Common Types of Structural Steel Beam Connections
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Find out more about the common types of structural steel beam connections. We look at the structural elements used for joining steel beams.
Common Types of Structural Steel Beam Connections
Steel frame buildings are among the most prevalent structures encountered on construction sites in the UK. These structures' frames are made up of numerous structural steel components such as universal beams, columns, channels, joists, and box sections. Depending on your application, you may encounter six various types of steel beam connectors, each with its own set of benefits.
|End plates are used to fasten the beam's end to a wall. This is welded to the beam and comes with drilled holes for mounting to walls, as well as rawl plugs and bolts.
|Base plates are connectors that sit at the base of columns and distribute the weight of the column across a large area onto a concrete pad or foundation; the base plates are welded to the column and secured to the concrete pad with predrilled holes.
|A moment connection is made up of two pieces, commonly between a column and a beam; it will typically have an endplate welded to the top of the column and an additional plate soldered to the side of the beam with some extra overhang; this connection adds stability to the steel structure and is typically utilised when a connection must sustain significant moment forces.
|A cleat is an angled steel segment that connects two parallel beams. Cleats are often designed with holes to allow them to be bolted to beams, however in rare cases, welding the cleats on may be better.
End Plate Connection
|An end plate connection will be utilised if the length is too long to be completed in one piece or to connect a horizontal beam to a vertical column. A flat steel plate with holes punched into it that correspond with holes drilled into the parts it will link will be used as an end plate connection.
Spacer - PFC
|Circular hollow sections are used to make spacer connections and two PFC beams are fastened back to back with CHS spacers that can support a hollow wall above an aperture such as a door; the spacers not only reinforce and hold the beams together but also keep them at the proper spacing apart for the essential construction.
Spacer - Beam
|Circular hollow sections are used to make spacer connections, often known as CHS spacers. The spacers reinforce and keep the beams together. Having two beams connected in this manner allows you to employ two smaller, shallower beams instead of one much bigger beam, maximising ceiling height while still carrying the required weight.
|A kink 90° connection is a mitred 90° segment of steel welded together; it is used to join a column and a beam when a bolted connection is not possible.
|A crank is a welded, angled segment that permits two perpendicular beams to be connected - cranked beams are most commonly employed in roof systems with a middle that follows the pitch of the roof.
Kink with Plate
|A kink with a plate is similar to a 'king-angle,' except that the two sheets of steel are joined by an extra plate. When the two portions being joined are of different sizes, this is commonly utilised.
Kink - Angle
|The lower, angled component will be slanted to match the angle of the roof section it is supporting; one kink-angle may be enough to support a roof pitch.
|The most typical application of a gusset connection is to increase the strength of a connection between a bottom plate and a beam. The triangular gusset is located between the top flange and the bottom plate, and it provides maximum stiffness and support for the connection as well as the beam itself.
Plate - Top
|A plate-top is a flat plate added to the top of a beam to increase its width. This is usually done to account for the larger dimensions necessary when building walls from the steel beam.
Plate - Bottom
|A plate-bottom is a flat steel segment welded to the underside of a beam. The plate is frequently joined off centre to form a lip that runs the length of the beam. This lip is then often utilised as a foundation for constructing a wall.
|Tabs are tiny steel plates that are welded onto columns to allow them to be wall-anchored. To secure the portion to the wall, the anchors will be screwed through the tabs into rawl plugs in the wall.
|A stiffener, as the name implies, adds to the stability of a beam. It rests between the two flanges, as shown in the diagram, adding strength. This approach is typically employed when beam space is restricted, yet the bearing load is fairly considerable.
Hole - Web
|Holes can be bored directly into the web of a beam to accommodate additional steel connections or to attach timber joist hangers to the beams so that joists can be spanned off the beam.
Hole - Flange
|As an alternative to tabs, holes can be bored directly into the flange of universal columns, beams, or parallel flange channels to allow them to be secured to a wall. As with tabs, M12 anchors (every 400-600mm) are typically utilised to bolt through the hole into rawl plugs in the wall.
|A gallow bracket has the same configuration as the more well-known hanging gallows. Two beams intersect at a right angle, with a third beam added diagonally in between to give support.
|Splices are cuts in a beam that are typically required when a beam is too lengthy or too heavy to be fitted in one piece. Splice connectors are flat steel plates that are connected to the beam to secure the joint.
Steel Beam Connection Types:
Bolted Seated Connections
If the responses at the end of the beam are considerable, stiffened seat connections are advised because they can resist big pressures, but unstiffened seat connections have limited capacity due to the low bending capacity of seat angle legs that extend out horizontally.
Bolted Framed Connections
Steel beams are attached to supporting elements such as steel girders or columns using a web connection angle in this sort of connection. Typically, the connection is constructed depending on the loads at the beam's end; the connecting angle should be at least half the length of the beam's clear web depth.
Welded Seat Connections
There are two types of welded seat connections: unstiffened seats and stiffened seats. The former is suitable for modest applied loads, whilst the latter is suitable for severe loads.
Welded Framed Connections
Welded framed connections come in a variety of sizes and capacities, much like the other two types of beam connections; as a result, these strains must be considered.
When the arrangement of the structural parts prevents the use of conventional connections, this type of connection is used. Unusual connections include those with a bent-plate frame, a single web plate, a one-sided frame, a balanced web plate, and Z connectors.
End Plate Connections
The end plate is welded to the beam web because its capacity and size are determined by the shear capacity of the beam web adjacent to the weld. It should be noted that fabrications and cuts should be done with extreme caution to avoid mistakes.
Simple, Rigid and Semi-Rigid Connections
Rigid connections are those that do not flex considerably when applied moments are applied; this signifies that you have a rotational constraint of 90% or greater. Semi-rigid connections are intended to have some rotational restriction, and so draw certain moments; simple connections transfer shear from the beam to the column.
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