Matrix Model Accuracy of Partially Composite Concrete Sandwich Panels


precast insulated wall panels, composite shear connectors, reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete, percent composite action


Concrete sandwich wall panels have been used for decades in the precast concrete construction industry because of their thermal efficiency. Predicting concrete sandwich panel elastic stresses and deformations is paramount for design in order to prevent cracking and to limit second order effects. This paper addresses the accuracy of a matrix analysis approach that is a generalized variation of the current standard practice for most sandwich panel composite connector manufacturers. A generalized modeling approach is presented that eliminates dependence on the connector type and geometry, and is termed the Beam Spring Model (BSM). The BSM uses only beam and spring elements to predict the elastic limit of the panel, but can capture effects such as panel geometry, boundary conditions, and loads. The stiffness of the spring elements is obtained from push-off tests that are available in the literature, or in most cases directly from a composite connector manufacturer. To verify its accuracy, the BSM was used to model six full-scale sandwich wall panels that were tested at Utah State University, which consisted of various connectors, connector patterns, geometry, and insulation. A parametric study was performed using different parameters to better understand partial composite action in sandwich wall panels and different design situations.

Original Publication Citation

Al-Rubaye, S., Sorensen, T., Dorafshan, S., Maguire, M. (2018). “Matrix Model Accuracy of Partially Composite Concrete Sandwich Panels.” Proceedings of the PCI Convention and National Bridge Conference. Denver, CO.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Proceedings of the PCI Convention and National Bridge Conference




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Civil and Environmental Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor