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Re: Structural steel end-plate moment connection question

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I do used end-plate connections for many applications and have seen many of the Metal Builder Manufacturers using them.  I don't think they can be used on the larger mill sections but most Metal Buildings do not have beams of that size.

The fit-up problems for length are generally partially addressed by detailing the beam short about an 1/8".  As far as the joining of two endplates, I think shimming can be more preferable to other methods I have seen for getting good steel-to-steel contact.  The plates must have steel to steel contact at both ends.  I have seen field personnel use what they call a "horseshoe" to drive the two plates together and this may be OK for thinner plates, but several times I have seen them pull welds loose while using these horseshoes.

Metal Buildings have more luck with these end plates partly because they have greater depths at high moment connection areas than you would typically have on a mill section or other prismatic member.  This increased depth keeps their flange force down and therefore the bolt force.  They get thinner end plates and therefor you can "force" the plates together easier.

Hope this helps

Ron Martin
Tuscaloosa, AL

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