A Beginner's Guide to the Steel Construction Manual, 14th ed.

Chapter 3 - Tension Members

2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 T. Bartlett Quimby



Tensile Yielding

Tensile Rupture

Failure Path Tutorial

Tensile Yielding & Tensile Rupture of Connecting Elements

Bolt Bearing on Holes

Block Shear

Selecting Sections

Tension Limit State Summary

Example Problems

Homework Problems


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Section 3.9

Tension Limit State Summary

Last Revised: 07/30/2011

Serviceability Limit States:

Limit State Specification Limit
Slenderness D1 L/r < 300
r > L/300

Strength Limit States:

All strength limit states take the form:

Pu < ftPn Pa < Pn/Wt
Req'd Pn = Pu/ft < Pn Req'd Pn = Pa Wt < Pn
Pu / (ftPn< 1.00 Pa / (Pn/Wt) < 1.00

Rn (nominal resistance) is often used in place of Pn (nominal axial strength) in the equations above.

Limit State Specification Nominal Capacity Typical Design Variables f W
Tensile Yielding D2(a)/J4.1(a) Member Capacity:


Stl Type, Section 0.90 1.67
Tensile Rupture D2(b)/J4.1(b) Member Capacity:


Stl Type, Section, Bolt size, Bolt Layout, Section modifications 0.75 2.00
Block Shear J4.3 Capacity per connection:

min(0.6FuAnv + UbsFuAnt, 0.6FyAgv + UbsFuAnt)

Stl Type, Section, Bolt Size, Bolt Layout, Section modifications 0.75 2.00
Bolt Bearing J3.10 Capacity per bolt hole:

Std Holes, Defl an issue:
min(1.2 Lct Fu, 2.4 dt Fu)

Std Holes, Defl not issue:
min(1.5 Lct Fu, 3.0 dt Fu)

Stl Type, Section, Bolt Size, Bolt Layout, Section modifications 0.75 2.00


  1. See SCM B4.3 for requirements for computing Ag and An, and SCM D.3 for Ae.
  2. SCM J4.1(b) places an upper limit of 0.85Ag on An for connecting elements.
  3. Multiple failure paths may need to be considered for Tensile Rupture and Block Shear.
  4. The least bolt bearing value in a connection controls the bolt bearing strength of the member.

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