The Metal Construction Association (MCA) published a three-part white paper about metal composite material (MCM) called “What Is A Metal Composite Material?” To download it, visit

International Building Code (IBC) defines MCM as “a factory-manufactured panel consisting of metal skins bonded to both faces of a solid plastic core.” The IBC also has an entire section (1406) dedicated to the use of MCM in construction. Karl Hielscher, executive director at MCA, said, “IBC Section 1406 contains considerable detail about physical and fire performance and the required testing to allow the use of MCM on a variety of construction types. Physical and fire performance can vary from product to product, and, therefore, the end user must be certain the MCM panels that are chosen meet the code requirements.”

The manufacturing process for MCM panels makes them lighter and more flexible than solid metal of similar thickness. The white paper has information about MCM production, skins, skin performance, core material, performance and more.

Hielscher said, “While the end product may look visually similar when first installed, long-term flatness, delamination, and fire performance can vary from product to product. The end user must be certain the panels meet the code requirements used as an MCM.”