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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26253

Title: Branch Plate-to-circular Hollow Structural Section Connections
Authors: Voth, Andrew Peter
Advisor: Packer, Jeffrey A.
Department: Civil Engineering
Keywords: steel structures
hollow structural sections
finite element analysis
structural engineering
circular hollow sections
static loading
branch plate
stiffened connections
grout filled
Issue Date: 17-Feb-2011
Abstract: Although branch plate connections with circular hollow section (CHS) members are simple to fabricate and cost-effective, they are generally very flexible under low load application resulting in the limit states design resistance being governed by an imposed deformation limit. Restricting the ultimate capacity of a branch plate connection by a deformation limit results in the inherent strength of the CHS member being under-utilized, highlighting the need to develop connection stiffening methods. Two methods to stiffen branch plate-to-CHS connections are examined: a through plate connection and a grout-filled CHS branch plate connection. Further, the current design guidelines of various plate-to-CHS connection types are reexamined including the effect of chord axial stress and chord length on connection behaviour. Finally, the behaviour of connections with non-orthogonal or skew plate orientation, which has not previously been examined, was studied in depth.The behaviour of these uniplanar connection types under quasi-static axial loading was studied through 16 large-scale laboratory experiments and 682 numerical finite element analyses, as well as an extensive review of all previous international experimental and numerical findings. The extensive study formed the basis for a complete set of proposed design guidelines and provided insight into plate-to-CHS connection behaviour. For all plate-to-CHS connection types, the plate thickness is shown to effect connection capacity, though previously this was thought not to have significant impact on connection behaviour. The existing ideology of using the same design recommendations for tension- and compression-loaded connections, which was developed from compression results, under-utilizes an inherent increase in capacity provided by a connection primarily loaded in tension. As such, the recommended design guidelines split the two load senses into separate expressions that reflect the difference in behaviour. Stiffened through plate connection behaviour was determined to be the summation of branch plate behaviour in compression and tension, leading to a significant increase in capacity and identical behaviour regardless of branch load sense. The skewed branch plate connection behaviour was found to relate directly to the established behaviour of longitudinal and transverse plate connections. A design function was developed that interpolates the capacities of intermediate angles by using the proposed design recommendations of the two extreme connection types. Finally, the examination of chord axial stress and chord length for plate-to-CHS connections yielded results similar to previous international studies on CHS-to-CHS connections. The effect of chord length, however, has wide-reaching implications as to how experimental and numerical FE research programs are developed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26253
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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