To fulfill the company mission of “equipping builders to succeed,” TITAN’s in-house Research and Development (R&D) department is constantly innovating solutions and tools that are both economical and efficient for clients. All solutions begin with a problem, and the problem for TITAN arose in late March 2017. The standard methods of using x-bracing to stabilize shores was proving itself to be particularly labor-intensive for TITAN HV decks over 18 feet. A simple question was raised by TITAN leadership: How can we save the client time and money on bracing practices?
The answer became TITAN's patent pending Column Lock, an engineered, structural aluminum angle. A pair of Column Locks are used in an asymmetrical layout to pinch a column, causing the framing system to rack and then bind during an applied load. This results in support for lateral loads up to 4,000 pounds, essentially eliminating the need for most braces and vastly increasing deck access for workers.
After TITAN’s R&D department spent months bringing the Column Lock to life, it was successfully used on its first job site in late 2017. The ability to replace up to 11 x-braces with one Column Lock without constricting the grading of the deck proved to be an invaluable asset for builders.
Even after the lock’s initial introduction, R&D continued to improve upon the design. The lock was changed from steel to a more cost-effective aluminum, making the lock lightweight and far easier to install. The final version, weighted at 5.5 pounds, was completed in August 2018.
The Column Lock has proved to be an immense success but is just one of many inventions from the R&D department. Keep an eye out for new products and developments designed to improve the methods of construction, always on the horizon here at TITAN.