DEVELOPMENT OF THE GANG-NAIL AND HYDRO-NAIL SYSTEMS

 

One aspect of building that has undergone something of a quiet revolution in recent years is roof construction.

Well over 40 years ago Gang-Nail introduced its first connector plate in America, other companies including Hydro-Nail followed suit. This simple concept paved the way for dramatic changes in roof design which have had an immeasurable effect on the efficiency of the building industry in South Africa and world-wide. In 1990, MiTek combined the respective strengths of Gang-Nail and Hydro-Nail.

Connector plate manufacture

The key feature of the MiTek connector plates is their ability to join timbers together in one plane giving high strength connections with consistent and predictable performance. Unlike steel, concrete and plastics, the joining of timber members to give economical high strength connections has always been a problem. Timber as a structural material has an excellent strength to weight ratio and is easy to use on site. Timber structures however, often could not fully achieve the potential of the timber because of relatively weak joints.

Mechanical stress grading of timber

MiTek connector plates act in a unique way, evenly taking the load from one member, transmitting the load across the joint and distributing it into the adjacent member. Because MiTek connector plates avoid the stress concentrations often associated with nailed or glued joints it is possible in many cases to make the joint as strong as the timber. In this way, design is influenced by timber strength rather than the minimum sections suitable for jointing. Another benefit arising from the action of the MiTek connector plate is that since the load is transferred via many integral teeth, strength is not adversely affected by small local timber flaws.

Gang-Nail Mark V hydraulic press and jig table

Exhaustive testing has produced performance data which, when used with appropriate safety factors, provides reliable design information. If joint performance data is used in conjunction with SABS stress graded timber, roof trusses can be designed to meet individual project needs exactly. In this way, predictable trusses of high efficiency can be produced.

MiTek trusses are prefabricated in precision jigs, using MiTek connector plates and specialised hydraulic presses operated by highly experienced fabricators.
Prefabrication ensures that skilled site labour requirements are kept to the minimum and allows the speedy erection of the roof structure. Site losses and potentially serious structural pitfalls are minimised.

MiTek Industries S.A. (Pty) Ltd. is wholly owned by MiTek Industries Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., sister companies operate in the U.S.A., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Brazil.