantime here are the essentials.

Anolight Cladding Panels
Gatecrasher Nightclub

A synopsis of the test conditions reads as follows. Load was applied by means of dead weights placed centrally on the aluminium sheets. Deflections were measured at each load increment until either the sample collapsed or the maximum load was achieved.

Corrugated Aluminium Sheet
Dorman Museum, Middlesborough

The test results showed that, compared with the control sample of flat aluminium sheet, the wavy Anolight material had an impressively increased resistance to deflection of between 8 & 15 times (depending on the sheet patterns tested).

Corrugating sheet material is a great example of innovation. Sometimes the simplest of ideas are the best. We have a lot to thank Henry Robinson Palmer for!

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