University of Auckland Centre for Earthquake Engineering Research

Composite Structural Assemblies (CSA)

The goal of this research was to develop a range of advanced Composite Structural Assembly (CSA) products which when used as building elements exhibited performance that was superior to existing building elements.

This research project was supported by an alliance between the Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA), industrial companies NZ Steel, Dimond, Grayson Engineering, Winstone Wallboards, Tandarra Engineering and included academic institutes The University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology.

In the 2004/2005 Foundation for Research Science & Technology (FRST) funding round, the alliance secured government support for a six-year research programme to develop a range of advanced Composite Structural Assembly (CSA) products. The CSAs developed were building elements with performance superior to existing building elements, based on the high strength of locally manufactured light gauge steel in combination with other locally produced materials such as wood, concrete, glass-fibre, or gypsum. The novel combination of materials allowed each assembly to achieve performance standards well above those of the individual materials or existing building products at the time.

The research goal was to develop the appropriate performance parameters, manufacturing concepts and processes as well as gain knowledge of properties and conceptual design of CSAs. The initial research steps focussed towards development of products identified by industry as high priority with strong export potential such as pre-fabricated wall or floor systems for industrial and multi-level buildings. It was intended that a concurrent sector development initiative would identify further products eg, for transport, marine, packaging applications, and aim to establish an industry sector to manufacture these products and support their ongoing development.