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Connections Teaching Guide

Connections Teaching Guide

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Published by AKVISHWA
Structural Steel Connections Teaching Giude
Structural Steel Connections Teaching Giude

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Published by: AKVISHWA on Jul 10, 2009
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10/19/2011

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ConnectionsTeachingToolkit
A Teaching Guide for Structural Steel Connections
Perry S.Green,Ph.D.Thomas Sputo,Ph.D.,P.E.Patrick Veltri
 
Connections Teaching Toolkit • iThis connection design tool kit for students is based on theoriginal steel sculpture designed by Duane S. Ellifritt, P.E.,Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at the Uni-versity of Florida. The tool kit includes this teaching guide,a 3D CAD file of the steel sculpture, and a shear connectioncalculator tool. The teaching guide contains drawings and photographs of each connection depicted on the steel sculp-ture, the CAD file is a 3D AutoCAD® model of the steelsculpture with complete dimensions and details, and the cal-culator tool is a series of MathCAD® worksheets thatenables the user to perform a comprehensive check of allrequired limit states.The tool kit is intended as a supplement to, not a replace-ment for, the information and data presented in the Ameri-can Institute of Steel Construction’s Manual of SteelConstruction, Load & Resistance Factor Design, Third Edi-tion, hereafter, referred to as the AISC Manual. The goal of the tool kit is to assist students and educators in both learn-ing and teaching basic structural steel connection design byvisualization tools and software application.All information and data presented in any and all parts of the teaching tool kit are for educational purposes only.Although the steel sculpture depicts numerous connections,it is by no means all-inclusive. There are many ways toconnect structural steel members together.In teaching engineering students in an introductory coursein steel design, often the topic of connections is put off untilthe end of the course if covered at all. Then with the crushof all the other pressures leading up to the end of the semes-ter, even these few weeks get squeezed until connections arelucky to be addressed for two or three lectures. One reasonfor slighting connections in beginning steel design, other than time constraints, is that they are sometimes viewed asa “detailing problem” best left to the fabricator. Or, the mis-taken view is taken that connections get standardized, espe-cially shear connections, so there is little creativity neededin their design and engineers view it as a poor use of their time. The AISC Manual has tables and detailing informa-tion on many standard types of connections, so the processis simplified to selecting a tabulated connection that willcarry the design load. Many times, the engineer will simplyindicate the load to be transmitted on the design drawingsand the fabricator will select an appropriate connection.Yet connections are the glue that holds the structuretogether and, standardized and routine as many of them mayseem, it is very important for a structural engineer to under-stand their behavior and design. Historically, most major structural failures have been due to some kind of connectionfailure. Connections are always designed as planar, two-dimensional elements, even though they have definite three-dimensional behavior. Students who have never beenaround construction sites to see steel being erected have adifficult time visualizing this three-dimensional character.Try explaining to a student the behavior of a shop-welded,field-bolted double-angle shear connection, where the out-standing legs are made purposely to flex under load andapproximate a true pinned connection. Textbooks generallyshow orthogonal views of such connections, but still manystudents have trouble in “seeing” the real connection.In the summer of 1985, after seeing the inability of manystudents to visualize even simple connections, Dr. Ellifritt began to search for a way to make connections more real for them. Field trips were one alternative, but the availabilityof these is intermittent and with all the problems of liability,some construction managers are not too anxious to have agroup of students around the jobsite. Thought was given to building some scale models of connections and bringingthem into the classroom, but these would be heavy to movearound and one would have the additional problem storingthem all when they were not in use.The eventual solution was to create a steel sculpture thatwould be an attractive addition to the public art already oncampus, something that would symbolize engineering ingeneral, and that could also function as a teaching aid. Itwas completed and erected in October 1986, and is usedevery semester to show students real connections and realsteel members in full scale.Since that time, many other universities have requested acopy of the plans from the University of Florida and have built similar structures on their campuses.
PREFACE
 
ii• Connections Teaching ToolkitConnection design in an introductory steel course is oftendifficult to effectively communicate. Time constraints and priority of certain other topics over connection design alsotend to inhibit sufficient treatment of connection design.The Steel Connections Teaching tool kit is an attempt toeffectively incorporate the fundamentals of steel connectiondesign into a first course in steel design. The tool kitaddresses three broad issues that arise when teaching stu-dents steel connection design: visualization, load paths, andlimit states.In structural analysis classes, students are shown ideal-ized structures. Simple lines represent beams and columns,while pins, hinges, and fixed supports characterize connec-tions. However, real structures are composed of beams,girders, and columns, all joined together through bolting or welding of plates and angles. It is no wonder that studentshave trouble visualizing and understanding the true three-dimensional nature of connections!The steel sculpture provides a convenient means bywhich full-scale steel connections may be shown to stu-dents. The steel sculpture exhibits over 20 different connec-tions commonly used in steel construction today. It is anexceptional teaching instrument to illustrate structural steelconnections. The steel sculpture’s merit is nationally recog-nized as more than 90 university campuses now have a steelsculpture modeled after Dr. Ellifritt’s original design.In addition to the steel sculpture, this booklet providesillustrations, and each connection has a short descriptionassociated with it.The steel sculpture and the booklet “show” steel connec-tions, but both are qualitative in nature. The steel sculpture’sconnections are simply illustrative examples. The connec-tions on the steel sculpture were not designed to satisfy any particular strength or serviceability limit state of the AISCSpecification. Also, the narratives in the guide give onlycursory descriptions, with limited practical engineeringinformation.The main goals of this Guide are to address the issues of visualization, load paths, and limit states associated withsteel connections. The guide is intended to be a teachingtool and supplement the AISC Manual of Steel ConstructionLRFD 3rd Edition. It is intended to demonstrate to the stu-dent the intricacies of analysis and design for steel connec-tions.Chapters in this guide are arranged based on the types of connections. Each connection is described discussing vari-ous issues and concerns regarding the design, erectability,and performance of the specific connection. Furthermore,every connection that is illustrated by the steel sculpture hasmultiple photos and a data figure. The data figure has tablesof information and CAD-based illustrations and views.Each figure has two tables, the first table lists the applicablelimit states for the particular connection, and the secondtable provides a list of notes that are informative statementsor address issues about the connection. The views typicallyinclude a large isometric view that highlights the particular location of the connection relative to the steel sculpture aswell as a few orthogonal elevations of the connection itself.In addition to the simple views of the connections providedin the figures, also included are fully detailed and dimen-sioned drawings. These views were produced from the full3D CAD model developed from the original, manuallydrafted shop drawings of the steel sculpture.The guide covers the most common types of steel con-nections used in practice, however more emphasis has been placed on shear connections. There are more shear connec-tions on the steel sculpture than all other types combined.In addition to the shear connection descriptions, drawings,and photos, MathCAD® worksheets are used to presentsome design and analysis examples of the shear connectionsfound on the steel sculpture.The illustrations, photos, and particularly the detail draw-ings that are in the teaching guide tend to aid visualization by students. However, the 3D CAD model is the primarymeans by which the student can learn to properly visualizeconnections. The 3D model has been developed in the com-monly used AutoCAD “dwg” format. The model can beloaded in AutoCAD or any Autodesk or other compatible3D visualization application. The student can rotate, panand zoom to a view of preference.The issue of limit states and load paths as they apply tosteel connections is addressed by the illustrations and narra-tive text in the guide. To facilitate a more inclusive under-standing of shear connections, a series of MathCAD®worksheets has been developed to perform complete analy-sis for six different types of shear connections. As an analy-sis application, the worksheets require load and theconnection properties as input. Returned as output are twotables. The first table lists potential limit states and returnseither the strength of the connection based on a particular limit state or “NA” denoting the limit state is not applicableto that connection type. The second table lists connectionspecific and general design checks and returns the condition“OK” meaning a satisfactory value, “NA” meaning thecheck is not applicable to that connection type, or a phrasedescribing the reason for an unsatisfactory check (e.g.
INTRODUCTION

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