Engineering FAQs


6.5.4. When should bolted connections be specified as slip-critical?

http://Slip in bolted connections is not a structural concern for the majority of connections in steel building structures. The 2004 RCSC Specification Commentary Section 4.1 states that "The maximum amount of slip that can occur in a joint is, theoretically, equal to twice the hole clearance. In practical terms, it is observed in laboratory and field experience to be much less; usually about one-half the hole clearance. Acceptable inaccuracies in the location of holes within a pattern of bolts usually cause one or more bolts to be in bearing in the initial, unloaded condition. Furthermore, even with perfectly positioned holes, the usual method of erection causes the weight of the connected elements to put some of the bolts into direct bearing at the time the member is supported on loose bolts and the lifting crane is unhooked. Additional loading in the same direction would not cause additional joint slip of any significance."

In some cases, slip resistance is required. The AISC and RCSC Specifications list cases where connections must be designated by the Structural Engineer of Record as slip-critical:

  1. Connections with oversized holes
  2. Connections with slotted holes when the direction of the slot is not perpendicular to the direction of the load, unless slip is the intended function of the joint.
  3. Connections subject to fatigue or significant load reversal.
  4. Connections in which welds and bolts share in transmitting shear loads at a common faying surface.

     

     

    Other connections stipulated as such on the design plans (e.g., from RCSC Specification Commentary Section 4, "(1) Those cases where slip movement could theoretically exceed an amount deemed by the Engineer of Record to affect the serviceability of the structure or through excessive distortion to cause a reduction in strength or stability, even though the resistance to fracture of the connection and yielding of the member may be adequate; and, (2) Those cases where slip of any magnitude must be prevented, such as in joints subject to significant load reversal and joints between elements of built-up compression members in which any slip could cause a reduction of the flexural stiffness required for the stability of the built-up member").
    1. One special case also exists. A nominal amount of slip resistance is required at the end connections of bolted built-up compression members so that the individual component will act as a unit in column buckling. As specified in the 2005 AISC Specification Section E6.2, "The end connection shall be welded or pretensioned bolted with Class A or B faying surface."

      last modified 1 January 2006