Amass: Advanced manufacturing for the assembly of structural steel

Mohammad E. Shemshadian, Arturo E. Schultz, Jia Liang Le, Ramzi Labbane, Debra F. Laefer, Salam Al-Sabah, Linh Truong-Hong, Minh Phuoc Huynh, Patrick McGetrick, Tony Martin, Pantelis Matis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes an investigation into the use of advanced manufacturing techniques for the creation of a new class of intermeshed steel connections that rely on neither welding nor bolting. The project detailed herein lays the groundwork to transform the steel building construction industry by advancing the underlying science and engineering precepts for intermeshed connections created from precise, volumetric cutting. The proposed system enhances the integration between design, fabrication, and installation. Fully automated, precise, volumetric cutting of open steel sections poses challenges regarding the load-Transfer mechanisms and failure modes for intermeshed connections. Implementation of the intermeshed connection would cause a discontinuity in the beam; therefore, the effects of such a configuration on the behavior of the steel frame are investigated in the current paper. Load resistance and design of these connections are also explored with physical tests and finite element modeling to investigate the mechanics of intermeshed connections, including stress and strain concentrations, fracture and failure modes, and connection geometry optimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04020052
JournalPractice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • Experiment
  • Finite element modeling
  • Intermeshed
  • Plasma
  • Steel connection
  • Waterjet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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