Architectural precast concrete panels have traditionally consisted of a single layer of factory-manufactured precast concrete that was installed on a building to provide the architectural finish and weather-resistant cladding for the building. Architectural precast concrete sandwich panels consist of two reinforced layers of factory-manufactured precast concrete, which are fabricated with a layer of insulation sandwiched between them. The type and thickness of insulation contained in sandwich panels varies with the RSI-value required for each building. The insulation is installed under controlled factory conditions and is well protected by the concrete. Sandwich panels provide a strong, durable, energy efficient, fire resistant cladding system.
The two layers of the panel are connected by proprietary stainless steel connectors, which typically consist of wind and shear connectors. Shear connectors are placed strategically and in orthogonal direction to ensure suitable suspension of the outer leaf. In other words, it must be free to expand and contract within its plane. The thermal bridge through the steel connectors is minimal, with a typical diameter of 4mm and very importantly the system has the advantage of providing structural integrity without placing any reliance on the insulation for transfer of loading. Consequently, the option exists to use fibrous insulation materials as well as the introduction of a cavity if required. To fully optimise the system, the inner leaf of the sandwich panel would be used as a load-bearing element to support floor units thus offering further economies in the building and minimising the need for coordination of different trades. Precast sandwich wall panels are available in a range of widths, lengths, thickness and exterior finishes.
Sandwich panel life cycle