Sotech is a leading manufacturer of bespoke rainscreen cladding and architectural façade systems, where aluminium cladding façade is of particular interest. Necessarily, the design of façade system is required to meet safety and stability requirements, which is conventionally the deformation due to wind load. However, it is questionable that the thermal load is normally neglected, particularly during an extremely hot weather. For the benefit of Sotech in terms of design reliability, it is important to factor in thermal load to acquire for comprehensive deformation results. Consequently, the aim of this study is to investigate how the aluminium cladding façade reacts to a combined loading, which is the combination of wind load and thermal load, using finite element analysis. In the model, the gravitational load will be considered, and the combination of wind loads up to 50 mph and thermal loads from -30°C to 35°C are applied to the aluminium cladding panel. Typically, the material is defined as aluminium alloy, which is easy to manufacture and has a high strength to weight ratio. The key finding is that addition of thermal load to wind load is not necessarily topping up the deformation, since there can be an effect of wind load being negated by thermal load. This study lays a foundation for Sotech to improve the design standard.
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