Introduction of the intermeshed steel connection - A new universal steel connection

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Abstract: Digital manufacturing has transformed many industries but has had only a limited impact in the construction sector. To capitalize on advanced manufacturing techniques, this paper introduces a radically new connection approach for gravity structural steel frames. The proposed intermeshed steel connection (ISC) exploits robotic abilities to cut structural steel member ends precisely to accelerate deployment and offer better disassembly options over existing approaches. Forces are transferred through common bearing surfaces at multiple contact points, and connections can be secured by small locking pieces. This paper introduces the geometry, manufacturing, and initial analysis and test results of the connection. The paper demonstrates the ability of the connection to (1) be manufactured within current industrial tolerances, (2) be erected and disassembled, and (3) perform at expected design levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by National Science Foundation (NSF) through the grant CMMI-1563115, by Science Foundation Ireland through grant SFI/15/US/B3234, by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and Invest Northern Ireland (InvestNI) through grant USI-096, and by Enterprise Ireland through grant CF20160454.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Connection
  • Disassembly
  • Rapid construction
  • Structural steel


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