Curved Sandwich Panels
Project name Curved Sandwich Panels
Coordinator Forschungsvereinigung Stahlanwendung e.V. (FOSTA)
Project partner
  • TU Darmstadt, Institut für Konstruktives Gestalten und Baukonstruktion (KGBauko)
  • TU Darmstadt, Institut für Produktionstechnik und Umformmaschinen (PtU)
  • TU Darmstadt, Institut für Stahlbau und Werkstoffmechanik (ISFW)
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen „Otto von Guericke“ e.V. (AiF)
  • Internationaler Verband für den Metallleichtbau (IFBS)
  • ArcelorMittal Construction Deutschland GmbH
  • BASF Polyurethanes GmbH
  • Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH
  • Covestro AG
  • Fischer Profil GmbH
  • Hennecke Profiliertechnik GmbH
  • Herkules Wetzlar GmbH
  • Ingenieur- und Sachverständigenbüro Korff
  • iS-engineering GmbH
  • PBI – Entwicklung innovativer Fassaden GmbH
  • quadrat+ Architektengesellschaft mbH
  • TriLogiX Ingenieurbüro
Duration 01. may 2017 – 30. april 2019
Grantor AIF/Forschungsvereinigung Stahlanwendung e.V. (FOSTA)
Project content Due to the optimal combination of space enclosing, heat insulating and supporting function, steel sandwich panels are used for roof and wall cladding more and more frequently. In addition, free forms are playing an increasingly important role in contemporary architecture. The availability of flexible curved sandwich panels would be an option to realize buildings with such free form structures.
As part of the interdisciplinary research project of architects, civil engineers and mechanical engineers the necessary manufacturing foundations for the economic production of curved flexible sandwich panels with thin cover plates and an understanding of the mechanical behavior of the curved elements are to be determined. As a result of the project an architectural design tool for designing free-form surface structures is planned, which considers both mechanical as well as production­ related restrictions.
In the long-term the inclusion of curved sandwich elements in the European standard EN 14509 is pursued.

If the development of shell structures made of curved steel sandwich panels and their manufacturing is economically possible completely new markets can be opened. In the long run this can make sandwich constructions more attractive to the market and further increase the market share of the lightweight steel constructions.
Small and medium sized companies will benefit as well as sandwich panel manufacturers and their suppliers, subcontractors as well as architectural engineering offices. Their market opportunities are significantly improved since the availability of new geometries will provide access to the construction of various types of buildings on the European market. Due to the further development of the existing production process, the economically producible form range can be expanded so that SMEs can achieve individual customer specifications.

The research project is divided into five work packages. The first work package (AP1, KGBauko) is intended to determine the range of parameters in which the various possibilities for the bending of the elements are evaluated from an architectural point of view. The second step (AP2, Institute for Steel Construction and Mechanics of Materials) is the development of a process chain with which the elements can be manufactured industrially. The third work package (AP3, Institute for Production Engineering and Forming Machines) includes experimental and numerical investigations into the mechanical properties of curved elements. Work package 4 (AP4, KGBauko) is considered to develop a design tool that will allow to design future building geometries with given boundary conditions determined in the project. Finally, the results are evaluated and interpreted.