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What is the best way to brace steel stud walls?

Occasionally, walls need to be diagonally braced between the steel studs and the structure, most commonly above the ceiling height. Typically, steel stud off-cuts are used for the bracing.

The bracing studs are screwed to the wall studs with a number of structural tek screws. Typically, connections often require three or four tek screws (self drill screws) per connection. At the connection with the structure, various fixing methods have been employed by site contractors but not all methods comply with the minimum strength requirements for this type of connection.

The correct method for fixing the bracing stud to the structure is to use an engineered metal bracket that is capable of handling extreme loads, to make a firm and secure connection. However, the angle of the bracing stud and the size of the bracket often limits the number of screws that can be applied to the joint, thus greatly limiting the effective strength of the connection.

Enter the optimum solution: the new Studco M104 connector.

The Studco M104 connector is designed for use in wall bracing applications and it boasts a large variety of holes sizes and locations to ensure that the bracing stud intersects with a minimum of four location holes on the connector bracket at all times. This also enables installation of bracing studs between 15° and 60° from the vertical plane.

The connection bracket can be fixed to the structure using a dynabolt (for concrete structures) or a bolt and nut combination (for steel structures) or structural screws (for timber structures).

Typical applications for wall bracing in steel stud walls include:

  • External steel stud walls, subject to high wind pressures
  • High internal walls that require additional support
  • Internal steel stud walls with heavy lining or objects fixed to one side
  • Suspended bulkheads and ceiling features
  • Internal infill walls over aluminium partitions or shopfronts

The Studco M104 connector bracket is made in Australia from BlueScope galvanised steel and it's engineered to perform in all internal and external wall bracing applications.

Where mid-span butt or end joints are not required but are used to minimise plasterboard wastage, these joints must also be back-blocked. All mid-span joints must be positioned within 50mm of the mid-span point between the framing members.Butt joints which are to be back-blocked must be formed midway between framing members.

Bracing TechTip

For architectural specifications or installation advice, please contact Studco Building Systems for fast, friendly service at  or call 1800 STUDCO