SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 26 November 2021

Evaluation and Avoidance of Stone-Faced Honeycomb Panel Failures


Lightweight composite stone-faced honeycomb panels, typically consisting of nominally ¼ in. (6 mm) thick stone adhered to a honeycomb panel, have been successfully used in exterior cladding applications since the mid-1980s. However, as new manufacturers of these products are regularly introduced into the market, failures of these types of panels have occurred, revealing a need for quality-control standards for both the stone facing and composite panels. The stone facing typically does not contribute significantly to the strength of the composite; however, the selection of an inappropriate stone facing can lead to aesthetic and, potentially, life-safety concerns. This paper provides guidance on the selection of a thin stone facing for stone-faced honeycomb composite panels and a review of a mid-rise building where the stone facing used on a composite panel system exhibited rapid deterioration as a result of poor stone facing material selection. This paper also provides an approach for the evaluation of stone-faced honeycomb composite panels prior to selection for use as an exterior cladding, as there are a number of panel attributes that vary by manufacturer that can significantly affect the strength and durability of these panels. A stone-faced honeycomb composite panel failure that resulted from unanticipated panel warping is also presented. The information provided in this paper provides a recommended framework for establishing ASTM guidelines or minimum requirements for the stone facing to be used in these thin veneer applications, as well as for the stone-faced honeycomb composite panels.

Author Information

Kneezel, Daren, S.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Northbrook, IL, US
Scarpelli, Jeffrey, V.
PROSOCO, Inc., Lawrence, KS, US
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Pages: 100–121
DOI: 10.1520/STP162820200013
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7703-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7702-4