An exciting project has commenced at the Steel Research Hub under the Product Innovation and Technology program. The project sees the University of Sydney (USyd) and the Enduroframe® division of BlueScope Steel Limited (BSL) join forces to investigate ‘cold-formed steel structural floor systems for residential and mid-rise construction,’ to enhance product functionality and create alternative design solutions for steel floor joists.
BlueScope is a provider of innovative steel materials, products, systems and technologies. They are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of painted and coated steel products, and with a strong expertise in steel they provide vital components for houses, buildings, structures, automotive and more. The Enduroframe® division is a leading developer of software and light gauge steel framing systems for the residential and commercial building segments.
Floor joists are manufactured using a range of systems with top and bottom chords, and diagonal web members spanning between the top and bottom chords. While widely used, there seems to be limited research carried out on their strength, deflection and frequency performance. Theoretically calculated deflection values often do not line up with actual deflection values, which may impact the accurate design of floor joists.
The aim of this project will be to investigate specific issues with steel floor joists manufactured in the wall frame orientation to determine design methodologies for typical dead and live loads. This will provide further understanding of the serviceability criteria to minimise vibration, deflection and noise in the floor systems, and ultimately help to develop design criteria for optimally performing floor joists.
For BSL, the analysis and design methodology to be developed in this project will enhance their preeminent record of producing innovative structural solutions and maintain their competitive edge nationally and internationally. It will also allow them to produce more efficient and reliable design capacities of joist systems in residential and mid-rise construction.
Research outcomes from the project will be incorporated into national standards such as AS/NZS 4600-Cold-formed Steel Structures.
The USyd project team consists of Project Leader Associate Professor Cao Hung Pham and PhD candidate Hoang Vu Le. A Post-doctoral Research Fellow will also be hired to contribute to the research. From BSL, the research team includes Mark Eckermann, Paul Jones and Trevor Clayton.
The Steel Research Hub wishes the team all the best on their research and look forward to hearing further updates from the project.
ENDUROFRAME® and BlueScope are registered trademarks of BlueScope Steel Limited.