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Steel connector claims to halve frame erection time

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A REVOLUTIONARY steel frame connector which is claimed to cut erection time by up to 50% has been demonstrated for the first time.

Developed by the UK's Steel Construction Institute (SCI), the Slotted T connector is aimed mainly at the commercial development sector, where steel framed structures with composite floors compete with insitu or precast concrete.

It eliminates bolting at high level by adapting a connection principle used for many years in flatpack furniture.

SCI deputy director Dr Bassam Burgan said the basic design could be adapted to suit a fabricator's preferences and expertise.

'Some will prefer to use welded-on studs instead of the shoulder bolts we are currently working with, ' he said.

'Most will choose to bolt the Ts on to the column conventionally before erection, others might go for welding.

Whatever the detail, the joint will behave like a conventional bolted connection.'

After 12 months of selffunded development by the SCI, the new connector was shown to an invited audience.

But Burgan stressed that the version in the Nottingham demonstration was not ready for mass production.

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