Washington, D.C. — 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 at http://www.buildusingsteel.org/~/media/Files/SMDI/Construction/CFSD%20-%20Report%20-%20RP16-3.pdf.

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.”