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The University of Southampton

KTP Case Study: Structural Metal Decks (SMD) Ltd

Structural Metal Decks Ltd (SMD), based in Poole, Dorset, are an SME engaged in the design, supply and installation of composite metal decking and accessories to the construction industry.

SMD's experienced team of steel workers, engineers, deckers and stud welders are responsible for the successful installation of over 1 million square metres of composite metal decking in building projects across the UK and overseas.

About the project

In this KTP, Structural Metal Decks (SMD) Ltd worked with the University of Southampton's Engineering and the Environment unit to redesign an on-going revision of trapezoidal profiles, to acquire and embed knowledge of advanced engineering analysis, and to reaffirm itself as one of the UK's leading providers of structural metal decking.

SMD do not have an in house R&D facility, and the KTP gave the company the knowledge and tools to enable the concept stage of future R&D to be carried out in house. It opened up links with the University of Southampton for future testing requirements.

The knowledge embedded during the KTP gave the company the ability to develop CPD presentations to transfer further knowledge to the industry; such skills are proving to be of great benefit in opening up new collaborations, and have already realised new contracts for the company in the international market.

SMD, working under contract for Severfield Reeve Structures, are installing 70,000m2 of their existing R51 profile in the lower floors of what will be the tallest building in Europe, The Shard, at London Bridge. However, the revised profiles developed within this exciting and highly successful KTP will be used on the 72nd floor of The Shard - making them what is believed to be the highest use of composite metal deck in Europe.

"It is incredibly exciting to witness the impact of our research such a short time after its completion" stated Dr Boyd, lead academic on the KTP.


More information

The use of finite element analysis in the development of future concept profiles is an incredible opportunity that would not have been possible without this KTP relationship with the University of Southampton. It provides us with the methods required to maintain and improve our market position once the deep national recession that has hit the civil engineering industry lifts.

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