Adjustable Plate Connection

University of Notre Dame Background
With significant advances in the commercialization of the modern world, the construction industry must keep up with the rapid increases in demand. Cold bending is an appealing strategy to achieve adjustability in structural connections as it offers cost and time savings. However, applications are currently typically limited to structural members, with research primarily focused on thin-walled fastener connections. The development of a versatile, adjustable, and efficient bolted steel plate connection is thus crucial for the construction industry.
Technology Overview
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have recently developed a new type of structural connection that can join members at a wide variety of angles using a small number of unique components. The advantages of this novel technology over the state-of-the-art are two-fold. First, a single, universal connection design can be used for joints of different angles throughout a single structure or many structures. This promotes simplified design/analysis and the opportunity for prefabrication/mass-production of a universal connection leading to cost savings. Secondly, the connection can also be adjusted on-site to allow for member fabrication or construction tolerances. While these adjustable connections are to be tested within the context of bridge engineering, this fundamental research could apply to a wide range of structural connections, including conventional structural design and construction, modular construction, and special structures.
Further Details:
Behavior of an Adjustable Bolted Steel Plate Connection during Field Installation Evan J. Gerbo, S.M.ASCE; Yao Wang, S.M.ASCE; Mirela D. Tumbeva, S.M.ASCE; Ashley P. Thrall, A.M.ASCE; Brian J. Smith, P.E.; and Theodore P. Zoli, P.E., M.ASCE
Benefits

Lower fabrication cost due to uniformity-the ability for mass production
Lighter and more efficient connections
Simple and easy on-site adjusting

Applications

Bridge Construction Market: $908B in 2019, 4.6% CAGR
Construction Equipment Market: $104B

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