Trusses are one of the more common uses of Hollow Structural Sections (HSS). The joints and connections of HSS members in trusses can be the cause of confusion during design and unneeded costs during fabrication. It is important to understand the various joint configurations and how they relate to the overall strength and stiffness of a truss. Fabrication cost, which is a primary cost of steel structures, can be greatly influenced by the joint and connection design, more so than the overall weight of the truss. The choice of member shapes, configuration of the joints, and choice of weld type have a direct impact on the limit states that need to be checked and on the cost of fabrication.
This presentation will highlight ways to avoid some of the common pitfalls when designing and detailing HSS truss connections and joints. Through some simple rules of thumb, it will be shown that proper sizing of truss members and the proper design of truss joints and connections can lead to a much more cost-effective and efficient structure.