Flange Connectors for Double Tee Beams


Reference #: 1172

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a new durable and easily installed joint connection for double tees to be used in parking structure application.


Invention Description:

The subject invention is a new durable and easily installed joint connection for double tees for parking structure application.


Advantages and Benefits:

This technology uses an elastic shape memory alloys (SMA) connector that is unique and has the following key attributes:

1.       These materials are non-corroding and highly durable.

2.       This alloy will offer an efficient method to connect the adjacent slabs, thereby applying a post-tensioning force across the joint. This alloy will also actively resist joint movement under loading. In the event that degradation occurs, re-heating of the SMA will re-apply the post-tensioning force again. Also, when using super elastic material, a restoring force is applied across the joint even in the absence of applied heating.


Potential Applications:

The potential industrial applications include not only using smart materials such as shape memory alloys in joint connection application, but also using it in any reinforced concrete construction project, including buildings, bridges, dams, and others.



Double tee beams are widely used as floor systems by the precast/prestressed concrete industry because they are economical, can be rapidly constructed, and make use of in-plant quality control to ensure consistency in the material properties, curing procedures, and dimensions of the final product. In some cases, deficiencies in design, construction, or maintenance can result in premature distress. Deterioration of longitudinal joints affects the serviceability of parking structures. Leakage through joints can be caused by many factors, including improper quality control of sealant materials. Also, installing a backer rod cannot be properly done where mechanical brackets are located, and water accumulation can lead to distress in connection brackets. Repair methods are available, however it is best to avoid the leakage problem altogether.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Paul Ziehl
Rafal Anay
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