Recent emphasis on sustainability and minimizing environmental footprint of buildings has increased the importance of energy efficient cladding systems. Insulated precast concrete wall panels can be designed to meet any practical thermal resistance requirements while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing product that is quickly erected and cost effective. Insulated panels fall into one of three categories: non-composite, partially composite, or fully composite. Fully composite panels are characterized by the ability of the exterior and interior concrete layers to work in conjunction to carry applied construction, service, and extreme loads. To achieve full composite action, shear ties are distributed along the length of the panel, directly connecting the exterior layer to the interior layer. Due to the importance of maintaining thermal resistance, shear tie systems are often proprietary, varying in material, size, and shape. This article discusses the performance of several tie systems currently available on the market.
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