Metal web systems continue to grow in popularity, with more existing truss and timber frame manufacturers becoming metal web manufacturers and expanding their product base.
Although volumes dropped in 2009 for all construction sectors, metal web and easi-joist production in particular has increased, comparatively speaking, said Karl Foster, sales and marketing director for Wolf Systems. We now have more metal web manufacturers than this time last year, and more individual manufacturers than any other metal web system.
Paul Baron, managing director of Gang-Nail Systems, which markets the Ecojoist, expects open web joists will increase market share. The main benefit of open web joists is access through the floor, he said. This is becoming an increasing necessity as mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems gain in popularity.
Open web joists are also increasingly being used in a number of applications in addition to floor joists. Examples include as the bottom chord of attic roof trusses, pitched and flat roof applications and as purlins for steel or glulam trusses.
Karl Foster agrees. Metal web is now regularly specified for roof construction (both flat and pitched) and is also being used as open web studs in timber frame panels to accommodate increased levels of insulation, he said. Metal webs used for the construction of pitched roofs is certainly an area that we expect to see develop strongly in the next few years.