Any steel structure is an assemblage of different members such as beam, columns, and tension members, which are fastened or connected to one another, usually at the member ends.
Many members in a steel structure may themselves be made of different components such as plates, angles, I-beams, or channels. These different components have to be connected properly by means of fasteners, so that they will act together as a single composite unit.
Connections between different members of a steel framework not only facilitate the flow of forces and moments from one member to another but also allow the transfer of forces up to the foundation level.
The basic goal of connection design is to produce a joint that is safe, economical, and simple (so that it can be manufactured and assembled at site without any difficulty).
It is also important to standardize the connections in a structure and to detail it in such a way that it allows sufficient clearance and adjustment to accommodate any lack of fit, resists corrosion, is easy to maintain, and provides reasonable appearance.