The Structural Engineer's Corner

Eng. Onorio Francesco Salvatore

Preliminary Design of Connections according to Steenhuis

Written By: Francesco Salvatore Onorio - Sep• 18•11

EN 1993-1-8 gives the first rules for determining the behavior of major axis, beam-to-column steel moment connection. In this article we will see another useful method for a preliminary design.  Our reference will be Steenhuis.

The estimation of stiffness and resistance of the joint is based on the weakest component. The stiffness may be estimated by:



– E = Young’s modulus;

– tfc = thickness of the column flange or base plate;

– r = level arm, estimated as the distance between the centers of the beam flanges;

– ξ coefficient (see below).

The bending moment resistance of the joint is related to the column flange thickness, tfc, which is assumed to be the weakest element.


ζ is a coefficient (see below).

In order to ensure the column flange is the weakest component, it is assumed:

–  the end plate thickness tp is thicker than column flange, tp ≥ tfc;

– the thickness of the colum web stiffener tsc is tsc » tfb;

– the diameter of the bolts is larger than the thickness of the column flange, d ≥ tfc.

In these tables you can find coefficients and level arm for estimation of initial stiffness and bending moment resistance of beam to column joints and column bases.


For any kind of questions on this article you can contact the author at:

Eng. Onorio Francesco Salvatore

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