Storage and Handling:
Merino EWC External Wall Cladding Panels is heavy material. During transport, use pallets to support the complete sheet area. Pallets should be strong and stable enough to support their load without bending or buckling.
The surface of each board must be free from debris, grit or foreign bodies which can damage the decorative surface. When loading and unloading, do not push or drag Panels over one another; lift cleanly by hand or suction device. Make stacked Panels secure against slipping.
Also, Merino EWC External Wall Cladding Panels undergo a certain amount of dimensional movement when subjected to humidity, hence to minimise the risk of bowing, take care of the following
Always cut the panels with the long edge parallel to the length of the panel. Dimensional Movement across the width of the panel is twice as great as it is along the length, so cutting panels with the long dimension running across the width of the panel greatly increase the risk of bowing.
As far as possible, the ambient conditions should be the same on each side of the panel, as it is important that both sides gain or lose moisture at roughly the same rate. Where panels are mounted on a wall, provide adequate ventilation to ensure that temperature and humidity conditions at the back of the panels are essentially the same as those in the front.
Make fixing centres sufficiently close to prevent movement:
Store Merino EWC External Wall Cladding Panels enclosed in warehouse where normal interior conditions (18°C – 25°C and 50% – 60% relative humidity) are maintained. Merino EWC External Wall Cladding Panels will remain flat if stored horizontally in packs on a flat base board. The base board must be dry, and should ideally be covered with a material impervious to water, to act as a moisture barrier. Cover the top sheet of each stack with a moisture barrier/cover board, with sufficient weight to remain flat in contact with the whole surface area of the Merino EWC External Wall Cladding Panels. Maintain procedure throughout the storage (whether in a warehouse or on the fabrication shop floor) and reinstate it whenever a sheet is removed from the stack. Failing to store Merino External Wall Cladding Panels flat for any length of time causes deformation which is almost impossible to rectify, particularly with thicker boards. If protective films are provided these should be removed from both sides of the board simultaneously.
Profile cutting and Edge Finishing:
It is not necessary to apply edging strips or edge sealants to Merino EWC External Wall Cladding Panels. For many applications clean sawn edges are sufficient.
To achieve a superior finish or a profiled edge, use a spindle moulder or router. For this type of work PCD tooling is recommended. It is not possible completely to avoid cutter marks, but they can be minimised by feeding the work at a constant controlled speed with a mechanical power feed. Take care to avoid pausing during cutting and profiling, which may result in burn marks that are difficult to remove. To obtain clean edges free of cutters marks, carry out a further sanding and scraping operation. Buffing with steel wool and applying silicone free oil enhance edges. Chamfering or profiling the edges of Merino External Wall Cladding panels reduce the risk of edge impact damage.
The most suitable drills for use on Merino EWC External Wall Cladding Panels are those designed for plastic sheets. These drills have a point angle of 60° – 80° instead of the normal 120° for drilling metal.
To avoid break-out on the reverse side, gradually reduce the feed speed of the drilling head and the pressure applied when approaching the point of breakthrough. Working on a firm underlay, reduces the risk of break-out.
For blind boring into the face, the depth of the hole should be such that at least 1.5 mm of material remains between the bottom of the hole and the other side of the sheet. TCT lip and spur drills produce clean flat-bottomed blind holes, with low risk of point penetration on the reverse side. This allows maximum depth of material to be used for fixings. When drilling parallel to the surface (edge drilling) at least 3 mm of material must on either side of the hole. Threaded holes can be produced using engineer’s screw cutting taps. Self – tapping screws or threaded brass inserts may also be used.
Saw blades used for cutting double-sided composites are generally suitable for cutting Merino External Wall Cladding panels. Saws of less than 2 mm thickness are not recommended.
Break-out on the underside of Merino EWC External Wall Cladding panels can be reduced by various methods:
Using a pre-scoring blade on the underside
Using a base-board of plywood or hardboard beneath the sheet
Altering the exit angle of the saw blade by adjusting the height setting
When sawing a Merino EWC External Wall Cladding panels with two decorative faces, the feed speed essentially governs the quality of the saw cut. A speed of 0.03 mm -0.05 mm per saw tooth has been found to be the most successful.
Maintenance: As HPL do not suffer from corrosion and oxidation, no further surface protection and no maintenance apart from cleaning is required. Merino EWC External Wall Cladding may be cleaned with damp cloth or ordinary soap.