COLD-FORMED STEEL C-STUDS
Cold-Formed / Light-Gauge C-shaped framing members for axial
loadbearing walls, curtain walls, tall interior partitions, floor
joists and roof truss assembli
Typically Gypsum board frame is used for interior walls but the use
of structural framing may be needed to meet taller requirements.
Interior nonstructural (non-load bearing) walls calculated in the
Structual Stud Lookup Tool and Limit height are limited to a
superimposed axial load, exclusive of sheathing materials, of not
more than 100 lb/ft, or a superimposed axial load of not more than
Lateral Load / Design Load
Nonstructural (Non-load bearing) interior walls must be designed to
withstand a minimum of 5 psf lateral load (perpendicular to the
wall) for interior pressure as required by the International
Building Code. Check your projects Architectural Specifications
and/or drawings for the minimum design load required. Loads of
7.5psf and 10psf are typically used for shaftwalls or interior
lobby walls located in floors with multiple exterior doors.
The main purpose of specifying an allowable stud lateral deflection
for interior wall framing is actually for determining what is an
acceptable deflection for the wall facing materials. Sheathing and
Finish materials require a minimum stiffness to prevent cracking.
The required stiffness for the finish material is achieved by the
specified deflection limit. Check with your projects Architectural
Specifications and/or drawings for the lateral deflection required
for a given wall facing material. Interior walls typically require
a minimum lateral deflection of L/240. Some finishes such as tile
or thin stone may require a higher deflection limit like L/360 or
even L/600. We do not recommend using L/120 for walls taller than
For example a 10’ wall at L/120 (L = Length in inches, divided by
120) could have a lateral deflection of (10x12/120) = 1"
Limiting heights are based on continuous lateral support (gypsum
wallboard) on each flange over the full height of the stud. If
wallboard does not run the full height of the stud, lateral bracing
may be required. Contact ClarkDietrich Technical Services to help
determine spacing of the lateral bracing above the wallboard.
See all design notes on the bottom of the lookup tool and tables.