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BUSINESS FEATURE OIL CANNING ROUNDTABLE Roundtable: Oil Canning Met Metal Cons onstruct on Ne uction News asked several industry experts about oil canning prevention

Oil canning in metal is an observed waviness or buckling across the fl at areas of sheet metal panels that does not normally affect the roof’s structural integrity. Metal Construction News asked fi ve industry experts to describe in their own words its impact and remedy.

MCN: What is the effect of oil canning on the acceptance and use of metal products?

Arthur E. Hance: Oil canning is best summed up from the following industry standard disclaim- er: “Oil canning can be defi ned as a perceived waviness in the fl at areas of panels. Oil canning is an inherent characteristic of light-gauge, cold- formed metal products with broad fl at areas. It can be caused by many infl uences: stress in the coil, fabrication, sub-structure and installation. Normally, structural integrity is not affected. However, structural integrity must be reviewed if the distortion results from an extreme external infl uence. Oil canning is not grounds for panel rejection.” Astute designers should avoid the use of metal for large fl at areas where the effects of oil canning would not be acceptable, such as in fascias, wall panels and trim bands.

Glenn Parvin: As the old saying goes, #@$% happens; in the metal industry, “oil canning happens.” However, there are ways to mitigate or reduce its occurrences. Architects and designers often try to minimize or elimi- nate oil canning by product selection, material thickness and method of attachment. In some designs, the thought of oil canning is promoted as a positive design element.

James C. Tuschall: Oil canning is a natu- rally occurring phenomenon that is inherent in all light-gauge sheet metal; metal wall panels have evolved over the years from profi les, such as corrugated, ribbed and embossed, to what many architects desire is a fl at panel. For budget rea- sons proper gauge is not always used to manage

the glass or curtainwall is much more distorted or wavy than the metal panels. Some designers, as well as architects, desire some oil canning for a certain aesthetic look. Natural metals such as zinc and copper will have a natural amount of inherent oil canning that is expected.

MCN: What is the impact of oil canning on a building’s roof or walls?

Gary Lynn: The impact is solely aesthetic and can only be minimized through proper design, manufacture, handling, fabrication and installation.

Hance: There is no structural or weathertight- ness impact from oil canning. That being said, there are some who would sooner deal with a leak- ing roof than the effects of oil canning on a visually prominent project.

Parvin: Oil canning is more noticeable on new material that has not seasoned or weathered with the elements for several months. Oil canning is more apparent under shallow cross lighting so its presence is more discernible on medium sloped roofs, and certain seasons and times of day. Most often, oil canning is something architects and de- signers wish to minimize.

the oil canning and architects expectations are shattered. I have had many discussions with archi- tects regarding oil canning and when reviewing a subjective oil canning issue I have pointed out that

David Stermer: Oil canning can be a symptom of other problems, such as direct-fastened panel runs that are too long, distortion of the panel sup- port, binding or restraint of standing seam panels.


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