loadtest.htm

LOAD TEST ON THE

AMERICAN INGENUITY'S 48' PANEL

 

In October 2000 we performed a load test on one of our building kit panels. The test was performed on our largest panel using the standard 7" EPS insulation, " thick concrete exterior reinforced with steel mesh and a fiber reinforced plaster on the interior. The strength of the component panel can best be determined by measuring the deflection of the panel as a load (weight) is applied in increments.  The panel was placed horizontal.  Its weight and the weight of everything placed on it was only supported along the outer edge of the panel.  The loading of the panel was done by adding sand in 470 lb. increments. Plywood sides were attached to the panel edges so sand could be spread evenly, providing a uniform load.

 

The deflection was measured in the center and six other locations.  At all measured points a steel ruler was attached to the panel extending high enough to be visible when the panel was fully loaded with sand.  A surveyor's transit allowed us to measure the deflection.

 

After 3,783 lbs. of sand was dumped on the panel its center had deflected less than 1/16 inch.   Three days later, the deflections had only increased to 3/32 inch.  Our own amazement at the strength made us even braver; so we cut through the interior plaster on the bottom of the panel.  Even then the deflection was less than 3/16 inch. 

 

We had not expected this exceptional strength. We could not mound the sand any higher so we set a pallet of 40 cement bags on top of the sand thinking, "This could do the panel in."  That doubled the weight and the center deflection increased to less than 3/16 inch.  The grand total deflection of less than 3/8 inch with almost four tons of weight was astonishing to us. 

 

A 120-mph wind will exert a pressure of 30 lbs. per sq. ft. on a vertical wall and a snow load exceeding 90 lbs. per sq. ft. is rare. Typically snow loads are 20 to 50lbs. per sq.ft.   Our panel withstood 170 lbs. per sq. ft.!

 

 

 

                                                                              

                                                               Click on the photo to enlarge it.                 

 

This picture was taken after we had loaded 3,783 lbs. of sand onto our 48' dome panel.  After the sand was dumped on the panel its center had deflected less than 1/16 inch.   Three days later, the deflections had only increased to 3/32 inch.  Our own amazement at the strength made us even braver; so we cut through the interior plaster on the bottom of the panel.  Even then the deflection was less than 3/16 inch. 

 

The men in the photo from left to right are:  Michael Busick, inventor of American Ingenuity's building panel and building method; Luke Miorelli, mechanical engineer; an engineer that was an independent observer and  Leo Cherbano, American Ingenuity's plant manager.

 

 

 

 

                                                                      

                                                         Click on the photo to enlarge it.

 

The above photo shows the additional 40 bags of Portland cement that were set on top the sand loaded panel, bringing the total weight on the panel to almost four tons.  The center deflection increased to less than 3/8 inch.  The grand total deflection of less than 3/8 inch with almost four tons of weight was astonishing to us.   Our panel withstood 170 lbs. per sq. ft. of load.

 

 

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