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Introduction to Cold-Formed Steel Design

John C. Huang, Ph.D., PE

Course Outline

Cold-Formed Steel (CFS) has been widely used in many areas of engineering, from civil to mechanical to structural. In recent years, the use of cold-formed steel in both commercial and residential construction has been increased significantly. This course provides general guidance on the cold-formed steel design to engineers, architects, and contractors. It consists of two parts: 1. An overview of cold-formed steel structures, which discusses the manufacturing process of CFS, industry standard nomenclatures, and CFS applications in today's construction market. 2. Review of the mechanical properties of CFS and fundamental theories of cold-formed steel design. The intended audience of this course includes civil engineers, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, architects and contractors.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Course Content

Cold-formed steel is one of the most common building materials for commercial and residential structures. The building systems and components made from cold-formed steel offer many benefits, such as attractive appearance, high strength-to-weight ratio, high resistance to water penetration, low thermal transmission rate and low maintenance.

Although the project architect is responsible for the detailing of building interiors and exteriors, it is beneficial for structural, mechanical and electrical engineers to have a thorough understanding of the entire building system. Besides, the structural engineer of record is often responsible for establishing the following design criteria for the cold-formed steel building systems and components:

1. Building Code and Year
2. Wind Speed
3. Building Category or Importance Factor
4. Building Exposure
5. Deflection Limitation
6. Minimum Material Thickness

The following link contains portions of the lecture notes for this webinar:

1. An Overview of Cold-Formed Steel Structures (PDF format, 2004 edition, 18 pages).

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the documents for your study during the webinar.

For information about cold-formed steel product, the reader may visit the website of ClarkDietrich Building System. This website contains valuable technical resources for engineers interested in the design of cold-formed steel. For those of you who are interested in learning more about the design of steel stud walls, you are encouraged to take PDH online course S140 "Cold-Formed Steel Framing Design using AISIWINTM Software". AISIWINTM was developed by Devco Software, Inc., and is available for free distribution at ClarkDietrich Building System's web site

Because this course is offered as a "live" course, you are required to attend the webinar at the scheduled time and date. Please check the Webinar Schedule under course description on our website for currently scheduled meeting date and time. We will send you an invitation to the webinar through email approximately 24 hours before the webinar (confirmation of the receipt of the invitation is required). The certificate of completion will not be issued unless you attend the webinar and pass a quiz. Thank you for your cooperation.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:

Free Publications for Cold-Formed Steel Design
Steel Stud Manufacturers Association
The Brick Industry Association


Before you attend the webinar, you need to print the quiz questions from your browser for your study during the webinar. At the end of the webinar, you need to complete the quiz and submit your answers to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.