Wall Stud-To-Track Gap: Experimental Investigation


Because of an increasing interest in the use of cold-formed steel for commercial and residential framing, both design and installation guidelines are needed. The wall framing, which typically consists of axial load bearing C-section studs, is laterally braced and attached at the bottom and top of the wall to a track section. The common bottom and top attachment consists of the wall stud and track of nominally the same cross-section depth. Because the nominal depths of the C-section and the track are similar, a tight connection is often not achieved and a gap occurs. The Standard for Cold-Formed Steel Framing—General Provisions specifies that the gap between the wall stud and track in a wall assembly must not exceed 1/8 in. This gap dimension is consistent with the gap specified by ASTM C 1007. The value of 1/8 in. Is based on industry experience and practice but had not been experimentally verified. To explore both the stud-to-track connection strength and the aesthetic concerns associated with a gap between the axial load bearing stud and the track in a typical cold-formed steel wall assembly, a test program was initiated at the University of Missouri-Rolla. Based on the findings of the 54 wall assembly tests and short column tests performed in this experimental study, design guidelines are proposed for a typical wall stud assembly.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Cold-Formed Steel; Experimentation; Frames; Studs; Walls

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2007 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2007