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more on gusset plate design

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List –


Do any of you have some helpful comments on methods that you use for designing concentric brace – gusset plate connections.  Is the Uniform Force Method the preferred solution procedure these days (and all of its 15 (!!!) glorious pages of calcs in the AISC manual).  The UFM looks pretty straight forward, but I’m wondering how practical it is.  Without explicitly designing and specifying the precise dimensions of each and every gusset plate on a project, how can the UFM equations be applied?  The alpha and beta dimensions (weld group centroid) require you to know the exact gusset dimensions. 


I have typically just designed the gusset plate welds to take the brace component forces – and also considering the Work Point eccentricities using table 8-38 for eccentric welds.  I specify minimum weld size/length and let the steel fabricator work out all of the gusset dimensions for all of the various brace connections, because they are never standard. 


Murphy’s Law for structural engineers:  “Anything that you attempt to specify as typical will always end up different.”



Eli S. Grassley