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RE: HSS column splice

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I thought someone was going to ask that as soon as I wrote it. I doubted it could be done as well and I do not have the procedure to share with you but it can and has been done on an FPSO (floating, production, storage, offloading) vessel I worked on.


This was not a project where you would have occasion to doubt the welding capabilities of the shop. All welds were mapped. Records were kept of which operator did each weld, what day it was done, who inspected it, the results of the inspection and the repair, if required.


I will try and get a proper procedure for you. Note also that the girder flanges being welded to required through thickness properties.


On another note, engineers need not concern themselves with fit issues. Any half decent shop will make it fit. HSS usually have a raised surface where the seam is welded. This “bump” is both on the inside and the outside and makes fitting one into or onto the other impossible without grinding. Splitting the HSS is a good idea; it is done in the piping profession all the time to make pipe wraps. My only concern with a wrap on a column is whether there may be a moment in the area of the splice and the stress riser a wrap may cause. I would think a butt joint would be more advantageous.




From: Bill Allen [mailto:T.W.Allen(--nospam--at)]
Sent: June 7, 2006 7:18 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: HSS column splice


I was under the impression that Joe was going to use the inserted 5x5 as the backup bar.


You say you have seen HSS columns CP welded to girder flanges without a backup bar, but how do you get a CP weld without a back up bar?


T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E.


Consulting Structural Engineers
V (949) 248-8588 F(949) 209-2509

-----Original Message-----
From: dave lowen [mailto:jatech(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 3:56 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: HSS column splice




A better fix would be a sleeve inside your column that would serve as a backup bar. You could do a CP joint from the outside. The sleeve could be an HSS section or a bent plate.


I have seen HSS columns CP welded to girder flanges without a backup bar but not a column splice. I’m sure it could be done, though.


Another option would be a cap plate between the lower shaft and the upper.




From: Joe Grill [mailto:jgrill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: June 7, 2006 6:06 PM
To: 'seaint'
Subject: HSS column splice


I'm doing a column splice detail.  I'm told that lengths over 20' in a 5x5 tube steel aren't available around here.  The splice will be just above a floor diaphragm, and I will be able to block the column into the floor framing pretty well.  I’m considering using a sleeve from a section of HSS that is larger than the column section.


Anyway, will an HSS 5x5 fit inside an HSS 5.5x5.5x1/4 sleeve?  Has anybody else out there done this?




Joseph R. Grill, P.E. (Structural)

Shephard - Wesnitzer, Inc.

Civil Engineering and Surveying