A FE parametric study of RWS beam-to-column bolted connections with cellular beams

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Abstract

In recent years, researchers study alternative connection designs for steel seismic-resistant frames by reducing the beam section in different ways including that of creating an opening in its web (RWS connections). A similar design is applied in the fabrication of perforated (i.e. cellular and castellated) beams mostly used to support the service integration, as well as the significant mass reduction in steel frames. This paper presents a comprehensive finite element (FE) analysis of extended end-plate beam-to-column connections, with both single and multiple circular web openings introduced along the length of the beam while subjected to the cyclic loading proposed by the SAC protocol from FEMA 350 (2000). The three-dimensional (3D) FE solid model was validated against FE and experimental results and the chosen configuration was capable of representing the structural behaviour of a partially restrained connection, without the necessity to be idealised as fully fixed. The study focuses in the interaction of such connections and the mobilisation of stresses from the column to the perforated beam. The parameters introduced were the distance from the face of the column, S, and the web opening spacing, S<inf>o</inf>, with closely and widely spaced web openings. It is found that RWS connections with cellular beams behave in a satisfactory manner and provide enhanced performance in terms of the stress distribution when subjected to cyclic loading. The design of partially restrained RWS connections should be primarily based on the distance of the first opening from the face of the column.

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Tsavdaridis, K. D., & Papadopoulos, T. (2016). A FE parametric study of RWS beam-to-column bolted connections with cellular beams. Journal of Constructional Steel Research, 116, 92–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcsr.2015.08.046

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