What are PBR Steel Panels?

Updated on: 03/04/2020


You have probably heard the term “PBR steel panels”— but what does PBR mean?  And what are the advantages and disadvantages of using PBR panels on a metal building?

illustration of a light gray steel panel with the text "What Is a PBR Steel Panel?"The high-tensile-strength steel panels of today’s steel buildings replace the old corrugated tin exteriors of yesteryear.  Colorful, durable, and sturdy, today’s steel panels perform far better and far longer than ever before.

What is a PBR Panel?

“PBR” stands for “Purlin Bearing Rib” panels.

On a prefabricated metal building, steel components called “purlins” attach across the rafters.  The PBR panels fasten to the purlins to create the roof of the structure.  On the sides of the structure, PBR panels connect to the steel “girts” that run across the steel columns.

PBR panels are formed with deep trapezoid-shaped “ribs.”  Smaller ribs fashioned between the deeper ribs provide added strength without adding weight to the panels.  Consequently, PBR steel panels are very economical.  In addition, the ribs increase visual appeal, creating even-spaced shadows over the structure..

What Makes PBR Steel Panels the Better Choice?

illustrations show how PBR steel panels overlap farther than R-panels for greater metal building stabilityTwo basic types of steel panels dominate the metal building market today: PBR panels and R-panels.  PBR panels deliver these strong advantages over R-panels:

  • A person walking on the roof will not crush the stronger PBR panel.  However, weaker R-panels may crimp or buckle under a worker’s weight.
  • The deeper metal-to-metal contact of PBR panels increases waterproofing.  The weaker connection of R-panels increases the likelihood of leaks— especially in wind-driven rainstorms.  Leaks penetrating the roof can soak insulation, causing a soggy mess.





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