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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PANEL CONSTRUCTION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/149509
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A panel comprising one or more decking members is arranged such that a settable material can be supported thereon to form a composite panel. The panel further comprises one or more elongate strengthening elements, each element being arranged to connect to the one or more decking members in a manner such that the one or more elements increase panel strength.

More Like This:
WO/2012/090716RECYCLABLE FORMWORK
Inventors:
KRALIC, John Frank (26 Rose Parade, Mount Pleasant, New South Wales 2519, AU)
RYAN, Brad Stewart (224 North Marshall Mount Road, Marshall Mount, New South Wales 2530, AU)
Application Number:
AU2009/000740
Publication Date:
December 17, 2009
Filing Date:
June 12, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED (Level 11, 120 Collins StreetMelbourne, Victoria 3000, AU)
KRALIC, John Frank (26 Rose Parade, Mount Pleasant, New South Wales 2519, AU)
RYAN, Brad Stewart (224 North Marshall Mount Road, Marshall Mount, New South Wales 2530, AU)
International Classes:
E04G9/06; E04B5/40
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GRIFFITH HACK (Level 29, Northpoint100 Miller Stree, North Sydney New South Wales 2060, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:

Claims

1. A panel comprising one or more decking members arrangable such that a settable material can be supported thereon to form a composite panel , the panel further comprising one or more elongate strengthening elements, with each element being arranged to connect to the one or more decking members in a manner such that the one or more elements increase panel strength.

2. A panel as claimed in claim 1 comprising two or more adjacent decking members connected together at one or more respective joints wherein each of the one or more strengthening elements is connected at or adjacent to the one or more respective joints.

3. A panel as claimed in claim 2 wherein the two or more adjacent decking members are connected together in a side-by-side relationship to define one or more respective elongate joints in the panel.

4. A panel as claimed in claim 2 or 3 wherein each of the one or more strengthening elements extends: (i) transversely across to connect two or more of the decking members ; or

(ii) along the joint of to connect two adjacent decking members ; or

(iii) at orientations between the transverse (i) and lengthwise (ii) to connect two or more of the decking members .

5. A panel as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 4 wherein each of the one or more decking members comprises an elongate channel formed from sheet metal . 6. A panel as claimed in claim 5 wherein the flanges of adjacent channels abut to define a given joint in the decking.

7. A panel as claimed in claim 6 wherein each strengthening element is connected to a flange of a given channel at a lip that laterally extends from the flange, whereby the strengthening element faces the lip when connected thereto.

8. A panel as claimed in claim 7 wherein the lip of one channel's flange overlies the lip of an adjacent channel's flange, whereby the strengthening element is simultaneously connected to the adjacent lips. 9. A panel as claimed in any one of claims 6 to 8 wherein a flange of one channel is adapted to nest in an adjacent flange of an adjacent channel.

10. A panel as claimed in any one of claims 6 to 9 wherein each strengthening element is connected to a flange of a given channel via one or more fasteners.

11. A panel as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the strengthening elements are further arranged such that, when the settable material forms a composite panel with the one or more decking members, the one or more strengthening elements reinforce the settable material .

12. A panel as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein each strengthening element is formed from sheet metal and is provided with a structural profile. 13. A panel as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein each strengthening element is formed to define a U-shaped channel.

14. A panel as claimed in any one of the preceding claims 1 to 12, wherein each strengthening element is of metal and is profiled or of flat strip.

15. A panel as claimed in claim 14, wherein the strengthening element has a channel -shaped profile that is further adapted to facilitate lifting of the panel.

16. A panel as claimed in claim 14 or 15, wherein the strengthening element is adapted for mountingly receiving one or more lifting connectors thereat.

17. A panel as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein each strengthening element comprises a plurality of apertures and/or discrete deformations therealong.

18. A panel as claimed in any one of the preceding claims further comprising the settable material supported and cured thereon, thereby forming a composite panel.

19. A composite panel that comprises the panel as defined in any one of claims 1 to 17 together with a settable material supported on the panel .

20. A composite panel as claimed in claim 19 that is adapted to function as a tilt-up panel in use.

21. A panel comprising one or more decking members adapted such that a settable material can be supported thereon to form a composite panel, the panel further comprising one or more elongate strengthening elements, each strengthening element being arranged to connect to at least one the decking members, such that when the settable material forms a composite panel with the one or more decking members, the one or more strengthening elements reinforce the settable material . 22. A panel as claimed in claim 21, wherein each decking member and each strengthening element is as defined in any one of claims 1 to 17.

23. A method for enabling the formation of a panel as defined in any one of claims 1 to 19, 21 and 22, the method comprising the step of connecting the one or more strengthening elements with respect to the one or more decking members in a manner such that the one or more

elements increase panel strength and/or reinforce the settable material .

24. A method as claimed in claim 23 comprising the further steps of : - arranging two or more of the decking members side-by- side ;

- arranging the one or more strengthening elements to extend across or along the side-by-side decking members.

25. A method as claimed in claim 23 or 24 comprising the further step of connecting each strengthening element to respective decking member (s) by a fastener so as to form the panel .

26. A method as claimed in claim 25 wherein the fastener is a nail ejected from a nail gun. 27. A method as claimed in any one of claims 23 to 26 comprising the further step of arranging a settable material on the panel and allowing it to cure, to thereby form the composite panel .

28. A method for enabling the formation of a panel substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings and Example .

29. A panel that is produced by the method of any one of claims 23 to 28.

30. A panel substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings and the Example .

Description:

PANEL CONSTRUCTION

Technical Field

Disclosed are a panel and a method for forming the same. The panel comprises one or more decking members as well as one or more strengthening elements. A settable (e.g. cementitious) material can be supported at the one or more decking members to define a composite panel . The strengthening elements can increase panel strength and stiffness during formation of the composite panel, and during composite panel lifting and when subjected to in- service loads. The strengthening elements can also eliminate the use of a reinforcing mesh. Whilst one application of the panel is in "tilt-up" construction applications it should be appreciated that the panel is in no way limited to such applications.

Background Art Tilt -up panels are used for constructing warehouses and commercial buildings. Tilt-up panels can be precast either on or off site, lifted and placed by a crane or other lifting apparatus, and then propped in position while the roofing structure is installed and the panels are joined. To facilitate lifting and placement by a crane or lifting apparatus the panel may be provided with connectors (e.g. such as one or more lifting lugs) to which a respective crane hook etc can be coupled for lifting. When in the form of a composite panel that includes a cementitious material and a metal decking structure it is known to embed such connectors in the cementitious material. It is also known to reinforce the cementitious

material with a structural steel mesh to ensure that the panel can withstand shear and torsional loads etc during and after construction.

Any reference herein to the prior art is not intended as an admission that the prior art forms a part of the common general knowledge of a person of ordinary skill in the art in Australia or elsewhere.

Summary of the Disclosure In a first aspect there is provided a panel comprising one or more decking members arrangable such that a settable material can be supported thereon to form a composite panel . The panel further comprises one or more elongate strengthening elements, with each element being arranged to connect to the one or more decking members in a manner such that the one or more elements increase panel strength.

Whilst in its simplest form the panel can comprise a single decking member and a single strengthening element (e.g. the strengthening element can be connected to extend between opposing flanges of the single decking member to strengthen and stiffen the member) , usually the one or more strengthening elements are arranged to connect to two or more adjacent decking members. In either case the elongate strengthening elements can increase panel strength and panel stiffness. As a result, the settable material can be better supported thereon during formation of a composite panel and, as well, the overall composite panel strength can be increased during panel lifting (e.g. tilt-up) and during in-use loading of the panel (e.g. when functioning as a wall) .

The elongate strengthening elements can also facilitate lifting of the panel. In this regard, one or

more lifting connectors can be mounted (e.g. bolted) to each strengthening element, rather than solely being embedded in a settable material of the composite panel . These lifting connectors can take the form of lifting lugs (e.g. for attachment of a crane hook to a panel) . When the strengthening element is in the form of an elongate channel member, each lifting lug can be bolted or otherwise fastened to a flange of the channel member.

When the panel comprises two or more adjacent decking members they can be connected together at one or more respective joints. Then, each of the one or more strengthening elements can be connected at or adjacent to the one or more respective joints. Each such joint can itself represent a region of increased strength in the decking, whereby when a strengthening element is connected thereto the overall panel strength and/or stiffness can be correspondingly increased.

For example, the two or more adjacent decking members can be connected together in a side-by-side relationship to define one or more respective elongate joints in the panel. These elongate joints can function in use as a type of load-bearing rib in the panel, both during formation of and during use of a resultant composite panel .

When used to interconnect two or more decking members, the one or more strengthening elements can also simplify panel construction. In this regard, the need for separately connecting together two adjacent decking members can be eliminated.

Also, the one or more strengthening elements can function to reinforce the settable (e.g. cementitious) material in the resultant composite panel, and thus can replace mesh reinforcing that is otherwise used to provide structural integrity to the composite panel (e.g. when it

is used as a tilt -up panel) . In this regard the one or more strengthening elements can be arranged with respect to the decking member (s) such that they become at least partially embedded in the settable material during formation of a composite panel.

The one or more strengthening elements may, alternatively, be used in conjunction with reinforcing mesh, to further strengthen a resultant composite panel .

The one or more strengthening elements can be connected to the decking member (s) in a number of ways. In each case the strengthening elements can increase the panel strength and stiffness.

For example, each strengthening element can be connected to extend: (i) transversely across and to connect together two or more of the decking members; or

(ii) along the joint of and to connect together two adjacent decking members; or

(iii) at orientations between the transverse (i) and lengthwise (ii) and again to connect together two or more of the decking members .

In one embodiment each of the one or more decking members can comprise an elongate channel formed from sheet metal (e.g. galvanised sheet steel that is roll -formed in either a cold or hot roll -forming process) . Then, the flanges of adjacent channels can be abutted to define a given joint in the decking (e.g. an elongate rib-like joint that extends through the decking) .

When the panel comprises two or more elongate channels positioned in a side-by- side arrangement, each of the one or more strengthening elements can extend across and be connected to respective flanges of the two or more elongate channels.

In an embodiment, each strengthening element can transversly or obliquely extend across the panel and be connected to each flange of the decking channel . In another embodiment, each strengthening element can extend along the panel and can be connected to adjacent flanges of two adjacent decking channels.

In this embodiment each strengthening element can be connected to a flange of a given channel at a lip that laterally extends from the flange. The strengthening element can then face the lip when it is connected thereto. In this regard, the lip of one channel's flange can overlie the lip of an adjacent channel's flange. Thus, the strengthening element can be simultaneously connected to the two adjacent lips. In this embodiment a flange of one channel can be adapted (e.g. shaped and configured) to nest in an adjacent flange of an adjacent channel. This can further define each elongate rib-like joint in the panel decking, and can enhance its load bearing capacity. Thus, when a strengthening element is connected at or adjacent to such a joint the overall panel strength and/or stiffness can be correspondingly increased.

In an embodiment, the flange of one channel can be adapted so as to provide structural integrity to the panel, both during its formation and in subsequent use. In this regard, the nested flanges can provide a type of structural (e.g. load-bearing rib to which the strengthening elements can be connected) .

Each strengthening element can be connected to a flange of a given channel via a fastener. The fastener can be located to simultaneously fasten the strengthening element to a given channel , and that channel to an

adjacent channel. This can increase the formation speed of the panel .

In an embodiment the strengthening element (s) may be further arranged to connect to the at least one decking member such that, when the settable material forms a composite panel with the one or more decking members, the one or more strengthening elements reinforce the settable material .

Each strengthening element can also be formed from sheet metal (e.g. galvanised sheet steel that is roll- formed in either a cold or hot roll-forming process) . Each strengthening element can be provided with a structural profile. For example, each strengthening element can be formed to define a U-shaped channel, though other profiles are disclosed herein. Further, an end of each flange of the U-shaped channel can also be provided with a lateral lip that projects inwardly of the channel to further strengthen the profile.

In an alternative embodiment to that mentioned above, the strengthening element can be flat (e.g. it can be formed from hoop strip iron) . In another variation, the strengthening element can have a structural profile (e.g. a hat-shape such as is employed in metal battens, or a deeper channel -shape of increased strength and stiffness) . The panel can employ any one of the strengthening element variations simultaneously. The variations either independently or in combination may further assist with the allowing the panel to be formed without requiring reinforcing mesh. Each strengthening element can also be provided with a plurality of apertures and/or discrete deformations therealong. The apertures can receive settable material therein during formation of the composite panel, thereby

enhancing the reinforcement function of each connection element. The deformations may assist the strengthening element to bind with the settable material during formation of the composite panel, so both the apertures and deformations can enhance a reinforcement function of each strengthening element.

The panel of the first aspect may further comprise the settable material supported and cured thereon, whereby a composite panel can be formed. In a second aspect there is provided a composite panel that comprises a panel as defined in the first aspect together with a settable material supported on the panel .

The composite panel of the second aspect can be adapted to function as a tilt -up panel in use. In a third aspect there is provided a method for enabling the formation of a panel as defined in the first aspect. The method comprises the step of connecting the one or more strengthening elements with respect to the one or more decking members in a manner such that the one or more elements increase panel strength.

The method of the third aspect can comprise the further steps of :

- arranging two or more of the decking members side- by-side; - arranging the one or more strengthening elements to extend across or along the side-by-side decking members. In the method of the third aspect each strengthening element can be connected to each respective decking member by a fastener. Further, each decking member can be connected to an adjacent decking member by the (or an additional) fastener. The fastener can comprise a nail bolt etc that is e.g. ejected from a nail gun, to make for rapid panel formation.

After forming the panel, the method can comprise the further step of arranging a settable material on the panel and allowing it to cure, to thereby form the composite panel . In a fourth aspect there is provided a panel that is produced by the method of the third aspect .

In accordance with a fifth aspect, there is provided a panel comprising one or more decking members adapted such that a settable material can be supported thereon to form a composite panel, the panel further comprising one or more elongate strengthening elements, with each strengthening element being arranged to connect to at least one of the decking members such that, when the settable material forms a composite panel with the one or more decking members, the one or more strengthening elements reinforce the settable material .

In an embodiment , each of the one or more decking members comprises an elongate channel formed from sheet metal . In an embodiment that comprises two or more elongate channels positioned in a side-by-side arrangement, each of the more strengthening elements may extend either across or along the two elongate channels.

In an embodiment, each of the one or more strengthening elements is connected to respective flanges of the two or more elongate channels.

In an embodiment, each strengthening element is connected to a flange of a given channel at a lip that laterally extends from the flange, whereby the strengthening element faces the lip when connected thereto.

In an embodiment, each strengthening element is connected to a flange of a given channel via one or more fasteners .

In an embodiment, a flange of one channel is adapted to nest in an adjacent flange of an adjacent channel.

In an embodiment, each fastener extends through the strengthening element and then through each of the adjacent and nested flanges.

In an embodiment, each strengthening element is of metal and is profiled or a flat strip.

In an embodiment, the strengthening element has a channel -shaped profile that is further adapted to facilitate lifting of the panel.

In an embodiment, the strengthening element is adapted for mountingly receiving one or more lifting connectors thereat .

In an embodiment, each strengthening element has a plurality of apertures therethrough and/or discrete deformations therealong. In a sixth aspect, there is provided a panel that comprising two or more decking members that are adapted such that a settable material can be supported thereon to form a composite panel, the panel further comprising one or more strengthening elements arranged to connect the two or more decking members together such that, when the settable material forms a composite panel with the two or more decking members, the one or more strengthening elements reinforce the settable material .

In accordance with a seventh aspect, there is provided a composite panel that comprises the panel as defined in the fifth or sixth aspects, together with a settable material supported on the panel .

In accordance with an eighth aspect, there is provided a method for enabling the formation of the panel as defined in any one of the fifth or sixth aspects, the method comprising the step of arranging the one or more strengthening elements with respect to the one or more decking members such that, when the settable material forms a composite panel with the one or more decking members, the one or more strengthening elements reinforce the settable material . In an embodiment, the method comprises the further steps of arranging two or more of the decking members side-by-side; and arranging the one or more connection elements to extend across or along the side-by-side decking members .

Brief Description of the Drawings

Notwithstanding any other forms that may fall within the definition of the panel and method as set forth in the Summary, specific embodiments of the panel will now be described, by way of example only, and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 shows a conceptual illustration of a panel in a simple format;

Figure 2 shows a perspective view of a panel that comprises a number of decking members in side-by- side joined relationship, and a first example of a strengthening element;

Figure 3 shows a perspective view of a panel similar to Figure 2 , but with the strengthening element in a different orientation;

Figure 4 shows an end cross-sectional detail of a composite panel formed using the panel of Figure 2 ; and

Figure 5 shows a perspective view of a panel that comprises a number of decking members in side-by-side joined relationship, and two further and different examples of strengthening elements.

Detailed Description of Specific Embodiments Referring firstly to Figure 1, a panel P is shown that comprises a decking D of sheet material (e.g. sheet metal) for receiving and supporting thereon a settable material in the form of a cementitious material. In this schematic depiction, opposing support flanges F of decking D are shown to extend up from the decking. An elongate stiffener S can be connected to extend between each of the support flanges. The stiffener S can function to strengthen and stiffen the decking D, for example, so as maintain dimensional stability when a cementitious material is poured onto the decking D. When the cementitious material has cured to form a composite panel, the stiffener S can strengthen and stiffen the panel during lifting (e.g. tilt -up) thereof and can also strengthen the panel so as to receive loads during service (e.g. when functioning as a wall) . One or more lifting mounts (e.g. lifting lugs for a crane hook) can be fastened to extend from the stiffener S. By way of further advantage, when the cementitious material formed on the decking D either partially or fully embeds the stiffener S in the cured cementitious material, the stiffener S can function to reinforce the cementitious material. In this regard, the stiffener S can also replace the use of reinforcing mesh, and can be adapted for this purpose (as described hereafter) .

Referring now to Figure 2, a panel is shown in the form of a decking arrangement 10 that comprises a number

of decking members in the form of elongate channels 12. Each channel comprises cold or hot roll -formed sheet metal (such as galvanised sheet steel) and is adapted such that a settable (e.g. cementitious material) can be supported thereon during formation of a composite (e.g. tilt -up) panel .

Each channel 12 is formed with opposing flanges 14 and 16. The flanges are shaped and configured for nesting in adjacent flanges of adjacent respective channels. For example, flange 16 of channel 12 can nest in flange 14' of channel 12', and flange 16' of channel 12' can nest in a next flange of a next channel, and so on. This can define a number of elongate joints 18 that extend through the decking arrangement 10, whereby each joint can function as a load-bearing rib. Such ribs can provide a load-bearing capacity during formation of a composite panel and during use of such a panel (e.g. in tilt-up applications) .

It will also be seen that the opposing flanges 14, 16 of each channel 12 further comprise a lip 20, with a lip 20' of flange 14' overlying a lip 20 of flange 16. Returns 22, 22' etc on each flange help to retain the nested configuration .

The decking arrangement 10 further comprises one or more elongate strengthening elements, each in the form of a profiled member 30. In this case, the member 30 is of U- shaped channel. An end of each flange 32 of the U-shaped channel can also be provided with a lateral lip 34 that projects inwardly of the channel to further strengthen the profile. Each channel member 30 can be cold or hot roll- formed from sheet metal.

The structural profile of the channel member 30 enables it to provide additional strengthening and stiffening properties to the decking arrangement 10. As a

result, when e.g. a cementitious material is poured onto the decking arrangement 10, the deck can better resist deflection during both loading and curing of the material . Further, in a resultant composite panel, the overall panel strength and stiffness can be increased for both composite panel lifting (e.g. during tilt-up) and when in-use (e.g. when loaded, such as when functioning as a wall) . Thus, the decking arrangement 10 can better withstand shear and torsional loads etc during and after composite panel construction.

It will be seen that each channel member 30 is connected at (adjacent to) the joints 18. Because each joint provides a region of increased strength in the decking, when the channel member 30 is connected thereto the overall panel strength and stiffness can be correspondingly increased.

In this regard, a web 36 of each channel member 30 is fastened via a fastener 38 that extends through the overlying lips 20 & 20' of flanges 16 & 14' . Discrete fasteners can be introduced through the web at each location where the overlying lips 20 & 20' of a given respective set of nested flanges 16 & 14' are located. This ties the member 30 to the elongate channels, and also ties the elongate channels together across the decking arrangement, increasing overall decking strength and stiffness .

Each fastener 38 can comprise a series of nail bolts, rivets, screws (e.g. self-fastening Tec screws) etc. When nail bolts are employed, these can be fired from a nail gun for rapid assembly of the decking arrangement 10.

The channel member 30 can extend transversely across the decking arrangement 10 as shown in Figure 2, or it can extend obliquely across the decking.

Referring now to Figure 3, where like reference numerals to Figure 2 are employed, an alternative panel is shown in the form of a decking arrangement 10' that again comprises a number of decking members in the form of elongate channels 12.

The decking arrangement 10' of Figure 3 differs from the decking arrangement 10 of Figure 2 in that each channel member 30 extends along the joint 18 of two adjacent channels 12 and 12'. In this decking arrangement, discrete fasteners are introduced through the web 36 at respective locations along the overlying lips 20 & 20' of a given set of nested of flanges 16 & 14 '. This again ties the adjacent elongate channels 12 and 12' together along the decking arrangement. In this embodiment the joint 18 is effectively increased by the channel member 30, again increasing overall decking strength and stiffness but in a different manner. In other words, the load-bearing capacity of the joint is increased.

The channel members 30 used in the decking arrangements 10, 10' can be provided with a plurality of apertures therethrough. These apertures can receive therethrough a cementitious material during formation of a composite panel, thereby better "tying" the channel members to the cementitious material and enhancing the reinforcing function of each member. Each channel member can also be deformed to have a plurality of discrete deformations therealong (e.g. punched or cut flaps or tabs of material, burrs, knurls etc) . Again, these deformations can assist the channel member to bind with the cementitious material during formation of the composite panel, to further enhance the reinforcing function of each channel member.

The channel member 30 can facilitate lifting of the panel. In this regard, the channel -shaped profile can enable mounting thereat of one or more lifting connectors. These lifting connectors can take the form of lifting lugs, which can be bolted to a given flange of the channel member 30. The lifting lugs can enable the attachment of a crane hook to the decking arrangements 10, 10' and to a resultant composite panel, to allow for lifting of the decking arrangement and tilt -up of the resultant composite panel .

Referring now to Figure 4, where like reference numerals denote like parts, it will now be seen that a cementitious material M is arranged on the decking arrangement 10 so as to form a composite panel CP therewith. During pouring, curing and formation of the composite panel the channel members 30 become embedded in the cementitious material M, and so also function to reinforce the material. Thus, as well as functioning to interconnect and strengthen/stiffen the adjacent channels 12, the channel members 30 can also replace mesh reinforcing that is used to provide structural integrity to a composite panel (e.g. when it is used as a tilt-up panel) . This can considerably simplify composite panel construction . Referring now to Figure 5, a panel is shown in the form of a decking arrangement 100 that comprises a number of decking members in the form of elongate channels 112, with each channel being formed from sheet metal by a cold or hot roll -forming process (for example, by cold or hot roll -forming a galvanised sheet steel) . Again, each channel 112 is adapted such that a settable material in the form of a cementitious material can be supported

thereon during formation of a composite (e.g. tilt-up) panel .

Again, the opposing flanges 114, 116 of each channel 112 are each shaped and configured for nesting in an adjacent flange of an adjacent channel, to define elongate joints 118 extending through the decking arrangement 100. In this regard, adjacent flanges 114 and 116 of adjacent channels 112 may define a type of structural rib configuration (see Figure 4) that extends length-wise through the decking arrangement 100 provide further structural support .

In this embodiment the decking arrangement 100 further comprises one or more elongate strengthening elements in the form of a metal strip having either or both of a profiled batten configuration 118 or a flat strap configuration 120 (e.g. of hoop iron) . Each batten 118 can, in end-profile, have a known "hat" shape, thereby- making use of an existing construction profile (e.g. a roll -formed batten) . Each strap 120 can make use of existing hoop iron material. The battens 118 or straps 120 can be arranged to extend transversely or obliquely across the decking arrangement 100 and can be connected to the flanges 114, 116 of the channels, to thereby interconnect the channels. The battens or straps can be fastened to a lip 122 that laterally extends from each flange 114, 116 so that the battens or straps closely face an uppermost lip in the decking arrangement. The fastener can comprise a series of nail bolts, rivets, screws (e.g. self-fastening Tec screws) etc. When nails are employed, these can be fired from a nail gun for rapid assembly of the decking arrangement 100.

Each of the battens or straps can be provided with a plurality of apertures 124 therethrough. These apertures

can receive therethrough the cementitious material during formation of the composite panel, thereby "tying" the battens or straps to the cementitious material and enhancing the reinforcing function of each batten or strap. Each of the battens or straps can also be deformed to have a plurality of discrete deformations therealong (e.g. punched or cut flaps or tabs of batten/strap material, burrs, knurls etc) . Again, these deformations can assist the batten or strap to bind with the cementitious material during formation of the composite panel, to further enhance the reinforcing function of each batten or strap.

Example - Composite Panel Construction Method A non-limiting method for forming a composite panel to be used as a tilt-up panel at a construction site will now be described in the following steps:

1. A desired number of the decking members 12 (e.g. four members) were arranged side-by-side and were clipped together at their specially shaped and configured flanges 14 and 16, whereby a given flange 16 nested within an adjacent flange 14 (see e.g. Figures 2, 3, 4 & 5) .

2. A number of channel members 30 were spaced apart and arranged on the decking members to extend transversely across or along the members (see e.g. Figures 2 & 3) .

3. Each channel member 30 was then connected to respective decking members so as to form the decking arrangement 10. In this regard, a fastener 38 (such as a nail bolt, rivet etc - that was e.g. ejected from a nail gun) was inserted through the web 36 of the channel member 30 and through each of the adjacent

lips 20', 20 to rapidly form the decking arrangement 10.

4. A number of lifting lugs were bolted to a given respective flange 32 of one or more of the channel members 30. The lifting lugs later enabled the attachment of a crane hook to the decking arrangement 10.

5. The decking arrangement 10 was positioned within suitable formwork and a settable material (e.g. concrete M) was now poured onto the decking arrangement 10 to fill up each of the decking channels 12, and to also submerge the channel member 30. The channel members 30 were observed to strengthen the decking arrangement 10 in that no detectable deck deflection occurred during such pouring. This produced the composite panel CP (see e.g. Figure 4) .

6. Once the concrete M of the composite panel CP had sufficiently cured, the panel was tilted up into place (e.g. into a vertical orientation) by a crane connected to the lifting lugs. Again, the channel members 30 were observed to strengthen and stiffen the composite panel CP, during such lifting and later when in place as a wall. The channel members 30 were also observed to reinforce the concrete M. 7. Construction of the composite panel CP was able to be implemented as tilt-up (on site) , pre-cast (off site - e.g. at a factory), or as a combination of both (near site) . In the latter case, a pre-fabricated decking arrangement was able to be delivered to the near site (e.g. a temporary facility located near a construction area) . These construction permutations can be optimised to improve efficiency, reduce transport and to substantially reduce the set-up required.

By strengthening and stiffening the panel, and by- obviating reinforcing mesh, a composite panel and its formation method were able to be simply and expeditiously implemented. The resulting composite panel was also observed to have sufficient structural integrity and performance, and was able to support various loads in use, notwithstanding the absence of reinforcing mesh.

Whilst a number of specific panel embodiments have been described it should be appreciated that the panel may be embodied in many other forms .

In the claims which follow and in the preceding description, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word "comprise" and variations such as "comprises" or

"comprising" are used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the panel and method.