- Device and varieties
- Assembly process
- Position in the building materials market
- Reasons for popularity in individual housing construction
- Construction of commercial facilities
- Panels in finishing works
Sandwich panels are increasingly mentioned in the building reference literature. The question arises: is it really such a versatile and worth the money material for fast construction? You will learn about the real qualities and disadvantages of sandwich panels from this article..
Device and varieties
There is really a lot of information about sandwich panels. In short, it is a composite board, which includes a thick core made of heat-insulating material, glued on both sides with rigid and relatively hard sheets of small thickness. The ratio of the thickness of the inner to outer layer ranges from 4: 1 to 50: 1.
Insulation can consist of expanded polystyrene (PPS), polyurethane foam (PPU), or high density mineral wool. The cladding, depending on the scope of application, can be metal or from oriented strand board (OSB). The latter have their own name – SIP (SIP) – structurally insulated panels. Other materials are used in panels for special purposes..
It makes no sense to go into the intricacies of their production, because panels made of different materials and combinations have a unique assembly technology. And it, as a rule, does not include manual gluing of layers, so the presence of traces of any glue, torn ends, misaligned edges, unprotected cuts and similar defects is a clear sign of handicraft.
The assembly of sandwich panel structures is simple. The main difficulties arise with the movement and adjustment of rather oversized slabs, and the problem is solved by increasing the number of assemblers or using construction mechanization. A special case for high-rise buildings is a roof winch and a front cradle..
During installation, it is very important to maintain the tightness of the seams. They are protected from blowing by tight metal locks, but the small air gap between the panels should always be eliminated by filling the groove with foam before installing each new board. This is especially true for vertical joints closed by cover strips. Their foam seam must be additionally protected with bitumen mastic..
Position in the building materials market
The innovativeness of the panels is greatly exaggerated: in the USSR they were produced already in the 70s, in the USA and Canada – two decades earlier. The opportunity to conduct private commercial activities was the reason that by the beginning of the 2000s, the domestic building materials market was filled with panels of various kinds, made, at best, in primitively equipped workshops, and at worst, mechanically assembled literally on the knee. There could be no generally accepted standards of speech quality, although, in fairness, some panels of that era serve regularly to this day..
Over time, quite large manufacturers of sandwich panels appeared, who were not too lazy to “borrow” the original technology, the most resourceful began to produce panels under a franchise using original equipment. It is noteworthy that handicraft production remained competitive due to the low price, so some of the low-grade products from the market have not disappeared anywhere..
Today, the only way to be convinced of the benefits of this technology is to try it yourself with all the criticality. No reviews of master builders and private developers can be objective: the quality of the material used is not initially standardized. And yet the popularity of panels is growing rapidly.
Reasons for popularity in individual housing construction
Sandwich panels were originally conceived as a way to make housing more economical and to simplify the construction process. The goals were achieved: the walls of the house made of panels form an almost continuous contour of thermal insulation, and a team of three people will cope with their construction on an area of 100 m2 in a day.
In Russia, many small companies have begun to engage in construction using sandwich panels: a minimum of equipment is needed, and the technology is simple, cheap and durable. Often, their development was facilitated by constant cooperation with only one manufacturer, the quality of the panels of which is time-tested.
On the other hand, private low-rise construction is not subject to mandatory standardization, so it was and is an ideal testing ground for experiments with building materials. For any master, the simpler the better, and the assembly of a residential building from sandwich panels, in principle, cannot cause difficulties. This material in a frame house can be used on the floor, in all types of walls, ceilings, roofs – it is really universal.
Construction of commercial facilities
Claims to the aesthetics of commercial real estate are rather arbitrary. Often, you just need to build a building with the largest possible area and free planning. Sandwich panels with a metal shell and a metal frame would be perfect for the construction of warehouses, pavilions, production halls or buildings of business centers.
The problem is that for a long time there was no clear regulatory framework for the production of panels, their variety is too great. Only large manufacturers could find a way out of this situation, having independently passed voluntary certification and testing of panels, which made it possible to use them even in state buildings.
Since handicraft production in this market segment is out of work, it can be hoped that the manufacturer’s declared characteristics of the panels are very close to real ones. Moreover, in 2014, due to a multitude of voluntary certifications, GOST 32603–2012 finally saw the light, which clearly sets out the requirements for three-layer metal panels and their scope.
The panels also somewhat simplify the design: they can be used for both walls and a finished roof, the main technical characteristics are well known, and the costs and time for decorative finishing are almost zero..
Panels in finishing works
It would seem that the panels can be perfect for exterior decoration and insulation: the core is protected from wetting and weathering on all sides, plus a 50 mm thick panel would surely hold on to a light steel frame.
These kinds of materials do exist and are skillfully applied. In one of the most modern versions, the outer shell is made of polymer materials, which are applied in a very thin layer on the textured surface of polyurethane foam, imitating wood, natural stone and other materials.
In interior decoration, panels are also used, but sandwich panels for interior work are much thinner. They have a plastic outer shell with all colors and imitations. The core can have a honeycomb structure, sometimes the space between the panels is filled with polyurethane foam. A typical example of such a material is plastic lining, although it is very different from modern sandwich panels..