Joining two different materials, such as concrete and steel, creates a range of potential issues as the two materials will respond differently to various conditions and factors. For bridge decks, buildings and other structures where concrete and steel are used, the use of the right shear connectors is essential.
Due to their critical nature in the structural integrity of any type of building, there are strict standards regarding the size, diameter, and length of shear studs to be used on any project. In addition, there are also specifics on the placement of the shear connectors, which will vary based on the type of project as well as the specific shear force at play based on the design and the application.
With the correct size and placement of shear studs, the two very different materials, the structural steel, and the concrete are permanently fixed to each other. This allows the shear force to be transferred equally between the two, rather than having them move separately.
The result is the concrete and the steel act like one. This prevents sagging, buckling, twisting and warping of both materials. Working as one piece, the bridge deck or building becomes stronger and more solid than either material would be on its own.
The shear connectors are applied to the steel component through the stud welding process. This is incredibly fast and allows a solid, secure, way to fix the connector to the structural component. This process uses a ceramic ferrule around the base of the stud connector. The operator can install shear studs as fast as he or she can move between locations and position the stud welding gun.
This collar or ferrule ensures the proper shielding for the bonding of the shear stud and the workpiece while also allowing the molten material to be held in place for a complete weld.