Through the use of technology designed for anti-counterfeiting measures, identifying 'safe' cladding is about to become significantly easier.
If there's one thing all builders can learn from the cladding crisis, it is how important it is to have an understanding of the materials being used on a project. Now, thanks to recently trialled military grade spectrometer technology, the process of identifying 'safe' cladding is about to become significantly easier.
After Australia's Building Ministers' Forum highlighted the importance of cladding identification, Fairview Architecture set about exploring ways to incorporate a failsafe panel labelling system. In the company's search they discovered DataDot Technology, a manufacturer of the CSIRO-developed DataTraceID system.
DataTrace ID is currently used as an anti-counterfeiting measure in such products as casino chips, food and pharmaceuticals. The technology contains a luminescent inorganic marker that provides a light signature when read by a spectrometer. In the case of the building sector, a handheld spectrometer can scan materials without removing them from the building and quickly receive information regarding the panel's source, type and composition data.
A recent trial saw DataTraceID markers added to the fluoropolymer paint on Fairview's profiled aluminium-core cladding Vitracore G2. The test proved 99 percent effective in determining the 'safe' cladding's origin.
"We are excited that DataTraceID can make the process of cladding authentication far more efficient and reliable without the need to remove panels to undertake destructive testing," says Ray Carrol, chairman of DataDot Technology.
"Sub-standard cladding has emerged as a major public safety issue and while responsible manufacturers like Fairview already label their panels, this innovative new security method provides great reassurance to anyone concerned by the ‘at-risk’ cladding issue.”
Fairview CEO says that while the organisation has already incorporated two product labelling programs, "this ‘baked in’ solution helps builders, certifiers, developers, governments and installers to quickly and definitively verify what’s fitted on which construction.”
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