Currently, there is no code requirement specific to opening limitations in flexible guard infill such a cable. As result enforcement varies. Hanging weights, standing on the cables, or plucking the cable to hear a “note” are some of the methods employed by each individual inspector. Although the SMA has been successful in getting disapproval of related code changes by other parties in prior cycles the consistent enforcement desired by our members will require a code change.  It was determined that proactive development, by SMA, of the needed regulation is necessary. Based upon member in-house testing in defense of the issue used in the last code cycle, the SMA has filed a code change proposal to be heard in April at the IBC Committee Action Hearing. The proposed change will affect all small section flexible infill, rods, hollow tubes, basket ornaments, etc. However, the issue is most recognized as related to cable infill systems.

The proposed change states that “The required opening limitation shall not be exceeded when a load of 16.5 pounds is applied with a cone in accordance with Test Method D of ASTM E935-00” The full proposal located at this link as currently submitted is subject to withdrawal or modification.

We would like to ask that stakeholders provide feedback in the form of confirming the proposed 16.5 pound load is appropriate as proposed, or if you would be willing to provide data to support a different load value. Your particular feedback may be submitted in confidence to the SMA Staff via our online form.

If you have an interest in this matter, please respond by Friday, February 16th, 2024 no later than 4 PM ET via our online form. If you are providing additional data or testing information, it must be submitted no later than Friday, March 15th, 2024.