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Industry study for steel joints post 11 September

STEEL CONNECTIONS which can perform better in extreme events are to be investigated by a pan-industry working group, it was revealed last week.

The committee comprises representatives of the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) and the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) and includes fabricators as well as designers and academics.

Group chairman and SCI director Graham Owens said that the move came mainly as a response to the events of 11 September last year.

'It is important not to overreact in the UK, but it is probable that in the future designers will be required to think more about joint ductility and rotation, ' he said.

'Current standards tend to produce joint designs which fail at the bolts - which means low ductility.'

Ductile joints, which could rotate significantly without failing, would produce structural frames able to absorb large amounts of energy and to deform significantly without collapsing.

Failure of the joints between the floor trusses and the perimeter columns is seen as one of the main reasons why the Twin Towers collapsed so catastrophically last year (NCE 13 September 2001).

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