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 Tools - Several cold-formed steel standards, design guides and manuals are available as free downloads from this site (see navigation bar at left). AISI also offers an extensive array of resources available for purchase from its online store (click here).
Cold-Formed Steel Design Seismic Testing (Summer 2013) - A partnership of leading cold-formed steel design researchers and design professionals from the steel industry are in 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. There will be two phases of testing happening in June and July 2013. Phase One testing (June 12-14) involves the structural components, including the cold-formed steel skeleton and the OSB sheathing for the floor diaphragm and roof. Phase Two testing (Date TBD) will add non-structural components like stairs, gypsum sheathing and interior partitions. Check out the project's daily blog (which includes live video feeds of the tests), a general description of the project and partners, and more detailed research overviews and results.
Groundbreaking Seismic Design Research Underway in Summer 2013 NSF-sponsored research will put cold-formed steel framing models to the ultimate shake test. Get on the ground floor - check out the daily blog.
6/17/2013 - Three webinars will be held covering high-performance cold-formed steel assemblies, mid-rise construction, and sustainability.
6/5/2013 - The NSF-sponsored research will conclude with shake table testing this summer that will move cold-formed steel light-frame building design to the next level.