Aluminium is on course to reach a 17-year high by 2020. According to Palmer Market Research aluminium will see sustained growth, topping 220,000 frames by the end of the three-year period.
At the same time, it also highlighted growth in the second-time window replacement market, which Palmer suggests accounted for 70% of all installations last year.
“At face value, what these figures suggest is that if you’re a fabricator, you should be manufacturing an aluminium system – or at the very least buying aluminium product in”, says Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing, aluplast.
He continues: “The natural conclusion would be that PVC-U is going to see a decline in market share but that’s not what we’re seeing. PVC-U is evolving in a second-time replacement market but the features that have driven its popularity still have huge currency across sectors.”
This is something also noted by Palmer. PVC-U remains by some way, the dominant frame material, representing 82% of the market.
The Window, Door and Conservatory Markets in Housing in Great Britain, published at the end of last year, suggests that a flattening of the market was, offset by a shift towards higher-end products and higher value installations, which delivered a 2% increase in installed value to £4.20 billion
“The growing volume of foiled product installed in the UK is clear testament to this shift. We have seen continuous growth in demand for foils across our Ideal 70, Ideal 70 ecotech and Ideal 4000 systems. There’s a far greater emphasis on design and aesthetics”, adds Cocken. “And that was very evident at this year’s show.”
Aluplast foils more than 1.2million metres of product each month. That means that it holds thousands of metres of coloured and woodgrain profiles in stock, including popular anthracite grey, black, cream, rosewood and golden oak. These are available for ex-stock delivery within just days of orders.
It also offers special foils in 15-days or less with no minimum order, no surcharge and no setting up charge on special colour orders.
This includes three smooth or ‘sanded’ finish options, Basalt Grey; Anthracite Grey; and rather appropriately, Brushed Aluminium.
“It’s a very neat solution for fabricators and installers”, continues Cocken. “You could genuinely look at any of the aluplast smooth finishes and be forgiven for thinking that you’re looking at aluminium.
“We’re seeing significant growth in sales because, the match into aluminium is so much better than standard grained foils.”
aluplast takes this focus on finish to its logical conclusion in aluskin, its innovative aluminium external fascia system.
“If it represents an opportunity, PVC-U fabricators are going to add aluminium lines to their operations. Why wouldn’t they?”, says Cocken. He continues: “But that takes investment in machinery. We’re able to offer them access to a hybrid PVC-U core/aluminium-clad cross-over system, which allows them to deliver an aluminium aesthetic without investment in specialist machinery.”
Sitting alongside aluplast’s core fully sculptured Ideal 70 offer, the Ideal 4000, exhibited for the first time at last month’s show [May], is a PVC-U system first, an aluminium ‘cross-over product’ second.
Tested to Part Q, PAS24:2012 and Secured by Design Specifications, with five thermally efficient chambers, in common with aluplast’s Ideal 70 fully sculptured PVC-U system, the 70mm Ideal 4000, easily achieves a WER A+.
It also exploits many of the same cutting-edge technologies developed for the Ideal 70, including the eco-tech system. The process isolates recycled material away from areas of the frame visible to the end-user or which perform a structural role. This means that the face is manufactured from virgin compound, delivering a pristine surface finish.
aluplast’s new Lift-and-Slide door is also designed to maximise opportunities. Capable of spanning openings of 6.5m X 2.8m with just two sashes, it delivers impressive design flexibility and uninterrupted sightlines.
Sashes are mounted on an easy-lift mechanism that elevates when opened and lowers on to the track when closed. So, a fully closed door rests over lower weather seals improving the door’s weather tightness, thermal and acoustic insulation.