Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


L. Bogue Sandberg


High flexural strength and stiffness can be achieved by forming a thin panel into a wave shape perpendicular to the bending direction. The use of corrugated shapes to gain flexural strength and stiffness is common in metal and reinforced plastic products. However, there is no commercial production of corrugated wood composite panels. This research focuses on the application of corrugated shapes to wood strand composite panels.

Beam theory, classical plate theory and finite element models were used to analyze the bending behavior of corrugated panels. The most promising shallow corrugated panel configuration was identified based on structural performance and compatibility with construction practices. The corrugation profile selected has a wavelength equal to 8”, a channel depth equal to ¾”, a sidewall angle equal to 45 degrees and a panel thickness equal to 3/8”.

16”x16” panels were produced using random mats and 3-layer aligned mats with surface flakes parallel to the channels. Strong axis and weak axis bending tests were conducted. The test results indicate that flake orientation has little effect on the strong axis bending stiffness. The 3/8” thick random mat corrugated panels exhibit bending stiffness (400,000 lbs-in2/ft) and bending strength (3,000 in-lbs/ft) higher than 23/32” or 3/4” thick APA Rated Sturd-I-Floor with a 24” o.c. span rating. Shear and bearing test results show that the corrugated panel can withstand more than 50 psf of uniform load at 48” joist spacings.

Molding trials on 16”x16” panels provided data for full size panel production. Full size 4’x8’ shallow corrugated panels were produced with only minor changes to the current oriented strandboard manufacturing process. Panel testing was done to simulate floor loading during construction, without a top underlayment layer, and during occupancy, with an underlayment over the panel to form a composite deck. Flexural tests were performed in single-span and two-span bending with line loads applied at mid-span. The average strong axis bending stiffness and bending strength of the full size corrugated panels (without the underlayment) were over 400,000 lbs-in2/ft and 3,000 in-lbs/ft, respectively. The composite deck system, which consisted of an OSB sheathing (15/32” thick) nailed-glued (using 3d ringshank nails and AFG-01 subfloor adhesive) to the corrugated subfloor achieved about 60% of the full composite stiffness resulting in about 3 times the bending stiffness of the corrugated subfloor (1,250,000 lbs-in2/ft). Based on the LRFD design criteria, the corrugated composite floor system can carry 40 psf of unfactored uniform loads, limited by the L/480 deflection limit state, at 48” joist spacings.

Four 10-ft long composite T-beam specimens were built and tested for the composite action and the load sharing between a 24” wide corrugated deck system and the supporting I-joist. The average bending stiffness of the composite T-beam was 1.6 times higher than the bending stiffness of the I-joist.

A 8-ft x 12-ft mock up floor was built to evaluate construction procedures. The assembly of the composite floor system is relatively simple. The corrugated composite floor system might be able to offset the cheaper labor costs of the single-layer Sturd-IFloor through the material savings. However, no conclusive result can be drawn, in terms of the construction costs, at this point without an in depth cost analysis of the two systems. The shallow corrugated composite floor system might be a potential alternative to the Sturd-I-Floor in the near future because of the excellent flexural stiffness provided.