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Re: Square notch on wf beams

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I had this condition years ago that was created by a very inexperienced and overwhelmed steel fabricator, that didn't know fundamental detailing requirements such as this.
We removed the notches by cutting them out and/or grinding a 1/2" radius around the notch.  This will remove the stress riser, but also reduces the section; but that can be checked and reinforced if necessary.
Be careful with other procedures which leave the notch remaining as the stress riser then also remains.  That seems risky.
At the time we realized that AISC does not specify a minimum radius for a cope.  Since then we have indicated a 1/2" min. radius in our notes.
Stephen E. Adams, P.E.
North Carolina
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 8:15 PM
Subject: Square notch on wf beams

I have a situation where a contractor has notched a W10x49 beam.   The inspector on the job informed me that a notch was made.  The notch was a square notch with a sharp re-entrant corner.  This does not meet section 5.17.1 of  AWS D1.1/D1.1M 2004 where it states that ??all beam copes and weld access holes shall be shaped free of notches or sharp reentrant corners ??  The contractor informed me that the notch was made for installation purposes.


Is there a procedure of fixing the re-entrant corner? 

Can I weld a plate over the notch?

Can I provide a weld at the reentrant corner to reduce the built up stresses?


Thanks in advance for your input.


Marlou B. Rodriguez, S.E.

MBRodriguez Engineering, Inc.

2355 Oakland Road, Suite 14

San Jose, CA 95131

Tel: 408-432-4866 x200

Cell: 408-761-5013

email: mbrodrig(--nospam--at)