Steel Manufacturing Blog: Keeping it Steel

Hillside Washer Flange

Posted on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 11:55 AM

Hillside Washer FlangeHillside Washers can function in the basic form shown in Figure 1. All the necessary features are in place, along with the load strength to ensure durable performance.

Things that should be considered when designing the turnbuckle or bracing rod assembly include 1) the thickness of the I-beam web or flange and 2) the size of the hole that is required for the turnbuckle rod, eye bolt, or whatever rod will pass through it. When dealing with the hole size, it is important to keep in mind that the turnbuckle rod will pass through at an angle. For purpose of this conversation, it will be assumed the angle is 45°, the rod is 3/4” in diameter, and the web is 1/4” thick.

Hillside Washer FlangeNote: Due to the rough casting method used to manufacture these hillside washers, all measurements are +/-.

As shown in Figure 2 the 3/4” diameter round bar, at a 45° angle, requires a slot 1.41” long. The slot must also allow space for the locking tab (shown in black). Combined, the space required is 1.975”, which for simplicity or tooling purposes, would be enlarged to 2”.

Typically, the width of the slot requires no more than the standard bolt clearance of 1/16”, so the slot for this assembly would be 13/16” x 2”.  Because the locking tab is at the front edge, the hillside washer is only supported on 3 sides.

Hillside Washer FlangeUsing the dimensions shown in Figure 3, the area of the base is 3” sq. The area of the slot that will be cut in the web or flange is roughly 1-1/2 sq. inches. This leaves 1-1/2 sq. inches of steel surface on the 3 supported sides for the hillside washer to rest on.

In most cases, the I-beam web or flange provides more than enough strength to withstand the force the hillside washer exerts on it. Typical wide flange I-beams always have flanges that are thicker than the web, so the strength will change based on what surface the hillside washer is mounted against. For example, a W14 x 61 beam will have a web thickness of .378” but an average flange thickness of .643”

The engineer or designer will make the calculations necessary to ensure the mounting surface is sufficiently strong to support the stress the assembly will put on it. One situation where this becomes an important concern is in Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings (PEMB). For two reasons these structures may involve lighter column and beams. First, the designs are intended to be built many times so any savings on material will multiply over the life of that design. Second, PEMB’s are done as one story structures mostly with peaked roofs, so the weight loads may not reach the same value as a flat roof.  

Also, the PEMB employs thinner gauge Z or C channels as part of their integrated support structure which, if used in conjunction with bracing rods, may not have the yield strength to provide the necessary resistance under a load.

In cases where the web, flange, or Z-channel require additional support, the designer may call for a plate washer called a flange washer under the hillside washer to distribute the load over a larger area.

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Tags: Hillside Washers, Turnbuckle Rods, steel supply, turnbuckles, I-Beam, Thermal Break

Stainless Steel Clevis and Turnbuckle Material and Standards

Posted on Wed, Apr 08, 2015 @ 04:15 PM

Stainless Steel Turnbuckle Rods and Clevis Rods have some variations in material that will affect the design and production. The first point to note is the difference in material between the round bar and the hardware. Stainless steel round bar comes in a wide variety of grades. For Structural and Miscellaneous steel fabricating the fundament grade is 303 or 304. Often Clevis Rod and Turnbuckle Rod assemblies are specified leaving the fabricator the option of using either.

The higher grade stainless round bar is 316 or 316L. While there are still many grades above that they are used only for special purposes.

Clevis and Turnbuckle Hardware, on the other hand, is all 316 stainless steel. For assemblies calling for 303/304 round bar the hardware is superseded to 316. This is an efficiency step that allows the manufacturers to limit the range of products they carry and hopefully reduce the cost.

Surface Contamination / Rust

Regardless of the stainless steel grade used for the rod, Turnbuckle or Clevis, the fabricator should be aware that stainless steel contains surface contamination that will rust. This is cause by the tooling used to make the stainless steel. Whether cast, forged or rolled the tools and forms are all carbon steel. In the process of forming the stainless steel, particles of carbon steel wear off and embed themselves in the surface of the stainless steel. Once exposed to the elements these particles being to show oxidation.

To prevent surface rust from occurring the stainless steel Clevis Rod or Turnbuckle Rod Assembly should be pickled, passivated and electro-polished. Or in simple terms, thoroughly cleaned and treated so the outer surface is more resistant to reactions. This includes the Stainless Steel Clevis Pin.

Grinnell Standards

Grinnell Standards are a set of dimensions that can be used as “standards” by the designer of the Turnbuckle Rod or Clevis Rod. They are intended to simplify the process of specifying and manufacturing Clevises by limiting the endless combination of variables to a few practical combinations.

To view the Grinnell Standard Clevises, click here:

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For the manufacturer of Stainless Steel Clevises and Turnbuckles the advantage of following Grinnell Standards is limited because the hardware is not made in large lots but is more made to order. Nonetheless the Grinnell Standards are still very useful to the Engineer in that the capacities of each component remain consistent.

Note: All load bearing Clevis Rod and Turnbuckle Rod Assemblies should be designed by a Licensed Engineer.


Steel Supply Co. provides a free Turnbuckle Assembly Worksheet & Guide


stainless steel clevis and turnbuckle material and standards

Tags: Clevis Rods, Clevis, steel supply, clevises, clevis pin, turnbuckles