Fixing is made easy
Like a conventional frame, steel frames are usually made up of top and bottom plates, studs, noggings, bracing and lintels or beams. For concrete slab floors, steel frame sections are fixed using holding down bolts cast into the slab, expanding shell anchors, explosive-drive fasteners or hardened nails driven through fixing blocks.
The basic sequence for erecting steel frames is the same as for timber. The wall locations are set out on the floor or slab, the set out is checked for square and the frames are stood, starting at a convenient external corner.
The prefabricated frame sections can be easily joined together using either connector plates, bolts, self-drilling self-tapping screws or rivets.
Steel Framing is compatible with other materials
Steel framing perfectly compliments the range of building materials on the market, and in particular other steel building products. For example, in combination with a ZINCALUME steel or a COLORBOND prepainted steel roof, a steel roof structure can offer some real cost and time saving advantages. A steel clad roof, because of its light weight, requires less structural support so roof trusses can be used at wider centres (up to 1200 mm or in some cases, greater).
For following trades, the methods of fixing and working with steel are
almost identical to timber. The universal acceptance of steel framing into commercial fit out indicates the transition is easily made. For the most part, a change from traditional nailing and screwing to power-driven, self-drilling fasteners, pneumatic driven nails and adhesives is all that is required.
For example, when fixing plasterboard or fibre cement ceiling linings, the sheets can be fixed to battens, and in some cases directly to the bottom chord of the roof trusses or the upper storey floor joists. The sheeting is simply fixed with self-drilling screws, or screwed and glued. Countersunk head self-drilling screws can be used for fixing ceiling and wall linings, instead of clouts, and architraves and skirting can be nailed or screwed in place.
Screws are by far the most common method of joining used to erect and fix to steel framing, and a number of companies have developed steel framing dedicated solutions. Types of screws generally fall into five categories; frame erection, flooring, walls & ceilings, skirting, architraves and linings, and roofing.
A major breakthrough in this area is that tooling companies and screw manufacturers have teamed up to develop tools that handle collated strip screws. This allows rapid and secure screw fixing of linings to steel studs, steel ceiling battens, and directly to steel truss bottom chords.
Improved strength and ease of application has resulted in glues becoming increasingly popular in the building industry both combined with screwing and nailing, and as a fixing alternative in their own right. Many glues are now available that adhere to both steel substrates and most common building materials.
Nails have been used in various applications with steel frames for some time such as; masonry nails to fix steel frames to slabs, nailing of steel battens and bracing to steel roof trusses, steel roof trusses to steel top plates, and nailing of window reveals, door frames and finishing timbers directly to steel wall frames. However recent developments in wall frame design have allowed the extensive use of nailing. Nailing can now be used in general panel fixing, fixing of shear connectors, and the fixing off of diagonal wall bracing with one dedicated nail type further reducing frame erection times for carpenters.
Many of the major power tool companies have recognised that steel house framing is the way of the future. With this in mind, they have developed a comprehensive range of tools to cope with the growing demand from this industry. Power Screwdrivers, Auto-feed Screwdrivers, Jigsaws and Circular Saws are amongst the many power tools available today