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A More Sustainable Way for Producing RC Sandwich Panels On-Site and in Developing Countries

Department of Civil and Building Engineering, and Architecture (DICEA), Polytechnic University of Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chi-Ming Lai
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 472;
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
PDF [5310 KB, uploaded 22 March 2017]


The purpose of this work is to assess if traditionally used welded connectors for joining the two skins of reinforced concrete (RC) sandwich panels, used as structural walls and horizontal structural elements, can be substituted with bent ones. In this way, the scope of the effort is to reduce drastically the energy required during manufacturing, thus having a much more sustainable building product. Wire mesh on site production, in fact, requires a large amount of energy for the welding process, as stated by several Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). In addition, the production of sandwich panels with bent connectors requires a low level of automation and no qualified labor allowing the diffusion in developing countries. The procedures used to execute the work were both experimental and numerical. Structural performances were examined by testing full-scale sandwich panels under (axial and eccentric) compression and flexural loads. Additionally, a Finite Element (FE) study was developed to investigate and to optimize the dimension of welded mesh and the number of connectors. The major findings show that it is possible to substitute welded connectors with bent ones without compromising the structural performance of the tested RC sandwich panels, thus having a more sustainable way for producing these last ones. View Full-Text
Keywords: concrete sandwich panel; connectors; building sustainability; energy saving; FEM concrete sandwich panel; connectors; building sustainability; energy saving; FEM

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Graziani, L.; Quagliarini, E.; D’Orazio, M.; Lenci, S.; Scalbi, A. A More Sustainable Way for Producing RC Sandwich Panels On-Site and in Developing Countries. Sustainability 2017, 9, 472.

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