An investigation of the block shear strength of coped beams with a welded clip angle connection - Part I: Experimental study

Chi Ho Michael Yam, Y. C. Zhong, Angus C C Lam, V. P. Iu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The ends of a coped beam are commonly connected to the web of a girder by double clip angles. The clip angles may either be bolted or welded to the web of the beam. One of the potential modes for the failure of the clip angle connection is the block shear of the beam web material. To investigate the strength and the behavior of the block shear of coped beams with welded end connections, ten full-scale coped beam tests were conducted. The test parameters included the aspect ratio of the clip angles, the web shear and tension area around the clip angles, the web thickness, beam section depth, cope length, and connection position. The test results indicated that the specimens failed, developing either tension fractures of the web near the bottom of the clip angles or local web buckling near the end of the cope. Although the final failure mode of the six specimens was local web buckling, it was observed during the tests that these specimens exhibited a significant deformation of the block shear type prior to reaching their final failure mode. No shear fracture was observed in all of the tests. A comparison between the ultimate loads in the test and the predictions using the current design equations indicates that the current design standards such as the AISC-LRFD, CSA-S16-01, Eurocode 3, BS5950-1:2000, AIJ and GB50017, are inconsistent in predicting the block shear strength of coped beams with welded end connections. The analytical study of the strength of the test specimens using the finite element method, a parametric study, and a proposed design model for designing block shears for coped beams with welded clip angles are included in a companion paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-115
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Block shear tests
  • Coped beams
  • Local web buckling
  • Tension fracture
  • Welded clip angles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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