CAST CONNEX® High Strength Connectors™ recently received an evaluation report (ESR-3031) from ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), providing evidence that the connectors meet code requirements for use in Special Concentrically Braced Frames (SCBF), Ordinary Concentrically Braced Frames (OCBF), and also in non-seismic structural applications. Building officials, architects, contractors, specifiers, designers and others utilize ICC-ES Evaluation Reports to provide a basis for using or approving High-Strength Connectors in construction projects under the International Building Code (IBC).
ICC-ES and Cast Connex worked collaboratively with the Evaluation Reports Committee of the Structural Engineers Associate of California (SEAOC) to develop Acceptance Criteria for the product, with additional input provided by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). Once established, AC 427 formed the basis for the evaluation of the High Strength Connectors to meet the requirements of IBC and the applicable reference codes. ICC-ES thoroughly examined Cast Connex’s product information, test reports, calculations, quality control methods, and other factors to ensure the product is code-compliant.
The end result is a highly useful Evaluation Report which provides detailed instructions on the proper use and implementation of the connectors in seismic-resistant braced frames, covering everything from design and scope of responsibilities through to recommendations for the qualification of welding procedure specifications (WPS) and site installation.
CAST CONNEX® High Strength Connectors™ offer the ability to eliminate field welding of braces in SCBF and OCBF, providing substantial cost and time savings in addition to dramatically simplifying connection design. From a performance perspective, the size of beam-column gusset plates can be dramatically reduced when High Strength Connectors are employed. This helps ensure the braced frames behave as intended and as conceptualized – as simple pinned frames where inelastic demand is isolated to the brace members, rather than having large gusset plates which result in additional fixity in the frame and potentially resulting in yielding or buckling in beam or column members in an earthquake.
“The connectors are a winner for all project stakeholders because they save overall project cost through the elimination of field welding and the related costs of special inspection while helping to ensure the building performs as it should in an earthquake and while also simplifying connection design, detailing, fabrication, and erection,” says Cast Connex President and CEO Carlos de Oliveira who, along with Professors Jeffrey Packer and Constantin Christopoulos of the University of Toronto, invented the connectors during the course of his Masters research.
Cast Connex is the leading authority on the use and implementation of steel castings in building construction, offering a suite of innovative connector products for use in the design and construction of building and bridge structures in addition to the design and delivery of custom cast steel components often employed in structurally and/or architecturally demanding applications.
A nonprofit, limited liability company, ICC-ES is the United States’ leading evaluation service for innovative building materials, components and systems. ICC-ES Evaluation Reports (ESRs) provide evidence that products and systems meet requirements of codes and technical standards. ICC-ES is a subsidiary of the International Code Council® (ICC®). For more information, please visit www.icc-es.org