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Understanding the Composite Characteristics Of Stressed Skin Panels – Tributary Width

Christophe Gerber & Keith Crews, Centre for Infrastructure Research, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

The composite properties of stressed-skin panel (SSP) systems are characterised by the interaction of the joist with the sheathing – composite action – and the portion of the sheathing acting with the joists – the tributary width. A discussion on the tributary width forms the focus of this paper. An analysis, which has been conducted considering the pattern of the strain distribution in the sheathing, is presented. It uses laboratory data of a major research project conducted at the University of Technology, Sydney, between 2002 and 2007 [1]. This analysis indicates that under strict conditions, in particular structurally glued interlayers, a large portion of the sheathing contributes to the structural behaviour of SSP structures. A better use of the mechanical properties of the panels is achieved as a consequence. The effects of discontinuities in the sheathing have also been identified, that is, such event causes a significant reduction of the sheathing contribution and a considerable loss of stiffness.

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