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Re: LGSS - Light Gauge Steel Stud question

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Dennis -
  This is a tough one. The contractor's suggestion of reinforcing the inside
member web will not benefit the outside member web. 

  Regarding the 8" deep member, the web h/t ratio is approximately 230 which
exceeds the AISI mandated limit of 200 for unreinforced webs. I know I'm going
out on a limb on this but could the attachment of the gypsum wallboard and the
exterior finishes(if sufficiently screwed to the web) be deemed satisfactory
to prevent lateral buckling of the web for both the interior and exterior
members? I realize there is no way to quantify this assumption but perhaps it
could fall under the purview of an empirical "enginnering judgement". 

  Regarding the 12" deep member, the web h/t ratio is approximately 340.
Therefore, your proposed solution(short of removing the 20 gauge header and
installing heavier gauge members) may be the way to proceed. Just a thought -
What do you think about installing foam insulation within the cavity between
the member webs? This material, once hardened, is fairly stiff and could
provide resistance to any inward web buckling. 

Charlie Canitz, PE
Bel Air, MD