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Re: Stress-skin panels

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Dennis S. Wish wrote:
> An architect presented me with a package from a company in Mexico which
> makes a stress-skin panel consisting of 26 gauge zinc plate on each side of
> a poly-"foam" (I don't remember the exact materials) filling. There are no
> ICBO reports nor any information used to design lateral or wind (normal to
> panel) connections. The panels are used for bearing as well as for roof
> planking and come in thickness of 4" to 12". The only structural data
> available is the panel span data based upon combined gravity loads.
> The architect is planing to use these system to design a bearing wall
> building on government (BLM) land for an antenna manufacture who will use
> the two story structure to house only electronic equipment.
> I tried very hard to talk him out of the panels and promised that I would
> search out a comparable product that has more structural information and
> ICBO approval.
> The reason for the panel need is that these antenna's are located in
> accessible area's where conventional material are difficult to transport.
> If anyone has some leads, please let me know.
> Thank you,
> Dennis Wish PE


I have done a fair amount of work in the food process industry,
primarily poultry "kill" plants and "further" processing plants.
What you have described is what we typically refer to as an insulated
metal panel.  Most of the suppliers will provide an exterior and
interior galvanized ribbed metal panel with a gauge between 26 and 22
with an interior foam made of polyurethane (or similar).  Some of the
more well known manufacturers are Zero-Lock, Metal Span (214)436-7028,
and Alumashield.  None of the manuals I have show lateral strength
capacities; however, I personally believe that if attached properly it
would be substantial.  The manufactuer's should be able to give you
these capacities.  I have often thought of using them as a diaphragm;
however, my clients are always making new holes in the sides of their
buildings.  I typically design a braced metal frame and use the panels
for exterior skin and ceilings only.  

Brian K. Smith, P.E.