In multi-story frame buildings, it is common practice to use a light steel exterior wall system to create a "fast-drying envelope" to support the exterior cladding. The use of a light steel exterior wall system can be applied to any type of steel structure or concrete frame structure. Its lightweight, fast installation speed, and easy installation are important.
There are three general types of light steel exterior wall systems.
The panels of infill walls are generally composed of individual components, which are cut to length and installed on-site (so-called "sticky construction"). As shown in Figure 1.1, these boards are installed between the main structural frame members. The panel consists of a bottom rail connected to the floor and a headrail connected to the bottom of the upper floor. The vertical light steel C-shaped steel is installed between the headrail and the bottom rail, usually centered at 600mm (if the structural design requires a closer spacing, it will be reduced to 400 or 300mm). In some cases, the construction of the panel may make it protrude beyond the edge of the main structure.
As shown in Figure 1.2, continuous wall panels (also called windsurfing boards) are placed outside the main structural frame. The system is composed of a vertical light steel C-shaped steel and a bracket used to fix the C-shaped steel on the mainframe.
The panel system uses prefabricated light steel wall panels, usually with insulation and remotely connected wood panels. These plates are hoisted in place and fixed to the main structural frame (see Figure 1.3).
The light steel exterior wall system must be installed by a company that is fully familiar with the installed system and can demonstrate its capabilities. The company must provide evidence that they have the appropriate qualifications and meet accepted standards. This can be academic qualifications, professional qualifications, or experience qualifications, and is reviewed by an accredited assessor. The installer generally works as a subcontractor of the general contractor responsible for the construction of the building.
The vertical components of the light-steel exterior wall system are designed for straddling, sailing, or off-site construction. As exterior walls, they are designed to resist wind loads.
The weight of the external wall, and support the weight of itself and the attached lightweight cladding material. The weight of the masonry cladding must be directly supported by the main structure or foundation.
However, the light steel exterior wall system can generally be fixed on the wall bones by adding a proprietary brick groove and brick tie rod system to provide horizontal support and wind resistance. In addition to the structural requirements, the design of the exterior wall system must also consider fire protection, anti-condensation risk, weather resistance, thermal insulation, and sound insulation performance, and must consider the interfaces of windows, patio doors, and balconies.