RAM Connection can design extended end-plate connections using the design guidelines in AISC Design Guide 4 (DG4) or AISC Design Guide 16 (DG 16).
Older versions of RAM Connection only support extended MEP connections designed per DG4. The DG16 MEP connections were added in v8.0.0. In the same release, the ability to specify flush end plates and multiple rows of bolts was also added in the same release. Release notes for RAM Connection v8.0 can be found here: RAM Connection v8.0 Release Notes
The design philosophy in DG4 is discussed in detail in Section 2.2.3 of the Design Guide. Briefly, the design method in DG4 assumes a strong column, strong connection, and a weak beam. The end plate and column flange are assumed to remain elastic, and no prying forces are assumed in the bolts. The design guide refers to this behavior as "thick plate behavior." Thick plate behavior is ensured when the no prying bolt strength is less than or equal to 90% of the end plate and column flange strength. See equations below:
Where, Mnp = No Prying Moment and M = Flexural Strength of Plate or Column Flange
The design philosophy in DG16 allows for prying action in the bolts. Connections designed per DG16 are designed for either "thick plate behavior" (no prying action) or "thin plate behavior" (prying).
RAM Connection checks both the end plate and column flange for thick plate behavior using the equations from the applicable Design Guide. A summary of the plate/column flange behavior is summarized in the Section "Plate/Column Behavior" in the Results Report:
If either the end plate or the column flange exhibits thin plate behavior, a warning message will be identified in the Results Report:
When using a DG4 Connection, this warning should not be ignored. It means that one of the assumptions of the design method has been violated. Changes will need to be made to either the end plate or column size for a valid design.
Troubleshooting Errors when Assigning Connections