Connector Plates Information

Connector plates have integral teeth, are manufactured to various sizes and thicknesses, and are designed to laterally transmit loads in wood. They are also known as nail plates, truss plates, metal connector plates, and foundation wall angles. Nail plates and truss plates are used to form positive connections at the intersection of walls. These connector plates are used mainly in truss repairs and construction. Metal connector plates are also commonly available. These lightweight and cost-effective connector plates are made of sheet metal, and may help to prevent damage to trusses from fire. Foundation wall angles are used in basements to attach the floor to the top of the foundation. This braces the basement’s walls against soil that can press inward and produce lateral pressure. Selecting connector plates requires an analysis of product specifications such as materials of construction, finish, and dimensions. Most connector plates are made of a metal such as Grade 40 structural steel. Typically, the steel in connector plates is galvanized for corrosion resistance. Galvanized connector plates are protected with an electrodeposited layer so that the zinc and steel form a galvanic cell under wet or moist conditions. Since this zinc layer has a lower electrogalvanic potential, the zinc is attacked instead of the steel. Dimensional specifications for connector plates include length, width, and weight. The length and width are usually measured in inches (in) or centimeters (cm). The weight is usually measured in pounds (lbs) or kilograms (kg). Connector plates may be designated by gauge. Examples include 16-gauge, 18-gauge, and 20-gauge nail plates, truss plates, metal connector plates, and foundation wall angles. Selecting connector plates also requires an analysis of applicable standards, approvals, and certifications. Examples include NEC 1990 Article 3004A, Plumbing Code 305.8 and ANSI/TPI-1 (ASTMA 653A). The National Electric Code (NEC) codifies requirements for fire prevention and electrical safety into a single standard. ANSI/TPI standards for connector plates are developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private non-profit organization. In Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world, connector plates must also meet state, local, and provincial standards for building construction and safety.