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A Beginner's Guide to the Steel Construction Manual, 13th ed. (old)

Chapter 5 - Welded Connections


2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 T. Bartlett Quimby

Introduction to
Welding

Section 5.5

Finding Forces
in Welded
Connections

Strength Limit State

Effective Areas
and Size
Limitations of
Welds

The only strength based limit states associate with a properly designed
(i.e. meets all the applicable limitations) welds are the strength of the weld
and the strength of the base metal that the weld is attached to. The
computation of these limit states is presented in section J2.4 of the SCM
specification.

Effective Areas
of Base Metal

The Limit State:

Strength Limit
State

Last Revised: 11/04/2014

As with all strength based limit states in the specification, the limits are
expressed as:
LRFD

ASD

Designing Welds

Pu < fRn

Pa < Rn/W

Chapter
Summary

Req'd Rn = Pu / f < Rn

Req'd Rn = Pa W < Rn

Pu / (fRn) < 1.00

Pa / (Rn/W) < 1.00

f varies. See SCM Table J2.5

W varies. See SCM Table J2.5

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The values of Pu and Pa are the LRFD and ASD factored loads,
respectively, applied to the bolt. These forces are computed using the
mechanics principles discussed in Section 4.3.
In this case Rn is the nominal shear strength of the weld or base metal.
For the limit state related to base metal strength the nominal strength is:
Rn = FBMABM
For the limit state related to weld metal strength the nominal strength is:
Rn = FwAw
The controlling Rn is the one that has the least strength. This leads to the
expression:
Rn = min[FBM1ABM1, FBM2ABM2, FwAw]

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The definitions of the variables are found in J2.4. The two base metal
terms are place there since it is likely that the two pieces being connected
will have different capacities. The determination of the effective areas for
the weld metal was presented in Section 5.2 of these notes. The
determination of the effective areas for the base metal were presented in
Section 5.3 of this text.
Since Aw and ABM always have the same lengths, it is common when
computing the capacity of the connection, to consider only a unit length of
weld to determine the controlling capacity of the welded connection. For
example, we might consider only one inch of weld and determine the
capacity of the weld and of the base metal, taking the lesser of the two,
and continuing on to compute the capacity of the connection.
The values for FBM, Fw, f, and W are obtained from SCM Table J2.5.
Table J2.5 is divided into sections relating to the different types of welds.
For CJP welds, the limit state of weld strength will never control since both
the weld and the base metal have the same effective area and the filler
material is constrained to be stronger than the base metal. Consequently,
only the capacity of the base metal is of concern.
For PJP welds, the effective areas for the weld and base metals differ, with
the weld effective area being less than the base metal. If the weld's
effective throat is small enough, then the weld strength will control over
the base metal strength.
For fillet, plug, and slot welds the forces are all considered to be shearing
regardless of force direction relative to the weld. The same assumption
can be made about the forces in the base metal. This leads to the
following values:
Fw = 0.60 FEXX

and

FBM = 0.60 Fu

Where FEXX is the ultimate strength of the welding electrode and Fu is the
ultimate strength of the base metal.
The Effect of Angle of Load to Axis of a Fillet Weld
As can be seen by the use of the 0.60 coefficient on FEXX, the assumption
is that the weld resists the forces using its shear strength. However, if the
load direction is not parallel to the axis of the weld then there is a
component of the force that causes tension on the effective area as shown
in Figure 5.5.1. Since the material is stronger in tension, the use of only
the shear strength is conservative. This is normally what is done, however
the specification makes provision for the angle of the force to the weld
when the force is concentric to weld group and is in the same plane as the
weld group.
Figure 5.5.1
Components of Force
Click on image for larger view

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The formula for the increased weld metal material strength is found in SCM
J2.4(a). Extracting the FEXX term, the remaining function is the coefficient
to FEXX. A value of 0.6 represents pure shear and a value of 1.0
represents pure tension. Since a fillet weld's effective area is not coplanar
with the weld group, you never have the case of pure tension in the weld
and consequently the coefficient on FEXX will not reach 1.0. Figure 5.5.2
shows the variation of the coefficient with angle between weld axis and
force direction.
Figure 5.5.2
FEXX Coefficient with respect to Angle of Load to Weld Axis

This modified weld metal strength can be applied to any qualified segment
of the weld. The criteria being:
1. The applied force is concentric with the weld group.
2. The applied force is in the plane of the faying surface (i.e. the

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applied force is in the plane of the weld group.


3. The weld is a fillet weld.
4. The weld group is a "linear weld group" as defined in the user note in
SCM J2.4(a).
The condition where the load is eccentric and out of plane of the load
group is treated in specification section J2.4(b). We will cover this in
Section 5.6 of these notes.
Section J2.4(c) of the specification expands on J2.4(a) and allows you to
sum the capacities of the various weld length segments using SCM
equation J2-9a (not using the SCM equation J2-5 modifier) to find the
capacity of the weld group. Alternately SCM equation J2-9b is provided to
approximate the same effect without computing the modified coefficient.
Largest Effective Fillet Weld Size
As previously mentioned in the effective area discussion, there is a point
where increasing fillet weld size is ineffective because the base metal
strength controls. This can be seen by looking at the strength equations.
Figure 5.5.3 shows an example where the weld is obviously stronger than
the base metal. Adding additional weld to this connection would not have
strengthened it. Additional weld would have been a waste of resources.
Figure 5.5.3
Base Metal Failure
Click on image for larger view

Consider the FBD in Figure 5.5.4 of a fractured weld and fractured base
metal. This figure is taken from Figure 5.3.3.
Figure 5.5.4
Connection FBD
Click on image for larger view

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We will first determine a relationship between weld size and base metal
thickness for the condition shown in Figure 5.5.1. In this FBD the base
metal force is shared between two equal size fillet welds (one weld on
either side of the base metal). The largest effective fillet weld size will be
the size where the weld strength equals the base metal strength:
2(0.6FEXX) te L > (0.60Fu) tBM L
After performing the algebra, we get a relationship between weld size and
base metal thickness.
te = 0.707 a > 0.5 (Fu / FEXX) tBM
This formula tells us that any weld size larger the quantity shown is no
longer contributing to the strength of the connection.
Consider now the case where the strength of the base metal is compared
to only one fillet weld as shown in Figure 5.5.5. This FBD is also taken
from Figure 5.2.3.
Figure 5.5.5
Connection FBD
Click on image for larger view

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In this FBD the base metal force is carried by one fillet weld. The largest
effective fillet weld size will be the size where the weld strength equals the
base metal strength:
(0.6FEXX) te L > (0.60Fu) tBM L
After performing the algebra, we get a relationship between weld size and
base metal thickness.
te = 0.707 a > (Fu / FEXX) tBM
This formula tells us that any weld size larger the quantity shown is no
longer contributing to the strength of the connection when only weld
support a base metal location.
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