Victoria Buffam (M.Sc.)
Extended shear tab connections are efficient for both fabrication and erection as they eliminate the need to cope beams, and are therefore extensively used in industry. Stability issues can arise as the extended shear tabs become longer and more slender due to skewed connections or complex geometry.
Commonly, designers will resolve this issue by increasing the plate thickness or adding stiffeners to the connection, which increases the fabrication cost. Previous studies at the University of Alberta investigating the behaviour of extended shear tabs experimentally found that all specimens reached their full cross-sectional capacity without buckling. Therefore, Victoria’s research aims to determine when stability of extended shear tabs governs the behaviour and capacity of the connection as opposed to strength. The objectives of the research are to determine a slenderness parameter for the plate that defines the effects of instability, and to develop inelastic buckling design equations for cases when the stability length limit is exceeded. The design procedure will also allow for cases where the connection is subjected to axial load. A parametric study is being conducted using computer simulations to assess geometries beyond those tested in the laboratory. The project is sponsored by Waiward Steel, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, and NSERC.