By AISC Specifications, simple shear connections of beams shall be designed to resist the required shear
strength and allow the connected member to accommodate flexible end beam rotation of simple beams.
Single plate shear tab connections should be configured so the failure occurs by plate yielding along with
bolt group rotation and bolt holes elongation, to avoid weld sudden rupture and bolts failure. The AISC
specifications require an end beam rotation of 0.03 radians with some limiting inelastic deformation allowed in the connection to accommodate this requirement. Conventional geometry and plate thickness
limitations are assigned for shear tab connections to satisfy the ductility requirements. However, in cases
where connections cannot satisfy conventional dimensional limitations, extended tab configurations are
more general and allow greater geometric variations. Extended shear tab connections in many instances
offer practical solutions to the construction process, e.g. by augmenting a clear distance of the support,
coping of the supported member is not required anymore. Such case includes welding the tab to columns
The use of extended tab connections, in this case, comes to a position of concern when the connection
flexibility is not satisfied. Higher rigidity of the connection could result in an unanticipated moment
development that the column has not been designed to resist or causes sudden rupture of the bolts or weld.
Under other condition for unstiffened tabs welded to column webs (flexible support) substantial
distortions of column web could result in yield line mechanism failure. This excess deformation in the
column web allows an unlimiting connection rotation around the weld centerline, thus limiting the end
To address these concerns a parametric study is performed. Plate thickness, the distance between bolt line and
weld line, skewed angle, number of bolts and number of bolt columns are the variable parameters
considered. The parameters were evaluated in terms of shear strength, corresponding beam end rotation,
support web rotation, unanticipated moment and connection failure mechanism. This study helps analyze
the effects of parameter variation on the rotational ductility of the connection, define parameter ranges,
specify design constraints and nominate parameters for further evaluation. Stiffening the column web to
limit its rotation is also studied as a practical solution to the problem.