Structural Connection Design

Steel connection design is integral to all types of project steelwork.


  • Residential properties and restoration projects.

  • Commercial and light industrial premises.

  • Public buildings and civic structures.

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What does steel connection design do?

Steel connection design provides contractors with precise, practical connection details of:

  • How structural steel connections will actually look.

  • Way a steel connection structure can be built.

Types of connections

Steel connections are classified into various, separate groups of connection types. This helps to analyse different loads for structural stability in accordance with types of members and internal forces a connection is expected to transmit. From commonly encountered simple connections, such as simple and moment connections to complex connections.

Steel connection design services will include:

  • Simple connections – beam to beam | beam to column

  • Moment connections – beam to beam | beam to column

  • Splice connections – open and hollow sections

  • Truss connections – welded or bolted

Connections explained

Connections which usually bear two or more loads include:

Shear connections

These are the most widely used type of structural steel connection. Also known as simple connections or “semi-rigid” connections because of minimal bending or rotation at the beam bends. Shear connections can only transfer shear forces to connected members.

Moment connections

A moment connection is a joint designed to transfer a bending force between column and beam sections or any other two members. Also refereed to as “rigid” connections for creating a frame.

The shape of connecting members, member sizes, and calculating the amount of transfer needed will determine the complexity of the connection.

Moment connections mostly include:

  • Directly welded members

  • Flange plates

  • End plate connections

Axial connections

Structural steel is also employed in designing and supplying a variety of bespoke secondary steelwork, including:

  • Platforms and Walkways

  • Handrails and Balustrades

  • Staircases

  • Ladders

  • Window grilles

  • Pipe supports

Structural elements used to form connections

There is a wide variety of structural elements. The most commonly used are:

  • Angles – to form web angles or seat angles.

– and-

  • Plates – to form web plates and flange plates.

Fin plates

Widely-used type of steel connection for secondary beams in steel structures. A length of ‘fin’ plate is firstly welded to the supporting member. On-site, the fin plate will be bolted onto the supported beam web.

Member connections

Column and beam connections are an all-important factor in steel connection design. Typical member configurations include:

  • Beam to Column bases
  • Beam to Beam
  • Column to Column bases
  • Column Base Plate

Hollow sections

Both round and square hollow steel sections (HSS) deliver better strength-to-weight ratio to structures, which reduces material waste and enables greater spans to be built. Hot-formed hollow sections are easier to bend than cold formed hollow sections.

Steel connection design software and structural calculations

A structural engineers accurate calculations are essential to resolving load bearing geometry.

To meet the many complex challenges a structural engineer will work with latest technology and advanced steel connection design software.

Steel connections can be tested for structural integrity using Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Advantages of BIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) provides precision, data-rich 3D modelling, which plays a crucial project role in advanced structural design.

The software enables structural engineers to have the highest level of construction and production design control. From each beam, column and plate to all fittings and bolts.

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We provide a professional service at all times with competitive pricing personalised to your project.

or call us for advice today!