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Block Shear

Failure in Tension
P re p a re d B y : Guided By :
Prakash Agarwal Prof A J

Department of Applied Mechanics

Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of

Surat - 395007

Tension Members
Linear members in which axial forces act so
as to elongate the member.
Tension members carry loads most
efficiently, since the entire cross-section is
subjected to uniform stress.
Since axially loaded tension members are
subjected to uniform tensile stress, their
load deformation behaviour is similar to
the corresponding basic material stress
strain behaviour.
Tension Members ( Contd.)
Design Strength of Tension
The strength of tension members is the
minimum of the
following three categories as stated below:

Yielding of the gross section

Fracture of the effective net section

Block shear rupture

Block Shear Failure
In block shear mode, the failure of the member
occurs along a path involving tension on one
plane and shear on a perpendicular plane
along the fasteners.
Block Shear Failure
Mechanism ( Contd.)
When a tensile load applied to a particular
connection is increased, the fracture strength
of the weaker plane approaches.

The load can be increased until the fracture
strength of the stronger plane is reached and
during this time, the weaker plane yields.

The total strength of the connection equals the
fracture strength of the stronger plane plus
the yield strength of the weaker plane.
Block Shear Failure
Mechanism ( Contd.)
IS 800: 2007 assumes that when one plane,
either tension or shear, reaches ultimate
strength the other plane develops full

[1] It is assumed that failure load is

reached when
 rupture occurs along the net tension
plane and
 full yield is developed along the gross
shear plane.

 [2] Rupture occurs along the net shear

Design Strength due to Block
 The block shear strength, Tdb of a connection
is taken as the smaller of,

Tdb = Avg fy / √3 γm0 + 0.9 Atn fu / γm1

 OR
Tdb = 0.9 Avn fu / √3 γm1 + Atg fy / γm0

where, Avg and Avn = minimum gross and net area in

 along a line of transmitted force respectively, and
 Atg and Atn = minimum gross and net area in
 the hole to the toe of the angle perpendicular to
the line
 of force respectively.
Block Shear Failure
Block Shear Rupture in a
Gusset Plate
AISC 2005 Specification for
Block Shear
The model used in AISC 2005a assumes that
block shear failure occurs by rupture
(fracture) on the shear area and rupture on
the tension area.

 Rn = 0.6 fu Anv + Ubs fu Ant ≤ 0.6 fy Agv + Ubs fu Ant

 where Ubs = 1.0 when the tension stress is uniform
 gusset plates and most coped beams), and
Ubs= 0.5
 when the tension stress is non-uniform.
Eurocode 3 Specification for
Block Tearing
 In Eurocode 3 pr-EN 1993-1-8: 20xx, the design
value for block shear (termed “block tearing” in
the standard) for symmetric bolt groups, is
determined from the equation:

 Veff,1,Rd = fu Ant / γM2 + (1 / √3) fy Anv / γM0
 (under centric loading)

 Veff,2,Rd = 0.5 fu Anv / γM2 + (1 / √3) fy Ant / γM0

 (under eccentric loading)
Study of Ling et al . ( 2006 )
 Investigated block shear tear out (TO) failure in
gusset-plate welded connections in both very
high strength (VHS) tubes and structural steel
hollow sections (SSHS).

 The existing design rules for TO failure from the
American, Canadian and European standards
were examined by comparing their predictions
with both test results from welded connections in
VHS tubes and previous tests on similar
connections to SSHS.

 The results suggested that the existing design rules
were not adequate to predict the connection
strength. Therefore, five modifications to the
existing design rules were examined.

Study of Topkaya ( 2004 )
 This study reported on the experimental testing of
11 welded gusset plate specimens which were
subjected to tension, and ultimately to block
shear failure.

 Finite element analyses were conducted to predict
the failure loads of the specimens and the
respective load-carrying capacities of the shear
and tension planes.

 He concluded that the tension plane in the welded
connection details could develop stresses in
excess of the ultimate tensile strength due to the
presence of stress triaxiality. Finally, design
recommendations were given based on the
experimental and numerical findings.

Study of Gupta and Gupta ( 2004 )
 Their study examined the block shear capacity of
steel angles (single as well as double angles), for
bolt holes in one or more rows, and with
staggered and non-staggered holes.

 The area as per their improved approach was
termed as effective block gross shear area and
was somewhat less than the block gross shear
area, as per current practice.

 There was a considerable improvement in values of
professional factors when the concept of effective
block gross shear area was used in the
Study of Epstein and McGinnis
( 2000)
 The goal of their study was to accurately model
structural tee specimens using the finite element
method in order to predict the failure mode.

 The finite element models were accurate in
predicting failure mode, especially when
compared to the results of the physical tests, and
normalized failure load plots showed similar

 In terms of behavior, it was noted that an eccentric
tension member was subjected not only to an
axial force but also to a moment due to the
connection eccentricity.
Numerical Example
An ISMB 600 is connected to a column by web
cleats with a single row of bolts. The applied
reaction is 350 kN and there are four 20-mm-
diameter bolts through the web as shown in
the following figure.

Numerical Example ( Contd.)
 Block shear strength using different codal provisions:

 IS 800: 2007: 466.32 kN

 AISC 2005: 484.56 kN
 Eurocode 3: 367.7 kN

 Hence, the design block shear strength for different
codes arranged in increasing order is:
 Eurocode 3 < IS 800:2007 < AISC 2005 (LRFD
 i.e. 367.7 kN < 466.32 kN < 484.56 kN

 Thus, all the three standards give the design block shear
strength which is greater than the applied reaction of
350 kN.

 Block shear failure - An important limit state

 Inconsistencies in various design standards used
for calculating block shear strength.

 Stress concentrations, connection geometries and
other factors that may contribute to yield or
rupture of the tension plane without affecting the
shear plane can also be expected to reduce block
shear load capacity.

 Equations having high safety indices than the
traditional target for connections can result in
uneconomical connections.

 Epstein, H.I. and McGinnis M.J., “Finite element modeling of
block shear in structural tees”, Computers and Structures,
vol. 77, pp. 571 – 582, 2000.
 Eurocode 3 , prEN 1993-1-8: 20xx, “Design of steel
structures” (English version), European Committee for
Standardisation, Brussels, 26 Feb. 2002.
 Gupta, M and Gupta, L.M., “An improved approach to compute
block shear capacity of steel angles”, Connections in Steel
Structures V – Amsterdam, pp. 347 – 354, 2004.
 Institute for Steel Development & Growth, “Chapter 5 -
Design of Tension Members” version II, (http://www.steel- Accessed Nov. 20, 2009).
 IS 800:2007, “General Construction in Steel – Code of
Practice”, Third Revision, Bureau of Indian Standards, New

References ( Contd.)
 Ling, T.W., Zhao, X.L., Al-Mahaidi, R. and Packer, J.A.,
“Investigation of block shear tearout failure in gusset-plate
welded connections in structural steel hollow sections and
very high strength tubes”, Engineering Structures, vol. 29,
pp. 469 – 482, 2007.
 Segui, T. William, “Design of Steel Structures”, Cengage
Learning India Private Limited, New Delhi, 2009.
 Subramanian, N., “Code of Practice on Steel Structures - A
Review of IS 800: 2007”, Civil Engineering & Construction
Review, pp. 114 – 134, August 2008
 Subramanian, N., “Design of Steel Structures”, Oxford
University Press, New Delhi, 2008.
 Topkaya, C., “Block shear failure of gusset plates with welded
connections”, Engineering Structures, vol. 29, pp. 11 – 20,