When do I need to reinforce pre-engineered connectors?

Dependent on installation location reinforcement of connector plates is required in order to maintain continuous shear transfer in the connected members.
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For connections using pre-engineered beam hangers, it is always important to verify the limiting capacities of the wood members

Wood splitting can be caused by excessive loading or improper placement of the connector(s) in the beam section. A beam hanger that is mounted too high in the beam section will introduce perpendicular to grain splitting forces that may result in cracking followed by brittle failure mechanisms.
Common practice is to install the beam hanger as low as possible within the beam section while keeping the edge distance and char thickness requirements. A simple way to verify if the connector is installed correctly, is the 0.7d requirement. This means that no reinforcement of the connector is needed if:

     Header: the upper most fastener in the header lies within the upper 30% of the header section.
     Joist: the bottom most fastener in the joist lies within in the lower 30% of the Joist section.

If those requirements are not satisfied, resulting splitting forces need to be determined and assigned to reinforcing fasteners installed within the section of the connecting members. Detailed information on reinforcement design methods can be found in the Beam Hanger Design Guide on our website.

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Relevant Technical Resources

Gallery reinforcing guide Timber Reinforcement Guide

Products Covered in this Article

Gallery assy vg csk explosion resized ASSY VG CSK Counter Sunk Head
Gallery assy vg cyl explosion resized ASSY VG CYL Cylinder Head
Gallery assy vg rh explosion ASSY VG RH Reverse Head

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