All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Nasim Uddin

Advisory Committee Members

Jason Kirby

Talat Salama

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Civil Engineering (MCE) School of Engineering


Extreme windstorms are frequent and destructive natural hazards in the United States. Each wind disaster proves that traditional wood houses are too fragile to withstand high air pressures. The proposed Composite Structural Insulated Panels (CSIPs) are made of a low-cost, thermoplastic orthotropic glass/poly-propylene (glass-PP) laminate as the face sheet and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam as the core, with a high face sheet/core moduli ratio. In order to evaluate the wind-resistance of CSIPs, panels with cores of 16 kg/m3 (1 PCF) and 48 kg/m3 (3 PCF) density were tested at the University of Florida. Stepwise and dynamic simulated wind pressure was generated by the High Airflow Pressure Loading Actuator. The connections of the CSIPs were 2"×6" lumbers as used in traditional constructions. Top and bottom lumbers were fixed to steel plates with bolts. In stepwise windstorm tests, step-by-step pressure was applied to CSIPs; the highest pressure was equivalent to a wind speed of 124.44 m/s (280 mph). The CSIPs wall system demonstrated superior capacity except local debonding between the face sheet and core; there were connection failures at lumbers in all but one sample. In dynamic windstorm tests, cyclic pressure was used to simulate actual exposure. Only one sample failed at the lumber connection, and there were minor cracks in the lumber connections and local debondings in three of the eight samples. The intact condition of all face sheets and cores after tests indicate the excellent wind-resistance of CSIPs for structural wall applications. Corresponding finite element modeling was developed and initially validated, in a dynamic windstorm test, within the first second for the 1 PCF core density CSIP. The modeling was further investigated with longer durations of exposure. The results were compared, and modifications were projected for future modeling to improve the precision.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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