Another Innovation From Simpson Strong-Tie

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Updated: May 20, 2020

Simpson Strong-Tie has spent the past 60 years developing products that help us build safer, stronger structures economically and this is still the driving force behind the development of the Strong-Wall® Site-Built Portal Frame System.

The key requirement of any portal frame is to create a structurally sound opening for either windows or doors yet still maintaining the bracing required. In most buildings, this has been achieved with steel portal frames where the posts are typically bolted to the beam that carries the weight. This solution may (in some cases) be more than is required and can present some challenges with both timing and trades. A fabricator is typically used to make and install the steel portal and timing can sometimes be an issue.

Why just not keep using steel? The remainder of the structure is typically timber, so there is a challenge in connecting to the steel element. This has meant that we are bolting or nailing timber onto the steel, which is not ideal and time consuming.

The thought of using timber or LVL to create a portal frame is not a new one (as they are workable/adjustable onsite). However, the issue to date has been how to attain sufficient load carrying capacity and stiffness. The Simpson Strong-Tie Portal Frame System supplies the hardware to be able to accomplish this easily with traditional tools.

The system includes brackets that wrap around the LVL columns without impeding on the opening side. They suit a 240mm or 300mm column, depending on the load required, and accommodate a 16mm cast in or post installed concrete fixing. The use of a pure epoxy chemical anchor is another efficient solution for the hold down. There is an option of using nails or Strong-Drive® SDW Structural Screws (recommended) to laminate the two 45 mm thick LVL; and create a cross check in the corners as they overlap.

The way that the corners are assembled is another important aspect to ensure that the Portal remains rigid and achieves the least amount of deflection. This is done by laminating the columns to the beam with SDW structural screws supplied in the kit, with a specific fixing pattern. Pre-formed straps are then nailed horizontally on one side and vertically on the other side to complete the system that gives these joints the strength and rigidity required to create this fixed moment element.

Templates are supplied for the bolt down pattern to the concrete as well as fixing patterns to laminate the LVLs as well as the corners. No waiting for deliveries and no specific tools required to assemble and install this portal frame. You can then continue to attach all other elements of the building to the portal frame, quickly, easily and with traditional fasteners and connectors.

With an allowable lateral load of up to 5.87 kN and a deflection of as little as 11mm, the Simpson Strong-Tie Portal Frame System is ideal for many applications including Garage Door Openings, Bi-Fold Doors and Stacker Doors.

For more information visit www.strongtie.com.au/pfs