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Novel CONnection design and modelling idealisations utilising CATENAry acTION in the disproportionate collapse resistance mechanism of cold-formed steel panelised structures

Project description

Modern construction methods for safer and sustainable structures

Modern methods of construction (MMC) are highly precise, improve safety and reduce waste due to streamlined manufacturing and construction processes. However, lack of guidelines on the interaction between structural components and connection behaviour hinders their use worldwide. Panelised, load-bearing, cold-formed steel construction is a MMC that offers several advantages compared to standard construction techniques. However, little is known about the robustness of such structures as testing and modelling data are scarce. The EU-funded ConCatenaTion project plans to develop novel connection prototypes, design guidance and idealisations that should enable robust design of panelised cold-formed steel structures against disproportionate collapse, while using advantageous catenary action as a collapse resistance mechanism.


Modern methods of construction (MMC), which are highly precise, improve safety and reduce waste due to their streamlined manufacturing and construction processes, are essential to address global deficits in residential accommodation supply, reduce homelessness and housing cost overburden, whilst targeting UN sustainable development goals 11 and 13 (sustainable cities and communities and climate action, respectively). Despite its benefits, MMC use is limited worldwide, with the lack of knowledge/guidelines on the interaction between structural components and connection system behaviour playing a major role.
Built offsite, cold-formed steel (CFS) load-bearing panelised construction is a MMC that offers additional advantages over standard construction such as high recyclability, ease of construction and reduced structural weight, which all combine to reduce construction-related carbon emissions. However, little understanding exists on the robustness of such structures, exacerbated by lack of published testing and modelling data.
This fellowship aims to develop a novel connection prototype to enable the utilisation of catenary action within the disproportionate collapse resistance mechanism in CSF MMC. This research will, for the first time, provide much-needed design guidance and structural idealisations for use in global structural models necessary for the robust design of CFS panelised structures against disproportionate collapse.
Project aims will be achieved through 1) small and medium-scale structural testing, and 2) replication of structural behaviour using advanced numerical analysis to progress a comprehensive understanding of the complex interaction between components, enabling the development of new connection design criteria that includes catenary action. The project findings will be disseminated without prejudice (typically this is not the case in the field), leading to safer and more sustainable structures and higher uptake of CFS MMC in the industry.


Net EU contribution
€ 196 590,72
4 Dublin

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Ireland Eastern and Midland Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00