Design procedure for web core sandwich panels for residential roofs

Casey R. Briscoe, Susan C. Mantell, Jane H. Davidson, Taichiro Okazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Panelized construction of residential buildings is gaining popularity due to the architectural and energy efficiency benefits that can be achieved. An important challenge to the design of panel structures for buildings is the balance between long-term structural performance and the thermal insulating requirement. In this study, foam core and web core panels are designed for residential roofs. Both panels are comprised of two face sheets and an insulating foam core. In the web core panel, thin metal webs that connect the face sheets are added to improve panel shear stiffness and enable longer spans. A design procedure is developed that considers R-value, panel deflection, core shear failure, bearing failure, and buckling of the face sheets and webs. The buckling model includes the ability of the foam core stiffness to restrain the buckling deformation. Panel designs are presented that provide R-5.3 m2 K/W for roof loads of 1500, 2000, and 3000 N/m2, corresponding to climate zones in the US. It is demonstrated that the web core panel can be designed for these structural and thermal requirements with unsupported span lengths as long as 7 m, while span lengths for foam core panels are limited to 4 m. Web shear buckling and R-value are the two performance criteria that limit panel span length and depth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-58
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Sandwich Structures and Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • creep
  • elastic foundation
  • residential roofs
  • sandwich panel
  • shear buckling
  • web core


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