Figure 1 (Top): The schematic view of experiment tests Figure 2 (Bottom): Finite element model of stud-track assembly placed on top of a concrete slab with 1 inch edge distance; the studs are 600S162-54 and the tracks are 600T125-54

EDISON, NJ– Super Stud Building Products has graciously donated cold-formed steel framing system materials for a study being conducted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The study explores the structural response of cold-formed steel stud assemblies (i.e., stud and track) with partial bearing conditions. Dr. Kara Peterman and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will be leading the study which will be conducted throughout the summer. Peterman, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, was recently recognized for her work with cold-formed steel framing, having won the prominent 2018 Norman Medal, the highest honor granted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The theory behind the study suggests that wall framing with partial bearing conditions (i.e., not fully bearing on a concrete slab) may result in reduced axial capacities: for both the wall and the slab.

The behavior of structural systems on concrete slabs due to cold-formed steel member instabilities is not well documented or understood at this time, and currently cold-formed steel design specifications provide little guidance. Much data exists on the performance of axially-compressed studs and stud assemblies, but in previous work, the concrete slabs are assumed to provide rigid uniform support resulting in a uniform stress distribution on the stud end. The UMass Amherst study provides an integral experimental and numerical investigation of the stability response of the studs under partial bearing conditions in order to quantify the reduction of their axial capacities, and Super Stud’s framing system will be subject to a variety of performance stress tests and partial bearing conditions to validate the research hypothesis. The research conducted will quantify the impact of the concrete slab as a flexible or semi-rigid support.  It will also quantify the impact of the edge distance on the axial capacity of stud-track assemblies.

The non-uniform bearing stress underneath the stud caused by concrete cracking, crushing, or a combination thereof will be measured to relate with the reduction of the axial capacity of the stud. The results of this study will be used to develop design guidelines for stud wall assembly under non-uniform bearing conditions. “Super Stud is at the forefront of cold-formed steel framing research and resources,” says Don Allen, P.E., Director of Engineering at Super Stud Building Products. “We value the importance of education, research and our continued support in advancing the impact of the benefits of cold-formed steel framing in the construction industry. Our values of safety and commitment to the steel framing innovations make our donation to UMass worthwhile.”

Super Stud Building Products will be coordinating with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and monitor the study as it continues to develop, and valuable cold-formed steel industry insights take shape. In addition to Super Stud’s contribution, additional project funding is provided by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

About Super Stud Building ProductsSince 1973, Super Stud Building Products, Inc., with its roots in the New York Tri-State area, has been a proud manufacturer of the building industry’s most diverse offerings of steel framing components and accessories for use in the construction of commercial, institutional and residential structures. With manufacturing plants in Edison, New Jersey and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Super Stud is committed to quality products, unmatched service, competitive pricing and timely deliveries across the entire East Coast and beyond. Super Stud plays an active role in the steel framing industry, participating in the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the Association of Walls and Ceilings International (AWCI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA).

About the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts AmherstThe Civil and Engineering Department offers four major areas of concentration: Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, and Transportation Engineering. The Department offers an undergraduate degree program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.) and awards Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering and a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering. For more information, visit https://cee.umass.edu/

About the American Iron and Steel InstituteAISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 21-member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 120 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.