The Design of Continuity Plate Welds in Special Moment Frames

March 30, 2011
Publication: Steel TIPS
Author(s): Uang, Chia-Ming Tran, Andy Hassett, Patrick

Abstract: This article introduces an alternative approach to weld design for continuity plates in steel Special Moment Frame connections. Current code design requirements issued by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) require welds attaching continuity plates to develop the full strength of the plate, resulting in the need to use complete-joint-penetration (CJP) groove welds. The combination of continuity plate thickness requirements, welding process, and weld quality control often lead to costly detailing that may be overly conservative. The proposed design procedure, which is based on the relative flexibility between the column flange and continuity plate, aims to quantify the seismic force demand on continuity plates, thus allowing designers to efficiently size both the continuity plate thickness and the associated welded joints. In addition, the design procedure may allow the use of fillet welds or partial-joint-penetration groove welds as opposed to CJP welds, leading to a moreeconomical design.Formulation of the design procedure through analytical studies, including finite element analysis, is outlined. Design examples are also provided.

Services: Structural Design