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A Study of Metal Truss Plate Connectors When Exposed to Fire



Kelly A. Harman, James R. Lawson


The popularity of lightweight, metal plate connected wood truss construction is increasing due to cost effectiveness, versatility, and ease of construction. This type of construction brings many concerns to the firefighting community, since structural collapse has caused numerous injuries and fatalities in the fire service. In an attempt to determine the performance of metal plate wood truss connections during fire exposures, NIST conducted a series of twelve instrumented tests exposing one side of the test specimen to the thermal exposure. Load carrying ability of the metal plate truss connections was not measured during these tests. The tests were purely an attempt to study the heat transfer between the metal plate and the wood. Results from these tests suggest that the metal plates help to protect the wood beneath the plates. However, additional work is required to produce more detailed information.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7393
Report Number


building collapse, fire test, lighweight construction, metal plate, wood truss


Harman, K. and Lawson, J. (2007), A Study of Metal Truss Plate Connectors When Exposed to Fire, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 17, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2007, Updated July 31, 2009