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Steel Framing System Exceeds Expectations in Earthquake Simulation Shake Test



   Author: Hallie Fisher
Location: Cleveland, OH


(HARVEY, ILL) Aug. 21, 2007 Earthquakes are often associated with collapsed buildings, flattened homes and widespread devastation. The magnitude 7.9 earthquake that shook Peru last week displaced tens of thousands of people and caused millions of dollars in damage. However, findings from a recent earthquake simulation test conducted on a steel framing system may help decrease future destruction caused by an earthquake's force.

Allied Tube & Conduit (ACD), together with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), recently shook Dynastructure, a pre-engineered, cold-formed structural steel framing system, at UCSD's Englekirk Structural Engineering Center. ACD is the first manufacturer to conduct a shake test using a whole building for this type of system in the United States. Typically, these tests are conducted on individual components rather than complete structures.

The seismic test, which took place in June 2007, shook the one story building (32 ft long x 20 ft wide x 12 ft tall) for 30 seconds, simulating a 7.3 magnitude earthquake.

Although it was expected that the simulation would be adverse to this type of structure, not only did it not fail, it didn't exhibit any signs of faults, cracks or connection issues, said Jeff Galland, director of engineering and operations, S2 Specialty Structures.

The first shake duplicated the ground motions of the notorious Landers earthquake that rocked California in 1992. The magnitude 7.3 earthquake was one of the most powerful documented earthquakes to occur in the contiguous 48 states in the last 40 years, and caused almost $100 million in damage.

A second test conducted on Dynastructure increased the intensity of the shake by 1.5 times to represent the International Building Code's Maximum Considered Earthquake. This shake was equivalent to a 2,500-year earthquake, and yielded the same results no damages.

We wanted to provide the capability to more accurately engineer structures constructed with light gauge steel framing systems, said Michael Mendralla, general manager, Allied Tube & Conduit Construction Division. Our results demonstrate that Dynastructure is able to withstand even the most powerful of natural forces.

Added Galland, In comparison to Dynastructure, wood-framed buildings shaken at this magnitude would suffer significant and appreciable damage.

When erecting the system for the test, the manufacturing and construction teams used the standard procedures to ensure that what was tested represented a typical Dynastructure product.

Dynastructure is a pre-engineered steel framing system that is suitable for all types of structures, from commercial and light industrial to residential, recreational and essential facilities. Components are built through precision fabrication using cold-formed tubular steel elements pre-drilled to precise measurements and welded in a tight tolerance jig. Custom-engineered to exact specifications, Dynastructure frames buildings faster and for a lower cost than other construction methods.

About the Englekirk Structural Engineering Center
The Englekirk Structural Engineering Center is a Charles Lee Powell Laboratory test facility within the Department of Structural Engineering at The University of California, San Diego. The center is a one-of-a-kind facility equipped with the worlds largest outdoor shake table allowing researchers to perform dynamic earthquake tests on large and full-scale structural systems. For more information about the UCSD Structural Engineering program, please visit www.structures.ucsd.edu .

About Dynastructure
Dynastructure pre-engineered, cold-formed steel framing systems frame buildings faster and for a lower cost than other construction methods such as wood and standard cold-formed steel framing or concrete block. Custom-engineered to exact specifications, the system is easy to erect on-site from factory-fabricated components, is fire-resistant and strong, lightweight and durable enough to meet facility requirements for everything from restaurants to schools, fire stations and other municipal structures. More information about Dynastructure is available by calling 877.336.5542 or visiting www.dynastructure.com/shake .

About Allied Tube & Conduit
Allied Tube & Conduit is a leading manufacturer of cold-formed steel framing, pre-engineered tubular building systems and truss products for the commercial construction industry. Key products include Studco, Dynatruss and Dynastructure. Headquartered in Harvey, Ill., Allied has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Phoenix; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Monee, Ill.; and Houston. Allied is also a market leader in the mechanical tubing, fire sprinkler pipe and electrical conduit markets, and is the largest business unit of Tyco Electrical & Metal Products. For more information about Allied's commercial construction offerings, visit www.alliedtube-construction.com .


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