How to speed up the construction of composite beams

Composite beam design using nailed shear connectors

Hilti X-HVB shear connectors and DX 76 powder-actuated tool


A composite beam is made up of a steel beam covered with a layer of concrete – connected by shear connectors.

A composite beam can be highly resistant, stiff and lightweight in design, benefitting from the combined strengths of concrete and steel.

This combined strength allows you to design thinner beams, using less material, than when designing beams from just steel or concrete.


Steel and concrete need to be joined securely to reliably utilize the increased strength and stiffness of the composite beam and reduce bending or buckling.

Shear connectors are often welded on the jobsite, but this can be full of frustrations – the need to be close to a power supply, a tangle of cables and if it rains, you have to stop. You also need to have a certified welder onsite.

Using Hilti shear connectors can simplify all of this.

With Hilti’s X-HVB shear connectors and DX 76 powder-actuated tools you can use a one-step process designed to fasten shear connectors for composite beams securely and speed up the construction process.

  • No surface preparation – there’s no need to scrape away any protected covering, or pre-drill holes. 
  • No cables – there’s no need for cords, cables or a local electricity supply. The Hilti DX 76 powder-actuated tools have their own self-contained power supply (powder-cartridges).
  • No certified welding skills – Our shear connectors can be installed with basic skills without the need for a formal installer qualification. 
  • Work in any weather – no need to wait for the rain to stop or the jobsite to dry. Hilti shear connectors can be fastened into place in virtually any weather.
  • Use to renovate older buildings – where welding is often unsuitable due to regulations or restricted due to the use of old structural elements.
  • Tested and approved – our shear connectors are also proven and tested. We’ve been making our shear connectors for more than 30 years. They are approved (European Approval Assessment -15/0876) and backed up by 75 years of Hilti engineering innovation.

Quick installation of our shear connectors

Watch how to nail Hilti X-HVB shear connectors to a composite beam using the Hilti DX 76 powder-actuated tool.


Our Engineering Services for Design and Installation

We can help you throughout your construction project, from design to installation. Choose from a range of Hilti engineering support services:

Hilti Shear Connector Design Software

Hilti Shear Connector Design Software

Use our Shear Connector Design Software to calculate your composite beam

Access our software
Hilti engineering design services

Hilti engineering design services

If you don’t want to design your project yourself, our in-house engineers can calculate and design shear connectors for you. Just contact your local Hilti customer service team for more information

Ask an engineer
Hilti engineers' onsite visit

Hilti engineers’ onsite visits

Our expert engineers can visit you on your jobsite and work together to find a solution for your building

Contact customer service

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