Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Applications of Non-Loadbearing Steel Studs

Non-loadbearing steel studs (often called “drywall studs” are used throughout the Canadian construction industry for interior partition walls, bulkheads, drop ceilings and miscellaneous framing. These members are not “structural” since they are not designed as part of the structural load carrying system of the building; however, they are required to meet certain minimum standards related to material properties and dimensions. The CSSBI LSF Technical Bulletin Volume 7, Number 3: Specification of Non-Loadbearing Steel Studs defines the minimum thickness requirements.

Benefits of Non-Loadbearing Steel Framing

Low Cost:  Non-loadbearing steel stud framing has historically been less expensive than competing forms of construction.

Mass Produced: The basic building blocks of steel stud construction are cold formed channels manufactured from coated sheet steel on continuous roll forming mills. The coated steel is purchased by the manufacturer in the form of a master coil, which is subsequently slit into various widths as required by the geometry of the final products. The slit coil of flat steel is fed into one end of the roll forming mill and the cold formed channel member is cut to length as it emerges from the other end. (On some mills the sheet steel is cut to length before it enters the roll forming mill.) A typical mill can produce kilometers of straight, highly uniform, accurate product in one eight-hour shift.

Lightweight: Lightweight translates into cost savings in a variety of ways.
  • Buildings not previously designed for an extra floor level may be candidates for expansion upwards. 
  • Economical spread footings might be possible in marginal soil conditions as opposed to expensive deep foundations. 
  • Low mass construction minimizes lateral bracing in seismic regions. 
  • In panelized construction, low weight assemblies cost less to transport and erect. 
  • In general, lightweight assemblies allow more economical structural framing because less material is required to support the self weight of the structure.
Download Technical Bulletin Volume 7, Number 4: Applications of Non-Loadbearing Steel Studs to learn more about the benefits of non-loadbearing steel framing, fire and acoustic ratings and more.

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