When it comes to structural testing, a lot has changed since Bill McAlpine (top left) and Ed Callahan, Jr. (top right) conducted testing in the planar test set ups you see in these photos. This essentially two-dimension approach limited the extent to which load path data could be captured. Within a building, individual components react in a variety of ways to stiffness effects, and the resulting load path is defined by all the stiffness interactions within a structural system.
Today, we can begin to identify and quantify “real world” load paths in all three dimensions through testing at SBCA’s SBC Research Institute. In the coming issues of SBC Magazine, we will be sharing testing concepts intended to help the structural building components industry more fully understand load paths in order to design and apply its products even more accurately and efficiently.