Identifying Critical Connections for the Global Performance of Steel Moment Resisting Frames Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The investigations following the unacceptable performance of moment resisting frames (MRFs) in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake led to the development of a variety of alternative ductile connections. Tests have shown that these connections have reliable component-level performance, leading to them being recommended in standards worldwide as pre-qualified for MRFs. Current design practice consists of applying a single type of ductile connection, often the reduced beam section (RBS), uniformly throughout an entire frame. These connections are detailed and inspected to ensure that each connection has a similar minimum deformation capacity throughout the building, regardless of local deformation demands.This paper examines the potential design implications of identifying local areas within a MRF having the greatest joint rotational demands. Once identified, the connections at these locations are deemed critical to the global performance of the frame. First, the collapse analysis of a six-storey MRF with well-detailed RBS connections was conducted to quantify an upper bound system-level performance. Thereafter, a lower bound system-level performance was determined by considering a frame constructed using only connections with a lowered rotational capacity. Subsequent series of analyses were conducted to identify critical locations within the frame where RBS connections must have a high reliable rotational capacity to ensure adequate system-level performance.