Practical Design of Bolted and Welded Steel Connections

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INSTRUCTOR: Alexander Newman, P.E., F.ASCE

Course Length: 1.5 Hours

Sponsored by ASCE's Structural Engineering Institute and ASCE Continuing Education.

Professionally done and very convenient. - Anonymous attendee

Purpose and Background

Design of steel connections goes hand-in-hand with the design of structural members. Quite often the connection proves to be the weakest point of the structure, with predictable consequences. Indeed, a number of recent construction failures and accidents that led to inevitable litigation involved steel connections. There is plenty of information on the topic, but some engineers may not have kept up with the changes in the authoritative documents and still use obsolete design procedures. While many of the old designs worked well enough, there is a good practical reason to learn about the new approaches, as they tend to yield more economical solutions.

This webinar provides a concise and to-the-point overview of the most practical issues involved in the design of bolted and welded connections found in structural steel buildings. The presentation starts with a summary of the main issues, including the relevant AISC documents. It then proceeds to the main subject - practical methods of designing bolted and welded connections. The instructor examines the relevant changes that have taken place in the AISC Specification and AISC Manual. A number of design examples using the tables in the Manual and other sources illustrate the practical design approaches to handling groups of bolts and welds.

The presentation continues with a discussion of simple shear connections and how they are different from moment connections. (The latter are discussed in a separate ASCE webinar Moment-Resisting Connections In Steel Structures.) Throughout the webinar, the instructor points out some of the issues that are still not fully resolved and those where design practices tend to differ among engineers.

Learning Outcomes/Benefits

  • Become familiar with the latest connection provisions in the AISC Specification and AISC Manual
  • Learn about the many topics involved in the design of bolted connections, such as which methods of bolt tightening are reliable, when washers are needed, and how to design bolt groups for eccentric loading
  • Explore the methods of assuring ductility in single plate bolted connections
  • Understand how the rules for designing welds and weld groups have changed
  • Work through a number of design examples involving eccentric loading on fillet weld groups
  • Discuss the design method of treating a fillet weld as a line and discover how this method can be used for eccentric load cases not included in the AISC Manual
  • Explore the multitude of practical weld related topics such as whether one-sided welds are acceptable, how to weld in winter, and if welding through coatings is acceptable
  • Find out the answers to the questions you always wanted to ask, such as where does a beam-to-column bolted connection eccentricity go, whether there is still a requirement for a minimum connection capacity, what steps to take for making slip critical connections to galvanized surfaces, and whether to connect the fillet welds on the opposite sides of a common plane

Intended Audience

Structural and civil engineers, architects, facility managers, and building officials seeking to learn about practical design of bolted and welded steel connections will benefit from this webinar.

Webinar Outline

The course will cover general steel connection issues and:

  • Bolted connections
  • Welded connections
  • Simple shear connections