Comb-Tie Insulated Wall Panel Connector


Shear ties are used in the construction industry to ensure that the shear walls

used in construction of light frame buildings can perform reliably at the rated

loads. Currently used shear tie designs are lacking in several key

performance areas and this invention seeks to improve the performance

through a novel design method.

The proposed shear-tie design provides superior performance in the areas of

increased strength, deformability resistance and concrete passage prevention

and reduced installation tolerances. These performance improvements help

overcome issues possessed by current tie systems. Additionally, the shear tie

mechanism proposed has the ability to be used in other applications such as

blast and impact resistance structures where there is need for rapid energy

dissipation via panel deflection.


Competitive Advantage

This invention addresses an important aspect in light building construction.

Shear wall tie-down connections are very important in ensuring that the

building is able to withstand the rated loads and will not collapse or present

other issues or problems as time goes on. If the shear tie does not have the

right performance capabilities, it can cause the wall system to become loose

and increase the chances of some damage occurring due to lack of building

performance at the rated level. Shear tie systems help make sure that the

building strength, stretch-ability, shrinkage and reliability factors are

maintained for the duration of the building’s life – especially because

building tend to shrink and settle over several years. As a consequence, the

connections used can face a situation called ‘reverse loading’ and should be

able to accommodate this condition without sacrificing performance or

getting deflected.


Lehigh Tech ID# 053014-01


Market Need/Opportunity


The overall market for construction material that will use this invention is in

the multibillion $ range. Latest estimates are that the size of the market in the

US will exceed $12B by 2018. . Within the overall construction material

market, this invention is particularly applicable to the ICF (Insulated Concrete

Forms) market segment. This market segment is expected to show a growth

of 20% per year based on the ability of ICF materials to enable building to be

certified as Green Building and allow building developers to obtain

significant points towards LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental

Design) certification.



Lehigh University is looking for a partner for further development and

commercialization of this technology through a license. The inventor is

available to collaborate with interested companies.



App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Utility United States 14/794,990 9,303,404 7/9/2015 4/5/2016 4/5/2036
For Information, Contact:
Rick Smith
Lehigh University
Clay Naito
Patrick Trasborg