Like a sandwich you’d eat, sandwich panels are made by putting a filling (usually insulation) between two “sandwich” panels, often some kind of metal.
Often one of the two sheets is ribbed or “corrugated” in a shape that makes the panels stiffer. Being light ánd stiff, they can easily cover large spaces which makes them quite popular as a roof system.
Because most of them contain insulation material inside the sandwich, they are also known as insulated sandwich panels.
Some – less strong and non-structural – panels are also used to build cooling rooms, labs, temporary offices or garages.
Although they may look deceivingly simple, insulated sandwich panels do several great jobs: they offer structure, protection, waterproofing and insulation in one single, light and easy to place material.
Sandwich panels are a smart building system
- very light and stiff, makes them easy and fast to install
- provide good thermal insulation
- large range of colors, some of which reflect the sun and minimize heat transfer
- all-in-one system; even an internal finish is sometimes not necessary
Limitations of sandwich panels
- you must buy quality panels; if not, under extreme heat, the outer skin can come loose from the filling (“delaminate”)
- due to the lack of mass, they have limited sound insulation
- you can not just “drill through” them without precautions to maintain waterproofing