WJE Primer: Strengthening of Existing Structural Steel Floor Framing with Headed Shear Connectors


The owner or manager of a building constructed with structural steel floor framing is sometimes faced with the question of how to increase floor capacity to support new or additional loads. When strengthening a beam by adding a new steel shape to the bottom flange is determined to be inadequate as a standalone solution or is infeasible altogether, adding new headed shear connectors (or headed shear studs) by welding to the top flange of the beam can be a viable and economical strengthening solution.

In this article, structural engineer Matt DeSimone discusses the limitations and challenges that are sometimes faced when considering traditional steel beam strengthening using a steel shape or plate welded to the underside of the beam, and he presents another viable strengthening option—adding headed shear connectors.