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Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 3114–3118

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Engineering Structures
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/engstruct

Analysis of the steel frames with the semi-rigid beam-to-beam and


beam-to-column knee joints under bending and axial forces
Alfonsas Daniūnas ∗ , Kȩstutis Urbonas
Department of Steel and Timber Structures, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Saulėtekio al. 11, LT-10223 Vilnius, Lithuania

article info a b s t r a c t

Article history: This paper presents an analysis of framework structures with semi-rigid joints. The semi-rigid end-plate
Received 18 January 2008 bolted joints are subjected to bending and tension or a compression axial force. Usually the influence of
Received in revised form an axial force on joint rotational stiffness is neglected. In some cases, the level of axial forces in the joints
11 April 2008
of structures can be significant and has a profound influence on characteristics of semi-rigid joints. One
Accepted 21 April 2008
Available online 29 May 2008
of the most popular practical methods permitting the determination of rotational stiffness and moment
resistance of a joint is the so-called component method. The extension of the component method for
Keywords:
evaluating the influence of bending moment and axial force on the rotational stiffness and moment
Steel semi-rigid joints resistance of a joint and an application to the analysis of framework structures are presented in the paper.
Knee joints The numerical results of calculations of steel frameworks are presented in this paper as well. The study
Bending moment shows that the estimation of axial force influence to rotation stiffness characteristics of the joint has
Axial force significant influence on the distribution of internal forces and displacements of steel framework.
Component method © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Joints’ characteristics
Steel frameworks analysis

1. Introduction calculating the rotational stiffness and moment resistance of


the joint [3,7,11]. The component method is developed for
One of the possibilities to improve the accuracy of steel evaluation of the bending moment influence on moment–rotation
framework analysis can be an evaluation of the actual behavior characteristics of joint.
of joints. For such purposes, the semi-rigid joint conception was This paper presents extension of the component method to
introduced. semi-rigid beam-to-beam end-plate bolted and beam-to-column
The most relevant influence on characteristics of the joint is end-plate bolted knee joints under bending and axial force. The
produced by bending moments. In this case, the behavior of a semi- main focus is made on an estimation of the axial force influence in
rigid joint is described by moment–rotation M–Φ curve of the joint. addition to bending moment influence on the joint’s rigidity and
This conception is adopted by most researchers [1–6] and design strength.
code EC3 [7]. Joints are also influenced by axial and shear forces. Estimation of real behavior of the joints has significant
These forces are not usually evaluated in calculating the rotational influence to the behavior results of the steel frameworks [12–
stiffness and moment resistance of the joints. 15]. In this article, the iterative procedure for the calculation
There are many different types of joints in which the axial of steel frameworks with semi-rigid joints is presented. In each
force may be significant and it has a profound influence on joint iteration, the steel frame is analysed using joint moment–rotation
rotational stiffness and moment resistance. The influence of an characteristics, which are calculated using the bending moments
axial force on characteristics of the joint has not been analysed and axial forces, obtained in the previous iteration.
widely and it has not been completely investigated yet [8–10].
Various methods may be used for the establishment of 2. The evaluation of bending moment and axial force in joints
moment–rotation M–Φ curves of semi-rigid joints [3]. The most by component method
common method applied in practice is the so-called mechanical
component method. It estimates the mechanical properties of The joints of steelworks are acted by bending moments as well
the material and geometrical properties of the joint and allows as axial and shear forces. The influence of these forces to the
behavior of joint depends mostly on the type of the joint. From the
practical point of view, the investigation of total bending moment
∗ Corresponding author. Tel.: +370 5 274 50 03; fax: +370 5 270 01 12. and axial force influence on joint characteristics is important
E-mail address: alfonsas.daniunas@adm.vgtu.lt (A. Daniūnas). for end-plate beam-to-beam knee, beam-to-column knee and
0141-0296/$ – see front matter © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2008.04.027
A. Daniūnas, K. Urbonas / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 3114–3118 3115

Mechanical model of the joint depends on values and directions


Notation of acting forces [17,18]. There are three possible cases: (a)
components are under compression or under tension when
E modulus of elasticity one part of the joint is in tension and the other one is in
Fc compression force in components compression Fig. 2(b); (b) no components are under tension
Fc,i,Rd resistance of the weakest compressed component i when both sides of the joint are in compression Fig. 2(c); (c)
Fc,max maximal compression force in components components are under tension when both sides of the joint are in
Fc,max,i,Rd resistance of the weakest compressed component i tension Fig. 2(d).
of the joint, when both sides of the joint are under Tension and compression force in components, when one part
compression forces of the joint is under tension and the other under compression
Ft tension force in components force Fig. 2(b) can be expressed by the formula:
Ft,max maximal tension force in components
Ft,max,r,Rd effective tension resistance of bolt row r in tension M (N · cos α ± V · sin α) · zc
Ft = + ;
part of the joint, where the maximal tension force is zeq zeq
acting (1)
M (N · cos α ± V · sin α) · zt
Ft,max minimal tension force in components Fc = − ,
zeq zeq
Ft,min,i,Rd resistance of the weakest component i in tension
part of the joint, where the minimal tension force where M is accepted as always positive;(N · cos α ± V · sin α)
is acting expresses value of joint axial force which is perpendicular to
Ft,r,Rd effective tension resistance of bolt row r end-plate; N is axial force in connected element and accepted as
M bending moment positive for tension case; ‘±’ means ‘+’ or ‘−’ and according to
Mj,Rd moment resistance this proposition normal to the end-plate of shear force (±V · sin α)
N axial force accepted as positive if it causes the tension of the joint.
Sj,ini initial rotational stiffness of the joint Equivalent deformation of components under tension can be
V shear force found by the formula:
hr distance from bolt row r to the centre of compres- M (N·cos α±V ·sin α)·zc
sion zeq
+ zeq M + (N · cos α ± V · sin α) · zc
∆t,eq = = (2)
keq equivalent stiffness coefficient of two or more bolt- E · keq E · keq · zeq
rows in tension
where keq is equivalent stiffness coefficient of two or more bolt-
zc distance between the centre of the connection and
rows in tension and zeq is equivalent lever arm.
the centre of compression
The rotation of the end-plate joint depends on the deformation
zeq equivalent lever arm
of all tensed components i:
zt distance between the centre of the connection and
the centre of tension ∆t,eq
zt0 distance between centre of connection and bolt row
Φ= . (3)
zeq
in the lower part of connection
Φ rotation of joint The initial rotational stiffness of the joint is expressed by the
∆t,eq equivalent tension deformation ratio between bending moment and rotation of the joint:
∆t,max,eq equivalent tension deformation of components M M · zeq
under maximal tension force Sj,ini = = . (4)
Φ ∆t,eq
∆t,min,i tension deformation of components under minimal
tension force Maximal compression force in components, when both sides of
the joint with symmetric section elements are under compression
forces Fig. 2(c), can be expressed by:
column-to-column joints. Some of them are presented in Fig. 1. In
M (N · cos α ± V · sin α)
some framework structures with these types of joints axial forces Fc,max = − . (5)
may be significant and may strongly influence joint rotational 2zc 2
stiffness and moment resistance. In such case, there are no components in tension and the joint
In this paper the procedure, which evaluates the behavior of according to EC3 [7] in such type of loading behaves as ideally rigid
these joints under the bending moment and axial force is based on (see formulas (3) and (4)).
the component method. The evaluation of the behavior of joint in Maximal and minimal tension forces in components, when both
the component method consists of three main steps: identification sides of the joint are under tension forces Fig. 2(d) can be expressed
of the basic component, evaluation of the mechanical properties by:
of the components, and assembling active components to one
mechanical model [10]. According to the component method, M (N · cos α ± V · sin α) · zt0
Ft,max = + ;
the characteristics of the joint must be determined by the basic (zt + t z0 ) (zt + zt0 )
components of the joint [16]. (6)
M (N · cos α ± V · sin α) · zt
The component method allows to characterise all components Ft,min =− + .
of the joint independent from the type of loading applied to the
(zt + zt0 ) (zt + zt0 )
joint. An elastic stiffness coefficient and resistance that belongs Deformation of components under maximal and minimal
only to mechanical and geometrical data of the joint represent each tension forces can be found the following way:
component.
M (N·cos α±V ·sin α)·zt0
Axial force increases or decreases the forces in components (zt +zt0 )
+ (zt +zt0 )
from the bending moment. This property allows component ∆t,max,eq = ;
E · keq
method suggested to evaluate joint behavior under the bending (7)
M (N·cos α±V ·sin α)·zt
moment to extend for evaluation joint behavior under bending − (zt + z0 )
+ (zt +zt0 )
moment and axial force. ∆t,min,i = t
.
E · kt , i
3116 A. Daniūnas, K. Urbonas / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 3114–3118

Fig. 1. Semi-rigid end-plate joints: (a) column-to-beam knee joint; (b) beam-to-beam knee joint; (c) beam-to-beam joint.

Fig. 2. Loading schemes and mechanical models of joint: (a) beam-to-beam knee
joint with positive direction of internal forces; (b) upper part of joint in tension and
lower part in compression; (c) both sides of joint in compression; (d) both sides of
joint in tension.

The initial rotational stiffness of the joint for this case of loading
is expressed by:
M M(zt + zt0 )
Sj,ini = = P . (8)
Φ ∆t,max,eq − ∆t,min,i
The above presented procedure for stiffness calculation is only
applicable in the case where the behavior of the structure is elastic.
The moment resistance of the joint loaded by bending and axial
forces can be expressed as a function of axial force (the force that Fig. 3. Flowchart of framework analysis with semi-rigid joints under bending and
is perpendicular to end-plate) and resistance of the components. axial forces.
When one part of the joint is under tension and the other one is
under compression force Fig. 2(b), the moment resistance can be 3. Analysis of steel frames with semi-rigid joints including
expressed by the formula: influence of bending moments and axial forces
(Ft,r,Rd · hr ) − (N · cos α ± V · sin α) · zc
(X )
Mj,Rd = min (9)
Fc,i,Rd · zeq + (N · cos α ± V · sin α) · zt In this chapter, the procedure for calculation of steel frames
where hr — distance from bolt row r to the centre of compression; with semi-rigid joints suggested by the authors is presented. This
P
— indicate the sum according to r, where r is the number of bolt procedure can be used as part of an iterative design process for
rows in tension part of joint. steel frames. The calculation of steel frames according to this
When both sides of the joint are under compression forces procedure can be performed with the software used in steelwork
Fig. 2(c), the moment resistance can be expressed by the formula: design. The evaluation of the rotational stiffness of joints is the
Mj,Rd = zc (2Fc,max,i,Rd + (N · cos α ± V · sin α)) . (10) minimum requirement for the software to be used.
When the influence of bending moment and axial forces is
When both sides of the joint are in tension forces Fig. 2(d), the
moment resistance can be expressed by the formula: taken into account the characteristics of joint and magnitude
nX of acting forces are interdependent. In this case characteristics
Mj,Rd = min (Ft,max,r,Rd (hr − zc + zt0 )) − (N · cos α ± V · sin α) of joints as well as frame forces and displacements have to be
o calculated by an iterative procedure until the changes of joint
× zt0 (N · cos α ± V · sin α) · zt − Ft,min,i,Rd (zt + zt0 ) . (11)
characteristics and forces in structure between two iterations
where Ft,max,r,Rd —effective tension resistance of bolt row r in become very small (Fig. 3). When the influence of the axial
tension part of the joint, where the maximal tension force is acting; forces is disregarded, then no iteration procedure is needed for
Ft,min,i,Rd —resistance of the weakest component i in tension part of determination of characteristics of the joints and internal forces of
the joint, where the minimal tension force is acting. the frame.
A. Daniūnas, K. Urbonas / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 3114–3118 3117

Fig. 4. Portal frame.


Fig. 6. Vertical displacement of rooftop joint “B” (Fig. 4) when the influence of axial
forces is taken into account (M + N) and disregarded (only M).

Fig. 7. Roofing structure.

Fig. 5. Horizontal displacement of joint “A” of the left column (Fig. 4) when the
influence of axial forces is taken into account (M + N) and disregarded (only M).

4. Numerical examples

In order to investigate the effect of semi-rigid joints on the be-


havior of framed structures the portal frame and roofing structure
are examined. The joint stiffness and strength characteristics un-
Fig. 8. Influence of the thickness of the end-plate to the bending moment in the
der bending and axial forces are obtained and analysis of framed joint “A” (Fig. 7) when the influence of axial forces is taken into account (M + N) and
structures is performed according to the procedure given in previ- disregarded (only M).
ous sections.

Example 1. The investigated structure is presented in Fig. 4. The


structure was investigated for the four cases of inclination angle α
(0, 15, 30 and 45 degrees). It was loaded by uniformly distributed
vertical and horizontal loads and they are applied simultaneously.
The steel grade of all members is S235 and Young’s modulus is
210 GPa. Beams and columns in joints “A” and “B” are connected
by the bolted end-plate knee joint with four M24 8.8 classes bolts.
Four cases of end-plates with the thickness of 12, 16, 20 and
26 mm were analysed. The calculations were performed when the
characteristics of the joints “A” and “B” were calculated taking into
account the influence of axial force or disregarding it.
The iterative procedure is applied for problem solving. The
Fig. 9. Influence of the thickness of the end-plate to the axial force in the joint
initial rotational stiffness of joints for different end-plate thickness
“A” (Fig. 7) when the influence of axial forces is taken into account (M + N) and
at the final iteration is presented in Table 1. Figs. 5 and 6 show the disregarded (only M).
influence on frame displacements when the rotational stiffness of
the joint is obtained by taking into account bending moment and
axial force and when only bending moment is taken into account. of the axial force or disregarding it. This example shows the case
when acting tension axial force in beams decreases the rigidity of
the joint ‘A’ and changes the behavioral results of the whole roofing
Example 2. Investigated roofing structure is presented in Fig. 7 structure.
[18]. Beams were loaded by a uniformly distributed vertical load.
The iterative procedure is applied for problem solving. Some
The steel grade of all members is S355 and Young’s modulus is
210 GPa. Beams were connected by the bolted end-plate knee joint obtained results (Table 2, Figs. 8 and 9) of the analysed roofing
‘A’ with four M24 8.8 classes bolts. Four cases of end-plates with the structure’s behavior have shown a significant influence of the
thickness of 12, 16, 20 and 26 mm were analysed. axial force to the internal forces of the structure. In addition,
The calculations were performed when the rotational stiffness internal forces and displacements of the structure are significantly
of the joint ‘A’ is calculated by taking into account the influence influenced by the thickness of the end-plates of the joint ‘A’.
3118 A. Daniūnas, K. Urbonas / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 3114–3118

Table 1
The initial stiffness SA,ini (joint “A”) and SB,ini (joint “B”) (Fig. 4) with the different thickness of end-plate and angle of inclination α (in brackets is given initial stiffness, when
axial force is disregarded)
Initial stiffness (kNm/rad) Thickness of the end-plate (mm)
26 20 16 12

α = 0◦
SA,ini 238 000 (215 000) 170 700 (153 700) 114 000 (102 800) 59 000 (53 200)
SB,ini 96 700 (88 900) 69 300 (63 700) 46 350 (42 600) 24 000 (22 000)
α = 15◦
SA,ini 192 000 (161 000) 138 000 (116 000) 92 600 (77 500) 48 240 (40 150)
SB,ini 112 800 (97 400) 80 830 (69 800) 54 040 (46 700) 28 040 (24 200)
α = 30◦
SA,ini 164 700 (130 000) 119 000 (93 000) 79 740 (62 000) 42 175 (32 000)
SB,ini 176 960 (130 000) 126 800 (93 000) 84 300 (62 000) 42 610 (32 000)
α = 45◦
SA,ini 152 000 (110 000) 111 348 (78 600) 75 160 (52 500) 40 150 (27 200)
SB,ini 4500 000 (215 000) 3200 000 (153 700) 2200 000 (102 800) 1300 000 (53 200)

Table 2
The initial stiffness SA,ini of joint ‘A’ and vertical displacements uv of joint ‘A’ and point ‘B’ (Fig. 7) with the different thickness of end-plates in joint ‘A’

Thickness of the end-plate (mm)


26 20 16 12
‘A ’ ‘B ’ ‘A ’ ‘B’ ‘A ’ ‘B ’ ‘A ’ ‘B’

The influence of the axial force is estimated


SA,ini (kNm/rad) 53 661 37 449 23 905 10 871
uv (mm) 6.97 12.07 6.90 12.44 6.80 12.99 6.58 14.17
The influence of the axial force is disregarded
SA,ini (kNm/rad) 97 440 69 840 46 700 24 200
uv (mm) 7.05 11.64 7.01 11.86 6.94 12.21 6.80 12.98

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