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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 16, Number 6, June 2014 , pages 611-637

Effect of plate properties on shear strength of bolt group in single plate connection
Aphinat Ashakul and Kriangkrai Khampa

    A single plate shear connection, or shear tab, is a very popular shear connection due to its merit in ease of construction and material economy. However, problems in understanding the connection behavior, both in terms of strength and ductility, have been well-documented. Suggestions or design model for single plate connections in AISC Design Manual have been altered several times, with the latest edition settling down to giving designers pre-calculated design strength tables if the connection details agree with given configurations. Results from many full-scale tests and finite element models in the past suggest that shear strength of a bolt group in single plate shear connections might be affected by yield strength of plate material; therefore, this research was aimed to investigate and clarify effects of plate yield strength and thickness on shear strength of the bolt group in the connections, including the validity of using a plate thickness/bolt diameter ratio (tp/db) in design, by using finite element models. More than 20 models have been created by using ABAQUS program with 19.0- and 22.2-mm A325N bolts and A36 and Gr.50 plates with various thicknesses. Results demonstrated that increase of plate thickness or plate yield strength, with the tp/db ratio remained intact, could significantly reduce shear strength of the bolt group in the connection as much as 15 percent. Results also confirmed that the tp/db ratio is a valid indicator to be used for guaranteeing strength sufficiency. Because the actual ratio recommended by AISC Design Manual is tp/db + 1.6 (mm) for connections with a number of bolts less than six and plate yield strength in construction is normally higher than the nominal value used in design, it is proposed that shear strength of a bolt group in single plate connections with a number of bolts equal or greater than seven be reduced by 15 percent and the tp/db ratio be limited to 0.500.
Key Words
    ABAQUS; finite element; shear strength of bolt group; single plate shear connection
Department of Civil Engineering, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok 10140, Thailand.

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