Capacity of screw connections between plasterboard panels and cold-formed steel for modular buildings

Filomena Innella, Fu Jia Luo, Yu Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Plasterboard panels attached to cold-formed steel trough screw connections are commonly used in prefabricated and modular building construction. Building modules are built in a factory as panelized or volumetric units and then delivered to site for assembly. Those modules experience different loading scenarios during lifting and transportation that may cause damages to nonstructural elements such as plasterboard panels and their connections. Therefore, the connection capacity of plasterboard to steel becomes an important design consideration for modular buildings. This paper presents an experimental and analytical study of the load capacity of such screw connections. Bearing tests were first conducted to examine the bearing behavior of plasterboard with screw shanks or metal strips as the bearing components. The connection performance with different screw sizes was then studied through single-lap shear tests. Finally, as validated by the experimental results, an analytical formulation was proposed based on the concept of equivalent diameter for the estimation of connection capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04018031
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Bearing strength
  • Cold-formed steel
  • Connection capacity
  • Modular construction
  • Plasterboard
  • Screw

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