The all fillet welded R=3 version of SidePlate really started gaining traction on the east coast shortly after it debuted in 2011. We have completed several projects using it. However, the SidePlate engineers had one more trick up their sleeve. In 2013, a field bolted version debuted at the 2013 NASCC conference.
The shop fabrication welding is very similar to the all fillet welded versions but there is no welding in the field - NONE. It is simply bolted up in the field much like a simple beam to beam shear connection.
LOW SEISMIC BOLTED VERSION R=3
Here's a screen shot of the bolted version. For a better view, you can download a 3D PDF of this connection here.
You can easily see the shop work is similar to the other welded connections but the beam installs from the top and then just bolted. As some of you may know, we were privileged to design the first SidePlate Bolted™ building on the planet. I don't think anyone really understood just how quickly the building would be erected. The superintendent told us later he could have saved 2-3 weeks on the schedule just due to the erection alone. Of course, he also saved 8 weeks on the schedule because this project happened to be one of our Complete Structural Package™ projects too...
There's a cool, short little video (albeit salesy) that SidePlate shared with us that shows the erection process in the field. You can find the video here on our YouTube channel.
SidePlate also makes a bolted version that has the top bolt layout similar to the bottom layout for conditions where the edge of slab needs to be tight to the column and beam flanges.
So, that's the SidePlate connection in a nutshell - all fillet welds for R>8 and R=3 and field bolted for R=3. They are very efficient and now with the bolted version, a viable alternative to the traditional moment connection.
Next we'll look at why we model these connections and what benefits we gain by doing so.
If you missed our previous two emails about the SidePlate connection, you can find them on our News and Links page in the Structural 101 section.