Shell structures made of curved sandwich panels

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 cover plates with small thicknesses and an understanding of the mechanical behavior of the curved elements are to be worked out. 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. On the long-term the inclusion of curved sandwich elements in the European sandwich standard EN 14509 is striven.


Due to the excellent 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 a way to realize buildings with such free form structures.

[2] Interdisciplinary Approach

Methodical approach

At first geometrical requirements for curved sandwich panels will be defined to cover a wide spectrum of supporting frameworks. In the next step an analysis of the mechanical properties of curved sandwich panels will be done and the necessary production related restrictions defined. Thereby the whole process chain from the material coil to the curved sandwich panels will be taken into account. The mechanical and production related demands and restrictions will be the boundaries of the architectural tool. The interdisciplinary approach is as follows:


The PtU would like to thank the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen “Otto von Guericke” e.V. (AiF)”, the Research Association for Steel Application (FOSTA), the Internationaler Verband für den Metallleichtbau (IFBS) and the following companies for their support.

  • 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