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Re: Residential Steel Detail

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I'd be interested in the detail too, please.

Thor Tandy P.Eng
Victoria, BC
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 8:44 AM
Subject: RE: Residential Steel Detail

It's not that I don't like your connection, it's just that I think there might be a little more to the problem than a simple shear connection, even if it is underloaded.  Consider a different style of "shear plate" connection.  It's an "extended shear plate" connection.  At the beam intersection, rather than having a short shear tab and a coped "supported beam," extend that plate out beyond the flange edge of the "supporting beam."  Have the shear plate welded to the top and bottom flange of the supported beam and taper-cut to allow the "supported beam" easy fit and bolt.  Furthermore, provide a stiffener on the opposite side of this beam.  This would avoid the coping on the "supported beam" and allow an easy field assembled connection without having to skew the "supported beam" into place.  As compared to your "top bearing plate" detail, I think fabrication would be a wash, and this appears to be a detail that fabricators around here are quite familiar with.  If you would like a little sketch of this, if the description is confusing you, let me know and I can throw something together pretty quick.
Dave Maynard, PE
Gillette, Wyoming
-----Original Message-----
From: S. Gordin [mailto:mailbox(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 9:06 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Residential Steel Detail

Good morning, fellow engineers.
In my experience, the use of structural steel in residential construction - particularly, in remodeling, is always somewhat tricky because of the different tolerances - demanding for steel and quite relaxed for wood.  Field welding, burning, cutting, etc. are as frequent as they are undesirable. 
So, designing the intensive remodel of a 3-story residential house, I came up with this detail.  Imagine two identical wide-flange floor beams connecting at a "T."  The reactions are low for steel (say, 6K).  The standard detail is to weld a tab to one beam and to cope/bolt the other.  Due to the above considerations, I thought of shop-welding 12"L x 8"W x 3/4" plate flat to the top flange of the supported beam (5" overlap, all-around weld).  The plate then simply bears (1" max. gap, 6" overlap) on the top flange of the supporting beam, transferring the reaction to its centerline.  
Both beams are nailed to the floor diaphragm through the bolted nailers (except at the plate location), and "are not going anywhere."   Construction-wise, the connection appears perfectly "flexible."  Structurally, the deflections are negligible, the stresses in the plate and beams are moderate, the weld is at about 30% of the allowable stress.
I am still uneasy with the detail.  What do you think?
Steve Gordin, SE