The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Super Stud Building Products Donates Critical Materials for Peterman Research Project

Kara Peterman

Kara Peterman

The Walls & Ceilings website reported that Super Stud Building Products has donated cold-formed steel framing system materials for a study being conducted by Assistant Professor Kara Peterman of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Peterman’s study, which will be conducted throughout the summer, will explore the structural response of cold-formed steel stud assemblies to partial bearing conditions (i.e., not fully bearing on a concrete slab). Peterman was recently recognized for her work with cold-formed steel framing when she won the prominent 2018 Norman Medal, the highest honor granted by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

As the Walls & Ceilings article explained the background of Peterman’s current study, “The behavior of structural systems on concrete slabs due to cold-formed steel member instabilities is not well documented or understood at this time, and currently cold-formed steel design specifications provide little guidance. Much data exists on the performance of axially-compressed studs and stud assemblies, but, in previous work, the concrete slabs are assumed to provide rigid uniform support resulting in a uniform stress distribution on the stud end.”

The Walls & Ceilings story concluded that Peterman’s study provides an integral experimental and numerical investigation of the stability response of the studs under partial bearing conditions in order to quantify the reduction of their axial capacities. Hence, Super Stud’s framing system will be subject to a variety of performance stress tests and partial bearing conditions to validate the research hypothesis.

“The research conducted will quantify the impact of the concrete slab as a flexible or semi-rigid support,” as the article noted. “It will also quantify the impact of the edge distance on the axial capacity of stud-track assemblies.”

The American Iron and Steel Institute is funding Peterman’s project.

Peterman earned the Norman Medal as the lead author for a technical paper titled “Experimental Seismic Response of a Full-Scale Cold-Formed Steel-Framed Building. I: System-Level Response,” which described research performed while she was a graduate research assistant at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The paper was published in the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering in December of 2016.

As Peterman explained about her publication that won the Norman Medal, “This paper detailed system-level results for a large shake-table testing campaign of two full-scale cold-formed steel buildings. This work was the first to examine how cold-formed steel building structures perform under earthquakes and further demonstrated that existing design specifications are adequate. The buildings ultimately survived severe ground motions with no structural damage and only minor damage to nonstructural components and cladding.”

Peterman added that “The work also demonstrated that the structural components designated to resist seismic forces actually share and distribute these forces across the entire building system, and that behavior can only be characterized by considering the complete building system.” (June 2018)