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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 7, Number 2, April 2007 , pages 161-184

Practical and efficient approaches for semi-rigid design of composite frames
Beatriz Gil and Eduardo Bayo

    The use of composite semi-rigid connections is not fully exploited, in spite of its great number of advantages. Composite semi-rigid connections may lead to an optimal moment distribution that will render lighter structures. Furthermore, using the appropriate semi-rigid connection design, the stability of the frames against lateral loads may entirely rely on the joint stiffness, thus avoiding bracing systems and permitting more diaphanous designs. Although modern codes, such as the Eurocode 4 (EC4), propose thorough methods of analysis they do not provide enough insight and simplicity from the design point of view. The purpose of this paper is to introduce practical and efficient methods of analysis that will facilitate the work of a structural analyst starting from the global analysis of the composite frame and ending on the final connection design. A key aspect is the definition of the stiffness and strength of the connections that will lead to an optimal moment distribution in the composite beams. Two examples are presented in order to clarify the application of the proposed methods and to demonstrate the advantages of the semi-rigid composite design with respect to the alternative pinned and rigid ones. The final aim of the paper is to stimulate and encourage the designer on the use of composite semi-rigid structures.
Key Words
    composite semi-rigid connections; semi-rigid frame; component method.
Department of Structural Analysis and Design, School of Architecture, University of Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain

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