Serviceability and flexural strength of lightweight floor made of cold formed steel joists.
- Serviceability and flexural strength of lightweight floor made of cold formed steel joists.
The use of cold-formed steel (CFS) is becoming popular in residential and commercial building as a cost-effective alternative to traditional wood materials. CFS provides high strength-to-weight ratio, resulting in permitting lighter structure and longer spans. If proper design considerations are not made, this longer span and lighter structure can result in vibration serviceability issues that may affect building occupant comfort. The available design methods to calculate the dynamic properties of floor systems (i.e. Canadian Wood Council Method, CWC; Applied Design Council Design Method, ATC; and Eurocode, EC5) are used for the design of light-frame timber-based systems, CFS C-shape joists, and structural steel and concrete floor systems. The applicability of such methods to I-shape CFS joists is as yet unavailable. In addition, the North American Code for Cold-formed Steel structural Members (CSA-S136-07) provides specifications of ultimate and serviceability limit state design of C-shape joists rather than I-shape joists. As such, this research was divided into three parts. Part 1 presented the results of laboratory and field study on the vibration of a recently developed CFS I-shape joist called “iSPAN.” The main objective of the first part was to understand the dynamic characteristics of iSPAN floor system, recommend an adequate model for predicting the dynamic response and modal properties of floor systems, and correlate its results with engineered wood I-joists in order to aid the design process. Part 2 presented comparison between the experimental findings and available code provisions for the design of CFS joists at ultimate and serviceability limit states. The effect of web utility holes was also considered on the dynamic properties, and ultimate strength of iSPAN joists. Part 3 presented a finite-element modeling and its verification with the experimental findings of the tested samples. Also, part 3 extended the finite element modelling to analyse I- and C-shape CFS joists to determine their ultimate strength and serviceability, with and without the presence of utility holes in the webs. Since CSA-S137-07 does not provide design provisions for the edge-stiffened (i.e. lipped) holes, a practical-design-oriented parametric study, using the finite-element modelling, was conducted on CFS I- and C-shape members with circular, slotted and tri-slotted, edge-stiffened, holes under flexural loading. The optimized profile of the edge-stiffened holes was obtained using the elastic-buckling analysis. The post-buckling finite-element analysis was then utilized to determine member flexural strength as affected by utility hole geometry and web depth. Results showed that the edge-stiffened holes can significantly improve the flexural strength of CFS joists. The data generated from the parametric study was used to develop new design provisions to predict the flexural strength of such joists with the presence of edge-stiffened holes.