CASTINGS 208: Steel Castings for Complex & Heavily Loaded Connections

Use of steel castings in building and bridge design is ever increasing. The freeform geometry inherent in the steel casting manufacturing process has led to castings becoming a preferred solution for architecturally exposed steel connections. However, freedom of geometry can also be leveraged to provide elegant solutions to the most difficult engineering challenges.

This course review structural requirements that may warrant the consideration of a cast steel connection solution. It will present case studies of projects in which cast steel connections were used to simplify the design, fabrication, and erection of complex structural connections. An overview of the casting manufacturing process will be included, as will be a discussion on the specification of structural castings.


  • Identify opportunities for steel castings to improve performance and increase efficiency of heavily loaded and complex steel connections.
  • Explain how the ability to create cast nodes of free-form geometry facilitates the design of structurally efficient connections.
  • Explain methods of quality control and non-destructive examination that are incorporated in the process of manufacturing structural castings and discuss differences in the material quality of castings from other widely available structural steel products.
  • Create a specification for castings which successfully communicates structural design criteria to casting suppliers such that the casting products delivered to the project can safely and efficiently carry structural loads.
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