YouTube Video of FX-70 Testing Shows Industry First

My wife and I have been attending a boot camp class for a little over a year now. We have a great coach who always varies the workouts and keeps things fun while really challenging us. He likes hip hop music, so that is what we listen to as we suffer through our squats, kettle bell swings and burpees at 5:30 in the morning. I really just told you that story so I could tell you another one.

Earlier this week I was talking to one of our younger R&D engineers about a test project and I responded to one of his questions with a quote from rap lyric. You have to throw humor into engineering meetings when you can. He laughed and then gave me a puzzled look and said, “I’ve never had a boss anywhere near your age who knew who Jay-Z was.” I try to take it as a compliment, but I think he was calling me old. He would also be surprised to know I have my own YouTube channel, mostly so I can post videos my daughter creates of herself making rainbow loom rubber band bracelets. I think my channel has zero followers.

Rainbow Loom iPod Case
My daughter Kira made an iPod case out of rubber bands.

Simpson Strong-Tie also has a YouTube channel where we have videos on a variety of topics relevant to designers, contractors and do-it-yourselfers. Be sure to check out a new video called “FX-70® Pile Repair Cyclic Testing” on the Simpson Strong-Tie YouTube channel. It gives an overview of the testing we did to support one of our new products, the Simpson Strong-Tie® FX-70® Structural Repair and Protection System. This video captures the industry’s first scaled, cyclic test of a repaired wood pile.

Testing a wood pile.
Testing a wood pile.











As you may recall, I wrote a post last September called Not Just a Connector Company describing how our Engineering/R&D team developed and performed the test protocol for this product. FX-70 is a part of our Repair, Protection and Strengthening Systems for Concrete and Masonry, which is the result of our acquisition of Fox Industries, Inc., in 2011.

FX-70, which has been used successfully for more than 40 years, uses high-strength fiberglass jackets and high-strength water-insensitive grouting materials to repair and protect wood, steel and concrete structural members.

We wanted to evaluate the performance of the system under seismic loading. And, the cyclic static test frame at our Tye Gilb Research Laboratory in Stockton, Calif., enabled us to fully test the system on 16-foot-tall wood piles.

The results of this test will provide structural engineers with real-world data to help them evaluate the FX-70 system as a potential solution to their structural repair applications.

Tell us what you think of the video and testing.

FX-70® Structural Piling Repair and Protection System

For complete information regarding specific products suitable to your unique situation or condition, please visit or call your local Simpson Strong-Tie RPS specialist at 800-999-5099.

Lab Statistics – How Much Wood?

Wood for testing
Wood for testing

Like many people with desk jobs, I just have to get up and walk around every once in a while. Most of my walks are through our connector test lab at our home office in Pleasanton, California. The lab technicians install a lot of products for testing, so in addition to stretching my legs, I like to quiz them for ideas on things we can do to make installation faster and easier for our products.

Discarded wood from testing
Discarded wood from testing

During one of my walks this week, a lab technician was finishing up a rather extensive test setup that consumed a large quantity of lumber, screws, and truss plates. I asked him how it was going and he commented, “Testing isn’t exactly environmentally friendly, is it?”

Before I could even respond, he added, “I guess that’s just part of the price of building safer buildings.” I like the way he thinks.

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Do 50 Kip Wood Construction Connectors Exist?

The 2009 IBC Section 1604.4 states, “Load effects on structural members and their connections shall be determined by methods of structural analysis that take into account equilibrium, general stability, geometric compatibility and both short and long-term material properties.” This requirement applies to a 200 pound handrail connection as well as a 50,000 pound glulam connection.

Hanger installation at jobsite

50 kips is not a typical beam reaction in wood framed construction, but we’ve received some recent requests to design higher capacity hangers for use in wood podium decks for mixed-use structures. Although post-tensioned concrete is most commonly used for this application, the use of heavy timber for podium decks is driven by the benefits of wood: sustainability, saving construction time and money, architecturally attractive, long-term energy savings, light construction material, and performance in earthquakes.

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