Structural and economic aspects of the use of semi-rigid joints in steel frames
This thesis reports on five main areas as follows: 1. Braced steel frames designed for semi-continuous construction were studied to determine savings in both cost and weight. Various frame parameters such as the number of bays, use of grade S355 steel, beam spans, types of connection, and selection of beam size were investigated. The investigation confirmed that semicontinuous construction contributes to worthwhile percentage savings on both cost and weight. 2. Analysis and design of steel unbraced frames bending on both axes were performed with emphasis on stability and deflection checks. Rules are proposed to improve the stability and stiffness. For connections to the minor axis, a proposed joint detail is presented. The performance of the frames was checked for collapse load level at ULS; deflection limits at SLS were also checked; in both cases using first and second order analysis. The investigation demonstrated that the frames should be restricted to less than four storeys. 3. A study on minor axis joints was carried out for flush end plate connections connected to the column web. Previous experimental results of moment and stiffness were compared with predicted values. Moment values were predicted using Gomes' formulae. The stiffness due to the column web was predicted using finite element analysis. The results showed good agreement between experimental and predicted values. The study on the connections was extended to their suitability in steel frames bending about the minor axis; the investigation confirmed that the connections were not suitable for unbraced wind-moment frames. An equation for prediction of initial stiffness was nevertheless established for the connection. 4. Steel frames with composite beams designed for minimum wind combined with maximum gravity load were studied for their performance, taking into account cracking along the beams. The investigation showed that the frames meet the requirements of deflection and sustain a load level of 1.0 for ULS. For frames studied for maximum wind combined with minimum gravity load, the moment capacity of the joints governed the design which resulted in a deeper beam section. 5. Seven tests were carried out for a new type of shear connector system installed by compressed air. The aim of the tests was to study the shear capacity and ductility of the studs. The tests showed that the pins fail due to fracture and the stud systems needs some improvements to increase the key structural properties.