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Re: Handrails...

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According to ASTM E985, the requirements are very liberal.  Basically, for horizontal load at top of post the maximum deflection is h/12.
I believe the Association for Architectural Metals recommends 2H/96 which is what you are looking at.
If it makes you feel any better, we did a study on various rail configurations and the horizontal rails will engage adjacent posts limiting deflection from the "idealized" analysis of an isolated post with a point load.
If the application is a stadium or other use where large groups are expected to be at the rail at the same time I would increase the strength and stiffness requirements.  If it is an isolated guardrail along a balcony or walkway I would not worry about it too much.  The rail will only see these loads at an absolute maximum condition, not in standard usage.
Paul Feather 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 12:26 PM
Subject: Handrails...

List members:

What is the allowable deflection for a handrail?

I?m reviewing the misc metal guy?s calcs and he?s getting 1.75?

For a 42? high railing on a balcony 10? long (wide).


Seems excessive to me.



Any thoughts?


David L. Fisher SE PE

Fisher + partners

372 West Ontario

Chicago 60610



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