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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 7, Number 2, April 2007 , pages 87-103

Experimental investigation of force-distribution in high-strength bolts in extended end-plate connections
K. M. Abdalla, G. A. R. Abu-Farsakh and S. A. Barakat

    This paper presents some of the results from an experimental research project on the behavior of extended end-plate connections subjected to moment conducted at the Structural Laboratory of Jordan University of Science and Technology. Since the connection behavior affects the structural frame response, it must be included in the global analysis and design. In this study, the behavior of six full-scale stiffened and unstiffened cantilever connections of HEA- and IPE-sections has been investigated. Eight high strength bolts were used to connect the extended end-plate to the column flange in each case. Strain gauges were installed inside each of the top six bolts in order to obtain experimentally the actual tension force induced within each bolt. Then the connection behavior is characterized by the tension force in the bolt, extended end-plate behavior, moment-rotation relation, and beam and column strains. Some or all of these characteristics are used by many Standards; therefore, it is essential to predict the global behavior of column-beam connections by their geometrical and mechanical properties. The experimental test results are compared with two theoretical (equal distribution and linear distribution) approaches in order to assess the capabilities and accuracy of the theoretical models. A simple model of the joint is established and the essential parameters to predict its strength and deformational behavior are determined. The equal distribution method reasonably determined the tension forces in the upper two bolts while the linear distribution method underestimated them. The deformation behavior of the tested connections was characterized by separation of the column-flange from the extended end-plate almost down to the level of the upper two bolts of the lower group and below this level the two parts remained in full contact. The neutral axis of the deformed joint is reasonably assumed to pass very close to the line joining the upper two bolts of the lower group. Smooth monotonic moment-rotation relations for the all tested frames were observed.
Key Words
    steel connections; high strength bolts; moment rotation curves; experimental.
Civil Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 3030, Irbid-22110, Jordan

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