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Strong-Wall® Shearwalls: Important Information and General Notes


Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. structural connectors, anchors, and other products are designed and tested to provide specified design loads. To obtain optimal performance from Simpson Strong-Tie® products and achieve maximum allowable design load, the products must be properly installed and used in accordance with the installation instructions and design limits provided by Simpson Strong-Tie. To ensure proper installation and use, designers and installers must carefully read the following General Notes, General Instructions for the Installer and General Instructions for the Designer, as well as consult the applicable catalog pages for specific product installation instructions and notes.

Proper product installation requires careful attention to all notes and instructions, including these basic rules:

  1. Be familiar with the application and correct use of the product.
  2. Follow all installation instructions provided in the applicable catalog, website, Installer’s Pocket Guide or any other Simpson Strong-Tie publications.
  3. Install all required fasteners per installation instructions provided by Simpson Strong-Tie: a) use proper fastener type; b) use proper fastener quantity; c) fill all fastener holes; d) do not overdrive or underdrive nails, including when using gun nailers; and e) ensure screws are completely driven.
  4. Only bend products that are specifically designed to be bent. For those products that require bending, do not bend more than once.

In addition to following the basic rules provided above as well as all notes, warnings and instructions provided in the catalog, installers, designers, engineers and consumers should consult the Simpson Strong-Tie website at www.strongtie.com to obtain additional design and installation information, including:

Failure to fully follow all of the notes and instructions provided by Simpson Strong-Tie. may result in improper installation of products. Improperly installed products may not perform to the specifications set forth in this catalog and may reduce a structure’s ability to resist the movement, stress, and loading that occurs from gravity loads as well as impact events such as earthquakes and high velocity winds.

Simpson Strong-Tie. does not guarantee the performance or safety of products that are modified, improperly installed or not used in accordance with the design and load limits set forth in this catalog.

General Notes

These general notes are provided to ensure proper installation of Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. products and must be followed fully.

  1. Simpson Strong-Tie reserves the right to change specifications, designs and models without notice or liability for such changes.
  2. Steel used for each Simpson Strong-Tie product is individually selected based on the product’s steel specifications, including strength, thickness, formability, finish and weldability. Contact Simpson Strong-Tie for steel information on specific products.
  3. Unless otherwise noted, dimensions are in inches, loads are in pounds.
  4. Unless otherwise noted, welds, screws, bolts and nails may not be combined to achieve highest load value. 8d (0.131" x 2 1/2"), 10d (0.148" x 3") and 16d (0.162" x 3 1/2") specify common nails that meet the requirements of ASTM F1667. When a shorter nail is specified, it will be noted (for example 8d x 1 1/2"). Refer to Simpson Strong-Tie Nailing Guide, NDS (National Design Specification) and ASTM F1667 (American Society of Testing and Materials) for more nail information.
  5. Do not overload. Do not exceed catalog allowable loads, which would jeopardize the connection.
  6. Unless otherwise noted, allowable loads are for Douglas fir–larch under continuously dry conditions. Allowable loads for other species or conditions must be adjusted according to the code. The section from the AC13 criteria indicating the range of specific gravity reads as follows: A3.2.3. The species of lumber used shall have a specific gravity not greater than 0.55 as determined in accordance with the NDS. This chart shows specific gravity and perpendicular-to-grain compression capacities for the different wood species:

    Species Fc⊥ Specific Gravity
    Douglas Fir-Larch (DFL) 625 psi 0.50
    Southern Pine (SP) 565 psi 0.55
    Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF) 425 psi 0.42
    Spruce-Pine-Fir South (SPF-S) 335 psi 0.36
    Hem Fir 405 psi 0.43
    Glulam 650 psi 0.50
    LVL (DF/SP) 750 psi 0.50
    LSL (E = 1.3 x 106) 680 psi 0.50
    LSL (E > 1.5 x 106) 880 psi 0.50
    Parallam® (PSL) 750 psi 0.50
  7. All references to bolts or machine bolts (MBs) are for structural quality through bolts (not lag screws or carriage bolts) equal to or better than ASTM Standard A307, Grade A.
  8. Unless otherwise noted, bending steel in the field may cause fractures at the bend line. Fractured steel will not carry load and must be replaced.
  9. A fastener that splits the wood will not resist the design load. Evaluate splits to determine if the connection will perform as required. Dry wood may split more easily and should be evaluated as required. If wood tends to split, consider pre-boring holes with diameters not exceeding 0.75 of the nail diameter (2018 NDS Section Use a 5/32" bit for Strong-Drive® SDS Heavy-Duty Connector screws and a 3/32" bit for Strong-Drive SD9/SD10 and Strong-Wall SWS16150 Connector screws.
  10. Wood shrinks and expands as it loses and gains moisture, particularly perpendicular to its grain. Take wood shrinkage into account when designing and installing connections. Simpson Strong-Tie manufactures products to fit common dry lumber dimensions. If you need a connector with dimensions other than those listed in this catalog, Simpson Strong-Tie may be able to vary connector dimensions; contact Simpson Strong-Tie. The effects of wood shrinkage are increased in multiple lumber connections, such as floor-to-floor installations. This may result in the vertical rod nuts becoming loose, requiring post-installation tightening. (Contact Simpson Strong-Tie for information on Takeup Devices.)
  11. Built-up lumber (multiple members) must be fastened together to act as one unit to resist the applied load (excluding the connector fasteners). This must be determined by the designer.
  12. Some model configurations may differ from those shown in this catalog. Contact Simpson Strong-Tie for details.
  13. Do not weld products listed in this catalog unless this publication specifically identifies a product as acceptable for welding, or unless specific approval for welding is provided in writing by Simpson Strong-Tie. Some steels have poor weldability and a tendency to crack when welded. Cracked steel will not carry load and must be replaced.