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The past ten years has seen an increase in development and use of many new materials and modifications of existing materials for roof sheathing and floor decking. Many of these materials have several features including insulation, acoustical value and desirable textures when exposed as a ceiling. The demands engendered by these values for roof decking materials has brought about an interest in the use of roof and floor decking as horizontal diaphragms to transmit loads to the end walls. Considerable investigation has been made of certain types of materials used as diaphragms, such as wood sheathing and plywood. A wealth of information has been developed by and is available through the Douglas Fir Plywood Assn., the U. S. Forest Products Laboratories, the Oregon Forest Products Laboratories, and in research carried on by a number of universities. A report on wood diaphragm tests over a 25-yr period was given at the ASTM Second Pacific Area National Meeting in 1956, by R. P. A. Johnson. Other types of materials, such as insulating board, have been found to develop sufficient resistance to be used as diaphragms, and their value in this respect is gradually being increased through product development.
Converse Foundation Engineering Co., Pasadena, Calif.