TRIFORCE® and Plated Truss: They’re Both Open-Web, So What’s the Difference?

Open-web floor trusses with steel plate connections have been around since the 1950’s, celebrated for their strength and easy access for MEP installation. Developed near the end of the 1980’s, a new type of open-web truss from Open Joist made its debut in the engineered components world. It featured the innovation of finger-joined connections and it saw further development in 2009 when open joist TRIFORCE® was introduced.


The benefits that made plated trusses popular were enhanced when TRIFORCE® joists entered the marketplace. TRIFORCE® spans were longer for comparable depths and through-web clearances were maximized due to the absence of steel plates.  And, not having steel plates resulted in several additional advantages for TRIFORCE® joists.  They were lighter in weight and safer for framers to handle.  When mechanical systems were installed, there was no concern about wires or ductwork getting hung up on plates.  Removing the need for plated connections also eliminated the need to use more wood fiber than was necessary for the performance of the truss.

Plated floor trusses require an extended process for design and manufacture for specific applications. TRIFORCE® joists are shipped quickly from stock with lead times measured in days instead of weeks. Furthermore, TRIFORCE® offers 24 inches of trimmability at one end. This enables framers facing challenges like out-of-square foundations and changed plan dimensions can adjust joists to fit accurately on site.  And, if repairs are needed, TRIFORCE®’s standard repair details allow immediate corrective action.

TRIFORCE® offers confidence that joists will perform as specified. This is because every joist has been tested, beyond its designed load capacity, prior to shipping to a job site.  Steel-plated floor trusses, along with other floor framing components, are not subjected to individual joist testing.  TRIFORCE® testing underwrites a lifetime floor system warranty.

Since 2009, builders have been making the switch from steel-plated floor trusses to TRIFORCE® joists to enjoy greater peace of mind underfootTM!


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