Cost-effective connections for columns under torsional loads.

Updated: May 8

Riley Quintin (M.Sc.)

It is relatively common for torsional loads to be included in the design of members in industrial steel structures. An example of this is a pipe rack structure where design hydraulic events in the pipe cause weak-axis bending in the supporting beam, which is in turn transferred to the column as torsion. Due to a lack of relevant provisions in design standards, stiffeners are routinely added to the connection to ensure the torque is transferred to the entire cross-section, which adds substantial cost to the fabrication of the structure. As these sections are likely to be carrying considerable axial load, Riley’s research aims to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of unstiffened wide-flange sections subjected to axial load, combined with torsion applied through one flange. This will be done primarily through a series of full-scale laboratory experiments that consider several different geometries to obtain a range of behaviours. This research will help eliminate the use of unnecessary stiffeners by providing generalized design guidelines to produce cost-effective connections. The project is sponsored by Waiward Steel, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, and NSERC.



Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering

University of Alberta

Edmonton, AB, Canada