Monash University, Coates Engineering unveil award-winning lightweight propping solution for construction

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The award-winning Quadshore design made from high-strength steel tested and developed by Monash University Faculty of Engineering. Image credit: Monash University

Researchers from Monash University have teamed up with Coates Engineering Solutions to develop a lightweight high-capacity propping solution for temporary construction works. 

The solution, dubbed Quadshore, uses high-strength steel, which has not been efficiently used in temporary structures due to its limited plasticity. 

Associate Professor Amin Heidarpour from Monash University’s Department of Civil Engineering said Quadshore features hybrid components that optimise the use of both high-strength and mild-steel to create lightweight, high-strength structural elements and boltless connections. 

“The unique experimental facilities and lab environment at Monash’s Civil Engineering Department allowed our team to undertake the experimental tests on this product that replicated its behaviour in real-world settings,” Heidarpour said. 

Quadshore features a working load limit of up to 170 tonnes, making it the lightest heavy-duty structural propping system available, Monash said in a media release

The solution was subjected to rigorous destructive and non-destructive experimental tests and material, component, and system levels, in accordance with Australian Safety Standards, to demonstrate the durability of the product. 

The project is a culmination of over 10 years of work by research students and staff at Monash’s Civil Engineering Labs in partnership with Coates Engineering Solutions. 

The research conducted by the last PhD student, Dr Esmaeil Pournamazian Najafabadi, zeroed in on the challenges that come with heavy conventional props that are primarily made of mild steel with low capacity-to-weigh ratios. 

“Our research has shown that by using high-strength steel we have been able to enhance the sustainability credentials of temporary structures where the carbon emission and energy consumption for manufacturing of Quadshore beams is at least 30 per cent lower than conventional props,” Heidarpour said. 

“Industry benchmarks have measured the success of our product in terms of construction time, cost saving, safety-enhancing features and sustainability credentials.” 

The product is expected to help in reducing carbon footprint with cheaper transport costs and fewer shipping and handling fees. 

Quadshore are also easier to install, which means improved productivity for the construction industry. 

The Quadshore design, nominated by the Australian Steel Institute, recently won the “Innovation of the Year Award” at the World Steel Association’s International Construcsteel Awards 2023. 

It also won the prestigious Good Design Award Gold Winner Accolade in the Engineering Design Category for its outstanding design, innovation, and customer-centric solution to local and global challenges.