RSJ bolted connection with welded plates - advice
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  1. #1

    RSJ bolted connection with welded plates - advice

    Hi all,

    I'm not a welder myself, but am beginning a project requiring some steel work and this is where the welding comes in. I'm hoping you guys might be able to offer an opinion!

    A structural engineer has specced up a couple of RSJs and a method to connect them at one end (to create 'L' shape) which will reduce the need for an extra pillar. This is via a couple of plates and a bolt connection through them.

    My builder doing the work seemed to think the welded joint could be a weak spot and that making a cut in the steel for a more overlapped connection is more the norm.

    I've attached an image showing the spec. Does this look like something that will hold up ok? Obviously, I'm obliged to trust in the engineers spec, but the steels will be supporting 3 floors above them.

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
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    14

    Re: RSJ bolted connection with welded plates - advice

    Leave this to the Engineer.

    His PE stamp on the design & drawing, his responsibility/liability if it fails. Follow his design drawing perfectly or the liability becomes yours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    B.C. Canada
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    2,687

    Re: RSJ bolted connection with welded plates - advice

    I am wondering if there is a gusset plate inside between the upper and lower flanges behind the connection plate that is welded to the flanges? It just looks a bit odd as if it was forgotten or the engineer did not consider it needed and there is enough stiffness in the connection. The joint is not typical for North America. Normally in my region there would be a four holes in the web on the end of the beam cut square and a plate that extends out from the web of the other beam and has a matching set of four holes.
    The bolts in your drawing would certainly take the shear loads and there would be plenty of weld there if 8 mm all around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bemidji MN
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    13,399

    Re: RSJ bolted connection with welded plates - advice

    I think you're asking the wrong folks personally.

    If the builder disagrees with the engineer, one of you should ask the engineer for clarification.
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
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  5. #5

    Re: RSJ bolted connection with welded plates - advice

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Autarkis View Post
    Leave this to the Engineer.

    His PE stamp on the design & drawing, his responsibility/liability if it fails. Follow his design drawing perfectly or the liability becomes yours.
    Yep, his name and stamp is on the spec, so we have to go with it for sure unless he changes his mind.


    Quote Originally Posted by lotechman View Post
    I am wondering if there is a gusset plate inside between the upper and lower flanges behind the connection plate that is welded to the flanges? It just looks a bit odd as if it was forgotten or the engineer did not consider it needed and there is enough stiffness in the connection. The joint is not typical for North America. Normally in my region there would be a four holes in the web on the end of the beam cut square and a plate that extends out from the web of the other beam and has a matching set of four holes.
    The bolts in your drawing would certainly take the shear loads and there would be plenty of weld there if 8 mm all around.
    I think my builder is of a similar mind which raised the questions. It's good to hear another opinion on the bolts and weld though, which is reassuring!

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    I think you're asking the wrong folks personally.

    If the builder disagrees with the engineer, one of you should ask the engineer for clarification.
    We did go back to the engineer. He was quite adamant that after doing this for a long time that his method is adequate. Like I say, I should be satisfied with that, but when it raises your builders eyebrows a bit and he's the one that fits the steel regularly, it does shake your confidence a bit...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,687

    Re: RSJ bolted connection with welded plates - advice

    In the end Autarkis is right that you have to trust the engineer. I spent many years making up beams and columns in a fab shop. Nothing on the drawing looks outrageous to me.
    Over 20 years ago locally there was a big grocery store that was built and opened up with fanfare. Seniors only were invited for the first day. The building had parking on the roof. You guessed it. Many, being elderly, never fully recovered from their injuries.
    I knew one of the engineers on the investigating committee and I asked him. All he would say was that the mistakes went "all the way into the ground". For obvious reasons he refused to discuss it. The building was repaired behind huge barriers so that the public could not see what exactly was done.
    It turned out that the design math was done by a junior in the office who screwed up. The engineer glossed over the numbers and signed off on it. As the building went up the ironworkers were alarmed at the structure and complained that something was not right. The engineer came out on site, looked at what was up, and ordered a few more braces. That alarm added to the blame against the engineering firm.
    The engineer lost his professional standing for life. That we know. What the insurance settlement was is not public knowledge. I am sure all injured parties and families that lost loved ones signed a non disclosure agreement.

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