Alcoa Introduces New Hurricane-Resistant Architectural Panel System; Withstands Hurricane Force Winds and Wind-Borne Debris

NEW YORK--June 8, 2006--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today the introduction of a new, innovative product for the commercial building and construction market engineered to help provide protection from the damage of hurricane wind-borne debris.

Called Reynobond® with KEVLAR®, the durable architectural panel system is designed to withstand wind-borne debris and wind speeds common in hurricanes such as a Category 3 storm. (Category 3 hurricanes have wind speeds up to 130 mph). Reynobond with KEVLAR fiber acts as a safety net by helping to protect the facades of buildings from hurricane-propelled debris, frequently the main culprit of hurricane damage.

Reynobond with KEVLAR, combines the weight and flexibility benefits of Alcoa's Reynobond aluminum composite material, with the impact-resistant strength that comes from DuPont(TM) KEVLAR fiber. The two companies collaborated to develop this new product that addresses a growing issue in the market place. By introducing a thin layer of fabric made from KEVLAR fiber between the Reynobond aluminum skins and polyethylene core, Alcoa has created the only light, flexible aluminum composite material that can, on its own, withstand hurricane-propelled debris and similar types of impact.

Alcoa has successfully tested panels of Reynobond with KEVLAR which passed rigorous simulated hurricane impact tests conducted by Hurricane Test Laboratory, LLC in Florida including the "large missile impact test," involving a 9-pound 2X4 timber traveling at 50 feet per second, as stipulated by the Miami-Dade Building Code. Official approval of the product from the Miami-Dade County Building Code Compliance Office is pending.

"Reynobond with KEVLAR is an ideal cladding material for the facades of commercial office and public buildings, such as schools, libraries, museums, hospitals and other small and mid-sized structures in hurricane prone areas like the U.S. Gulf region," said Eric Bassel, President of Alcoa Architectural Products.

Easy Installation; Cost Effective Alternative

The Alcoa created panel system is the first and only aluminum composite panel system to eliminate the need for protective backer materials such as plywood and concrete masonry blocks. Only insulation material is required. Panel modules can be shop-fabricated and quickly and easily mounted onto structural steel studs at the job site, significantly reducing installation time and labor costs as compared to other facades such as brick and stucco.

"New Reynobond with KEVLAR is a smart alternative to traditional fascia materials such as brick and stucco, particularly in hurricane zones. Plus it provides added value for architects, building owners, and general contractors because of its unlimited design possibilities," said Bassel. Reynobond with KEVLAR opens up multiple design options because it can be fabricated to meet the most complex design specifications such as angles and curves while offering the flat, smooth and consistent surface of aluminum composite material.

Reynobond with KEVLAR can be rolled, routed, drilled and fabricated to the most complex design specifications. In addition, the installation system can be fabricated into both wet seal and aesthetic dry seal joint conditions using the same extrusions, while also adding the flexibility of adjusting the joint width to the design specification.

Furthermore, Reynobond with KEVLAR can be used on the bottom two floors of a structure and match seamlessly with standard Reynobond used on the upper floors. "Used together, these two Alcoa products offer an ideal solution," Bassel said. This is important since Florida building codes require that panel systems in high velocity wind zones provide the protection that Reynobond with KEVLAR offers up to 30 feet above ground. Standard Reynobond aluminum composite material passes the "small" wind borne debris test that is required above 30 feet.

"In addition, initial costs for material and installation are more in line with traditional materials, but require less maintenance over the lifetime of the product because no repainting is required," he continued.

Highly Engineered Solution

Reynobond with KEVLAR is a lightweight aluminum composite material that helps provide protection for a building structure with a superior strength to weight ratio further enhanced by the extraordinary high strength of DuPont(TM) KEVLAR brand fiber, which is five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis. KEVLAR is used around the world as the life-saving material in bullet-resistant vests and body armor. In this application, KEVLAR provides superior impact resistance, similar to how it works as a protective barrier around jet turbine blades and luggage containers for aircraft to help shield passengers from flying debris should an explosion occur.

Reynobond with KEVLAR shares the same benefits of durability and versatility as traditional Reynobond aluminum composite material, which is used around the world in a wide range of interior and exterior architectural and specialty applications. Plus, Reynobond with KEVLAR enjoys the same limitless range of colorful hues as traditional Reynobond aluminum composite material, providing the added bonus of greater architectural aesthetics.

Reynobond with KEVLAR will initially be available throughout U.S. hurricane-related markets from Texas to Florida and north to Maine and then globally. To learn more about this exciting new product from Alcoa Architectural Products, as well as a demonstration of the product in use, visit

About Alcoa Architectural Products

Alcoa Architectural Products (AAP) manufactures and sells aluminum composite material and painted sheet for use in architectural, corporate identity programs, signage, and the industrial and transportation markets. All of its products are available in a wide range of architectural colors and finishes. AAP produces coil-coated aluminum sheet and aluminum composite materials in the U.S. and Europe under the Reynolux® and Reynobond® brand names. It is part of the Alcoa Building and Construction Systems (BCS) organization, which is a leading supplier of architectural systems, services and building products to the global construction market, with offices in 10 countries in North America, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap® foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa® wheels, and Baco® household wraps. Among its other businesses are closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 129,000 employees in 43 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at

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