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Standardized Cast Steel Connectors for Tubular Hollow Structural SectionsFallback Image

Since castings were used in the main stadium at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, cast steel structural components have become increasingly popular in Europe. This popularity has recently made its way to Canada in the form of structural castings at the University of Guelph Science Complex in Guelph, Ontario, and the CDP Capital Centre in Montréal, Québec. Previously, structural castings were only considered for connections with complex geometry or strict aesthetic requirements.

Research at the University of Toronto has given rise to several mass-customizable cast steel connectors that offer a simple alternative to common yet complex fabricated steel connections. This paper identifies two cases where the use of mass-produced cast steel components could provide significant advantages over standard fabrication practices: seismic-resistant and aesthetic pin connections for hollow structural sections.

This paper presents a detailed discussion on the design and fabrication of seismic-resistant bracing connections for hollow structural sections and introduces an innovative alternative joint detail which utilizes a standardized cast steel connector developed at the University of Toronto. Also presented are cast connectors for round hollow structural section members that are suitable for architecturally exposed steel connections. These connectors are intended to be used when an aesthetic true-pin type structural connection is required. A case study on a Canadian construction project that used fabricated pin connections is presented. The difficulties associated with the fabricated solution are contrasted with the simplicity offered by the standardized aesthetic cast steel connector.

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