A NEW connector for concrete floors and steel circular hollow sections could cut construction times and free-up more space from multi-storey buildings.
Slough-based Shear Cone has developed the connector backed by marketing support from Corus.
Peter Bisseker, technical marketing manager at Corus Tubes, said: 'By using a Shear Cone with a CHS column it is possible to reduce storey height, boost lettable floor area and considerably cut construction time with an equivalent reinforced concrete column.'
The invention comprises a shear head connector, enabling loads from in- situ concrete floors to be transferred to circular hollow section (CHS) columns used in multi-storey construction.
Don Ravenscroft, Shear Cones' marketing director, explained: 'This is a fabricated steel cone with the outer edge stiffened by an annular steel plate welded to it.
'A tubular steel sleeve passes through the cone and stiffening plate and this eliminates buckling in the CHS column.
'The shear cone assembly is then able to slide over the column and be welded to it at floor level.'
The invention is the brainchild of consulting engineer Brain Horton. He said that the device, embedded within concrete, has undergone extensive load and stress tests at Imperial College, London.
'In each case, shear failure occurred in the reinforced concrete panel, with the steel cone undamaged,' he said.
Patents are pending on the device and Shear Cones is aiming to license fabrication of the joint world-wide.