How to Install MTC’s Beam Hanger System – RICON XL

This blog post offers designers and installers several tips to properly installing the RICON XL 390X80 beam hanger system and its ICC-ESR approved fasteners. This blog post includes a step-by-step installation video solution for avoiding common installation issues.
Approximately 8-minute read

 

How to install the RICON XL 390X80 beam hanger system?

The first step in installing the RICON XL beam hanger system is acquiring the proper tools:

  • It is advised to use appropriate personal protective equipment throughout the process
  • Self-tapping screws should always be installed with low RPM high torque drills. In our video example, we used a commonly available DS4000 1/2″ Spade Handle Drill from Makita. Impact drills must be avoided as mentioned in our blog post “How to Install ASSY Self-tapping Screws
  • To drill a pilot hole, a common 1/4” x 12” multi purpose drill bit was used
  • A measuring tape, framing square and a marker was used to mark the layout

It is suggested to consult the Beam Hanger Design Guide prior to the installation of any MTC beam hanger system. The following video demonstrates good practice for the installation of the RICON XL 390×80.

Step 1, Preparation stage

Prior to installation, designers shall consult the MTC Solutions Beam Hanger Design Guide to detail their beam hanger system and follow the geometry requirements. The design guide includes geometry guidelines, beam size requirements and limits on end and edge distances for connector installation.

Single Ricon XL

To prepare for installation, it is recommended to measure and mark out the placement of the beam hanger based on the geometry requirements from the Beam Hanger Design Guide. As seen in the installation video, a piece of wood may be helpful to ensure proper plumb and level position of the beam hanger during installation. From there, the beam hanger is secured to its position on the beam using two locator ASSY Ecofast 1/4” x 2-3/8” [6×60 mm] self-tapping screws at each corner of the RICON XL plate. This small step will avoid misalignment which could result in reduced performance of these high capacity beam hanger connection systems.

The locator screws should be installed as outlined below for proper plumb and level positioning of the beam hanger plate on the wood member:

  1. Install the first locator screw at a corner without fully setting the screw. It is suggested to leave the screw about a 1/4” proud to allow for later adjustment if necessary.
  2. Once the plate is in its final position, a second locator screw can be fully installed at the opposite corner and the proud screw can be tightened to fix the plate in position.
  3. The two locator ASSY Ecofast 1/4” x 2-3/8” [6×60 mm] screws do not have to be removed from the beam hanger plates as they will not affect the system’s capacity.

The RICON XL may be installed fully concealed by routing either the primary or secondary wood member. Fully concealing a beam hanger system will allow up to a 2-hour Fire Resistance Rating [FRR] protecting the connector, only using appropriate wood cover. MTC Solutions beam hanger systems have been tested and awarded with a 1.5-hour fire rating certification and comply with the AWC TR10 for fire-tested connections. More information about the fire rating and concealment of MTC Solutions beam hanger systems can be found in our blog post titled Concealed Fire Rated Beam Hanger Systems”.

In the video, the RICON XL is not concealed for proper showcasing of the installation process; however, depending on the fire rating required, wood cover can be added on each side of the beam hanger to account for fire rating.

Step 2, Hardware Installation

Now that the beam hanger is securely located onto the member, the load carrying ASSY VG CSK 3/8” [10 mm] diameter screws can be installed. Pre-drilling is generally not required when installing MTC Solutions beam hanger systems using ICC-ESR approved self-tapping screws. However, in some special connection scenarios, pre-drilling may be used to ease the fastening process.

Pre-drilling may help when:

  1. Installing a connector in the end grain of a wood member. This can help prevent wood splitting issues in a wood species sensitive to splitting such as Douglas Fir.
  2. Installing a connector in higher density wood such as knots may deviate long fasteners and requires pre-drilling to assure proper install and load carrying capacity.

Pilot holes help guide the screw in its path which can accelerate the installation process. Especially in very hard wood such as knots the screw tip may not bite immediately and a pilot hole will assist in getting the screw started and installed. For the RICON XL installation, pre-drilling of the 3/8” [10 mm] diameter ASSY VG CSK fasteners can be done using a regular 1/4” x 12” multi purpose drill bit.

The RICON XL is fastened using VG CSK 3/8” x 4” [10×100 mm] screws in the primary member (girder, beam or column), and longer VG CSK 3/8” x 7-7/8” [10×200 mm] in the secondary member (purlin  beam). Longer fasteners must be used for the connector plate placed on the end grain to ensure a proper wood engagement and to reach the full capacity of the system. The RICON XL offers the possibility of installing two additional load carrying screws per plate (VG CSK 3/8” x 7-7/8” [10×200 mm]), depending on the capacity of the designed connection. These two inclined screws are installed in the clamping jaw at the bottom of each RICON XL plate, offering a stiffer and higher strength connection.

Step 3, Reinforcement [Optional]

In certain cases where the geometry requirements in the Beam Hanger Design Guide cannot be followed, reinforcing screws may be required either in the primary or secondary member. Reinforcing is crucial when the connector is placed high on the cross-section of the secondary member, to fully engage all wood fiber in the connection and reach the full capacity of the system. Without proper reinforcement, the interface between engaged and unengaged wood fibers will create a virtual notch that can produce perpendicular-to-grain wood failure.

The video showcases the installation of two 3/8” x 19” [10×480 mm] ASSY VG Cyl reinforcing screws in the top of the secondary member. Besides reinforcing virtual notches, these reinforcing screws can be used for strengthening bearing surfaces and repairing checked or cracked beams among other scenarios.

Ricon XL - Notch Reinforcement

Even when pre-drilling and additional reinforcing screws is required, the RICON XL can be installed in just 15 minutes. That time can be reduced if all the geometry requirements guidelines can be followed. We hope that this explanation will help in future installations of MTC Solutions RICON XL beam hanger systems.

 

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