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RE: Steel Beam - Sudden Change in Section Properties

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Is the beam continuity "required" for the design loads, or is it an existing
condition that you are uncomfortable with? Are the loads only vertical, or
is this a frame that also resists horizontal loads?

If it's only carrying vertical loads the connection may be close to the
point of contraflexure - in which case there would be little moment to be
transferred across the connection. Or maybe you are in the negative moment
region and the bottom flange is in compression?

I would want to think these issues through before finalizing remedial work
details - if required.

One thing I would do, if the loads are significant, would be to install web
stiffeners on the S18 over the support beam (I know that the S18 has a
substantial web - it's a gut-feel thing).

If continuity of the bottom flange is required I would consider adding
sloped "flange" pieces to each side of the S18 web to tie the S12 & S18
flanges together directly, creating a "haunch" detail. I would terminate the
flange pieces at the above-mentioned web stiffeners, and at another set of
stiffeners at the end of the S12, using the stiffeners to take out the
vertical force components from the new sloped pieces.


Peter James

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