Metal Wall Panel Buckling

Metal Wall Panel Buckling


One cause for rejection of metal wall panels is severe buckling of the panels. The typical and expected “oil canning” of the wall panels is not and should not be a reason for rejection of the installation. It is important to be able to distinguish between “oil canning” and installation problems. Panels which need excessive shimming combined with fastener length is one of, if not, the main causes for panel buckling. A wall which is true and plum should not need shims greater than an 1/8 inch in thickness during installation and definitely not at multiple locations of the panel height.

The attached photos show a light gauge metal wall panel of 20 to 24 feet with shims at particularly each fastener location. Fastener locations went from no shims to shims upwards of 3/8 inches thick within a 4-foot spacing. The shim thickness with minimum length fasteners created an unequal and excessive pressure on the metal panel causing a server buckling of the flat portion of the wall panel. As the panels were installed during relatively warm weather the buckling will only magnify itself once the panel begins to contract during cool weather.

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