There are two main types of panel-clip. The first is a heavy duty piece of galvanized metal that is used to attach roof panels to the substructure. It is placed between supporting joists or trusses and rafters to support the panel edges. Often referred to as H-clips, they are most commonly used in conjunction with roof sheathing to stop it from feeling soft or spongy at the edges.
How Does It Work?
This kind of panel-clip effectively reduces the spacing of the framing members and improves the load distribution, which in turn helps to increase the stiffness of the roof, or floor deck, for example. A stiff panel is far less likely to bend, or deflect, when subjected to a heavy load. This is especially helpful for thinner panels (up to 3/8”) that are very likely to bend unless supported by panel clips.
A panel-clip also helps to keep the spacing between the two adjoining panel edges constant, thus allowing for panel expansion if the panels get wet during construction.
How are they Installed?
Panel clips should be installed at each horizontal joint between adjacent rows of panels every 12 to 16 inches, but not over framing members.
Using panel clips in construction reduces the amount of material required, thus helping to lower costs. Fewer rafters are needed because the distance between them can be increased if clips are used. However, they don’t stop panels from warping or buckling, so this needs to be taken into account during the construction process.
It should also be noted that the use of panel clips as edge support does not increase the maximum allowable load on a roof truss or rafter spacing. It only allows for wider on-center spacing of supports.
As of 2006, the International Residential Code (IRC) requires that panel clips be used in all construction where panels are used.
The second type of panel clip – sometimes called a Z-clip – is used for a wide variety of less heavy-duty applications, such as securing cabinets and signage to walls. They are most frequently used by professional engineers, contractors, architects, project managers etc. They are simple to use, with one piece being mounted to the wall and the other attached to the panel or cabinet being hung.
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