After researching an array of building materials for our first assignment, my team noticed how strong of considerations we were giving to many metals, such as zinc, copper, and aluminum. These metals all had high sustainability and economic qualities. What we also noticed was the emerging trend of hybrid-alloyed metals with improved characteristics compared to their pure form. Two of these metals in which we found hybrids for were copper and zinc.
CopperPlus is a hybrid metal comprised of two outer copper layers with an inner stainless steel core that is bonded on the atomic level. CopperPlus compared to pure copper is said to be strong, lighter, and longer lasting. The addition of the stainless steel core is what enables CopperPlus to be stronger, even at thinner gauges as compared to pure copper. Being able to construction with thinner gauges allows for reduced costs in the CopperPlus material itself as well as creating lighter structural loads.
Rheinzink is a zinc alloy combining 99% zinc with 1% titanium and copper. The alloy mixture allows for the zinc to improved longevity, over 200 years for facades, maintain a blue-gray color, and improve tensile strength. Rheinzink also offers Pre-weathered zinc metal, which temporally provides resistance against corrosion during manufacturing, transportation and instillation allowing for the final building façade to be in its purist form.
My team ultimately chose to use Rheinzink as our final façade material. We thought the benefits of zinc alone were great, but having the improvements of Rheinzink created a much stronger argument for zinc as a final choice. With technology being able to create hybrid materials with high quality outcomes, there is no reason that designers should not take advantage of these emerging materials, unless they believe in working with 100% authentic materials.