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Journal of Constructional Steel Research 61 (2005) 16501671 www.elsevier.


Application of steel channels as stiffeners in bolted moment connections

H. Tagawaa,, S. Gurelb
a Department of Environmental Engineering and Architecture, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Nagoya 464-8603,

b Department of Civil Engineering, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan

Received 17 August 2004; accepted 29 April 2005

Abstract This paper proposes a stiffening method to meet some architectural needs. This method uses bolted channels as alternatives to both continuity and doubler plates in bolted moment-resistant beam-to-column connections. The present study investigates the performance of channels as stiffeners to: increase yield load in the tension zone of connection, gradually increase overall moment capacity of connection, and avert shear failure of the column web panel zone. We conducted experiments to examine the tension region of the connection loaded from T-stubs. The moment capacity of full connection was predicted by considering T-stub idealization and shear effects on the column web panel. T-stub tensile behavior and overall connection behavior were also monitored using three-dimensional nite element simulations in ANSYS simulation software because this problem is three-dimensional in nature. Effects of geometrical and material non-linearities on interaction among connecting members should be claried. This study showed marked strength improvement in connection by use of channels. The performance of channel stiffeners was examined through comparison of results. 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Beam-to-column joint; Bolted moment connection; Stiffener; Channel; Yield mechanism; Testing; Finite element modeling

Corresponding author. Tel.: +81 52 789 3766; fax: +81 52 789 3837.

E-mail address: (H. Tagawa). 0143-974X/$ - see front matter 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jcsr.2005.04.004

H. Tagawa, S. Gurel / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 61 (2005) 16501671


Fig. 1. A typical bolted connection with traditional stiffeners.

1. Introduction Damage to several steel moment-resisting frames involving brittle failure of welded beam-to-column connections, such as that which occurred in the 1994 Northridge and 1995 Kobe earthquakes, has emphasized some drawbacks related to welding. Recently, bolted connections have become an important alternative in consideration of their good performance in past earthquakes. In particular, bolted beam-to-column connections are the common forms of moment-resisting frame joints. Nevertheless, a limiting factor hinders their design: deformation of the column ange in the tension region makes it difcult to satisfy strength and stiffness criteria without using stiffeners. The traditional method of reducing this deformation includes the use of welded transverse stiffeners (Fig. 1). If required, doubler plates are also used to prevent panel zone shear failure. Some previous studies, such as Moore and Sims [1], have addressed the stiffening of the tension zone in end-plate beam-to-column connections using backing plates as an alternative. Grogan and Surtees [2] also monitored the stiffening with bolted backing angles in their studies. Recently, requests from the architectural sector related to industrial building details have prompted us to investigate other alternatives to achieve design exibility for installation of operating equipment. We intended to eliminate transverse stiffeners to allow ducting inside of the joint and prevent misuse or neglect of transverse stiffeners such as that observed in some industrial buildings. This paper presents a new option for stiffening of bolted moment connections. It could provide sufcient strength against all of the aforementioned effects using the same element (Fig. 2). Channel members are installed between column


H. Tagawa, S. Gurel / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 61 (2005) 16501671

Fig. 2. Proposed stiffening with channels.

anges on both sides instead of doubler plates and transverse stiffeners. The beam ends connect to the column anges by extended end-plates or T-stubs and bolts shared with the channel connection. Because the use of welds is minimized in this conguration, the method of stiffening with channels is also helpful for eliminating drawbacks related to welding. This study specically addresses investigation of the elasto-plastic behavior of the channel stiffened bolted beam-to-column moment connections using test results and their three-dimensional nite element method (3D-FEM) simulations. This paper also includes some information gained from the previous studies [3,4]. 2. Local tensile strength 2.1. T-stub failure mechanisms In most bolted moment connections, connection failure is governed by yielding and excessive deformations of the tension zone. For that reason, we began with inspection of strength in that tension part to examine connection moment resistance. Individual T-stubs were monitored instead of full connections. The tension part of connection was subjected to an axial load based on the expected beam ange forces in actual connections. Fig. 3(a) and (b) show the application of this concept. Previous researchers, such as Packer and Morris [5], have addressed T-stub behavior under tension load. Three different failure mechanisms, depending on the relative stiffness of components and bolts, are possible in either the T-stub ange or the column ange:

H. Tagawa, S. Gurel / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 61 (2005) 16501671


Fig. 3. (a) Extended end-plate connection, (b) its T-stub idealization.

Fig. 4. Failure mechanism A.

yielding of the bolts, simultaneous yielding of the ange and bolts, or yielding of the ange alone. Failure by bolt fracture is ignored in our study. To clarify column ange yielding behavior and the effects of channel stiffeners, failure by simultaneous ange and bolt yielding is also averted by choosing the T-stub ange and bolts as extremely stiff in relation to the column ange and channels. Therefore, tension zone studies described in this paper address only failure by yielding of the column and channel anges. Some yield line patterns based on the yield line theory developed by Johansen [6] are applied to explain plastic behavior of the column ange and channel anges. Figs. 4 and 5 show the proposed failure mechanisms produced by taking note of prior studies [5,7]. Regarding the contact between the channel ange and column ange surfaces,


H. Tagawa, S. Gurel / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 61 (2005) 16501671

Fig. 5. Failure mechanism B.

we assumed that compatible yield line patterns are developed in both of them. Two different yield patterns are applied for the column ange and channel stiffener ange. Tension yield load Fy -t is evaluated using the equation of internal energy and the work done by the external load for failure mechanism A (Fig. 4) as (Fy -t /2) = {2m pc n(/m) + 2m pc + m pc C(/m) + 2m pc (n 0.5D )(/m) + m pc (C D )(/m)} + {2m pch2 + m pch C(/m) + m pch (C D )2(/m)}, where m pc =
2 tfc yc /4 2 and m pch = tfch ych /4 per unit length, and

2 2 Fy -t = tfc yc { + (2n + C D )/m} + tfch ych {2 + (1.5C D )/m}.


Variables m pc and m pch used in these equations are the respective plastic moment capacities per unit length of yield lines in the column ange and channel ange. Respective yield stresses in the column and channel are yc and ych . Thicknesses of the column ange and channel ange are tfc and tfch , respectively; C is the vertical bolt pitch between upper and lower rows of tension bolts. The bolt-hole diameter is represented as D ; m is the distance from the bolt centerline to the edge of the root llet. The distance from the bolt centerline to the side of the column ange is n, whereas represents a small unit displacement. Fig. 5 shows another yield pattern comprising two circular hinge

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Fig. 6. Details of the test specimen without stiffeners (T-N).

elds around the bolt-holes for the channel stiffener. Tensile yield load Fy -t is evaluated using the equation of internal energy and the work done by external load for failure mechanism B as (Fy -t /2) = {2m pcn(/m) + 2m pc + m pc C(/m) + 2m pc(n 0.5D )(/m) + m pc (C D )(/m)} + {2m pch4},
2 2 where m pc = tfc yc /4 and m pch = tfch ych /4 per unit length, and 2 2 Fy -t = tfc yc { + (2n + C D )/m} + tfch ych {4}.


Comparison of Eqs. (1) and (2) shows that the failure behaviors of the column ange are identical in the two mechanisms. Therefore, m, n, C, and D can be assigned easily in terms of bolt size and location on the column ange. According to the provisions of our design, channels are inserted such that the channel ange edges coincide with the edge of the root llet of the column ange. This condition should be provided to observe failure mechanisms for channel anges that were explained previously. In practice, if it is difcult to provide an appropriate channel section in the case of stiffening with hot-rolled channels, then the contribution of circular hinge elds in the channel ange to the overall failure mechanism should be reduced while the column ange failure mechanism and m parameter in the formulae remain unchanged.


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Fig. 7. Details of the specimen with 6 mm and 9 mm thick cold-formed channel stiffeners (T-6 and T-9).

2.2. Physical tests Four tests were performed to determine the effects of channel stiffeners on the column ange yield mechanism and common connection failure. The specimen group comprised a simple connection in which a T-stub was connected to a short length of column using no stiffener (specimen T-N) and three T-stub to column connections stiffened with the hotrolled (specimen T-C) and 6 mm thick (specimen T-6) and 9 mm thick (specimen T-9) cold-formed channels. T-stubs were manufactured using a 22 mm thick plate. Figs. 68 show the test specimen dimensions. Fig. 8 shows that a 4.5 mm thick ller plate is used for installation of the hot-rolled channel stiffener on one side and tapered plates are inserted between its inner surface and bolts to provide a sufcient contact. All specimens have 22 mm diameter bolt-holes. The external radii of corners are 13 and 18 mm for the 6 mm plate and 9 mm plate cold-formed channels, respectively. The actual dimensions of every test specimen were checked before tests. Our measurements showed that variations from nominal thicknesses were permissible for column and channel members. Actual lengths and widths were also nearly exact because the fabrication process used skilled workmanship and proper techniques. On the other hand, we observed some cross-sectional variations that had occurred during installation of channels and tightening of the bolts in the test specimen with cold-formed channels. Even though these cross-sectional variations are small and limited to within the length of column along the connection, they can induce some internal stresses and secondary effects.

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Fig. 8. Details of the specimen with hot-rolled channel stiffeners (T-C).

Variations in cold-formed channel cross-sections can also affect their support to the column web against compression loads in addition to the load transfer to them. Therefore, it is deduced that ller plates should be used in stiffening, not only with hot-rolled, but also with cold-formed channels to provide a proper channel installation between column anges. If appropriate ller plates of identical thickness are applied on both sides of every channel symmetrically on both sides of the column, such a conguration is expected to reduce cross-sectional variations and prevent non-symmetrical effects. Use of similar detail also simplies the erection process. Table 1 lists material properties of components and results of some pilot standard tensile tests done to inspect material characteristics of channels and the column using coupons from components. Four grade-F10T M20 bolts pretensioned by 182 kN force were used for connection. The ultimate tensile load of a bolt is 245 kN. For every test specimen, yield loads were predicted using Eqs. (1) and (2) respectively with regard to failure mechanisms A and B. They are shown in Table 2. In calculation of the yield load for hot-rolled channels, the 8 mm thickness of the mid-point of the ange leg is accounted for as tfch . After each specimen was placed in a 2 MN capacity tensile testing machine, tension loads were applied incrementally via T-stub webs. Only failure by yielding of the column and channel anges is considered to clarify the yielding behavior of the column ange and the effects of channel stiffeners. For that reason, the tests were ended when plastic deformations occurred in bolts; loading was continued until bolt extensions were observed.


H. Tagawa, S. Gurel / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 61 (2005) 16501671

Table 1 Material properties Component Column (H-150 150 7 10) Hot-rolled channel (C-125 65 6 8) Plate: 6 mm Plate: 9 mm Plate: 22 mm Material SN400B SS400 SN400B SN400B SN490B Yield stress (N/mm2 ) 288 328 339 305 352 Ultimate stress (N/mm2 ) 427 451 460 446 538 Elongation (%) 30.5 27.0 26.0 29.5 26.5

Table 2 Predicted tensile yield loads Test T-N T-6 T-9 T-C Stiffener Plate: 6 mm Plate: 9 mm C-125 Fy -t (kN) for mechanism A 259 396 528 488 Fy -t (kN) for mechanism B 259 418 570 523

Fig. 9. LVDT locations.

Relative displacements between two points on T-stub plates 70 mm away from the T-stub ange surface were measured using linear variable displacement transformers (Fig. 9). The average of the measurements from these two transformers was taken into account in drawing Ft diagrams. Some wire strain gauges were also used to check the strain distribution of the column web, channel webs, and T-stub webs. Fig. 10 shows the loaddisplacement curves recorded in tests and the predicted yield loads for each specimen using Eq. (1) for the failure mechanism A. It also depicts the loaddisplacement curves for specimens T-N and T-9, which resulted from partial nite element analysis (FEA), which is explained in the following section. Loading, displacement measurement and collecting strain data using strain gauges from webs in the plastic range were continued after gradual yielding of the joint initiated in the column and channel anges. Although increasing loads were utilized, we intended to present gradual

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Fig. 10. Loaddisplacement relationships for test specimens.

yielding instead of dening an exact yield point or an exact ultimate load accompanying failure of excessive deformations, cracking, or fracture, because plastic deformations that occur in the column or connections themselves are avoided in overall frame design as a practical matter. Residual deformations were examined after separation of the tested connection elements. Failure mechanism A and its combinations with mechanism B with increasing loads were observed in all tests. 2.3. Partial nite element analysis of the tension zone Studies on beam-to-column end-plate connections have increasingly used nite element simulations because of the three-dimensional nature of the problem and the complexity of geometrical and material non-linearity. That complexity makes their numerical analysis quite onerous. Moreover, not all behavior characteristics of connection are readily available from experiments. Therefore, using nite element simulations provides supplementary data for elucidating the stress and the strain distributions. It also provides another alternative for checking our experimental results. Relevant papers of Bahaari and Sherbourne [810], Bursi and Jaspart [11,12], Yang et al. [13], and Harada et al. [14] were reviewed to establish an appropriate approach for nite element simulation of connection. Here, partial 3D nite element models of the tension zone will also be adopted for non-linear structural FEA of T-N and T-9 specimens using a simulation software package (ANSYS, Version 7.0) [15]. 2.3.1. Modeling and element types The nite element mesh for the connection tension part of 1/8 is shown in Fig. 11. This part is assigned by considering the symmetries around all global axes to reduce the number of nodes. It is possible to use some higher order elements with mid-nodes for some curved connection parts (like column llet, channel curved corner, bolt head and shank, washer, and nut), but a 3D eight-node structural solid element named SOLID185 in ANSYS was used to model all components. Higher solution accuracy was achieved by mesh renements in predicted critical strain zones because the rst order solid elements are more suitable for plasticity type problems with discontinuities at the element edges.


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Fig. 11. Finite element mesh of the tension zone.

Bolt, washer, and nut were modeled as one integrated component; threads were neglected. Considering the fact that they stay in close contact with their connecting plates through all load steps, the continuity of mesh nodes was achieved using the Boolean operator glue. Bolt and bolt-hole diameters were assumed as equal for node continuity, but interaction between bolt and hole surfaces was ignored. In the contact surfaces between end-plate, column ange and channel ange, contact conditions were dened according to the penalty technique using the elastic Coulomb friction coefcient () of 0.45 and CONTA174 elements. Special pretension elements, named PRETS179 in ANSYS, were used to dene a strain surface in the bolt shank. 2.3.2. Material properties Elasto-plastic material models as regards coupon test results given in Table 1 were dened for components. We used the modulus of elasticity of 205 000 MPa and Poissons

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Fig. 12. Tension deformations in the channel ange.

ratio of 0.3. The tangential stiffness after the yield point was taken as 0.1% of the elasticity modulus for plasticity based on the Von MisesHill yield criterion, the associative ow rule, and the rate-independent bilinear isotropic (work) hardening rule. Tangential stiffness of the bolt material whose yield stress is 900 N/mm2 was dened as 10% of the elasticity modulus. 2.3.3. Loads and results Boundary conditions along the symmetry axis were dened as displacement values of zero in three orthogonal planes. A uniformly distributed tension load was applied to the nodes on the end surface of the plate that represented the beam ange. In the rst step of the solution, a pretension load of 182 kN was applied to the pretension surface in the bolt shank by xing the associated bolt nodes in space and using PRETS179 elements. Then, a non-linear large displacement static analysis was performed for present load conditions in the NewtonRaphson option with 100 loading steps. Loaddisplacement curves for specimens T-N and T-9 generated from FEA are shown in Fig. 10. Their agreement with the physical test results demonstrates the efciency of FEA in simulating actual T-stub behavior. Predicted yield loads derived from failure mechanism A are also compatible with the FEA results. Figs. 12 and 13 show the deformation contours determined by nodal displacements on the Y -axis for channel and column anges at the end of loading. In these gures, deformations are magnied to 20 times their actual values. It is possible to clearly view proposed failure mechanisms for anges. 3. Compression behavior In a bolted beam-to-column connection, yielding is generally governed by the onset of yielding in the tension zone. For that reason, attention was given to stiffening the tension zone of connection. Nevertheless, to assume the tension yield strength as the limit for


H. Tagawa, S. Gurel / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 61 (2005) 16501671

Fig. 13. Tension deformations in the column ange.

the moment capacity of the connection, it should be proved that the yield load of the compression zone is larger than that of the tension zone. The compression zone should have sufcient strength to prevent member instability; in addition, distortions that inhibit the rotation capacity should remain small. Our studies and tests on compression zone behavior continue to examine local web buckling and crippling as well as compression yielding. We anticipate a contribution of channel webs to resistance of the column web against compression forces. Nevertheless, until sufcient knowledge of individual compression components is obtained, channels contributions can be ignored for conservative estimates and the compression yield strength can be predicted using some conventional formulas, such as LRFDs [16]: Fy -c = (6k + N + 2t p ) yw twc (3)

where k is the distance from the outer face of the ange to the web toe of the llet, N is the beam ange delivering the concentrated force plus two leg sizes of llet welds or groove weld reinforcement, and t p is the end-plate thickness. The yield stress and thickness of the column web are respectively represented as yw and twc . Nevertheless, in columns without transverse stiffeners, the compression component is transferred to the column web by a bearing at the bottom of the connection in relation to geometrical conditions, whereas the tension group of bolts carries the tension component of the beam moment. Knowledge of the pressure distribution between the end-plate and column ange is fundamental to connection design. This point will also be incorporated into the theoretical estimation of the connection yield moment. 4. Panel zone shear behavior Panel zones of moment-resisting beam-to-column connections are subjected to moments, axial forces and large shear forces, which can induce signicant shear distortions.

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Fig. 14. Panel zone of a moment connection with channel stiffeners.

This study applies a conventional model of web panel deformation with rectilinear edges depending on constant shear stress distribution to the case with channel stiffeners. Thereby, we also examine channel web panel deformation. As shown in Fig. 14, the panel zone breadth of a channel, Bch - pa , is longer than the columns, h c , if the open form of channels is considered. This difference between breadths implies that the contribution of a channels shear resistance to the column panel zone shear strength decreases because the ratio between panel zone shear strains of channels and column is inversely proportional to the ratio between their breadths (Fig. 15). When the shear-yielding limit of joint is reached, the column web panel starts yielding while the channel web panels remain elastic. Therefore, the panel zone shear strength of the connection is formulated as Tpanel = twc h c + 2 hc Bch - pa
eff twch Bch - pa yc


h where the value of ( Bchc pa yc ) is smaller than ych . The respective shear yield stresses of the column and channels are yc and ych . The thickness of the channel web is twch . eff An effective breadth, Bch - pa , is dened for the channel web plane and the contribution of channel anges is ignored because the shear stresses along the channel anges act in opposite directions. Furthermore, secondary effects depending on the eccentricity of the channel cross-section also induce some loss of shear force transferred to channels from the column.


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Fig. 15. Panel zone shear behavior models.

Here, we assumed that bolts are sufciently reliable to provide shear transfer between the column and channel ange surfaces. We further assumed that using the required widththickness ratios for web plates prevents local buckling of channel webs. 5. Overall connection strength This section is intended to show a derivation of the overall connection strength using some simplied analytical evaluations for beam-to-column connection samples with and without stiffeners, which will also be analyzed by FEM later (Fig. 16). Although compression zone studies are still in progress to inspect instability characteristics, we performed some strength evaluations for beam-to-column connections without stiffeners and with 9 mm thick cold-formed channel stiffeners as depending on the tension yield load, compression yield load, and critical shear load. We combined them to assess the overall moment behavior of the connection. Thereby, we produced some predictions regarding strength that are useful for comparing FEA results. 5.1. Theoretical yield moment of connection Most studies of end-plate connections have assumed that a couple whose forces act at beam ange level can replace the beam moment. Two simple T-stubs are adopted to simulate the connection tension and compression zones. Using the minimum yield load, Fy , observed from tension or compression zone strength evaluations, the theoretical yield moment of the beam-to-column connection, M y , can be estimated as M y = Fy d, (5)

where d is distance between the couple forces. This distance varies from the distance between centroids of the top and bottom beam anges, d f , as shown in Fig. 3(a), to the distance from the outer row of tension bolts to the compression edge of the end-plate, as related to the pressure distribution. When we consider our overall connection samples, which will be presented later, it is possible to assume that the rigid end-plate remains planar while it rotates. Thus, d is evaluated by considering a triangular stress distribution in the compression zone and bolts tensile forces using BernoulliNavier assumptions.

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Fig. 16. Beam-to-column connection stiffened with channels.

Connection yield moment values derived from Eq. (5) according to the tension (M y -t ) and compression (M y -c ), and the shear yield (M y -sh ) moment are marked in Fig. 17. Here it should be reiterated that the contributions of channel stiffeners to the compression strength are ignored in evaluations because of the lack of information about the compression zone. In other words, M y -c in Fig. 17 uses only the compression strength of the column web. Therefore, it is very small compared to the yield moment observed in FEA of the channel-stiffened specimen. The increase of the yield moment in the stiffened specimen case indicates that channel stiffeners support the column web in the compression zone of the connection. If further strength improvements are needed, doubler plates can also be provided for compression zones in cooperation with channel stiffeners. 5.2. Finite element modeling of the overall connection A simple frame joint like that shown in Fig. 16 was examined to elucidate the overall behavior of the beam-to-column connection stiffened with channels. A 1500 mm long cantilever beam connects to a 1800 mm long simple supported column at its midspan. The P vertical load acts at the beam end. A sample of a connection with 9 mm thick cold-formed channel stiffeners and an unstiffened connection were examined for


H. Tagawa, S. Gurel / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 61 (2005) 16501671

Fig. 17. Momentrotation relationships and theoretical moment capacities.

Fig. 18. Momentshear strain relationships.

comparison. The beam and end-plate were dened as rigid rectangular prismatic solids to suppress their plastic deformations and to reveal channel utility by focusing on the column response. 5.2.1. Modeling, element types and material properties Considering a symmetry plane, Y Z , only half of the frame was modeled. Here it is notable that this modeling restrains occurrences of instability, such as web crippling and

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Fig. 19. Web shear strains of an unstiffened column at state A.

buckling, to the compression zone of connection. It also leads to increased deformation capacity of this zone. The total number of nodes was 30 478, although only half of the frame was modeled. As in partial modeling, a 3D eight-node structural solid element named SOLID185 in ANSYS was used to model all components. A coarser mesh was generated for parts other than critical zones such as distant column parts. The material properties were identical to the material properties that were used for partial FEA of the tension zone. 5.2.2. Loads and results Non-linear large displacement static analysis was performed for the system preloaded with bolt pretensions. The P load was applied in 50 loading steps. Post-processing based on the nodal output generated the relationships between the beam end moment and endplate rotation for stiffened and unstiffened models. For comparison, those relationships are given in Fig. 17 along with theoretical moment capacities. Theoretical yield moments referring to tension and panel zone shear indicate good agreement with relationship curves. Fig. 18 shows momentshear strain diagrams for unstiffened and stiffened joint samples. It shows the comparison of column and channel panel zone shear behaviors as regards shear strains measured from the centers of panel zones. Inspection of these curves reveals that the contribution of channel webs to panel zone shear behavior of the connection remains limited. This situation is explained as a result of the force losses depending


H. Tagawa, S. Gurel / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 61 (2005) 16501671

Fig. 20. Web shear strains in a column with a channel: 9 mm stiffeners at state B.

on the channel shape properties and localization of channels in the whole cross-section layout. Figs. 1921 show distributions of shear strains in the column web panel for the states A, B, and C as indicated in the diagrams. Deformations in these gures are magnied to ten times their actual value. Channel web elements are not shown in Figs. 20 and 21 to allow a view of the strain distributions on the column web. Inspection of the gures shows that the use of channel stiffeners reduces the shear strains in the column web. As regards nodal displacements in the Y -axis, overall joint deformations at the end of loading are shown in Fig. 22 for the bolted end-plate connection stiffened with a 9 mm channel. In this gure, the rigid end-plate and beam are made invisible again to check the column ange behavior. Deformations in the column stiffened with channels remain considerably smaller for higher load values in comparison to the unstiffened case. 6. Conclusions This study utilized nite element simulations to examine the strength of steel beam-tocolumn connections stiffened with bolted channels. By assuming T-stub idealization, yield tensile loads evaluated from the proposed failure mechanisms were compared to loaddisplacement curves that were generated from test and

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Fig. 21. Web shear strains in a column with a channel: 9 mm stiffeners at state C.

FEA results. Failure mechanism A, based on the yield line theory, gives good, reasonable, and conservative estimates of the yield load for all tests. Tensile yield loads predicted and obtained from tests indicate that stiffening with channels improves the yield strength of the specimen without stiffeners by 53%104% as related to the channel stiffener thickness. Similarities of FEA loaddisplacement curves to experimental curves emphasize the ability of three-dimensional non-linear FEA to simulate actual physical conditions for bolted endplate connections. The overall connection was simulated to investigate beam-to-column connection behavior because not all connection behavior characteristics are readily available from experimentation. Yield moments estimated by simplied theoretical methods that incorporate column ange tension yielding failure and column web shear failures are compatible with yield moments observed from momentrotation curves of the FEA. Inspection of them shows that, if the column is unstiffened, prior occurrence of the column web shear mechanism prevents column anges from exhibiting their actual strength. For that reason, stiffeners are also required to prevent panel zone failures. This inference emphasizes the importance of the contribution of channel webs to column web shear strength. Although the present study excludes instability characteristics in the compression zone, the method of stiffening with channels is found to be satisfactory for simultaneous


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Fig. 22. Joint deformations of a column with a channel: 9 mm stiffeners at state C.

strengthening of the column web against shear forces and anges against tension forces. The contribution of channels to the compression zone requires further study, which will provide complete information regarding the connection design with channel stiffeners. Acknowledgement This study was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientic Research (No. 16760450) from The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. References
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