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CROSS Safety Report

Latent shear stud defects

Report ID: 13 Published: 1 November 2005 Region: CROSS-UK

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Shear studs appeared to be satisfactory when checked with the standard pull-over to five degrees but when hit with a hammer they snapped off.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals:

  • Quality control and competent supervision on site can help ensure the structure is built in accordance with the design

  • Be aware of the risk highlighted in the report and implement the appropriate measures and tests on site to ensure the shear studs are performing as expected

Full Report

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The Full Report below has been submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s experience. The text has been edited for clarity and to ensure anonymity and confidentiality by removing any identifiable details. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.


Shear studs on a building frame appeared to one reporter to be satisfactory when checked with the standard 'pull-over' to five degrees, but when hit with a lump hammer they snapped off, showing the weld metal to be honeycombed.

A capillary film of water trapped between the sheets and the steel beams below caused the honeycomb bubbles. The concern is that there may be structures where the shear strength of the studs is reduced, but undetected.

Another reporter highlighted a very similar problem when welding metal sheets down onto angles bedded in concrete. There was enough moisture trapped below the sheets (or in the concrete) to introduce serious porosity into the welds.

Expert Panel Comments

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Moisture can seriously weaken welds and reports on this and similar issues will be welcome.

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