AISC DESIGN GUIDE 17
High Strength Bolts: A Primer for Structural Engineers
|Publication Date:||1 October 2002|
Purpose and Scope
There are two principal types of fasteners used in contemporary fabricated steel structures-bolts and welds. Both are widely used, and sometimes both fastening types are used in the same connection. For many connections, it is common to use welds in the shop portion of the fabrication process and to use bolts in the field. Welding requires a significant amount of equipment, uses skilled operators, and its inspection is a relatively sophisticated procedure. On the other hand, bolts are a manufactured item, they are installed using simple equipment, and installation and inspection can be done by persons with only a relatively small amount of training.
Engineers who have the responsibility for structural design must be conversant with the behavior of both bolts and welds and must know how to design connections using these fastening elements. Design and specification of welds and their inspection methods generally involves selecting standardized techniques and acceptance criteria or soliciting the expertise of a specialist. On the other hand, design and specification of a bolted joint requires the structural engineer to select the type of fasteners, understand how they are to be used, and to set out acceptable methods of installation and inspection. Relatively speaking, then, a structural engineer must know more about high-strength bolts than about welds.
The purpose of this Primer is to provide the structural engineer with the information necessary to select suitable high-strength bolts, specify the methods of their installation and inspection, and to design connections that use this type of fastener. Bolts can be either common bolts (sometimes called ordinary or machine bolts) or high-strength bolts. Although both types will be described, emphasis will be placed on high-strength bolts. Because many riveted structures are still in use and often their adequacy must be verified, a short description of rivets is also provided.