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Siding: in harmony with nature  #1-2(119-120), 2013

The facade siding from TZK Tehosnastka Ltd. represents decorative plastic panels which texture and color imitate natural stone or brickwork with extreme literalism - panels are perfectly suited for facing of buildings’ facade and pediment. This functional and easy-to-use finishing material is resistant to frost and ardor, moisture and impact, is not liable to destructive biological processes, reliably protects facade from foul weather and does not require special care

In 2000 TZK Techosnastka has developed the first molds for casting pedimental siding and its corners within the company’s program of import substitution. However, from the very early stages of this work the ambitious goals were set – to make the product more qualitative, realistic and – for sure – cheaper than original. Currently, the fourth generation of molds for manufacturing facade siding has attained all the assigned aims to complete extent. In the meanwhile it should be noted that a number of foreign solutions in plastic siding are simply unacceptable for Russian conditions. For instance, these are low frost resistance of construction, complexity of assembling at a final stage, and some others.

While designing decorative panels and molds for their casting, the experts of TZK Tehosnastka had to resolve a number of sophisticated technical problems. Above all was the formulation of composite that could ensure manufacturability of thin panels’ casting and simultaneously provide all the required operating characteristics of the finished articles.

The essential increase in the siding frost resistance was gained by optimization of the article’s design, development of proprietary formulations and improvements in production technology. After years of trials an optimal composition of 9 components was obtained, based on polypropylene (60 percent), modified by rubber and filled with chalk. The latter serves as reinforcer and also improves adhesion features of material. The composite contains also various additives, including frost resistant ones. Siding from this safe polymer material is non-toxic and can be used both for outdoor and interior finish of buildings. Product quality and its full compliance with State Standard R ISO 90012001 (ISO 9001:2000) have been certified by Rostest.

Much attention in TZK Tehosnastka was paid to design of front and corner panels of facade siding. As templates for tooling the raw natural (wild) stone and an old English brick were taken. The casts were made which were then used to form shaping surfaces in molds. The plastic facade siding series of “Alpine rock”, “Old Crimea” and other exactly imitate the surface texture of natural stone and brickwork and are produced via injection molding at TZK Techosnastka Ltd., on the company’s own molds.

Over time, the configuration of panels and their size underwent some changes, until the optimal market variant was found. Now the development efforts are focused on improvement of molds and the quality of their surface. To date five types of surface textures are mastered, in the nearest future their number will increase to 7-8. The final similarity to natural stone and brick gives the panels’ coloring, and the color palette is identical to original natural materials.

Specially designed construction and size of panels maximally simplify the facing work: now even amateur can handle siding mounting. Seamless connection greatly improves the aesthetics of facing via panels which can be mounted directly on facade or onto the wooden subframe. Reliability of connection is provided by a lock placed underside each panel; via locks panels are easily coupled with each other, using a principle of modular structures’ assembling.

The main challenge that faced the designers of molds for manufacturing panels was to provide the high performance of tooling at a short molding cycle. The developers had to create a mold that is perfectly cooled, provides high casting precision and is wear-resistant.

To meet these requirements the nonferrous metals (beryllium bronze) were used in tooling manufacturing, to create shaping surfaces - aluminum alloys, for process control - hydraulic and pneumatic systems. If previously the guaranteed service life of molds was 1 million closures (clampings), now this factor is close to 2-3 millions.

Special attention was paid to redesign of corner panels - the most vulnerable element of facade facing. Initially, the choice was made in favour of figured corner, but then resolve was made on the idea of dismountable corner having an underlying cause and giving the possibility to experiment with the wall appearance.

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