An example of a stiffener on wood ceiling joistsany member, (the material is usually the same as in the assembly, IE wood studs as a stiffener in a wood frame, metal bar stiffeners in a metal joist, etc) that spans perpendicularly across the members and are mechanically attached to them, providing a stiffening effect against lateral loads

Stiffeners placed in a crossing pattern, or diagonally across joists are known as bridging

A stiffener can also be a plate that is attached to a component in a system to stabilize it. A common example is a glass fin in a glass wall system; the fins act as stiffeners to support the main plate.
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