The use of sandwich panels in Australia has increased significantly in recent years due to their widespread structural applications in building systems. Structural sandwich panels generally used in Australia comprise of polystyrene foam core and thinner and high strength steel faces. The fully profiled sandwich panels, when subjected to axial compression and/or bending effects, are susceptible to local buckling failures. A research project was undertaken using a detailed experimental study on 50 foam supported steel plate elements to investigate the local buckling and postbuckling behaviour of sandwich panels and to examine the adequacy of currently used effective width approach for design. Experimental results have revealed that the current method is adequate for the steel plate elements with low b/t ratios. However, it appears to be inadequate for the plate elements with higher b/t ratios (slender plates). This paper presents the details of the experimental studies on polystyrene foam supported steel plates, the results, and the evaluation of current design rules for profiled sandwich panels subject to local buckling effects
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