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Performance of Steel Moment Connections under a Column Removal Scenario. I: Experiments



Hai S. Lew, Joseph A. Main, Stephen D. Robert, Fahim Sadek, Vincent Chiarito


This paper presents an experimental study of two full-scale steel beam-column assemblies, each comprising three columns and two beams, to (1) define their response characteristics under a column removal scenario, including the capacity of the beams and their connections to carry loads through catenary action, and (2) provide experimental data for validation of beam-to-column connection models for assessing the robustness of structural systems. The assemblies represent portions of the exterior moment-resisting frames of two ten-story steel frame buildings. One test specimen had welded unreinforced flange-bolted web connections, and the other had reduced beam section connections. When subjected to monotonically increasing vertical displacement of the unsupported center column, both specimens exhibited an initial elastic response dominated by flexure. With increased vertical displacement, the connections yielded, and axial tension developed in the beams. The axial tension in the beams increased until the connections failed under combined bending and axial stresses. The test results show that the rotational capacities of both connections under monotonic column displacement are about twice as large as those based on seismic test data.
Journal of Structural Engineering-ASCE


Buildings, Connections, Full-scale tests, Progressive collapse, Seismic design, Steel structures


Lew, H. , Main, J. , Robert, S. , Sadek, F. and Chiarito, V. (2012), Performance of Steel Moment Connections under a Column Removal Scenario. I: Experiments, Journal of Structural Engineering-ASCE, [online], (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created April 3, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017