PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology

[IMAGE: title - R&D; university][IMAGE: Title - Arrow]

Advanced Replacements for Mechanical Fasteners in Housing Construction for High Wind Zones

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

* Donatus C. Ohanehi, Principal Investigator
* James D. Dolan, Co-Principal Investigator
* David A. Dillard, Co-Principal Investigator

Start: September 15, 2001
Expires: August 31, 2004


Adhesives offer several design benefits over conventional mechanical fasteners including nails and rivets. The acrylic foam tape is a unique adhesive product that requires no curing and yet offers substantial property advantages for certain semi-structural applications.

Virginia Tech proposes to implement an innovative assembly process in the construction industry through the development of materials, design, and application databases. The assembly process will be based on generic acrylic foam tapes, and the test bed will be shear walls and diaphragms in light-frame construction for wind-critical areas, a very large market segment. The assembly process meets PATH goals of promoting housing affordability, durability, and wind-damage resistance. PATH's technical areas addressed are "advanced panel systems" and "whole-house and building process redesign."

The fundamental research component of the project will generate material data with emphasis on tape durability. Numerical structural modeling and cyclic tests of the assemblies will provide a basis for showing the adequacy of the tape to resist the dynamic loads associated with high wind events. A design methodology will be developed to enable field engineers to recommend and direct successful tape applications on construction sites. Shear wall and diaphragm models will be constructed for testing and demonstration. Walls and diaphragms will be designed to take full advantage of load re-distribution capabilities, increased flexibility and damping, and improved fatigue resistance provided by the tapes.

The advantages of the resilient foam tape in wind critical applications will be highlighted as meeting the PATH goal of improved disaster resistance. The application of the tape increases overall system stiffness, increases the resistance of the roof sheathing to wind uplift from hurricane loading, and tape sealing reduces water damage, the major property damage under hurricane conditions. In addition to simplifying the assembly/construction process, the design may offer enhanced performance including longer life, better appearance, reduced transportation costs, and environmentally friendly alternatives over the use of conventional fastening systems.

Collaboration with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) through the PATH program will facilitate timely interactions with end users of technologies developed in the project and will speed up widespread adoption. A national homebuilder company will build a demonstration home if laboratory tests show feasibility. The output of the project will be materials, joint performance, and application data on a simple but innovative assembly process. The databases and demonstration models will be focused on specific applications for wind-critical areas but will be applicable to a broad range of advanced adhesive tapes for use in housing construction.

To view additional details on this NSF award, click here.

Content updated on 9/21/2005

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