The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Standards Council has selected four winning research proposals for its 2023 Small Project/Fellowship Program. Launched in 2014, the program identifies and provides funding for research projects that will significantly impact the reliability, performance and cost-competitiveness of cold-formed steel (CFS) in construction. It provides a streamlined mechanism for AISI’s standards development committees (the Committee on Specifications, the Committee on Framing Standards, and the Committee on Energy Standards), industry stakeholders, academics and students to collaborate on relatively short-term, highly focused and mutually beneficial projects.
The small project and fellowship requests are developed and submitted by project teams. Each team includes a student, an academic advisor from the student’s academic institution and an industry advisor. Project selections are based on several factors, including: 1) the potential for long-term impact on the industry, 2) steel industry engagement and co-funding, and 3) anticipated results for the AISI standards development committees, the students and the academic institutions.
The winning research proposals and academic institutions for 2023 are:
“Verification of AISI S310 Design Methods for Cold-Formed Steel Framed Shear Walls Sheathed by Corrugated Sheets”—University of North Texas
There is a demand for high-strength and noncombustible sheathing materials for CFS shear walls. Research has shown that corrugated sheet sheathed shear walls yield much higher shear capacity and similar ductility when compared to code-approved flat sheet sheathed shear walls, but these results are not included in AISI S240, North American Standard for Cold-Formed Steel Structural Framing, 2020 Edition or AISI S400, North American Standard for Seismic Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Systems, 2020 Edition. The objective of this small project is to verify that the design methods in AISI S310, North American Standard for the Design of Profiled Steel Diaphragm Panels, 2020 Edition are applicable to CFS framed shear walls sheathed by low-profile corrugated steel panels for inclusion in future editions of the AISI S240 and AISI S400 standards, which will provide engineers with additional shear wall options for mid-rise CFS light-frame construction.
“Inelastic Analysis and Design of Bare Steel Deck Diaphragms Using the Instantaneous Center Method”—University of Wisconsin-Madison
AISI S100, North American Specification for the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members sets a minimum edge distance requirement for a compliant arc spot weld that is not consistent with common steel deck industry practice. This fellowship will attempt to reconcile the required edge distance requirement in AISI S100 with the existing database of welded diaphragm tests through an inelastic analysis of bare steel deck diaphragms using the instantaneous center method. Results are expected to be reflected in future editions of AISI S100.
“System Reliability of Steel Roof Deck”—University of Wisconsin-Madison
This fellowship will study the reliability of multi-flange cold-formed steel sections, specifically steel roof deck profiles that are commonly used on open web steel joists or steel beams in roof assemblies. The intended result will be to develop an increased flexural strength for roof deck, similar to that currently permitted for floor joists in AISI S240-20, North American Standard for Cold-Formed Steel Structural Framing, 2020 Edition. Coupled with a parallel effort on steel joist reliability, project results are expected to increase the cost-effectiveness of assemblies using steel joists and steel deck by recognizing system reliability, making these more competitive with wood products.
- “Diaphragm Rs for CFS Framing Seismic Design”—Johns Hopkins University
Economical and accurate seismic design allows for predicted seismic forces to be beneficially reduced to account for ductility and system overstrength. In the past, these reductions were based solely on the vertical lateral force-resisting systems, but now include separate seismic response modification coefficients (Rs) for floor and roof diaphragms. ASCE 7 currently provides Rs factors for diaphragms with timber framing, reinforced and pre-stressed concrete slabs and bare and concrete-filled steel deck on structural steel, but none for diaphragms commonly associated with CFS framed building construction. The results of this small project will propose Rs factors for diaphragms commonly used in cold-formed steel framing, making steel more competitive with other materials in seismic design.
“Since it was founded nearly a decade ago, AISI’s Small Project/Fellowship Program has significantly advanced our knowledge of cold-formed steel behavior and established improved design methods for a variety of cold-formed steel applications,” said Jay Larson, P.E., F.ASCE, managing director of AISI’s Construction Technical Program. “The program combines academic and industry expertise; shares funding among steel industry partners; and aligns instructors, students and industry experts in beneficial and cost-effective opportunities for mentoring and research while delivering long-lasting results to the industry.”
AISI’s Standards Council initiates cold-formed steel standards development projects and maintains accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).