Modern Steel Construction » Steel in the News » October 2008

Archive for October 2008

Back to all posts

New Crane Rules Coming
Posted by Geoff Weisenberger on October 20, 2008 at 2:12 PM.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) plans to publish proposed rules for Cranes and Derricks in Construction; publication is anticipated this month, and will be followed by a 60-day public comment period.


These first new regulations since 1971 will require crane operators to pass written and practical tests in all 50 states and will also require operators to undergo more training. Several deadly U.S. crane accidents during the past year have underscored the need for changes.


The new standards also seek to toughen requirements on inspecting ground conditions, crane assembly and disassembly, operating cranes near power lines, using safety devices, and crane inspection. Crane operators would have four options for certification under the new requirements: through an accredited third-party testing organization, an audited employer testing program, a state or local licensing authority, or a U.S. military-issued qualification. Currently, just 15 states and six cities require the tests.

Bookmark and Share

Posted by MSC on October 15, 2008 at 3:41 PM.

If you happen to be in Providence, R.I. for Halloween this year and want to see some molten metal in an artistic, non-work setting, you should think about dropping by the Steel Yard for the Third Annual Halloween Iron Pour.


Not in the area? An online video is worth 1,000 words, so click here to see a video of last year’s event on MAKE magazine’s web site.


Visit for more information on the event.


Also, visit the Iron Guild—the group that puts on the show—at


Bookmark and Share

Steel for Peddinghaus’ New Building Fabricated on Trusted Equipment: Its Own
Posted by MSC on October 13, 2008 at 4:15 PM.

Peddinghaus Corporation (an AISC Associate Member) has added a new 45,000-sq.-ft facility to its manufacturing operation in Bradley, Ill. The new facility (at right) will employ approximately 400. Erected in only five months, all of the building’s structural steel was fabricated with, of course, Peddinghaus equipment by Peddinghaus customers.

Bookmark and Share

Tubular Expansion
Posted by MSC on October 13, 2008 at 4:14 PM.

Hollow structural section (HSS) producer Independence Tube Corporation (an AISC Active Member) has announced the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Marseilles, Ill.; the company currently has operations in Decatur, Ala., Chicago (headquarters), and Marseilles.


This green-field, 170,000-sq.-ft expansion will include a new manufacturing mill capable of producing HSS tubing 1.66 in. OD through 5.00 in. OD. This expansion will give Independence Tube the full-size range on pipe tubing from 1.66 in. OD though 12¾ in. OD and complement its 2-in. SQ through 12-in. SQ tube sizes.

Bookmark and Share

Dowco Unites with FabTrol
Posted by MSC on October 13, 2008 at 4:14 PM.

FabTrol Systems, a provider of steel fabrication management software recently announced that it has been purchased by the Dowco Group, a Canadian-based provider of 3D modeling and steel detailing services. According to FabTrol, the merger will allow both of these AISC Associate Member companies to expand their international presence, especially in the growing economies of India, China, and the Middle East. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.


Douglas and Gerry Diane Cochrane, founders of Eugene, Ore.-based FabTrol, say the decision to sell was difficult, but necessary “in order for the company to live beyond a single generation.”


“When we began seeking a buyer we knew they had to share our corporate values,” said Gerry Diane Cochrane, CEO of FabTrol. “Our success has been built upon providing superior service to our clients before and after the sale. Our software is considered ‘mission-critical’ to the success of our clients’ operations, and providing a high level of training and technical support has to be part of our deliverables. We feel that Dowco has been built upon the same principles and will continue to care for our clients and staff as we have.”


Dowco president Ewen Dobbie agreed with Cochrane, saying, “Both FabTrol and Dowco are proven brand names in the steel fabrication industry and have earned their excellent reputations through hard work and good service. Adding FabTrol Systems to the Dowco Group provides good synergy and enhances our long-range goal of being a global provider of comprehensive services from engineering to detailing to fabrication management.”


Dobbie also said that FabTrol’s headquarters would remain in Eugene, where Cochrane founded the company with her husband, Douglas Cochrane, more than two decades ago.

Bookmark and Share

FMI Releases 2009 Schedule of Events
Posted by MSC on October 13, 2008 at 4:12 PM.

Building and construction management consulting firm FMI has unveiled its schedule of programs and workshops for late 2008 and 2009. This year’s lineup includes 15 programs in seven disciplines:


Business Development

  • Contractor Selling Skills
  • Marketing and Selling Strategies for 2009


  • Contractor Compensation and Rewards

Investment Banking

  • 31st Annual Conference on Acquisitions in the Building and Construction Industry
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Forum
  • Ownership Transfer and Management Succession


  • Leadership Institute

Project Execution

  • Improving Construction Productivity
  • Project Manager Academy


  • Contractor Strategies for 2009
  • Executive Program for Senior Managers 
  • 2009 Seminar Digest


  • Emerging Managers Institute
  • Financial Management for Non-Financial Managers
  • Pricing and Bidding Strategy


The programs and workshops range in length from two to four days. Each program is designed for individuals to sharpen their knowledge and skills, stay informed of industry trends, and leave with applicable and valuable tools and techniques all while interacting with, and learning from, industry peers.


For a copy of the calendar, go to


Bookmark and Share

Posted by MSC on October 13, 2008 at 4:05 PM.

The following papers appear in the fourth quarter 2008 issue of AISC’s Engineering Journal. EJ is available online (free to AISC members) at www.


Cyclic Behavior and Seismic Design of Bolted Flange Plate Steel Moment Connections




The AISC Connection Prequalification Review Panel (CPRP) is currently reviewing the bolted flange plate moment connection for inclusion in the next edition of the AISC Prequalified Connections for Special and Intermediate Steel Moment Frames for Seismic Applications. To expand the experimental database for prequalifying the bolted flange plate (BFP) moment connection for special moment frames, cyclic testing of three full-scale BFP steel moment connection specimens has been conducted. Beam sizes for these specimens (W30×108, W30×148, and W36×50) were larger than previously tested to extend the range of available experimental results. All three specimens performed well and met the Acceptance Criteria of the AISC Seismic Provisions. The specimens achieved an interstory drift angle of 0.06 radians before failure.

Topics: Connections-Moment, Seismic Design, Lateral Systems


Simplified LRFD Design of Steel Members for Fire


Tai-Kuang Lee, Austin D.E. Pan, and Ken Hwa


This paper proposes a simplified design methodology for steel members under fire in accordance with LRFD provisions. The fire design criterion compares the required design strength ratio with the design strength reduction ratio. Design strength ratios are derived from the required strength factor and the overstrength factor. Simplified formulas for member strength at elevated temperatures, as well as their corresponding critical temperatures, are derived for steel members under tension, compression and flexure, for unrestrained boundary conditions. An illustrative example is presented and comparisons are made with experimental data.

Topics:  Fire and Temperature Effects, Tension Members, Columns and Compression Members, Beams and Flexural Members


Quantifying and Enhancing the Robustness in Steel Structures:

Part 1 – Moment-Resisting Frames






Quantifying and Enhancing the Robustness in Steel Structures:

Part 2 – Floor Framing Systems




The objective of this two-part manuscript is to provide information that can lead to: (a) better understanding of disproportionate collapse in structural steel framing systems; (b) improved understanding of secondary load paths that form within structural steel framing systems in the event of a localized failure; (c) development of minimum general structural integrity provisions for structural steel framing systems analogous to those present in ACI 318; (d) recommendations for minimum tie forces that can be used as the basis of indirect design methodologies for structural steel framing systems; (e) an understanding of the distribution of tensile forces within typical steel floor framing systems to facilitate compartmentalization damage or collapse; and (f) identification of simple and economical means with which to enhance the robustness in the typical structural steel framing system.

Topics:  Blast, Physical Security and Progressive Collapse, Lateral Systems



Current Steel Structures Research


Reidar Bjorhovde


This regular feature of the Engineering Journal provides information on new and ongoing research around the world.  In the 16th installment, research projects are summarized on the following topics:  Behavior and Strength of Link-to-Column Connections in Eccentrically Braced Frames (University of Texas-Austin), Use of Cast Steel Connectors for Bracing Connections in Special Concentrically Braced Frames (University of Toronto), Minimizing the Strength of Bracing Connections (Canam Corp.), Block Shear Evaluation for Members with Uncommon Failure Paths (University of Alberta), Testing of Shear Lugs for Column Bases (Technical University Federico Santa Maria, Valparaíso, Chile), Punching Shear Resistance of Tension Bolts (University of Thessaloniki in Greece and University of Pécs in Hungary), Three-Dimensional Web-Based Semi-Rigid Steel Frame Analysis with Graphical Interface (University of Texas at Arlington), Monitoring of Crane Girders in Actual Structures (University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa), and Cold-Formed Stainless Steel HSS (University of Hong Kong).

Topics:  Research

Bookmark and Share

Ample Online Learning Opportunities
Posted by MSC on October 13, 2008 at 4:03 PM.

For the time being, the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering’s (IABSE) E-Learning Platform is accessible for free for Members and Non-Members at


Fifteen lecture series—including webcasting of lectures, short courses, videos, and animations on the construction of structures—are currently available online. And if that’s not enough online educational information for you, you can also check out AISC’s online offerings at or


Bookmark and Share

Green in D.C.
Posted by MSC on October 13, 2008 at 4:01 PM.

The Ecobuild Fall conference will bring its green message to the nation’s capital this December. The goals of the show, running Dec. 8-11 in Washington, D.C., are:


  1. Educating the entire building industry about designing and building sustainable projects
  2. Promoting the use of energy-efficient products
  3. Providing updates on the newest and best green and sustainable products to the end users and specifiers
  4. Promoting all rating systems that improve sustainability compliance
  5. Providing information on the latest information technology that advances the sustainable movement in building and construction.
  6. Protecting the environment’s natural resources


For more information, visit


Bookmark and Share

Steel Structure Technology Center’s Fall Lineup
Posted by MSC on October 13, 2008 at 3:59 PM.

The Steel Structures Technology Center has announced three one-day, seven-hour seminars on the inspection of steel construction and structural welding, and a two-hour evening seminar on structural steel plan reading. All four seminars are conducted in cooperation with the International Code Council (ICC).


The “Structural Steel and Bolting Inspection” seminar includes International Building Code (IBC) special inspection requirements, steel materials, steel fabrication and erection, and high-strength bolting.


The “Structural Welding Inspection” seminar includes IBC special inspection requirements and welding inspection under American Welding Society (AWS) Structural Welding Codes D1.1–Steel, D1.3–Sheet Steel, and D1.4–Reinforcing Steel.


The “Inspection of Seismic Steel Frames” includes AISC, IBC, and AWS requirements for connection details, welding, bolting, inspection, and nondestructive testing for steel buildings designed to the AISC Seismic Provisions.

“Plan Reading for Steel Construction” includes structural steel design and shop drawings.


Seminars are scheduled in the following cities:


South San Francisco Nov. 5, 6, & 7

Los Angeles/Buena Park Nov. 11, 12, & 13

Las Vegas Dec. 1, 2, & 3

Phoenix/Scottsdale Dec. 4 & 5


For more information, visit


Bookmark and Share