A REVOLUTIONARY steel frame connector which is claimed to cut erection time by up to 50% will be publicly demonstrated for the first time later this month.
Developed by the 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 flat pack furniture. (See diagram).
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 T's onto 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 self-funded development by the SCI, the new connector will be demonstrated for the first time at Caunton Engineering in Nottingham, where a trial frame erection will take place in front of an invited audience. Burgan stressed that the version showing on 17 July is not ready for mass production.