Iron Engineering FAQs

Can I use studs with knockouts for jambs, headers, and sills?

The code does not prohibit knockouts from jambs, headers, or sills. However, they do have limitations on the proximity of the knockout to the connections. Using studs with knockouts requires careful planning when cutting to avoid having the knockout land near the connection.

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Can sheathing be used instead of bracing/bridging?

Sheathing can often (not always) be used in lieu of bridging along the lengths of the stud for non-load bearing walls (exterior curtain wall).

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What’s the best type of bracing/bridging for a wall?

Besides site-specific restrictions, it really comes down to personal preference. For 8-inch studs, U-Channel w/ Clark Dietrich’s Fastbridge Clip is the preferred method of bracing 8-inch studs based upon our experience and feedback with contractors.

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Why do wall studs need to be braced/bridging?

Metal studs aren’t symmetric. They are c-shaped. This asymmetry makes the stud want to twist when it’s loaded and bridging/bracing prevents that twist.

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What gauge metal stud should I use?

The capacity of a stud depends on many variables. The stud size, height, gauge, bracing condition, and lateral load (wind) will all have an effect on the stud capacity. A structural engineer should be consulted to determine a metal stud wall capacity.

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How much weight can a steel stud wall support?

The capacity of a stud depends on many variables. The stud size, height, gauge, bracing condition, and lateral load (wind) will all have an effect on the stud capacity. A structural engineer should be consulted to determine a metal stud wall capacity.

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What’s the difference between a structural and non-structural metal stud?

A structural stud is meant for use to resist environmental loads (dead, live, wind, snow, or earthquake). They usually have wider flanges and thicker galvanizing. Non-structural studs or ‘interior’ studs are meant for non-load bearing demising walls with gypsum sheathing.

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Can metal studs be used as load bearing?

Yes. Structural studs can be used to support axial loads. However, non-structural (interior) studs should not be used in load-bearing applications.

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How thick is a 20-ga metal stud?

Studs guages/thicknesses are as follows: 12ga/0.097”, 14ga/0.068”, 16ga/0.054”, 18ga/0.043”, and 20ga/0.

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How do you read a stud size?

The Steel Stud Manufacturer’s Associates (SSMA) has adopted a sizing standard that moves away from ‘gauges’ and directly specifies the material thickness in mils (100ths of an inch). A 600S162-54 is a 6-inch (600) Stud (S) with a 1-5/8” flange (162) with a thickness of 0.054 in (54).

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