Bolted connection - Splices in shear

This is a selected chapter from book Component-based finite element design of steel connections by prof. Wald et al. The chapter is focused on verification of bolts.


This study is focused on the verification of component-based finite element method (CBFEM) for the resistance of the symmetrical double splice bolted connection to an analytical model (AM).

Analytical model

The bolt resistance in shear and the plate resistance in bearing are designed according to Tab. 3.4 in chapter 3.6.1 in EN 1993-1-8:2005. For long connection, reduction factor according to cl. 3.8 is considered. Design resistance of connected members with reductions for fastener holes is taken into account according to cl 3.10.

Verification of resistance

Design resistances calculated by CBFEM were compared with results of analytical model (AM). Results are summarised in Tab. 5.2.1. The parameters are bolt material, splice thickness, bolt diameter, and bolt distances, see Figs. 5.2.1 to 5.2.4.

Fig. 5.2.1 Sensitivity study for the bolt material

Fig. 5.2.2 Sensitivity study for the splice thickness

Tab. 5.2.1 Sensitivity study of resistance

Joint description: splice 150/10mm, bolts 2×M20 in distances p =70, e1=50, plates 2×150/6mm, steel S235

Bolt materialAnalytical Model (AM)
  Resistance [kN]Critical component Resistance [kN]Critical component 
4.8157Bolt in shear152Bolt in shear1,03
5.8196Bolt in shear188Bolt in shear1,04

Joint description: splice height 200mm, bolts 3×M16 8,8 in distances p = 55mm e1 = 40mm, plates 2×200/10 mm, steel S235

Splice thickness Analytical Model (AM)
  Resistance [kN]Critical componentResistance [kN]Critical component
15362Bolt in shear350Interaction of tension and shear in bolt1,03
20362Bolt in shear349Interaction of tension and shear in bolt1,04

Joint description: splice 120/10mm, bolts 2×MX 8,8, plates 2×120/6 mm, steel S235

  Analytical Model (AM)CBFEM AM/ CBFEM
Diam.DistancesResistance [kN]Critical componentResistance [kN]Critical component 
M16p = 55, e= 40171Bearing170Bearing1,00
M20p = 70, e1= 50218Bearing219Bearing1,00
M24p = 80, e= 60244Splice in tension241Splice in tension1,01
M27p = 90, e= 70233Splice in tension236Splice in tension0,99
M30p = 100, e= 75226Splice in tension231Splice in tension0,98

Joint description: Splice 200/6 mm, bolts 3×M16 8,8, plates 2×200/3mm, steel S235

  Analytical Model (AM)CBFEM AM/ CBFEM
Bolt spacingResistance [kN]Critical componentResistance [kN]Critical component 
p = 40, e= 2598Bearing95Bearing1,03
p = 55, e= 40156Bearing152Bearing1,02
p = 70, e= 55207Bearing205Bearing1,01

Fig. 5.2.3 Sensitivity study for the bolt diameter

Fig. 5.2.4 Sensitivity study for the distance of bolts

The results of sensitivity studies are summarized in the graph in Fig. 5.2.5. The results show that the differences between the two calculation methods are below 5 %. The analytical model gives generally higher resistance.

Fig. 5.2.5 Verification of CBFEM to AM for the symmetrical double splice connection

Benchmark example


Connected member

  • Steel S235
  • Splice 200/10 mm



  • 3 × M16 8.8
  • Distances e= 40 mm, p = 55 mm

2 x splice

  • Steel S235
  • Plate 380×200×10


  • Design resistance FRd = 258 kN
  • Critical is bearing of the connected splice

Fig. 5.2.6 Benchmark example of the bolted splices in shear

Sample files