Company guides application of design code
The implementation of SANS 51992-4 code, taking effect March 2021, ensures the safe design of fastenings for use in concrete. The adoption of this code is necessary to ensure safety and optimisation in the design of fasteners, says Rishaan Manilal, head of engineering and technical marketing at construction solutions provider Hilti South Africa.
The code allows for consistency in the construction industry by providing a standard that engineers can use when designing fasteners. Prior to the implementation of SANS 51992-4, engineers had no formal guideline in this regard and were nonetheless responsible for conducting a rational design.
“When structural engineers are designing buildings, fastener specifications are often not considered in detail. While fasteners are a small component of the overall structure, they are one of the most critical components because incorrect design can be catastrophic. Hence, the publishing of this code helps bring greater attention to this aspect of construction,” he explains.
SANS 51992-4 is adopted from Eurocode 2: Part 4 Design of fastenings for use in concrete (EN 1992-4) and provides a guideline of equations that check the failure modes of steel-to-concrete connections.
Hilti South Africa is creating awareness of this code by implementing various initiatives, such as their in-house engineers assisting consulting firms with fastener designs.
Hilti’s team of engineers across South Africa ensure that structural and mechanical engineers are supported when implementing the code’s guidelines on fastener designs.
Further, Hilti has a free online learning platform – Ask Hilti – where queries can be submitted and are attended to by Hilti’s technical team.
The website provides access to on-demand webinars, during which topics on fastener design, including EN 1992-4, are discussed. The website also grants visitors access to articles that provide further information.
“Ask Hilti is a great platform for engineers and contractors to upskill themselves from a fastener design perspective,” says Manilal.
Additionally, Hilti South Africa collaborates with key stakeholders in the industry, including facilitating talks at universities and conferences, about the code and safer fastener design.
Hilti also offers its Profis Engineering software, which is freely available on its website as a solution to help simplify the process of designing in accordance with the code.
The software has EN 1992-4 embedded into it, allowing for the process of fastener design to be more time efficient than if designing were done manually.
Hilti South Africa aims to be involved from the early stages of construction projects to assist with the design process, thereby ensuring that the fasteners meet safety specifications.
“We want to position ourselves as a solutions provider – from design to training to actual installation. We want to provide customers with complete solutions to ensure safety and optimisation in the execution of their projects,” says Manilal.
Further, before installing fasteners, the company provides formal training for contactors. This includes health and safety training for the correct use of its power tools, and training to educate contractors on the correct installation of fasteners.
Hilti’s sales and engineering teams work with contractors as well to provide support on site by ensuring that contractors use the correct solution for the application.
“Awareness of this code is important for consultants and engineering firms. To ensure that this topic is not intimidating, we provide guidance and support for fastener designs,” concludes Manilal.