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RE: FEMA 350 & Composite Steel Beams

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I believe shear studs (in metal deck) have been permitted as an exception to “no welds in the protected zone”, but that might only be in the L.A. Basin. In the FEMA 350 language, the reference is relative to the plastic hinge zone(s) only and not to the entire beam.


You may (or may not) find the correct info here: (beware, the blue sky in the photo at the top is retouched. The sky isn’t really that blue here). Others may have a more direct source.


Good luck,


T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)


Consulting Structural Engineers

V (949) 248-8588

F (949) 209-2509


-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Smith [mailto:jsmith(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 7:40 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Cc: jsmith(--nospam--at)
Subject: FEMA 350 & Composite Steel Beams




I have a two framed floor steel structure above a partial basement level essential facility in seismic design category D. The floor system will be 3.25 inches of 115 pcf light-weight concrete topping on a 3” composite steel deck for a total slab thickness of 6.25 inches. The proposed lateral force resisting system will be special steel moment frames with a reduced beam section type of pre-qualified connection. FEMA 350 explicitly forbids the use of welded shear studs on the moment frame beams between the column face and the plastic hinge.


Are others designing the moment frame beams as a “bare beam” without any shear studs on the entire member? Or, are you placing shear studs on the member, but only away from the plastic hinge location? Please note that my question refers to the frame beams only, as non-moment-frame beams will be simply supported ordinary composite steel beams.


Jonathan D. Smith, P.E., Owner

Summit Engineering & Inspection

236 Lorraine Drive

Travelers Rest, SC 29690


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