Curtain Wall Panels


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Title: Curtain Wall Panels

Author(s): A. O. Kaeding and R. Prusinski

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 214


Appears on pages(s): 151-168

Keywords: architectural panels; curtain walls; polymer concrete properties; polymer concrete structures

Date: 6/17/2003

The use of polymer concrete (PC) curtain wall panels was started in the U.S. and other countries in the late 1950’s. Panel finish was typically an exposed aggregate with stone size and color selected to meet architectural requirements. Uninsulated panels were 5/8 to 1-in. thick and insulated sandwich panels were 2 to 4-in. thick. Unsaturated polyester with styrene monomer was used as the PC binder. The original developer and manufacturer of curtain wall panels performed extensive testing on the products and the PC used in production. Compressive strength, flexural strength, modulus of elasticity, tensile strength, freeze-thaw resistance, thermal transmittance, and resistance to weathering, coefficient of thermal expansion and flammability were all investigated. Full-scale load testing confirmed the strength and wind load resistance of the panels. Attachment and erection details were developed and tested. Panels with these properties have been performing successfully for the past 40 years. Unpublished results of this testing, the associated details and recommended specifications are presented in this paper. Properties determined in the tests reported are pertinent to other structural applications as well and expand the knowledge base for polymer concrete structures.