Steel Building Structures: Three Connection Options for Your Custom Project

Posted on: 29 March 2016

When building your home, you will need to incorporate custom steel elements into the structure. This material is suitable for diverse structural and non-structural applications. For example, you can choose this material when fabricating bespoke roof trusses, reinforcing bars for concrete features and even other elements like handrails and supports for decking roofs. When ordering these types of custom steel building structures, it is important to think about the right connections. Basically, connections are the structural elements that are used in joining different parts of a steel framework. If these are weak, the entire building structure will be compromised. Here are the main types of suitable structural connections that you should discuss with the steel fabricator.  

Welded Connections

As implied, welded connections are formed by welding the different parts of the steel frameworks together. Basically, if you choose this type of connections for your project, the two elements will be heated to melting point and fused to create a joint. This is an ideal option for building structures because the weld will create permanent connections in the steel structure. In addition, a weld means that there is no need to design and manufacture separate fittings for the joining process. On the other hand, the welding tasks are performed in the factory, so transportation of the assembled structure can be difficult.

Bolted Connections

A bolted connection involves joining the steel elements with a bolt. A bolt is a fastener that is designed to capture different elements through a drilled hole. Normally, it is secures through the mating between the screw threads etched on the bolt and those on a clamping nut. The main advantage of choosing bolted connection is the ease of assembly. In simple terms, the individual parts of a steel building structure will be manufactured and easily transported as individual entities to the construction site. Your contractors can easily connect the framework using the separate bolts or you can perform the task for non-structural features. Unfortunately, the production of custom bolts might increase the cumulative costs of fabrication significantly.

Riveted Connections

The rivet is also a mechanical fastener which consists of non-threaded cylindrical shaft and a flat head. It is favoured over the bolt for structural connections because this is designed for permanent joints. The rivet can achieve tight joints which can support heavy shear loads without distortion. Moreover, some designs can be used like nails when the other side is not accessible. Unfortunately, the rivet cannot be removed easily from its position for replacement after the initial installation.