Type of Document Dissertation Author Meng, Ronald L. URN etd-11082006-133629 Title Design of moment end-plate connections for seismic loading Degree PhD Department Civil Engineering Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Murray, Thomas M. Committee Chair Barker, Richard M. Committee Member Easterling, W. Samuel Committee Member Holzer, Siegfried M. Committee Member Plaut, Raymond H. Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 1996-04-22 Availability restricted AbstractAnalytical and experimental research into the seismic response of four-bolt
extended moment end-plate connections was conducted. Full-scale connections, ranging
in size from moderate to large, were designed, fabricated and tested under cyclic loading
until connection failure was observed. The design procedures for minimum end-plate
thickness were developed from yield-line theory with prying forces included in the bolt
tension forces. Stiffened end-plates, four-bolt wide connections and shimmed end-plate
connections were valiations of the four-bolt connection tested. A325 and A490 bolts with
internal strain gauges were employed to record and analyze bolt tension forces.
Test results demonstrate that the design approach is satisfactory, but several
aspects of connection response not previously observed nor reported were encountered.
When weld access holes were present in an extended end-plate connection, excessive 3-D
stresses developed in the hole region, causing a brittle fracture of the beam flange. In the
absence of weld access holes, ductile failure occurred, evidenced by local buckling of the
beam flanges and plastic hinge formation. These two responses or failures were exhibited
by all connection sizes. The use of end-plate stifieners appeared to provide sufficient
stress reduction, as ductile failures were observed in all stiffened, extended end-plate
connection tests with weld access holes.
Grade 50 steel, four-bolt end-plate connections with built-up beam sections were
also tested and demonstrated that inadequate weld strength exists in the beam web-toflange
welds. Prior to fracture in these welds, the connections responded in a ductile
manner with local beam flange buckling.
In conjunction with the full-scale testing, finite element models were created for
several connection sizes. When actual material properties of the steel and bolts were
modeled, an excellent correlation of test data and the model was noted. When weld
access holes were introduced in the models, an increase of flange strain in the hole region
Although not conclusive nor comprehensive for every connection configuration,
the four-bolt design appears satisfactory to survive seismic activity. Further research
should provide answers to other configurations and eventually provide an acceptable
alternative beam-to-column connection for high seismic areas.
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