Best PracticesStructural Differences of Composite Metal Hybrid, Steel and Generic FRP Materials in Z Profiles

February 1, 2021

In the commercial building industry, z-shaped girts have been used for centuries to provide lateral support, resist wind loads, and connect the building framing with the cladding. With advancements in technology and design, and an increased concern for thermal efficiency, there have been changes to the materials used in z-shaped girts. In addition to traditional steel z-shaped girts, there are now fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) and composite metal hybrid (CMH) z-shaped girts available. These materials offer differing structural advantages and disadvantages.

 

Traditional Steel Material

Structural steel design practices are routinely done using well-established uniform codes across the United States and the world. Steel materials are homogeneous and isotropic, meaning that the properties are the same independent of the direction considered. Among the advantages of steel structural components are: 

  • Its higher modulus of elasticity compared to FRP 
  • Easier and faster connection using fasteners with durable, large loads 
  • Better durability, torque retention and pull-out loads when using screws compared to fastening to FRP 

However, steel is not thermally efficient and provides a thermal bridge. Thermal bridging can cause decreased thermal efficiency, energy loss, increased energy costs, and condensation.

 

Generic FRP Material

Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite design is dependent on manufacturer recommendations, which vary tremendously as different approaches and design methods are adopted by different manufacturers. Such status of FRP design practices is not favorable for advancing the successful use of FRP due to variations in the design practice methods used. 

 

FRP is significantly different from steel as its materials are, in general, orthotropic, meaning that their engineering properties are different in each of the three space directions (x, y, z). The properties depend on the direction considered and primarily on the amount of glass fibers oriented along the direction under consideration, which makes the analysis of FRP more involved. 

 

Adding to the complexity of FRP is the fact that it can be customized using different resins, fibers, fillers, color pigments, and the proportions thereof. Each combination of these constituents will compose a different material with unique properties, which makes FRP highly customizable with respect to its engineering properties. 

 

Composite Metal Hybrid (CMH) Material

Using a continuous metal insert, located in the FRP flange of the cross-linked thermoset Z profile, the GreenGirt Simple Z leverages a composite metal hybrid (CMH) material selection. This CMH hybrid system maximizes beneficial properties of both steel and composite materials, increasing strength and stiffness by 9.5 times, is 2 times better in fastener pull-out, and has greater durability and torque retention, compared to FRP. 

 

Feature Benefit
Lighter weight* Lower transportation costs and faster installation
High strength to weight ratio Structural capacity
Higher modulus of elasticity** Withstands greater stress
Improved fastener retention** Building life product that lasts without fastener pull-through or torque loss
Manufacturing process* Customizable pultrusion process; does not depend on natural resource availability
Eliminates thermal bridging Increased thermal efficiency and decreased energy costs

*compared to steel 

**compared to FRP

 

https://www.smartcisystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Logo_light_centered.png
https://www.smartcisystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/madeinUSA565foot.png
https://www.smartcisystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Logo_light_centered.png
Subscribe

If you wish to receive our latest news in your email box, just subscribe to our newsletter. We won’t spam you, we promise!

    SMARTci

    Engineered as a continuous insulation solution, SMARTciTM provides best practice for buildings with a continuous insulation system. Patented GreenGirtTM provides a thermal break and mounting platform for cladding applications. It is an open design that works with almost any substrate, insulation and cladding.

    Subscribe

    If you wish to receive our latest news in your email box, just subscribe to our newsletter. We won’t spam you, we promise!

      SMARTci

      Engineered as a continuous insulation solution, SMARTciTM provides best practice for buildings with a continuous insulation system. Patented GreenGirtTM provides a thermal break and mounting platform for cladding applications. It is an open design that works with almost any substrate, insulation, and cladding.

      Advanced Architectural Products

      ©Copyright by SMARTci. All rights reserved.

      ©Copyright by SMARTci. All rights reserved.

      SMARTci Systems

      ©Copyright by SMARTci. All rights reserved.

      ©Copyright by SMARTci. All rights reserved.

      Advanced Architectural Products
      SMARTci Systems