Elevator cab interior materials comprise stone, glass, wood, treated metal, especially stainless steel, or laminate. As an architect or a facility manager you want your elevator wall and ceiling materials to strictly adhere to elevator safety codes. Apart from minimal noise and vibration, car operating panel accessibility features, constant motor acceleration, etc., you also need the materials on your car doors, jamb, ceilings, handrails, and floor to be fire-resistant, water-proof, and vandal-proof.
This article will examine the different elevator wall panel materials available and their appropriateness to different design considerations in context of the mandatory safety features.
As far as metal finishing goes, nothing beats stainless steel for strength and durability. Polished steel can give you that glossy finish for a mirrored look. Elevator car frames are often made of steel with high impact resistance. Steel is also useful against vandals who may be armed with knives, screwdrivers, or even mallets.
Your elevator frame is composed of layers and an elevator design engineer is best placed to take a call on the type of core you need. But steel panels of the appropriate grade can be easily molded and shaped into surfaces without protruding edges that could hurt the human skin or cause people to trip if appearing on the floor.
Should you Use Aluminum or Bronze for Your Elevator Panels?
While aluminum and bronze look great for decorative panelling, they are less resistant to wear and tear than steel. They are also highly prone to abrasion with sharp objects and easily disfigured. You should choose these materials only if the zone your elevators are going to be located in is highly safe and trusted.
By changing the orientation of the crystal structure within the metal surface, material manufacturers have been able to significantly enhance the buckling strength of or the ability to bear torsional stress by the surface. The other advantage of textured steel is its lower weight compared to ordinary steel. By some measures this can be as low as 60% of the original metal sheet or surface. The lighter weight also means lower density of raw material and hence, lower cost.
Although kitchen counters and computer tables are best known for being designed from plastic laminates, these are also quite suitable materials when it comes to elevator wall panelling. These substrates are best known for their low maintenance requirements. They are less prone to attracting dust or moisture. Laminates are also incredibly heat-resistant as well as impact resistant.
When choosing a laminate for your car panels however, go for ones manufactured under high-pressure as they are better able to handle expansion and contraction with temperature.
PRL panels can use either wood or a non-porous material as the substrate between the sheets of your elevator panelling. Commonly used durable wood types for the choice of substrate include plywood, Industrial Particle Boards (IPB), and Medium Density FiberBoards (MDF). The adhesive glue that bonds the panels to the substrate reacts better with wood-based substrates compared to plastic-based substances.
The industrial used to bond the sheet materials to the substrate significantly minimizes telegraphing on the surface to near zero because the glue fills out uneven parts and imperfections. This makes PRL an excellent choice for thin, darkened, or glossy surfaces where aesthetics are extremely important.
Stone and Glass
Both stonework and glass are used to make highly decorative elevator cab surfaces that spell elegance and refinement. Modern glass panel manufacturers use multiple layers of glass that hold their position even when broken or damaged.
Have questions about your elevator cab design? Talk to an elevator cab design expert today.