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Direct Strength Prediction Of Cold-Formed Steel Beam-Columns Is Subject Of New Report

Washington, DC - The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), in partnership with the Metal Building Manufacturers Association, has published a report on the results of a research project that developed a new Direct Strength Method (DSM)-based design method for cold-formed steel (CFS) beam-columns.

The new method advances knowledge of the behavior of cold-formed steel beam-columns and results in more economical designs for cold-formed steel members subject to combined bending and compression. The research report, titled “RP16-3: Direct Strength Prediction of Cold-Formed Steel Beam-Columns,” is available for free download.

The project team, which included faculty from The Johns Hopkins University and Drexel University who are members of AISI’s Committee on Specifications for the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members, conducted tests to validate the performance of the new proposed Direct Strength Method for beam-columns and developed new strength expressions for each limit state. The report provides a detailed analysis of the research process and results, as well as technology transfer to introduce design professionals to the new method and its related tools.

“The Direct Strength Method enables a unified, robust and flexible design approach for cold-formed steel shapes that enables lower-cost steel construction,” said Jay Larson, P.E., managing director of AISI’s Construction Technical Program. “We undertook this research to apply DSM specifically to cold-formed steel beam-columns because it has the potential to provide a more mechanically sound solution to determining their strength, eliminates excessive conservativism, and encourages the next generation of optimized, high-performance, cold-formed steel shapes.”

AISI’s codes and standards work is conducted under the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of AISI, which oversees the industry’s investment in advancing the competitive use of steel by meeting the demands of the marketplace. For more information on SMDI’s Construction Market program, visit Follow SMDI Construction on Twitter @BuildUsingSteel.

About The American Iron And Steel Institute

aisi-logoAISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more information, visit

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