Cold-formed steel is widely used for buildings, automobiles, equipment, home and office furniture, utility poles, storage racks, grain bins, highway products, drainage facilities, and bridges. Its popularity can be attributed to ease of mass production and prefabrication, uniform quality, lightweight designs, economy in transportation and handling, and quick and simple erection or installation.
Cold-formed steel has significant market share because of its advantages over other construction materials, as well as the synergy of industry partnerships that promote cold-formed steel research and products. This includes codes and standards development that is spearheaded by the American Iron and Steel Institute. AISI's codes and standards work is conducted under the auspices of SMDI's Construction Market program.
Overview of Cold-Formed Steel Applications in Building Construction - A helpful and informative resource on the history and applications for cold-formed steel in building construction. It also introduces organizations that play important roles in the cold-formed steel industry.
Direct Strength Design - This paper provides a review of the Direct Strength Method for cold-formed steel design, which was formally adopted in North American design specifications in 2004 as an alternative to the traditional Effective Width Method.
Cold-Formed Steel Design Standards, Design Manuals and Guides - AISI's S200-series (cold-formed steel framing), S300-series (profiled steel diaphragm) and S900-series (test) standards are available to download free of charge in PDF format at www.aisistandards.org. AISI's S200-series (cold-formed steel framing) standards are also available to purchase in printed format from AISI's online bookstore. Research reports and Errata are available to download free of charge.
Cold-Formed Steel Design Seismic Testing (Summer 2013) - A partnership of leading cold-formed steel design researchers and design professionals from the steel industry completed the final phase of a three-year research project to increase the seismic safety of buildings that use lightweight cold-formed steel for their primary beams and columns. Two phases of testing occurred in June and July 2013. Phase One testing involved the structural components, including the cold-formed steel skeleton and the OSB sheathing for the floor diaphragm and roof. Phase Two testing added non-structural components like stairs, gypsum sheathing and interior partitions.
The building did exceptionally well during the final shake-up on August 16. Watch the final shake table tests from inside the structure, which duplicated a 1.1g MCE-level earthquake. (Click here).
An excellent overview of the research and expected results, as well as a video interview with team leader Benjamin Schafer, Ph.D., P.E., is available on The Johns Hopkins University website. Click here to view.
Check out the project's daily blog, a general description of the project and partners, and more detailed research overviews and results.
Join the Dialogue on Integration for the Built Environment, October 15-16! Discuss life cycle analysis tools and emerging new technologies for a sustainable building environment at Converge 2013 in Vancouver.
8/14/2014 - The test standards are available for downloading free of charge at www.aisistandards.org.
8/13/2014 - The design provisions are for diaphragms consisting of profiled steel decks or panels which include acoustic panels, cellular deck, and composite deck filled with concrete.