Title page for ETD etd-11082006-133629

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
  • End-plate
  • Connection
  • Seismic
  • Bolted
  • Full-Scale
Date of Defense 1996-04-22
Availability restricted
Analytical 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

was noted.

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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