This blog post offers designers and installers several tips on properly installing the MEGANT beam hanger connector that uses ICC-ESR approved ASSY VG CSK self-tapping screws. The blog post is also accompanied by a step-by-step installation video demonstrating the installation of a MEGANT 430×100.
Approximately 12-minute read.
The first step in installing any MTC Solutions beam hanger connectors is to use the proper tools:
It is suggested to consult the Beam Hanger Design Guide prior to the installation of any MTC Beam Hanger System. The video demonstrates good practice for the installation of the MEGANT connectors.
Step 1, Connection geometry verification
The installer is responsible for installation plan verification with respect to all geometry requirements prior to installation. The connection geometry requirement should be determined and specified by a licenced professional. Refer to MTC Solutions’ Beam Hanger Design Guide for geometry guidelines, beam size requirements and limits on end and edge distances for connector installation.
Step 2, Routing
The MEGANT can be installed exposed on the face of the timber or fully concealed in the wood elements by routing either the primary or secondary member. Fully concealing the MEGANT will provide a Fire Resistance Rating [FRR] system and a nice seamless wood-to-wood connection aesthetic. For FRR, the MEGANT has been tested in full scale fully loaded fire tests in North America, complying with the American Wood Council Technical Report #10. Additional 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”.
The connector seen in the video has been left fully exposed for demonstration purposes.
Step 3, Preparation stage
It is recommended to measure and mark out the placement of the MEGANT connector plates based on the installation plan provided by a licenced professional. As shown in the video, an installation template can be made from a piece of wood to ensure proper plumb and level position of the beam hanger during installation.
For proper installation, the MEGANT connector plates must be installed with the inclined fasteners pointing upwards in the primary (supporting) member, and downwards in the secondary member (exceptions may apply).
Next, the connector plate is secured using two locator screws at each end of the MEGANT plate (In the video ASSY Ecofast 1/4” x 3-1/8” [6×60 mm] were used). The locator screws will assist in the proper alignment of the plate during the installation of the inclined screws. Note that the two locator screws will need to be removed from the connector plates to install all the load carrying ASSY VG CSK 5/16” x 6-1/4” [8×160 mm] screws.
The installation of the locator screws is as follows:
Step 4, Hardware Installation, and assembly
The MEGANT connector is composed of several pieces that must be installed in the correct sequence to ensure connection capacity. The following summarizes this assembly:
Step 4.1, Connector Plates [pre-installation]
The two connector plates are fastened to the timber elements using a combination of perpendicular and inclined ASSY VG CSK 5/16” x 6-1/4” [8×160 mm] screws. After removing the locator screws, it is recommended to install the perpendicular screws first, followed by the 45-degree inclined screws. Pilot hole or pre-drilling is generally not required with ASSY VG CSK screws. However, it may help ensuring proper screw path, accelerate screw installation and reduce screw-in torque. Additionally, the installation torque for the ASSY VG CSK 5/16” [8 mm] should never exceed 13.57lbs•ft [16.73 N•m]
Step 4.2, Threaded clamping jaws [pre-installation]
Two different clamping jaws are part of the MEGANT system. One clamping jaw has threaded holes while the other one has smooth, non threaded holes. Pending the design specifications of a licensed professional, either clamping jaws may be positioned at the top or at the bottom of the connection. In most applications, the threaded clamping jaw will be installed below the plate of the primary member.
Once in position, the clamping jaw is fastened to the desired wood member using ASSY VG CSK 5/16” x 6-1/4” [8×160 mm] screws.
Step 4.3, Unthreaded clamping jaws [pre-installation]
The unthreaded clamping jaw is designed to allow the threaded rod(s) to slide smoothly through the connection. It will be installed on the opposite end of the connector where the threaded clamping jaw is placed. In most applications, the unthreaded clamping jaw will be installed above the plate of the secondary member.
Once in position, the unthreaded clamping jaw is fastened to the desired wood member using ASSY VG CSK 5/16” x 6-1/4” [8×160 mm] screws.
Step 4.4, Threaded rod(s) [on-site assembly]
Depending on the connector placement on the wood elements, there may be multiple ways to install the threaded rod(s). The most common scenario is sliding in the rod(s) through the unthreaded clamping jaws in the connector plate. An SW8 Allen key may be used to facilitate the fastening process of the rod(s) in the threaded jaw.
The rods must be flush with the bottom of the threaded clamping jaw and fully engage all threads of it. This setting will result in approximately 1″ [25.4 mm] of threaded rod sticking out above the surface of the non-threaded clamping jaw, allowing for the installation of the nut and washer.
Step 4.5, Washers & Hexagonal nuts [on-site assembly]
The washers and hexagonal nuts are the final pieces of hardware to install in the MEGANT system and will secure the threaded rod, tightening the connector parts together. Place the washer and nut on the protruding threaded rod and tighten the nut to the recommend installation torque of 29.5 lbs•ft.
Step 5, Reinforcement [Optional]
Where geometry requirements presented in the Beam Hanger Design Guide cannot be followed, reinforcing screws may be required either in the primary or secondary member. For more details on the geometry requirements, refer to our design provision on Installation Requirements of The Beam Hanger Systems.
Even with pre-drilling and optional reinforcing screws, the MEGANT beam hanger system can be installed in just 25 minutes. Installation times can be reduced if all geometry requirements presented in the design guide are followed. We hope that this explanation will help in future installations of MTC Solutions MEGANT beam hanger systems.