Rewriting the rules on cold-formed steel

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) hopes to make cold-formed steel design more efficient for building construction professionals.
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The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has released findings from research conducted to support the development of a calculation methodology for determining the U-factors and R-values for wall assemblies containing cold-formed steel. Conducted by consulting firm Morrison Hershfield, the research involved detailed thermal modeling simulations of 27 steel stud assemblies, which varied by insulation thickness, insulation placement, and steel stud depth.

AISI is in the process of developing a consensus standard to make cold-formed steel design easier for building construction professionals. Currently, the methodologies for making these calculations vary depending on the code, standard, or guide being used. The revised consensus standard is intended to serve as the primary source for evaluating the overall thermal resistance of cold-formed steel-framed assemblies.

“Our goal is to use the data gathered from this research project to develop a practical means of calculating U-factors for these assemblies without the direct need for additional software or testing apparatus and to provide greater accuracy in results over current simplified methods,” said Jay Larson, managing director of AISI’s construction technical program. “A new calculation methodology will save time and costs for engineers and designers while ensuring that cold-formed steel framing remains a competitive option for mid-rise building construction.”

AISI published a summary of the project, its findings, and an analysis in “RP18-1: Thermal Analysis of Cold-Formed Steel Wall Assemblies.” To download the report, click here.

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