The cold formed roll forming system was particularly investigated for its use in the humanitarian construction efforts of the US Navy, which are often carried out in remote areas with little in the way of local resources, tools or even power.
FRAMECAD has worked with the team involved to provide them with a customised Mobile Factory solution so that they can carry out this important exploratory work into the advantages of cold formed steel.
As the team discovered, a mobile cold formed steel roll forming system, such as the FRAMECAD Mobile Factory, provides many advantages to a team requiring a fast, reliable building system. “Cold formed steel is very easily shipped, it is very compact.” Speed was also an advantage found in the trial, as “one roll (coil) can print out a building of about 16’ by 16’ in a matter of half a day.”
The traditional material used in the remote, developing areas which the US Navy carries out their humanitarian work, is wood but “wood is hard to get in many countries…for example after the earthquake in Haiti… there was a great deal of difficulty in getting wood.” Wood is also an unreliable source as its sourced locally , wherever the humanitarian construction work or disaster relief work is taking place, meaning that “we use the local lumber and three quarters of it is no good, but with cold formed steel, everything is on site.” Using a light gauge steel framing system means that "whatever it is we need made, we can put together” on site and rapidly.
Because of the extreme weather conditions in which some of this humanitarian building is done, high wind resistance is an advantage. The team found that using light gauge, cold formed steel meant that they could construct a "building which could withstand close to 200mile an hour winds. “ In comparison to timber . “it would be very difficult to build a wooden building that could withstand that force.”
Although the exploratory phase of this project is still being carried out, the conclusion has been that “cold formed steel will have a very large impact on the ability of the Navy to rapidly provide humanitarian assistance.”
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In the US, the framing industry is changing rapidly. Concrete contractors are becoming a rarity and timber continues to offer challenges due to inferior material and a lack of availability. These days, US construction companies are turning more and more to cold-formed steel (CFS), and FRAMECAD partner Intellisteel is revolutionizing how these steel framed structures are built.