# STEEL COMMITTEE OF CAUFORNIA

TECHNICAL INFORMATION & P O U T S R I E R D C E VC

NOVEMBER 1990

Design of Small Base Plates for Wide Flange Columns*
W. A. THORNTON

The 9th

Edition• of the AISC Manual of Steel Construction uses the Murray-Stockwell 2 method for analysis of small base plates, i.e., plates that are only slightly larger than the column depth d and width bf. It combines this method with the cantilever method of the 8th3 and earlier editions for large base plates. The Murray-Stockwell method assumes a bearing pressure of Ft,, the maximum permitted, over an H-shaped contact area under the column cross-section between the plate and the concrete. The cantilever method, on the other hand, assumes a uniform bearing pressure, fp < Fp, over the entire base plate surface of area BxN (Fig. 1). Thus, the two methods assume very different bearing pressure distributions and are difficult to combine into a single method. A solution to this dilemma is to return to the 8th Edition assumption of uniform pressure between the base plate and the concrete. This assumption is conservative with respect to the base plate thickness determination because the true pressure distribution will be less near the plate edges and more under the column cross-section, which cross-section also provides support for the plate at its top surface. Since the plate is assumed more heavily loaded distant from its
A. Thornton, PhD, PE, is chief engineer, Cives Steel Company, Roswefi, GA, and is chairman of AISC Committee on Manual, Textbooks, and Codes.

supports than it will be, a plate thickness determined under this load will be thicker than it needs to be. To supplement the cantilever method for large base plates, which is actually a yield line method, it is consistent again to use yield line theory applied to the portion of the base plate contained within the column depth and width. Happily, exact solutions to this problem are available in the literature. 4 Consider Fig. 2, which shows a plate supported on three edges and free on the fourth. The dimensions of the plate are taken as the column depth d and the half column width bfi2, rather than the more correct d - 2tf and (bf t,.)/2. This is done for simplicity and is conservative. If the three supported edges are taken as completely fixed, i.e., no displacement and no rotation about an axis parallel to each edge, the required base plate thickness with a factor of safety of 2 is tp = o.t,j (1)

where ft, = uniform pressure between base plate and concrete = P/BxN, ksi F.,. -- yield stress of base plate, ksi

G
where r/ = d/bf

,, f 3 G - l•--6-G- +I'•

Reproduced from AISC Engineering Journal, Volume 27, No. 3, 3rd Quarter 1990

et = '/2.n.00% (conservative) in the range of ? from • to 3. m Fig. i.. it may be unconservative to assume complete fixity of the base plate to the column flanges.00% (conservative). I becomes 7 with Eq. Using Eq.95O N r U s p oe nu p •d Eg de . In the more common range of g _< . 2 can be approximated by et = 4 • (3) with an error of -2. 9 in Eq. I. 4 with the cantilever method for large base plates. with •. 1. 1. 1. = 2(U•q•j) J (10) where m and n are defined in Fig.n') (11) (12) tr = 2 t J (7) 2 .e.n.J-• (8) (9) Combining Eq. • I = max(m.n) t.7% (conservative) in the range of . Eq. the error is only +8. Then.•: + l.2. along the sides of length bf/2. Small base plate geometry and support conditions.b Or / Spoe u p Sd Eg de m dI ./--7•--lJ This expression for et can be approximated bY 1 where • has been replaced by • with an error of 2%. 10 with the cantilever method for large base plates. 3 If the base plate is small with N • d./from g to 3. Then the required plate thickness is Combining Eq. Fig.. The expression for et given in Eq. Column base plate geometry and symbols (from AISC')./ < 2. let n ' = i . no displacement but rotation unrestrained. If the plate of Fig. and I = max(m. 2 is completely fixed to the column web along the side of length d but simply supported. the required base plate thickness with a factor of safety of 2 is given by Eq.97 % (unconservative) to +6. let n'= (5) (6) with an error of -0% (unconservative) and +t7. 2.

51 2.90 2. No. 3rd Quarter.65 .22 . J. for this example 3 .29 3. 6.98 2.) N 11. Park.00 38 1...' AISC Engineering J.e. 8. as seen from Examples 7.. "Design of Steel Bearing Plates/' AISC Engineering J. 329-331.64 4.88 3. AISC Engineering J.51 1. E x a m p l e s To C o m p a r e M e t h o d s (Fy = 36 ksi for all c a s e s ) Data Example 1. Let the first formulation. BN l (14) where P. Reinforced Concrete Slabs.22 300 12. 1990..88 1.63 2.72 3.34 3.68 1.88 1. Guidea W 1 0 x l 0 0 Ahmed .48 n (in. 2. 4.85 4. 7. Source Col.) (in.92 1.711 in.22 8 1. 5. Sect.. n' = I. pp.68 1. pp. R.9F.12 3. 1983.33 . but tends to produce plates too thick for nonsquare columns (T/ > 1). The nine examples of this table show that both Models 1 and 2 produce plate thicknesses !ess than or equal to the method of the AISC 8th Edition.14 1. Fling gets I tp = 0..38 Ahmed & AISC Kreps 8th Ed.73 1000 36.90 2. T. No.77 2.08 1.07 2.12 2.20 a. REFERENCES 1. it produces plates thicker than the 8th Edition method. pages 3-106 through 3-110.) (ksi) (in.10 10. 1989. = total factored column load NOTATION The symbols used in this paper follow the usage of the AISC Manual.65 1. 2 2.16 2. Ahmed.5 14 14 16 19 18 -- P (kips) d (in.89 14 12. See Ref. 3. 5. and Kreps. Manual of Steel Construction. American Institute of Steel Construction. it is recommended that Model 2.36 2. T a b l e 1.. 9th Edition. and Gamble.77 1.65 1.41 3.63 4.) 1. pp.. 5 c.22 10. for which n' = be referred to as Model 1 and the second. 143-152. Volume 7.92 1. R.. 9.90 Mod.41 4.12 2.n') t. See Ref.) B 11 13 13 16 17 16 -9 14 fp 1.71 1.77 3. Flingc --W12x106 W12x106 W12x106 W10xl00 W12x106 14x8WF W24x68 W36x160 200 11.) Mod. 8th Edition. See Ref. 1980. 4.11 .89 12. 6.88 3.14 1. consider Table 1. Considering the results shown in Table 1.06 4.. pp.14 1.75 2. R.51 1.57 AISC Des. 106-107.94 . 7.50 2. pp.14 1.lin.77 2./Z_ tp = 2 1 • (13) The equivalent Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) equation for base plate thickness is: The formulation for the two models just discussed can be seen to be exactly the same except for n'.14 . 3-99 through 3-102.89 525 600 -11. No.10 12.15 4. Column Base Plates. DeWolf. S. AISC8thEd.23 4. i.. "Design of Lightly Loaded Column Base Plates.71 1. 8 and 9. April 1970.61 2.36 (in.58 1. T.40 7.[ 2Pu t. 2.13 2. L. I 2. 8th or 9th Edition. 2.33 1. D.04 4.71 1.86 2. 2nd Quarter.08 2.61 1.17 m . 1980. S. W.34 331 12.98 2. pp. 7.14 1. = 2l•. with n' = 'Ax/db/be referred to as Model 2. 1. 1990. and Ricker.50 2. 37-40.. American Institute of Steel Construction.13 2.n.20 2.• Krepsb --AISC 8th Ed.82 1. Volume 20. 2. To this end.76 5.01 8.23 2.68 1.86 2.•Xf'•f I = max (m. 3. Manual of Steel Construction.. The method of Ahmed and Kreps produces plate thicknesses between Models 1 and 2 for small base plates of square columns.56 3.04 5. In the case of Examples 8 and 9. n'/tp(in. It will be instructive to see how these two models compare with a method suggested by Ahmed and Krepss and the method of the AISC 8th Edition Manual.46 3. be used to replace the current AISC 9th Edition Manual base plate design method for axial load.16 1. Fling.61 .71 1. and recognizing that Model 2 is clearly conservative while still producing plates thinner or at most as thick as the method of the AISC 8th Edition Manual. Murray.86 3.51 1. 13-15. Wiley.89 12. R. 6 b.) bt (in.92 1. M.86 4.22 2.77 2.34 12.88 ----- · 450 23. = • 0.51 1.12 . 4th Quarter. "Inconsistencies in Column Base Plate Design in the New AISC ASD (July 1989) Manual. I. AISC Steel Design Guide Series. T.11 300 12.965 24 12. 4.

1 (pg. a close scrutiny of the suggested method reveals that the new approach is sometimes overly conservative and even inconsistent. Volume 27. Kreps.Inconsistencies in Column Base Plate Design in the New AISC ASD Manual* SALAHUDDIN AHMED and ROBERT R. ×z [ N .. is used in the expression t = Lx/(3fv/Fh) (pg. e '' • L r I --. b 2L dl i i i l ri 4. which is quadratic in L. ksi Thickness of plate. f! and A2.2 Full cross-sectional area of concrete support. ksi Compressive strength of concrete. is structural engineer. 3. Toledo. in. 3-107 of the Manual). in. Thus it is not clear why fi.D. . Leonhardt Kreps LeFevre. P Aj A. a careful study of the equation reveals that the smaller of the two L values should be used. The Manual is silent as to which of the two solutions should be used in further computation. Ohio.. No. the following procedure is followed to compute base plate size: For a given P. as described in the Manual. In the next step. quantities m and n are computed and the larger of the two controls. Fh v fp f. Solving for L. I / l .' Allowable bending stress in base plate.Reproduced from AISC Engineering Journal.TFigure 2 Figure I · . Leonhardt Kreps LeFevre. Based on the column dimensions and selected B and N. 3-106 of the AISC Manual). Ph. . minimum area of base plate is computed and reasonable values of B and N are selected. However. The quantity L is computed based on an area with a pressure of Ft. L = [(d + b) _+ x/((d + /i)2 _ 4P/Fp)]/4 \$alahuddin Ahmed. in. Robert R. Referring to Fig. . P. However. F = P/(2 + d + b 2L)/L.. KREPS The new AISC steel design manual (ninth edition)' suggests a new procedure for computing the thicknesses of column base plates to rectify problems associated with the somewhat conservative design approach adapted in its earlier version. 3rd Quarter 1990 4 . Referring to page 3-108 of the Manual. ksi actual bearing pressure. kips B x N = Area of plate.E.' tp = = = = = = = = Total column load. ksi Allowable bearing stress in support.8Ob. rD I . and not fy. the value of L (Fig. The required base plate thickness is then computed based on the larger of m and n calculated and the value of L. Ohio. Toledo. is principal. 2) is computed v from the following expression.

22] = 1. Allowable Stress Design.235 • + 1. L would become imaginary and as per the manual would be ignored.72 in. b) Use Eq. v use 2. 14 x 13 = 182 in. One can go back to various moment coefficients available in the literature to compute maximum moment in the plate.158 Controls ..022 x fp t = V(6S. a) Compute thickness to be 0.7 x 3) -.89.11 . Inc./in. Let us also assume that the plate is essentially fixed at the web and flanges of the column.8. b) Use the larger of the two thicknesses obtained in step (a) and by Eq.35 x 3))" = 86 331/(. July 1989. use 13 in. The information contained herein is not intended to represent official attitudes.) = x d2/Fh (1) V(O. 1. Now if one repeated the same calculations with a load of 332 kips.95 x 12. m n = = = = = = = = = (1/(34 x 34))(331/(.022 × fp × d2 kip-in. 158/14 = 11.25x36)) = 0. Controls It may be noted that the thickness of 2.0. a) Compute m and n as discussed in the Manual and select a thickness based on the larger of the two. recommendations or policies of the Structural Steel Educational Council. Therefore. = '36 ksi Pier: 34 in. the authors suggest a moment coefficient of 0. ninth edition..61 x x/(1. Niison.72 in.e4a. Chicago.. American Institute of Steel Construction. less than that required for a lighter load.80 in. for the larger of m and n. The Council is not responsible for any statements made or opinions expressed by contributors to this publication. As a result the required thickness would be 0.23 x x/(3xl.35 x 3 x (34 x 34/182) = 2. Design of Concrete Structures. = 0. 5 .22) f.82/27) = 2. The author and publisher cannot assume or accept any responsibility or liability for errors in the data or information and 'in the use of such information. Manual of Steel Construction.8 x 12. Sr•qa. Thus what we have here is a plate with one long and two short edges fixed and the fourth edge free with a uniform load. Therefore the authors feel that the new way of computing L is basically inconsistent and likely to result in too thick a base plate when L controls and too thin a base plate when L is imaginary and thus ignored.-' 331/182 = 1.1 ksi L = = (25.Example Let P = 331 kips Column W12x106 (d = 12. tt.82 ksi [14 . tv = 1.x/-•. I for t = 4(0. to compute the base plate thickness. [13 . = 3 ksi F. Controls SUGGESTED METHOD OF ANALYSIS Let us assume that the pressure under the base plate is uniform and is equal to P/Al. Controls REFERENCES 1.82/(.65 ksi > 2. A N B A • 3. Urquhart. 1. 2.88 in.80 in. Applying this method to the example above.95 x 12.036)/4 = 6. New York.132 × 1.. use 14 in. b = 12.22]/2 = 1.89 . where d is the depth of the column.892127) = 1.. 132fpd2/Fb) F = . This publication expresses the opinion of the author.23 in.89]/2 = 0.'. Considering the width to length ratios of usual column sections.0. McGraw-Hill Book Company. and care has been taken to insure that all data and information furnished are as accurate as possible. = 6.80 x 12.5[.61 in.235 = 13. x 34 in.72 in. A • A • 2.022 so that the maximum moment in the plate is 0. Winter.3.82 × 12. IL. fv 4. O'Rourke. is greater than what would be obtained according to the eighth edition AISC Manual.1 ksi.22 in. seventh edition.

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