Aluminium rainscreen panels

Aluminium rainscreen systems from Dales are designed to suit your specific requirements.  Rainscreen panels may be modulated to suit grids with secret-fix or discrete fix options, providing a contemporary appearance.  Aluminium rainscreen plank options provide a tongue and groove appearance with the soffit planks installed vertically, horizontally or diagonally. All aluminium rainscreens from Dales are non-combustible A1 or A2 s1, d0 in accordance with the requirements of Building Regulations Part B.

All of our rainscreen options work in conjunction with helping hand support systems.

Large aluminium panels


Kwik Fix

DF System

Design & Specification Service

Project Management Design & Specification Service

On receipt of project drawings, we assign a Project Manager to each project. They provide a single point of contact throughout the life of the project, from initial design to completion. Relevant criteria, including support methods, material requirements and budget are established with the specifier. The Project Manager can prepare CAD drawings, calculations, NBS Specifications and quotations, providing a complete specification service. To discuss the requirements for your project, our Project Management Team can be contacted on Tel: 0115 930 1521.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Dales Fabrications hold full Design/Professional Indemnity Insurance with a first-class security in the London market. This allows architects and specifiers to use our products with confidence.

Integrated, Bespoke Systems

Through consultation and liaison with individual specifiers on a project by project basis, Dales Fabrications design and manufacture engineered rainscreen cladding systems. These rainscreens utilise different standard panel components, from discrete and secret-fix panels, smaller aluminium panels, aluminium planks and direct-fix aluminium sheet designs, all of which can be combined to form bespoke solutions for a broad variety of building types. Using standard rainscreen components in a modular way reduces delivery times to the minimum possible.


Aluminium Rainscreen Panel & Plank Systems

Dales design and manufacture bespoke rainscreen panel and plank systems in aluminium on an individual project basis. Panels can be designed to be installed using various proprietary rainscreen support systems for fixing to almost any substrate, and to accommodate a spectrum of insulation types and thicknesses.

 Large Aluminium Panels

Dales offer three large rainscreen panel options:

  • SFP Secret-Fix System
  • THX Discrete-Fix Panels
  • DF System Sheets (Face-Fix)

Secret Fix Aluminium Panels (SFP)

Dales Aluminium Secret-Fix Panels eliminate visible fixings with either a flush or recessed panel joint. Joints on the running length are secretly jointed and stiffened offering an uninterrupted line. Joints can be modulated to grid or fenestration lines if required. Maximum panel width is 1200mm can be combined with panel length of up to 4000mm though typically panels are less than 3000mm . 

  • Material:  2 to 3mm Solid-sheet aluminium
  • Cover width: Up to 1200mm (single panel)
  • Soffit width:  Any, using multiple panles
  • Length:  Up to 3000mm (as standard)
    3000 to 4000mm (Special order: Restrictions apply)
  • Install: Horizontally, Raked or Vertically

THX Discrete-Fix Panels

In many cases, a lower cost panel detail where colour matched fixings discretely fit within the recessed joint is perfectly acceptable. Joints can be modulated to suit grid or fenestration and this should be specified with the contract, contact our Project Managers for assistance with detail drawings or preparing an NBS specification clause.

  • Material: 2 to 3mm Solid-sheet aluminium
  • Cover width: Up to 1200mm (single panel)
  • Length: Up to 3000mm (as standard)
    3000 to 4000mm (Special order: Restrictions apply)
  • Install: Horizontally, Raked or Vertically

Spalding-Micro Panels

Spalding-Micro rainscreen panels can be installed to a broken-bond, stack-bond, or randomly and orientated horizontally, vertically in various cover widths. A popular option is to use different colours and random length sizing to give a contemporary appearance.

  • Material:  2mm Solid-sheet aluminium
  • Cover width: 225mm (single panel)
  • Length: 1800mm (standard)
    Up to 3000mm (to order)
  • Install: Vertically or raked

KwikFix Plank Cladding

Free from the limitations and relative high cost of extruded plank systems, Kwikfix Soffit planks are a versatile but attractive secret fix soffit plank system formed from flat sheet aluminium.

Horizontal KwikFix

A popular option is to install planks horizontally, in a ‘fletcher’ pattern to simulate tongue & groove timber. This is particularly effective when utilised with the Timber-effect powder coatings. Individual plank cover width is 175mm as standard but can be varied from around 100mm up to 250mm, if required.

  • Material:  1.2 or 1.5mm Solid-sheet aluminium
  • Cover width: 175mm (standard)
    100 to 250mm (bespoke)
  • Soffit width: Any, using multiple planks
  • Length: 3000mm (standard)
  • Install: Horizontally, Raked or Vertically

Vertical KwikFix

Dales Kwikfix Planks can be installed as vertical cladding providing an aesthetically pleasing alternative to installing planks horizontally. Planks are supplied pre-cut to suit a specific wall height up to 3m, if required

  • Material:  1.2 or 1.5mm Solid-sheet aluminium
  • Cover width:  175mm (standard)
    100 to 300mm (bespoke)
  • Soffit width: Any, using multiple planks
  • Length: Up to 3000mm (3m standard)
  • Install: Horizontally, Raked or Vertically

DF System Sheet-panels (Face-Fix)

DF System Sheet-panels are manufactured with a stiffer aluminium alloy using face-fixings and are regularly used where previously ACM or HPL materials would once have been chosen. Sheet-panels are typically kept below 1000mm wide and 2000mm long and are supplied in 3 or 4mm solid-sheet aluminium. Fixings are usually colour-coated to match the panels.

  • Material:  3 to 4mm Solid-sheet aluminium (3103 or 3003 alloy)
  • Cover width: Up to 1000mm (single panel)
  • Length: Up to 2000mm
  • Install: Horizontally, Raked or Vertically

Support Systems

Whilst rainscreen panels can be supported using support systems designed by Dales or using proprietary helping hand support systems. More on support systems here.

Associated products


Traditionally, gutters have been exposed and Dales offer a wide range of decorative and functional gutter profiles, which can be used to compliment an exposed gutter configuration.

Hidden gutter configurations provide a more contemporary appearance and allow more imaginative fascia profiles to be used, from plain fascias to trapezoidal, bullnose, raked and elliptical designs.


A range of rainwater pipes including contemporary, traditional (Cast collars) and secret fix systems are available here.


Dales are able to design and manufacture fascia profiles to almost any shape, size or proportion including curved and elliptical designs. As part of our specification service preliminary drawings can be prepared which can be inserted directly into your own drawings. All systems are designed on an individual project basis and a 25 year guarantee may be available, subject to terms and conditions. Example drawings can be downloaded here.


Dales offer a wide variety of different soffit types, from secret fix panels to secret-fix planks, more details are available here.


More information of the various support systems that Dales can provide is available here.


Dales design and manufacture aluminium wall copings on a bespoke basis to suit each individual project, more detail available here.

Solar shading Systems

Dales design and manufacture solar shading systems on a bespoke basis to suit each individual project, more detail available here.



Fire: Aluminium & Finishes

Dales Aluminium Products are non-combustible

Dales manufacture products in either plain aluminium, Anodised Aluminium or Architectural Polyester Powder Coating finishes, all of which are non-combustible (A1 or A2, s1 d0).

Building Regulations Part B: Fire Safety (June 2022 Amendments apply from 1st December 2022) require that only non-combustible materials that are either A2 s1, do or A1 must be used:

  1. for walls and ‘specified attachments’ of relevant buildings over 18m, and;
  2. on the external surfaces of external walls for all ‘residential’ purpose group buildings over 11m (Groups 1 & 2)

Suitable materials are only those that successfully achieve classification as either A2, s1 d0 or A1* non-combustible under Fire Classification: Reaction to Fire EN BS 13501-1:2018

A European Commission Directive* forms part of the structure of legislation**, that the English Building Regulations including Part B rests upon and that lists construction materials that belong to Class A and make no contribution to fire. This includes steel and aluminium and non-organic treatments of the same (such as zinc-galvanising for steel and anodising of aluminium).

Aluminium and steel and non-organic treatments of the same (including zinc-galvanising for steel and anodising of aluminium) are A1 non-combustible and make no contribution to fire. This is confirmed in a European Commission Directive that forms part of the UK legislation that the English Building Regulations including Part B rests upon and these materials do not require testing under BS 13501-1:2018.

Dales Fabrications Ltd utilise Architectural Polyester Powder Coatings from all the major manufacturers including Syntha Pulvin (Sherwin Williams), Interpon D (Akzo Nobel) , Drylac (Tiger), Axalta, Powdertech whose powder coatings are independently tested under Fire Classification: Reaction to Fire EN BS 13501-1:2018 and achieve A2 s1, d0. Independent test classification certificates are available, if required.

Dales Fabrications Ltd has also undertaken independent tests (Warrington Fire) – WF 432374 – EN 13501-12018 that confirmed A2 s1 d0 classification for an architectural powder coated Dales Fabrications Ltd system. A video taken during the test can be viewed above.

* Details of the commission decision can be found here 96/603/EC: Commission Decision

**Details of legislation can be found here SI 2019/ 465

Fire: Rainscreen Design

With regard to all aspects of detailing for fire-prevention and prevention of spread of fire, as with all projects, specifiers, developers and their main contractors should employ and consult a suitably qualified and experienced fire safety engineer to ensure that all details submitted, specifically including those details which may involve Dales ppc or anodised aluminium products are considered appropriate, suitable and compliant with current building regulations & the overall fire strategy for the project.

Specifiers, Developers and Main contractors are further invited to consider the RIBA Fire resources web page.

The design liability of Dales will be limited to the reasonable skill and care of a specialist sheet-metal fabricator.

Quotations provided by Dales include for the items expressly listed and do not include for the supply (or design) of any supplementary items such as, but not limited to; insulation, plywood, vapour barrier, fire protection, insect mesh or mastic/sealant (other than gutter sealant). Any reference to bill pages, specifications or drawings is listed for information only.

Colour & Finish

Details of the colours and finishes available can be found here.


Anodising vs Architectural Polyester Powder Coating

Anodised Aluminium: 

Anodising is a low maintenance, high performance product with practically no UV fade that is ideal for aggressive environments. These include locations with high levels of UV light such as marine and coastal areas. With a wide range of colours and an attractive metallic sheen that changes with the angle of view, anodising is a fantastic premium product that many aspire to. Whilst it may stretch, or even break the budget, the low maintenance characteristics and lifetime guarantee offered means many clients will choose anodised finish in preference to architectural polyester powder coating.

Anodising is a naturalistic finish, which means every anodised item will vary in appearance and a consistently uniform finish is almost impossible to achieve. This echos the way pieces of natural stone, wood or slate will vary. This is a fundamental characteristic of anodising and is a primary difference between it and paint finishes such as architectural polyester powder coating.

In fact, the variance and shading differences that occur across anodised products are a primary reason to choose anodising to protect your building. The key point is that if a uniform colour finish is wanted then anodising is probably not the right finish for you.

Architectural Polyester Powder Coatings:

If you want a low maintenance, robust finish in a staggering colour pallette offering different gloss levels even for relatively small production runs of bespoke products, then architectural polyester powder coating is what you need. The colours and finishes for polyester powder coating are developing all the time and now there are even special effect powders providing the appearance of timber, stone, corten, verdi gris and even more.

Dales use only Syntha Pulvin powders in their second factory, which houses their Syntha Pulvin Approved Applicator facility, but are happy to provide our products in Interpon D1036 & D2525, Tiger Drylac, Axalta and Powdertech Special Effect powders using each manufacturer’s Approved Applicator, as necessary.


Dales products, whether supplied in anodised or architectural polyester powder coated finish can usually be provided with guarantees, dependant on their geographical location and specific environment and subject to terms and conditions.

Marine specification

Marine Specification


It is the specifier’s responsibility to ensure that Marine Specification is specified in the contract particulars, and our Project Managers can assist by advising on and providing appropriate NBS Specification clauses.

As noted in the comparison between Anodising and Polyester Powder Coating in the “Colour” section above, in locations with high levels of UV light, such as the coast, anodised finish is recommended purely from a performance criteria. Once budget, contract size and production issues are brought into play however, marine specification polyester powder coating may be the more modest answer.

If architectural polyester powder coating is to be used in a coastal or marine situation then a marine environment paint specification should be considered where the development is in an aggressive environment, especially industrial and marine environments, ie. within 2km of the sea or tidal estuary.

In a non-marine environment, polyester powder coating is applied to give an average 60 microns paint film to visible faces only and that can be guaranteed for up to 40 years, terms and conditions apply. For a Marine Specification guarantee to be considered, a minimum of 60 microns of paint must be applied to both internal and external surfaces and A2 stainless steel fixings used.

Any guarantee which the polyester paint manufacturer or anodiser will offer is determined by them on an individual project basis upon completion of a questionnaire submitted by the customer and possible site visit, both of which must be completed prior to any order being placed. It should be borne in mind that if the goods are on the seafront, or within 1km of the sea, then a paint manufacture may not offer a guarantee, but anodisers might.

Acutely Exposed or Industrial Environments

For acutely exposed marine or industrial environments Marine Specification can be further upgraded in several ways, which includes one or more of the following:
• changing the base aluminium alloy to a ship-building alloy,
• changing the powder coating to Qualicoat 2 specification,
• amending secondary supports to all aluminium,
• changing fixings to A4 stainless steel (provided such suitable fixings are available) or
• moving to an anodised finish.

If you consider that your project may be located in an acutely exposed marine or industrial environment, please contact one of our Directors or Project Managers to discuss this further. Please bear in mind it is not always possible to guarantee products installed in harsh environments.

Durability, Loadings & 3D Modelling


Dales systems are designed to give a low maintenance life of 60 years in rural and suburban conditions & up to 25 years in industrial conditions, dependant on the exact environment. For marine environments see above.

Operation & Maintenance Information

As part of the Dales Project Management: Design & Specification Service a full technical guide is issued to site that includes A3 copies of all Dales detail proposal drawings in full colour and generic system fixing instructions as a comprehensive Technical Guide. This also includes a comprehensive ‘Fixings Identification List’ that identifies where each fixing is supposed to use, the same information is noted on the detail proposal drawings too.

It is the customer’s responsibility to request a full O&M pack from Dales, which will include a complete detail drawings pack and the relevant generic fixing instructions complete with the maintenance schedule and any guarantee originally requested in the original customer order.

Loadings: General

Both gutter and fascia soffit systems are designed to accommodate loadings in excess of those induced when the gutters are operating at full capacity. Snow guards are recommended where sliding snow may cause impact loading in excess of normal design criteria (see BS EN 12056-3 2000). For wind and other specific loadings please contact our Project management team on Tel: 0115 930 1521.

Loadings: Finite Element Analysis FEA/FEM Modelling

As part of its overall design process Dales may be required to provide a computer-generated Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or similar report that may indicate whether a system designed by Dales is likely to withstand specific wind or other loadings. In the case of wind-loadings, it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that they correctly inform Dales of the “local wind pressure design cladding load for the specific element of the works” as well as the height and location of the detail that Dales are to supply.

Please note that Dales reserve the right to pass on any costs incurred in producing any such report or calculations, as well as any additional product costs that the conclusions from the report deem necessary. Since it is not possible to fully predict all the dynamic factors that may arise, any report generated through a computer-model will always be limited to some extent in its ability to predict real-life outcomes with absolute accuracy.

It is therefore the customer’s design and financial responsibility to ensure that any such FEA/ FEM report that Dales may provide is deemed adequate, sufficient and compliant with the project design specification by the Project Structural Engineer in terms of the; model, loadings and physical properties of the materials used.

3D Modelling

Where Dales are required to design their systems, for whatever reason, using 3D modelling software, typically AutoDesk Revitt, lead times for the preparation of detail design drawings (Dales proposal drawings) or 3D models are likely to be increased. This may on occasion affect overall lead times for the provision of manufactured products and Dales are not liable for any costs however they may arise due to the increased design time that results from the need for 3D computer modelling. Dales reserve the right to charge for any such increased design time incurred in their design office that results from the need for 3D modelling.

Thermal movement

Dales design all systems to accommodate the extremes of temperature typical in the UK. For overseas projects, please contact Dales to discuss the requirements of your project.

Curves, Ventilation & Fixings

Curved Systems

The visual effect of a finished curved system whilst technically demanding and costly always gives a finished project a ‘landmark’ quality. Dales have a long heritage of designing and manufacturing curved products since the business was first established in 1977. When specifying curved systems, it is recommended that one of our Directors or experienced Project Managers meet with the project design team to discuss the possibilities.


Ventilation equivalent to 10mm or 25mm gap, or greater can be incorporated into the system at various point, speak with our Senior Project Managers for more information.

Access Panels & Off-site Assembly

Both panels and planked cladding can be adapted to provide large or small hinged access panels for electrical or other access. When required, pre-cut holes for items such as waste vents can be incorporated to eliminate site cutting. Panels can incorporate lettering cut-outs or partial cut-outs for signage and this can also be used with off-site assembly to integrate LED or other lighting and other components. To discuss specific requirements please contact our Project Management Team on Tel: 0115 930 1521.


Fixings present a potential weak link in any system, as such Dales take the process of fixing selection as seriously as the design of the system itself. All fixings have been selected after careful consultation with manufacturers and rigorous testing for both ultimate strengths and potential incompatibility issues. All necessary fixings are supplied as part of the complete package from Dales.


BS EN ISO 9001: Design & Manufacture

Dales Fabrications have been working within the constraints of BS EN ISO 9001 accreditation since 1993. Our ISO 9001: Design & Manufacture certificate is available to view here.

Aluminium: The sustainable choice

Aluminium is recognised as one of the most sustainable materials for use in the building industry. This is due to the vast natural deposits of bauxite (aluminium ore) and product longevity, combined with low recycling costs. Around 98% of the aluminium used in UK construction projects is recycled.

Environmental Policy

Our environmental policy is available to view here.

Responsible Sourcing

Our Responsible Sourcing policy is available to view here.

Preferred Installer Network

Our network of carefully selected preferred installers are on hand to provide a full supply and fix package. These companies specialise in the installation of our materials and fit them on a regular basis and vary in size from large facades installers to smaller eaves and rainwater goods specialists.


Request a sample

Request a sample

Profile, colour and surface finish samples available to order.

Visit our factory


Dales welcomes all specifiers, engineers and clients to see our solutions being manufactured first hand.

Send your drawings

Send your drawings

Involve our design team early for optimum solutions by uploading your 2D drawings or provide a link to your 3D model here.

Request a site visit

Request site visit

We can bring our experience and expertise directly to you at your site.

Request a sample

Request a sample

Profile, Colour and surface finish samples available to order.

Request factory tour


Dales welcomes all specifiers, engineers and clients to see our solutions being manufactured first hand.

Send your drawings

Send your drawings

Involve our design team early for optimum solutions by uploading your 2D drawings or provide a link to your 3D model here.

Request a site visit

Request site visit

We can bring our experience and expertise directly to you at your site.

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