Within the test specification, a structural concrete panel is classified as a concrete sandwich panel containing a mesh or fibre reinforcement with an insulated core.
Panels can be designed in conjunction with BS EN 1992, Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures; however this tends to give a conservative approach and does not take into consideration some of the detailing of the panels which will affect air tightness, water tightness, condensation risk and the design life of the panel finish.
Panels have a variety of finishes; they can be pattern imprinted or have brick slips cast into the outer skin or adhered post curing. The concrete panel guide stresses the importance of proving the performance of the panel finish with respect to aesthetics and the durable bond of the brick slip to the panel. This is of paramount importance when supplying the panels to site; major insurance organisations will not accept panels onsite without proof of a 60-year design life.
The guide enables manufacturers to budget for both costs and time when in the early stages of developing a new system which will ultimately lead to a more efficient route to market and final sign-off when installed.
Click here to download the free guide, ‘Test Specification for Precast Concrete Wall Panels for Use in Domestic Construction’.
Lucideon has developed a testing regime which involves subjecting panels to extreme accelerated weathering conditions, including heat, thermal shock, rain, and freezing temperatures. On completion of the accelerated weathering, the panels are checked for adequate bond strength of the exterior finish, usually brick slips, which is related back to wind load. Wind load or bond strength is necessary in both determining where the panel can be used and in defining it’s design life.
The guides are being produced in response to the increased demand for offsite construction in the housing sector. The first guide looked at testing Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).
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