A recurring theme on nearly every cold-formed steel truss project is the unique challenge that can arise with respect to connections. Whether it is truss to truss, truss to bearing, or some kind of special connection, there is a wide variety of decisions to be made with respect to materials, fasteners and capacities. One such connection challenge is the cost-effective application of NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) sprinkler systems.

For years, Aegis Metal Framing has offered a number of standard, "generic" connection details for sprinkler pipes and various other mechanical systems. These connections typically involved a piece of Unistrut spanning over two trusses with threaded rod running up through the Unistrut (figure 1). Although effective, this type of connection often proved costly with respect to materials and labor.

Connection Figure 1

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Alternatively, the sprinkler installation contractor might drill a hole in the truss bottom chord and place a nut and washer on the threaded rod (figure 2). Again, although suitable, there are times when making such a connection can be difficult due to limited access for installer.

Connection Figure 2

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Based on feedback from our fabricator partners and mechanical installation contractors, it appears that many sprinkler system installers prefer a self-drilling fastener for their ease of use and cost-effectiveness. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that Aegis Metal Framing has developed, in conjunction with Buildex’s Suspended Anchoring Systems division, a series of sprinkler connections utilizing their SAMMYS®, SIDEWINDERS®, and SAMMY X-PRESS® products. SAMMY products are comprised of an integrated TEKS self-drilling screw and threaded rod connector. The fasteners come in a variety of sizes that can accept threaded rods from 1/4" to 1/2" diameter and can be installed in steel thickness from .036" to 1/2"—ideal for the Ultra-Span range of products!

The Aegis Metal Framing engineering team has developed a series of standard connection details (Figure 3) and load tables that make selecting and installing the right SAMMY product a breeze. You can also learn more about these products at http://www.twbuildex.com/sas_steel.shtml.

Connection Figure 3

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Aegis Metal Framings is continually seeking to enhance the customer experience for the entire building team. It is our hope that these new sprinkler/mechanical connections will be another useful tool to assist architects, engineers, and contractors in specifying and selecting the proper installation products. We look forward to the opportunity to supply your cold formed steel truss project.

Steve Detter
National Sales Manager