While not a new invention, partially composite sandwich panels are experiencing a surge in demand due to their numerous advantages over other systems fueled by changes to the application of the International Energy Conservation Code, primarily the presence of the continuous insulation requirement coupled with the geographic expansion of the insulation value requirements. The surge in demand is being met with hesitation from important industry adopters, who in good conscience may stifle the technology’s ultimate impact and scale of market.
A call for action on this issue has come from the tilt-up engineering community who is concerned with the black-box nature with which these panels are analyzed, designed and ultimately perform in the real world. The subject has been discussed for multiple years at meetings of the American Concrete Institute’s committee on tilt-up concrete (ACI 551), as well as the Tilt-Up Concrete Association Board of Directors. The topic has also been the subject of multiple talks at the International Tilt-Up Convention and Expo over the past two years.
In response to the growing interest in a defined understanding of the behavior and confidence in global predictability (design), the Tilt-Up Concrete Association has formed a special task group. The TCA Engineering Task Group on Partially Composite Sandwich Panels, meeting for the first time during the Fall ACI Convention in 2018, has come to a consensus on 1) the need for a better understanding of the behavior of these systems and their components, 2) the type of research that should be conducted, and 3) an outline for a unified approach to the design of said systems.
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