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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 31, Number 1, April10 2019, pages 99-112

Direct analysis of steel frames with asymmetrical semi-rigid joints
Jake L.Y. Chan and S.H. Lo

    Semi-rigid joints have been widely studied in literature in recent decades because they affect greatly the structural response of frames. In literature, the behavior of semi-rigid joints is commonly assumed to be identical under positive and negative moments which are obviously incorrect in many cases where joint details such as bolt arrangement or placement of haunch are vertically asymmetrical. This paper evaluates two common types of steel frames with asymmetrical beam-to-column joints by Direct Analysis allowing for plasticity. A refined design method of steel frames using a proposed simple forth order curved-quartic element with an integrated joint model allowing for asymmetrical geometric joint properties is presented. Furthermore, the ultimate behavior of six types of asymmetrical end-plate connections under positive and negative moment is examined by the Finite Element Method (FEM). The FEM results are further applied to the proposed design method with the curved-quartic element for Direct Analysis of two types of steel frames under dominant gravity or wind load. The ultimate frame behavior under the two different scenarios are examined with respect to their failure modes and considerably different structural performances of the frames were observed when compared with the identical frames designed with the traditional method where symmetrical joints characteristics were assumed. The finding of this research contributes to the design of steel frames as their asymmetrical beam-to-column joints lead to different frame behavior when under positive and negative moment and this aspect should be incorporated in the design and analysis of steel frames. This consideration of asymmetrical joint behavior is recommended to be highlighted in future design codes.
Key Words
    bolted end-plate joint; plastic design; rigid/semi-rigid joint
(1) Jake L.Y. Chan, S.H. Lo:
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China;
(2) Jake L.Y. Chan:
Wo Lee Green Solutions Ltd., China.

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