The fabrication at shop & the erection drawing should reach the site of construction well in advance to plan the erection sequence and material handling. Erection should be carried out with the help of maximum possible mechanization. Normally anyone or more of the material handling systems, such as tower crane; crane mounted on rails, crawling crane, pneumatic tire mounted crane, and derrick crane may be used for handling the material. Details of the above said erection equipments can be found in any standard textbooks on construction equipment.

A variety of methods can be employed for the erection of a structure. Normally, the selection of the method is influenced by the type of the structure, site conditions, equipment, quality of skilled labor, etc. available to the erector. However, regardless of the method adopted the main aim during erection is the safety and preservation of the stability of the structure at all times. Most structures which collapse do so during erection and these failures are very often due to a lack of understanding on someone's
part of what another has assumed about the erection procedure. Hence, it is emphasized that as far as strength and stability of the components during erection are concerned, Before the commencement of the erection, all the erection equipment tools, shackles, ropes etc. should be tested for their load carrying capacity. Such tests if needed may be repeated at intermediate stages also.


During the entire erection period, the steelwork should be securely bolted or otherwise fastened and braced to take care of the stresses from erection equipment or the loads carried during erection. In addition to this, adequate provisions to resist lateral forces and wind loads during erection should also be made according to local conditions.

Normally bracings are built into all types of structures to give them a capability to withstand horizontal forces produced by wind, temperature and the movements of crane and other plant in and on the building. Bracings can be permanent or temporary.

Temporary bracings required at some stages of the work must have properly designed connections and should be specifically referred to in the erection method statement. The decision on sequence of erection such as which member should be erected first for providing initial stability to the structure or whether temporary bracings should be used for this purpose should be taken at an early stage of planning of the erection process. Below illustrates this point. As permanent bracings have been provided in AB, bay erection should logically start from AB bay to give stability and ensure proper alignment of the erected structure. In case, for some reason erection has to start from DE bay, it would be necessary to provide temporary bracings in this bay. The bracing system should be retained till the permanent bracings are fixed in the AB bay. Any mis-alignment at initial stage will impair the performance, of the structure when completed. Early or unauthorized removal of temporary bracings is a common cause of collapse in a partially completed frame.

Bracing System



Having considered the need for installing temporary bracings and the need to postpone fixing permanent bracings, consideration should be given to the overall economy of retaining the temporary bracings and perhaps leaving out the permanent bracings. It is a costly and potentially dangerous business to go back into a structure solely in order to take out temporary members, or to insert components that had to be left out temporarily.

Maintaining tolerances
The best way of erecting a structure within the acceptable tolerance limits is to make sure that accuracy is achieved from the very beginning of the job.

Maximum permissible tolerance in erected steel structures

Thus quality control must start from the setting out of the foundations and the holding down bolts. This operation is often done at a stage when site conditions are disorderly and most untidy and the environment appears to be incongruous to accuracy. However, inaccuracies in marking the centerlines and the levels of foundations allowed at this stage are likely to cause misfit in the connections and misalignment of the structure leading to secondary stresses in the members. In such areas corrective measure must be taken by way of locally modifying some of the components so as to eliminate the mismatch. Above table shows some typical tolerances that are accepted in structural steel work.


Most steel structures are fabricated by either bolting or welding in the shop and bolting or welding in the field. Durability of a structure largely depends on the quality of the joints made at site. In bolted connections, care should be taken to ensure that all parts intended to be bolted together should be in contact over the whole surface and the surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned and painted with specified primer paint and the two matching plates or sections secured together while the paint is still wet by service bolts.

After erection, the joint should be made by filling not less than 50% of the holes with bolts. The service bolts are to be tightened. The holes that need enlargement to admit bolts or rivets should be reamed only after carefully examining the extent of the inaccuracy and the effect on the soundness of the structure. Such holes must not be formed by gas cutting process. The contact surfaces in HSFG connection if painted will develop lesser friction and this should have been accounted for in design. The fundamentals of HSFG connections are elaborated in the chapter on Bolted connections. For connections to be done by welding, the components should be securely held in position to ensure alignment, camber etc., before welding is commenced. In the case of field assembly using bolts the number of washers for the permanent bolts should not be more than two (and not less than one) for the nuts and one for the bolt head. It is desirable to use wooden rams and mallet to force the members in position so as to protect steelwork from injury and shock. It should also be ensured that the bolts project through the nut by at least one thread. In the case of field assembly by welding almost all the precautions needed for shop welding may be followed. In the case of High Strength Friction Grip (HSFG) bolts the material surfaces should be absolutely free from grease, lubricant, dust, rust etc. and shall be thoroughly cleaned before assembling. The nuts should be pre tensioned by a torque–wrench or by the turn of the nut method with the help of pneumatic wrench/lever. After tightening the bolt heads, nuts and edges of the mating, surfaces should be sealed with a coat of paint to obviate entry of moisture. In the case of connections such as base plate they must be aligned and leveled using wedges/ shims and subsequently filled by groutin

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