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Re: Steel Connections

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I've never been a big fan of selecting connections based on a percentage of
the allowable uniform load listed in the beam tables.  I think it is much
better to have a set of standard connections and the corresponding
capacities and select the connection based on the actual reactions required.
For example, if the capacity of a standard 3 bolt single shear tab
connection with 7/8 dia A325 bolts is 21 kips,  I select my standard for the
specific project as W16's and W18's having 3 bolts, then and as I'm
designing the floor beam I find the reaction for the W16x26 is 18 kips and
that fits into my standard. If a specific W16 has a higher shear, I would
call out a double shear connection for the special case.  Maybe for the next
project it makes sense to provide 3 bolt ss connections for the w16's and 4
for the W18's.  Whatever keeps the repetition and simplicity the highest.
(Some software programs sort this information out for you automatically ie.
you can make a list of all beams that have higher shear than your standard
single shear connection .)

This type of project set up should be done  by the project manager or
engineer.  By setting up project specific standards up front you bring
substantial connection economy to the project.

Lanny J. Flynn, P.E., S.E.
Regional Engineer
AISC Marketing, Inc.
email: flynn(--nospam--at)

----- Original Message -----
From: James Lane, P.E. <jamesalane(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: June 27, 2000 3:54 PM
Subject: Steel Connections

> Need some response to this one. Have a engineer wanting to use reactions
> based on allowable load tables in steel book. I want to show the actual
> reactions on the documents and have done so in past employment. Is the
> company being unreasonable in making me adhere to this policy.
> My argument is the following:
> 1. Short beams result in high reactions that are in excess of what is
> practical.
> 2. Fabricators like the actual reaction loads on the beams.
> 3. I feel we are doing the client a disservice by making the fabricator
> follow the load tables in the steel book. Since this would mean coping and
> adding plates to alot of 8 and 10 inch short span beams.
> Am I off base on this one?
> James
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