Ductile Chord Connector for Precast Concrete Construction


Lehigh University has engineered a connection that can be used in precast concrete diaphragm systems to provide reliable force transfer and ductility to the floor system under large demands. Use of this connector eliminates the need for a field cast concrete pour strip thus improving the quality and service life of the building system. This connection technology would be the first ductile chord connector available in the market that is specifically for double tee flooring structures and would provide a desirable product for precast manufactures. The main benefit of this technology is the offering of a ductile failure mechanism to improve the reliability of the connection under earthquake demands.  This technology would be very useful in high seismic zones.


Lehigh Tech ID#071811-01



The United States precast concrete product market is estimated to be around $8.4B, growing at a rate of around 6.1% annually. The United states is said to encompass about 40% of the world market (~$21B), with China being the largest growth sector.[1],[2] Natural disaster events around the world in the past 10 years have led innovators to seek new ways to develop seismically secure structures. There is a growing emphasis on precast concrete in order to meet new structure demands, as precast is increasing in  durability, is easy and quick to install, low cost, and there are no delays in the weather as plant-production is ensured. Precast Concrete is 10% cheaper to manufacture compared to alternatives and is increasing popularity due to this cost savings. Additionally, precast concrete is seen as an ideal sustainable material and this is said see a 10% increase in its use just over the next year. [3],[4].


[1]“Precast Concrete Products to 2015 - Market Research, Market Share, Market Size, Sales, Demand Forecast, Market Leaders, Company Profiles, Industry Trends.” March 2011. Freedonia Group website. http://www.freedoniagroup.com/Precast-Concrete-Products.html (accessed August 8, 2011).

[2] “World’s Largest Construction Market.” December 2009. Concrete Construction web site. http://www.concreteconstruction.net/construction/worlds-largest-construction-market.aspx (accessed August 11, 2011).

[3] “Precast/ Prestressed Market Share Analysis.” 2008. PCI web site. http://www.pci.org/pdf/publications/market_share/2008_Market_Share_Analysis.pdf (accessed August 8, 2011).

[4]“Precast Concrete & LEED.” PCI web site. http://www.pci.org/pdf/publications/parking/Greenway_Self_Park.pdf (accessed August 9, 2011).



Lehigh University is interested in both licensing this technology or in finding investment partners to establish a start-up for this technology.     


App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Patent Cooperation Treaty [PCT] United States PCT/US2012/034078 4/18/2012   9/28/2015
For Information, Contact:
Alan Snyder
VP, Research & Grad Programs
Lehigh University
Clay Naito