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Bolt Holes

Standard Holes

Standard hole sizes for bolts are made 1/16-in. larger in diameter than the nominal size of the fastener body. This provides a certain amount of play in the holes, which compensates for small misalignments in hole location or assembly, and aids in the shop and field entry of fasteners. In the absence of approval by the engineer for use of other hole types, standard holes shall be used in high strength bolted connections.

Although most holes for high-strength bolts are made 1/16-in. larger in diameter than the bolt body, certain conditions encountered in field erection require greater adjustment than this clearance can provide and approval from the engineer is required.

The maximum sizes of holes for bolts are given in the table below, except that larger holes, required for tolerance on location of anchor bolts in concrete foundations, are permitted in column base details.

Standard holes shall be provided in member-to-member connections, unless oversized, short-slotted or long-slotted holes in bolted connections are approved by the designer. Finger shims up to 1/4-in. may be introduced into slip-critical connections designed on the basis of standard holes without reducing the allowable shear stress of the fastener.

Oversize and Slotted Holes

When approved by the engineer, oversize, short slotted holes or long slotted holes may be used subject to the following joint detail requirements:

(1) Oversize holes may be used in any or all plies of connections in which the allowable slip resistance of the connection is greater than the applied load. Oversized holes shall not be used in bearing-type connections. Hardened washers shall be installed over oversized holes in an outer ply.

(2) Short slotted holes may be used in any or all plies of connections designed on the basis of allowable stress on the fasteners provided the load is applied approximately normal (betwen 80 and 100 degrees) to the axis of the slot. Short slotted holes may be used without regard for the direction of applied load in any or all plies of connections in which the allowable slip resistance is greater than the applied force. Wahers shall be installed over short-slotted holes in an outer ply; when high strength bolts are used, such washers shall be hardened.

(3) Long slotted holes may be used in one of the connected parts at any individual faying surface in connections designed on the basis of allowable stress on the fasteners provided the load is applied approximately normal (between 80 and 100 degrees) to the axis of the slot. Long slotted holes may be used in one of the connected parts at any individual faying surface without regard for the direction of applied load on connections in which the allowable slip resistance is greater than the applied force. Where long-slotted holes are used in an outer ply, plate washers or a continuous bar with standard holes, having a size sufficient to completely cover the slot after installation, shall be provided. In high-strength bolted connections, such plate washers or continuous bars shall not be less than 5/16-in. thick and shall be of structural grade material, but not be hardened. If hardened washers are required for use of high-strength bolts, the hardened washers shall be placed over the outer surface of the plate washer or bar.

(4) Fully inserted finger shims between the faying surfaces of load transmitting elements of connections are not to be considered a long slot element of a connection.

Bolt Diameter (d)Hole Dimensions
Standard DiameterOversize DiameterShort Slot (Width x Length)Long Slot (Width x Length)
1/29/165/89/16 x 11/169/16 x 1 1/16
5/811/1613/1611/16 x 7/811/16 x 1 9/16
3/413/1615/1613/16 x 113/16 x 1 7/8
7/815/161 1/1615/16 x 1 1/815/16 x 2 3/16
11 1/161 1/41 1/16 x 1 5/161 1/16 x 2 1/2
>=1 1/8diameter + 1/16diameter + 5/16(d + 1/16) x (d + 3/8)(d + 1/16) x (2.5 x d)

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