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How can steel studs possibly compare to traditional lumber in holding strength? The fasteners will at best engage with a minuscule amount of metal of X wall thickness and then break through into empty air which offers no engagement with the threads.

This compared to a screw being embedded in, engaged with, and supported by a constant mass of wood along the majority of its threads as seen in classical 2 by X construction.

Where I'm especially concerned is that noise isolation is very important with this project, which leads to variations of stud and leaf arrangements that become weighty, quickly. Usually, this would mean several sheets of 5/8 Gypsum or the like, concrete board being even heavier!

I'm just not seeing how the entire thing won't become a bit wobbly, with the screw tip, in particular, free to dance around inside the cavity of the stud as it likes when under load.

  • Just a note that "classical 2 by X construction" is generally fastened with nails, not screws. – Jimmy Fix-it Oct 2 at 14:53
  • Is your concern about attaching the studs to each other for the basic wall construction, or about attaching covering material to the studs once the wall is framed? It's hard to tell... – FreeMan Oct 2 at 15:09
  • look up the difference between withdrawal and shear: the former is highly dependent on thread engagement while the latter is much much less so. Steel studs work very well. These are the types of questions to take to a structural engineer or architect. – Ack Oct 2 at 15:43
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Simple - using appropriate screws (intended for use in steel, not wood), the fact that steel is much stronger than wood means that the screw holds very nicely. The tip of the screw matters not a bit. The force is applied between the head of the screw and the stud it's screwed into.

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    Ah, alright. So the strength of the steel prevents the threads from pulling directly out, that makes sense. What prevents thread-out over time though? the same lack of engagement with threads strikes me as prime soil for the fastener to work itself loose over years with wind loads or so on? – John Kowski Oct 2 at 14:28
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    The engineers who design the fasteners generally know what they are doing and take things like that into account. If you use the proper fasteners and install them according to their instructions, you will not have a problem. – jwh20 Oct 2 at 16:25

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