Structural Performance of Light-Weight Precast Concrete Wall Panels


  • Nathan McNeill Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Canada
  • Alan Lloyd Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Canada


Precast; Light-weight; Concrete; Waffle Panels; Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)


Precast concrete is a method of construction involving the use of concrete structural members that have been formed, mixed, and cured off site. The advantages of precast concrete construction are numerous including: consistency, better vibration procedures, increased speed of construction, controlled curing, and enhanced quality control. One of the more common structural components made from precast concrete are wall panels. This research is focused on the design, construction, and testing of light-weight precast concrete wall panels against hurricane loading for housing applications. For this study two methods were used to reduce the overall wall panel weight: designing the walls as waffle panels to minimize volume and replacing 30% of the volume of concrete with expanded polystyrene (EPS) beads to minimize concrete self-weight. While each of these methods of creating light-weight concrete are well researched and documented on their own, little research has been completed on the performance of concrete wall panels when combining the two. To validate the efficacy of the wall panels, a testing program was devised to test the wall panels under flexural and combined axial and flexural loading. Eight concrete wall panels were constructed and tested until failure at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Load cells and spring extensometers were used to track the loads and deflections during testing. This paper will explore the results of the testing and draw conclusions on the constructability and adequacy of these wall panels.




Conference Proceedings Volume


Academic Papers