Composite Metal Hybrid (CMH)A2P1064: Proven Success Across Industries: Hybrid Composite Metal Materials

August 29, 2023


The combination of metal and composite materials has long been a staple in industries such as aerospace and automotive. This innovative approach to hybrid materials enhances the strength, durability, and performance of various structures. While it may seem like a new concept in the realm of continuous insulation systems, Advanced Architectural Products has taken the lead in implementing this proven and tested hybrid material in architectural applications for over 15 years.

In this article, we delve into the world of hybrid composite metal materials, exploring their history, advantages, and how they have revolutionized several industries, including the continuous insulation space.

What are Hybrid Composite Metal Materials?

Hybrid composite metal materials, as the name implies, are engineered products that combine the properties of metals and composites to create a hybrid form of material with superior characteristics. They are typically constructed by layering or blending different materials together, allowing for the customization of properties such as strength, weight, and corrosion resistance.

The metal component in these hybrid materials usually serves as the backbone of constituent materials, providing strength, durability, and fastener retention. Metals commonly used include aluminum, steel, and titanium, each offering unique benefits. Aluminum, for example, is lightweight yet strong, making it an excellent choice for applications where weight reduction is crucial.

The composite component, on the other hand, often consists of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRPs). These composites are made up of fibers, such as carbon or glass, embedded and bonded in to form a polymer matrix. The fibers provide strength and stiffness, while the polymer matrix binds the fibers together and transfers stresses between them.

Composite materials, while offering many advantages such as lightweight construction and high strength-to-weight ratios, do have certain limitations and mechanical properties that can make them less suitable for some applications compared to metals.

One of the key issues with composites is their anisotropic nature. Unlike metals, which have uniform properties in all directions (isotropic), composites can exhibit different properties depending on the direction of applied load or force. This is because the fibers in a composite material are typically aligned in one direction, providing high strength and stiffness along the fiber direction but relatively low strength and stiffness perpendicular to the fibers. This can limit the recommended use of composites on their own in applications where multi-directional loads are present.

Composites can also be more susceptible to impact damage when used individually. While metals tend to deform plastically under impact, absorbing the energy over a larger area, composites can suffer localized damage, leading to delamination or fracturing of the fibers. This can compromise the structural integrity of the composite material without visible signs of damage, making inspection and maintenance more complex.

In contrast, metals, with their isotropic properties, high shear strength, and resistance to impact and environmental degradation, can often provide a more structurally sound solution for certain applications. This is why hybrid composite metal materials, which combine the best properties of both materials, are utilized in industries such as automotive and aerospace. These hybrid materials offer the lightweight and high strength-to-weight ratio of composites while also benefiting from the toughness and durability of metals.

Section 1: The Proven Success of Hybrid Composite Metal Materials in the Aerospace and Automotive Industries

Composite and metal materials have played a crucial role in transforming the aerospace and automotive industries. Their extensive use and remarkable performance have revolutionized these sectors, enhancing durability, strength, and overall performance. Let’s explore the longstanding success of the hybrid material and its impact on these industries.


Metal composite materials utilized in aerospace components.

1.1 Longstanding Use in Aerospace and Automotive Applications

Hybrid metal and composite materials have been widely utilized in aerospace applications for decades. This mixed material offers an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, providing aircrafts with greater fuel efficiency while reducing structural weight without compromising safety. Additionally, the combination of metal and composites has become indispensable in aerospace manufacturing due to its very high strength and resistance to extreme conditions.

In the automotive industry, hybrid metal composites have also made significant contributions. From carbon fiber body panels to aluminum chassis, these materials have enabled automakers to design lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles while maintaining structural integrity and crash safety standards. The use of hybrid materials has allowed for innovative vehicle designs that enhance aerodynamics and performance.

Metal composites utilized in automotive manufacturing.

1.2 Examples of Revolutionary Impact

In the mid-20th century, a groundbreaking innovation emerged in the field of aerospace engineering – the development of fiber-metal laminates (FMLs). These hybrid composite metal materials are created by bonding layers of thin metals with fiber-reinforced adhesives. FMLs have since become an integral part of various aerospace applications, revolutionizing the way aircraft and other vehicles are constructed.

One notable milestone in using FMLs in aircraft components came with the introduction of the Boeing 787, which became the first commercial aircraft to be predominantly constructed using hybrid composite metal materials. Specifically, carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites were utilized extensively in the aircraft’s construction, reducing the aircraft’s weight by approximately 20%. This marked a significant departure from traditional all-metal structures, highlighting the aerospace industry’s growing reliance on hybrid composite metal materials for structural applications.

The advantages of employing FMLs in aerospace applications are manifold. They offer exceptional strength-to-weight ratios, allowing for lighter and more fuel-efficient designs. Additionally, FMLs provide excellent resistance to corrosion, fatigue, and impact, ensuring enhanced durability and safety.

The Airbus A380, another iconic aircraft, also incorporates FMLs into its design. Notably, it features 440 m2 of FMLs in the vertical stabilizer leading edges and fuselage panels. This demonstrates the continued utilization and trust placed in hybrid composite metal materials by leading aerospace manufacturing.

The use of hybrid composite metal materials in aerospace has transformed the aerospace industry already, enabling the creation of a lighter, more durable, and fuel-efficient aircraft. With ongoing research and development efforts, we can expect hybrid composite metal material applications to drive advancements in aerospace technology and pave the way for safer and more efficient air travel.¹

The automotive industry has also witnessed a significant shift toward the use of hybrid composite metal materials for various applications. Similar to the aircraft, automobiles have adopted the hybrid class of materials, fiber-metal laminates (FMLs).

FMLs offer a unique combination of material properties that make them highly desirable for automotive manufacturers. These materials exhibit excellent strength-to-weight ratios thanks to the inherent strength of the metal layers and the lightweight nature of the fiber-reinforced adhesives. This characteristic allows for the creation of lighter vehicle components without compromising on structural integrity or safety standards.

Among the different types of hybrid materials, aluminum FMLs have become increasingly popular in the automotive industry. Aluminum hybrid materials offer exceptional benefits, such as low density, reduced weight and increased stiffness, making them ideal for applications where weight reduction is crucial. The high strength-to-weight ratio of these hybrid materials allows automakers to enhance fuel efficiency, improve handling, and reduce emissions.

Moreover, the versatility of hybrid composite metal materials has led to their widespread adoption in the automotive section. Lightweight construction has become a top priority for car manufacturers due to its positive impact on performance and energy efficiency. With its ability to combine the best attributes of different materials, hybrid composite metal offer an effective solution to meet these objectives.

In conclusion, the automotive industry’s increased use of hybrid composite metal materials shows a notable shift toward lightweight construction and improved strength. As the industry continues to prioritize fuel efficiency and performance, the use of hybrid composite metal is expected to grow, revolutionizing how automobiles are built. ²³

1.3 Extensive Testing and Research in Physical Properties

To ensure reliability and safety, hybrid combinations undergo rigorous testing and research. The aerospace and automotive industries invest heavily in research and development to understand the behavior of these hybrid materials under various conditions. Prototypes are subjected to extensive simulations, stress tests, and real-world trials to verify their reliability and performance.

Additionally, advanced manufacturing techniques, such as additive manufacturing (3D printing), are employed to create complex hybrid material structures with precise tolerances. These techniques not only enhance the efficiency of production but also allow for intricate designs that optimize performance.

The aerospace and automotive industries have paved the way for integrating hybrid materials, subjecting them to thorough testing and research to ensure their reliability, strength, and safety. As we explore their application in continuous insulation with Advanced Architectural Products, it is clear that these materials offer a proven foundation for creating innovative and high-performance solutions.

Section 2: Applying the Material Properties of Hybrid Composite Metal Materials in the Construction Industry

Sub-framing plays a critical role in the structural integrity of buildings. It serves as a supportive skeleton for the building envelope, providing a secure attachment surface for exterior panels while helping to distribute loads evenly across the structure. Furthermore, in continuous insulation systems, the sub-framing contributes to the overall thermal performance of the structure, which is vital for energy efficiency.

Traditionally, metals alone have been used as materials for sub-framing in continuous insulation systems. However, metals have distinct limitations that can compromise the energy efficiency of the building envelope.

Metal sub-framing, although strong and robust, is highly conductive. This means it can create thermal bridges within the insulation system, compromising energy efficiency by allowing heat to enter or escape. Additionally, metal is prone to corrosion, which over time, can weaken the structural integrity of the sub-framing.

Composite-only or FRP-only sub-framing, while less thermally conductive than metal, presents its own set of challenges. The durability and strength of composites-only sub-framing are in question due to its susceptibility to environmental degradation and low pull-out strength. This degradation can lead to eventual failure of the sub-framing, and as the saying goes, “It’s not a matter of if, it’s when” with FRP-only failure.

Metal composites utilized in the construction industry.


The structural importance of sub-framing within the building envelope necessitates a more robust and efficient solution. This is where hybrid materials come into play. These materials combine the strength, durability, and fastener retention of metals with the low thermal conductivity of composites. This results in a sub-framing material that can support the structural load, resist environmental degradation, offer high fastener pull-out strength, and enhance the energy efficiency of the building by reducing or eliminating thermal bridging.

In conclusion, the application of hybrid composite metal materials in construction sub-framing represents a tested and proven approach to improving the structural performance and energy efficiency of buildings. It offers a solution to the limitations posed by metal-only or FRP-only sub-framing materials, meeting the evolving demands of the construction industry.

Section 3: Advanced Architectural Products: Pioneers with Composite Metal Hybrid (CMHᵀᴹ) in Continuous Insulation Systems

In the continuous insulation space, Advanced Architectural Products (A2P), creators of GreenGirt® composite metal hybrid (CMHᵀᴹ) sub-framing and SMARTciᵀᴹ continuous insulation systems, stands out as a pioneer, leading the charge toward more energy-efficient yet structurally sound building solutions. They have significantly contributed to this section by pushing the boundaries of what is possible with hybrid materials.

A2P has shown remarkable expertise in leveraging the strengths of both the metal matrix and composite materials while addressing the downfalls of each material. By doing so, they have created innovative continuous insulation solutions that address the limitations of metal-only and FRP-only sub-framing materials.

GreenGirt CMH, developed by A2P, is a composite metal hybrid sub-framing structural component utilized within SMARTci continuous insulation systems. It is specifically designed to house continuous insulation and provide a universal cladding attachment. The composition of GreenGirt CMH is exactly as it suggests, a combination of composite and metal materials.

GreenGirt CMH sub-framing consists of a composite Z-shaped profile with interlocking metal inserts on both the front and back flanges. GreenGirt CMH is offered in a variety of depths and sizes to fit various types of insulation material. It can be installed horizontally or vertically depending on project-specific requirements, contributing to its versatility and ease of installation.

A key advantage of their approach also lies in the increased thermal and structural performance. By combining the low thermal conductivity of composites with the robustness of metals, A2P has developed best-practice GreenGirt CMH sub-framing and SMARTci systems, which eliminate thermal bridging and enhance energy efficiency.

The anisotropic nature of composites, which means they exhibit different properties depending on the direction of applied force, is one of the key issues addressed by A2P with GreenGirt CMH. Unlike traditional composites, where fibers are typically aligned in one direction, GreenGirt CMH, offers high strength in all directions, similar to metals. This makes it suitable for applications where multi-directional loads are present.

The inclusion of metal inserts also enhances the structural integrity of the cladding. Unlike traditional composites, which can lack strength in the transverse (crosswise) direction, the metal inserts in GreenGirt CMH provide uniform strength across all directions. This means that it can effectively handle multi-directional loads, making it an ideal choice for various construction applications.

Moreover, these metal inserts offer maximum fastener pull-out strength. Fastener pull-out strength is a critical factor in the longevity of a building. It measures the force required to pull a fastener out of a material. The higher the pull-out strength, the more secure the fastening and the longer the expected lifespan of the system. By offering maximum fastener pull-out strength, GreenGirt ensures durable and long-lasting continuous insulation sub-framing solutions.

The CMH material (from which GreenGirt is constructed) brings substantial improvements to the structural integrity of buildings. Unlike other sub-framing materials, which can degrade and weaken over time, the CMH material used by A2P offers exceptional durability, longevity, and fastener pull-out strength. This ensures that the building’s envelope maintains its strength and performance over the life of the building.

Advanced Architectural Products has revolutionized the continuous insulation space. Their innovative use of CMH materials is not only addressing the challenges of other sub-framing materials, but it has also paved the way for more energy-efficient and durable buildings.

Section 4: Real-World Implementations of Advanced Architectural Products’ CMH Solutions

A2P has a proven track record of successful implementations of its innovative insulation solutions. Their GreenGirt CMH sub-framing has been used effectively on thousands of projects worldwide, showcasing the practicality and efficiency of GreenGirt CMH and SMARTci systems.

One of their flagship offerings is the GreenGirt composite metal hybrid (CMH) sub-framing, a product that has been installed in thousands of jobs for more than 15 years. This translates to millions of feet installed globally, demonstrating the widespread acceptance and success of the product.

Designed for the life of your building, GreenGirt CMH sub-framing embodies A2P’s commitment to durability and longevity. The product has undergone rigorous and thorough testing. This ensures it can withstand the harshest environmental conditions and maintain its performance over time.

Research and development is at the heart of A2P’s operations. They continually strive to improve their products and processes, staying at the forefront of the continuous insulation space.

A2P approaches sub-framing with the mindset that failure isn’t an option. GreenGirt CMH’s robustness and reliability make it a trusted choice for architects, contractors, and building owners. It’s not just about the product, though. A2P also provides single-source job-specific engineering. This means that each project is designed and executed with the utmost precision and care, considering the unique needs and requirements of the job.

Furthermore, every job undergoes a review using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This advanced procedure, often used in the engineering sector, helps predict how the product will react to real-world forces, vibration, heat, and other physical effects. This enables the team to optimize the design and ensure that the installation will perform as expected.

Advanced Architectural Products’ CMH materials and components are not just theoretical solutions. They have been successfully implemented in real-world scenarios, proving their effectiveness and reliability time and again.


The journey through the world of hybrid composite metal materials has highlighted its tremendous potential. This hybrid material, known for its strength, durability, and thermal performance, is revolutionizing the construction sector, just as it has in other industries such as aerospace and automotive.

A2P has led the charge as the gold standard, leveraging this material’s unique physical properties, to create innovative continuous insulation solutions like GreenGirt CMH sub-framing and SMARTci systems. Their products have demonstrated remarkable success worldwide, with millions of feet installed over the past 15+ years. This proven track record is a testament to the effectiveness and reliability of their products.

However, the advancements in continuous insulation do not stop here. A2P continues to invest in research and development to improve its products and processes further. They also apply rigorous testing methods, ensuring their products meet the highest quality standards.

For those in the construction industry, embracing these hybrid materials is not about adopting a new trend. It’s about implementing a proven and tested concept from other advanced industries, bringing increased energy efficiency, structural integrity, and longevity to your buildings.

We encourage you to explore the offerings of A2P. Experience the benefits of composite metal hybrid materials in continuous insulation by visiting our website or contacting us today!








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