Knife edge angle connection, commonly known as knife connection, is a very common type of beam shear connection. It features a pair of angles that are typically welded to the column in the shop and bolted to the beam web in the field (Figure 1). While knife connection serves as a popular beam shear connection, its use is not recommended where significant axial tensile forces are to be transmitted, such as end connections for braced frame members and collectors that are subjected to significant axial tensile forces. Research studies, reported in the reference below, have demonstrated that knife connection exhibits limited axial tensile resistance. In the reference below, the test results of several other common beam shear connections subjected to combined shear and axial forces were also reported.


For more information on double-angle beam connections in shear only, including the knife edge connection, please refer to Part Three of the latest version of the CISC Handbook. Table 3-37 lists bolt capacities of various configurations of bolted double-angle beam connections for both bearing and slip-critical connection types.


Reference: Guravich, S. J. and Dawe, J. L. 2006. Simple beam connections in combined shear and tension. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering. 33(4): 357-372.



Figure 1: Knife Edge Connection