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Testing and Engineering Composite Insulated Walls

September 18, 2021 from 11:30am to 12:30pm Central Standard Time

Hyatt Regency 4th Floor - Park View

Marc Maguire, Ph.D.

This presentation covers the testing and analysis of 23 total 41 ft long composite walls and solid wall panels . Walls were designed using typical loading and five different wythe connectors. An updated version of the slender-wall design method for partially composite insulated walls is presented.


  • Wall testing methodology.
  • Mechanics of Partially Composite Insulated Walls.
  • Predicting combined bending and axial strength and post-cracking deflections.
  • Predicting shear strength of partially composite insulated walls.

Since the early 1980s, insulated concrete sandwich panels have been utilized as a design and construction technique for tilt-up. These types of panels are comprised of an inner and outer wythe of concrete, separated by a layer of rigid foam insulation. Connectors are used to fasten the two wythes of concrete together. To date, the majority of the insulated panels have been designed using non-composite action, meaning that only one wythe of concrete was considered for the panel’s structural integrity. The widespread acceptance and adoption of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) has reinforced the insulating benefits of sandwich panel systems and motivated many in the tilt-up industry to take a closer look at ways to maximize performance and constructability by creating a standard for composite behavior of insulated systems. To that end, the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) has collaborated with the University of Nebraska’s Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction to conduct what is believed to be the largest, full-scale field testing of this type with the goal of developing a slender wall design methodology to predict composite behavior under combined axial and bending forces. Learn more >

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