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Steel Connection Design

The PROKON steel member connection design modules are used primarily in conjunction with Frame Analysis. After an analysis, you can link to the design modules by simply clicking a connection or support node with the click of your mouse -- all information relating to the connection geometry and design loads will be exported to the connection design module. However, you can also use the connection design modules on their own, entering geometry and design loads manually.

The connection design modules have the ability to display connections in 2D or 3D. You can export the pictures as drawings to Padds, AutoCAD and other CAD software.

Analysis-Design-Detailing Integration

Summary of integration between analysis, design and detailing modules:

Module Design Link from
Sumo and
Frame Analysis
Drawing to CAD
or Padds
Base Plate Design x x
Beam-Column Connection Design x x
Apex Connection Design x x
Hollow Section Connection Design Design x x
Double Angle Cleat Connection Design x x
Fin Plate Connection Design x x
End Plate Connection Design x x

Base Plate Design

Design of base plates for steel columns. Base plates are rectangular in shape and columns can be hollow sections, I or H sections (universal columns and universal beams). The program performs calculations for stiffened as well as unstiffened base plates, and the plates can be attached to the concrete substrate with studs or bolts.

Baseplate DesignThe graphical design output shows the bending moment in the base plate, compressive or tensile forces in the bolts, and the distribution of the compressive stress under the plate in the concrete substrate (if bolted).

Moment Connection Design

Design connections that transmit shear, moment and axial force. Only forces in the plane of the connection are considered, i.e. vertical shear, axial compression or tension and in-plane moment.

Two modules are available for design of moment connections:

  • Beam to Column Connection DesignBeam to Column Connection Design
  • Apex Connection Design

The two modules support all I and H sections (universal columns and universal beams) in the Section Database. The connection can be bolted or welded. Beams can have haunches and placed at any angle. An optimisation function is available to help you determine a suitable layout, eg. web plates, stiffeners, bolt sizes and spacing. The design output includes a calcsheet with full design calculations. You can view the connections in 3D or 2D (e.g. elevation or plan) and save the pictures as CAD drawings.


Hollow Section Connection Design

Design of connections comprising welded structural hollow sections that transmit axial forces. All members are that transmit axial force. All members are circular, square or rectangular hollow sections with the exception of the main chord that may be an I or H section (Universal Beam or Universal Column).

Hollow Section Connection DesignSupported connection layouts include K, T, N, X, and Y joints and combinations thereof. The design calculations are based on Annex K of Eurocode 3 - 1992.



Shear Connection Design

When a bolt group or weld group is loaded in its plane and the load does not work through the centroid of the group, additional shear forces are caused in the bolts or welds. The shear connection design modules calculate the maximum resistance of bolt and weld groups.

Two shear connection design modules are available:

  • Weld Group DesignBolt Group Design (bearing or friction grip connections)
  • Weld Group Design (fillet welds)

When determining the bolt forces and weld stresses, you can choose to use either a linear (polar moment) or non-linear (instantaneous centre of gyration) method of analysis. To simplify input of welds, you can use a wizard tho place welds around the outline of standard steel sections. The design output displays the bolt forces and weld stresses graphically and provides calcsheets with design calculations. The programs can determine the minimum bolt or weld size required to resist the design loads.


Simple Connection Design

Design connections that transmit end shear and axial force only. The designed connections are considered simple connections that have negligible resistance to rotation and is thus incapable of transmitting significant moments at ultimate limit state.

Three modules are available for simple connection design (axial and shear forces only; no moment transfer):

  • Double Angle Cleat Connection DesignDouble Angle Cleat Design
  • Fin Plate Design
  • End Plate Design

The modules allow you to enter the sections and orientations with the relevant design loads. You can then either check the design as entered, or use the optimisation functions to improve the design. The design output includes calcsheets with complete design calculations.