Amass: Advanced manufacturing for the assembly of structural steel

Mohammad E. Shemshadian, Arturo E. Schultz, Jia Liang Le, Ramzi Labbane, Debra F. Laefer, Salam Al-Sabah, Linh Truong-Hong, Minh Phuoc Huynh, Patrick McGetrick, Tony Martin, Pantelis Matis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper describes an investigation into the use of advanced manufacturing techniques for the creation of a new class of intermeshed steel connections that rely on neither welding nor bolting. The project detailed herein lays the groundwork to transform the steel building construction industry by advancing the underlying science and engineering precepts for intermeshed connections created from precise, volumetric cutting. The proposed system enhances the integration between design, fabrication, and installation. Fully automated, precise, volumetric cutting of open steel sections poses challenges regarding the load-Transfer mechanisms and failure modes for intermeshed connections. Implementation of the intermeshed connection would cause a discontinuity in the beam; therefore, the effects of such a configuration on the behavior of the steel frame are investigated in the current paper. Load resistance and design of these connections are also explored with physical tests and finite element modeling to investigate the mechanics of intermeshed connections, including stress and strain concentrations, fracture and failure modes, and connection geometry optimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04020052
JournalPractice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Grant No. CMMI-1563115, by the Science Foundation Ireland through Grant No. SFI/15/US/B3234, by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and Invest Northern Ireland (InvestNI) through Grant No. USI-096, and by Enterprise Ireland through Grant No. CF20160454. The authors are very grateful to the AISC for donating the steel beams, angles, and plates that were used to build the test specimens. The authors also express their appreciation to the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering at the University of Minnesota for providing the fourth author (Ramzi Labbane) a departmental fellowship. Lastly, the authors would like to thank Grunau Metals and Am-Tec Designs, the manufacturers that fabricated the beams and angles, respectively.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Experiment
  • Finite element modeling
  • Intermeshed
  • Plasma
  • Steel connection
  • Waterjet


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