Optimize your Steel Building with the Right Metal Panels: Part 2

Published March 2, 2018 by Whirlwind Team

steel building panels

To continue with optimizing your steel building with the right metal panels, this post will go over different types of metal panels in more detail. There is an optimal metal panel for every need and every type of steel structure from a single-family residence to a food service warehouse.

Panel selection is driven by the aesthetics of the project, including the color scheme, as well as the thermal performance of the coating and panel. Metal expands and contracts with changes in temperature. If panels are not designed to float, there is the possibility they will tear around the fasteners, begin to leak. An experienced steel building consultant and the installer will ensure you have the right panels for your particular project.

Exposed Fastener Metal Roof and Wall Panels

As you learned in the previous post, exposed-fastener (also called through-fastened) metal roof and wall panels lap over each other and are fastened to a deck or across multiple purlins or joists. Many vendors use self-drilling fasteners that penetrate through the panel body into the underlayment.

Exposed fastener metal panels can be used in new commercial or residential buildings or retrofits.

Some examples of different types of exposed fastener include purlin bearing rib (PBR) panels, low rib panels, “old school” corrugated panels and more contemporary styles.

PBR panels are some of the strongest panels on the market.

  • Rib heights of 3/4 inch to 1- 1/2 inch are available depending on style.
  • Coverage width is 32 to 36 inches with 2.67 to 12-inch rib spacing.
  • PBR panels require a minimum 1/2:12 to 1:12 slope.
  • Most Whirlwind Steel roof panels are UL 580 wind up-lift tested, UL Class 90 rated and all are UL 2218 hail impact resistant.

Whirlwind Steel Super Span X panels, for example, have a rib profile that enhances its strength to allow for greater distances between support members, reducing your costs and increasing the speed of installation. It has a purlin-bearing leg that supports the bottom of the panel when you are installing lap fasteners.

Super Span X has a rib spacing of 12 inches and a rib height of 1-1/4 inch. It requires a minimum slope of 1/2:12 and comes in 22, 24 and 26 gauge steel. Super Span X comes coated in Galvalume Plus(R), SMP or Kynar.

Agricultural Panels

Agricultural panels were developed for a specialized market. Whirlwind Steel carries four examples of these panels, each with low profile, ribbed designs that are recommended for different uses.

  • Sturdi-Rib has a full-lap pattern with nine-inch rib spacing, recommended for sheds, equipment storage and other outbuildings. Rib height is 3/4 inch and panel attachment is with exposed fasteners.
  • Sturdi-Span is a more stylish design recommended for residential applications as well as agricultural. It features a hidden siphon groove on the underside of the sidelap joint, preventing capillary action to reduce the chance of leaks. Rib spacing is nine inches with a rib height of 5/8 inch.
  • Sturdi-Drain is extremely bendable with a clean, sharp repeating profile ideal for residential and agricultural applications. The additional ribs allow this panel to be bent around a round structure such as a silo. Rib spacing is 3 inches and rib height is 1/2 inch.
  • Sturdi-Panel has a deeply ribbed profile on nine-inch centers. It creates a classic “board and batten” appearance for both roof and wall applications. Rib height is 5/8 inch.

These panels come in an array of colors and have at least 32% and up to 59% recycled content. Energy Star(R) and CCRC-approved colors are available also.

metal roof and wall panels

Standing Seam Metal Roof Panels

Standing seam metal roof panels eliminate nearly all exposed screws, mitigating deterioration of fasteners over years of thermal movement, resulting in a leak-free roof. Whirlwind Steel has four standing seam models available.

  • Super Seam-II is recommended for low-pitch, sloping roofs down to 1/4:12. A trapezoidal roofing panel that will lap at the edge without a mechanical seamer, it connects with a snap-lock, concealed clip. The profile is based on a 24-inch non-directional module with three-inch tall ribs.
  • Super Seam-Plus requires mechanical seaming and contains a concealed clip, full trapezoidal profile. Panel attachment is low and high floating.
  • Weather Lok-16 provides a low-profile roof with long service life. It can be installed on roofs with a minimum pitch of 1/2:12 and provides 16-inch coverage. Panel attachment is low, high (fixed, floating) or utility (no insulation clearance). It also requires mechanical seaming.
  • Weather Snap-16 is extremely fast to assemble. It has a snap-lock seam with concealed clips, no exposed fasteners and 16-inch coverage. The minimum slope for this model is 3:12.

Standing seam roof panels are especially good at shedding rain and snow. They are also ideal for installing photovoltaic cells.

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Architectural Panels

Architectural panels are stylish wall and roof panel options that come in a wide variety of KYNAR colors, many of which are warrantied up to 35 years.

  • Accent-11 and Accent-11R panels provide a clean look for soffits, fascia and interior wall applications. It has concealed fasteners and a flat surface that does not "oil-can," perfect for non-structural uses. Coverage is 11-inches.
  • Shadow Wall-18 has step-down concealed fasteners that provide a unique look to your building. Each panel nests into the next and has a rather eye-catching shadow line appearance. It provides 18-inch coverage. It is not used on roofs.
  • Weather Lok-16 and Weather Snap-16 are also appropriate for architectural use.

Architectural panels add interest to your structure while providing the unmatched strength of steel.

Residential Panels

Residential panels are affordable, efficient metal wall and roof system options for houses. With limited budgets, residential customers need a large variety of styles and colors that are not too expensive.

Whirlwind Steel residential panels include Sturdi-Rib, Sturdi-Span, Sturdi-Drain and Sturdi-Panel designs as well as Weather Guard and Low Rib X models.

Weather Guard is a true concealed-fastener panel that snaps together and provides 12-inch coverage. It is installed over a solid deck and pancake head screws provide outstanding wind uplift protection. The minimum allowed roof slope is 3:12.

Low Rib X is a versatile panel that provides 36-inch coverage and has purlin-bearing legs to support the bottom of the panel when lap fasteners are being installed. Minimum required slope is 1:12.

Low Rib X is appropriate for residential and commercial application and is commonly used for soffits, interior wall liner and partitions. Horizontal installation provides a clean, simple appearance. Rib spacing is 6 inches with a height of 3/4 inch.

Your steel building not only deserves a strong, steel roof, but it should also be treated to the most attractive and effective roof for its use. Panels are available for a variety of building types from residential to agricultural. All can be obtained in a wide array of colors and provide a beautiful wall and roof that lasts for decades.

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