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Structural Engineering and Mechanics   Volume 67, Number 5, September10 2018, pages 439-455
Probability-based structural response of steel beams and frames with uncertain semi-rigid connections
Dario De Domenico, Giovanni Falsone and Rossella Laudani

Abstract     [Buy Article]
    Within a probabilistic framework, this paper addresses the determination of the static structural response of beams and frames with partially restrained (semi-rigid) connections. The flexibility of the nodal connections is incorporated via an idealized linear-elastic behavior of the beam constraints through the use of rotational springs, which are here considered uncertain for taking into account the largely scattered results observed in experimental findings. The analysis is conducted via the Probabilistic Transformation Method, by modelling the spring stiffness terms (or equivalently, the fixity factors of the beam) as uniformly distributed random variables. The limit values of the Eurocode 3 fixity factors for steel semi-rigid connections are assumed. The exact probability density function of a few indicators of the structural response is derived and discussed in order to identify to what extent the uncertainty of the beam constraints affects the resulting beam response. Some design considerations arise which point out the paramount importance of probability-based approaches whenever a comprehensive experimental background regarding the stiffness of the beam connection is lacking, for example in steel frames with semi-rigid connections or in precast reinforced concrete framed structures. Indeed, it is demonstrated that resorting to deterministic approaches may lead to misleading (and in some cases non-conservative) outcomes from a design viewpoint.
Key Words
    probability transformation method; probability density function; semi-rigid connections; partially restrained beams; probability-based design
Dario De Domenico, Giovanni Falsone and Rossella Laudani: Department of Engineering, University of Messina, Contrada Di Dio, 98166 Sant

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