Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948 www.elsevier.


Connection overstrength in steel-braced RC frames
Mahmoud R. Maheri a,∗ , H. Ghaffarzadeh b
a Department of Civil Engineering, Shiraz University, P.O. Box 71345-1676, Shiraz, Iran b Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

Received 11 March 2007; received in revised form 14 December 2007; accepted 20 December 2007 Available online 11 February 2008

Abstract Steel bracing systems can be used effectively for seismic retrofitting of existing RC buildings as well as for seismic design of new buildings. Although adaptation of bracing to upgrade the lateral load capacity of existing RC frames has been the subject of a number of successful studies, guidelines for its use in newly constructed RC frames need to be further developed. An important consideration in the design of steel-braced RC frames is the level of interaction between the strength capacities of the RC frame and the bracing system. In this paper, results of experimental and numerical investigations aimed at evaluating the level of capacity interaction between the two systems are discussed. For these investigations, cyclic loading tests are conducted on scaled moment resisting frames with and without bracing. It is found that the capacity interaction is primarily due to the connections overstrength. The experimental results are also used to calibrate full-scale numerical models. A parametric numerical investigation on the effects of the main problem variables is then conducted and the influence of each parameter on the level of the overstrength is determined. Based on these findings, guidelines for the seismic design of the internally cross-braced RC frames with direct connections are provided. c 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd
Keywords: Steel bracing; Reinforced concrete; Capacity interaction; Overstrength; Cyclic load testing

1. Introduction Traditionally, steel bracing system has been used to increase the lateral load resistance of steel structures. In recent years, the concept of steel bracing has also been applied to the retrofitting of reinforced concrete frames. Increased architectural flexibility, reduced weight of the structure, ease and speed of construction and the ability to choose more ductile systems can be considered as the main advantages of steel bracing in comparison with RC shear walls. Two bracing systems are generally used, external bracing and internal bracing. In external bracing, steel trusses or frames are attached either as a global external support to the building exterior or, more locally, to the face of the individual building frames. A number of investigators have reported on the efficiency of external bracing in seismic retrofitting of existing RC buildings [1–4]. Architectural concerns and difficulties in
∗ Corresponding author. Tel.: +98 711 8321353; fax: +98 711 6286619.

E-mail addresses:, (M.R. Maheri). 0141-0296/$ - see front matter c 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2007.12.016

providing appropriate connections between the bracing system and RC frames are two of the shortcomings of this method. In internal bracing, steel bracing members are inserted in the empty space enclosed by columns and beams of RC frames. As a result, each unit frame is individually braced from within. The bracing may be attached to the RC frame either indirectly or directly. In the indirect internal bracing, a braced steel frame is positioned inside the RC frame. As a result, the transfer of load between the steel bracing and the concrete frame is carried out indirectly through the steel frame. Successful retrofits of existing buildings by indirect internal bracing using different forms of X , V and K concentric and eccentric braces have been reported in the literature [5–8]. In some repair and retrofitting cases, provision of the steel frame may be necessary to reduce the strength demand on an already damaged and weakened RC frame; however, in other instances the steel frame acts only as a costly connecting mechanism with inhibiting technical difficulties in fixing the steel frame to the RC frame. To overcome the shortcomings of the indirect internal bracing, Maheri and Sahebi [9] first recommended using direct connections between the brace elements and RC frame without

M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948


the need for an intermediary steel frame. In an experimental work, they showed the ability of this bracing system to enhance the strength capacity of RC frames.The later experimental work on directly-braced model frames by Tasnimi and Masoomi [10] also showed the applicability of this method. Recent analytical work carried out by Abou-Elfath and Ghobarah [11,12] on both concentric and eccentric direct internal bracing in non-ductile RC buildings also showed an improvement in the seismic performance, particularly when using eccentric bracing. In a continuation of their previous work, Maheri et al. [13] conducted experimental investigations on pushover response of scaled RC frames; braced with both diagonal bracing and knee bracing systems. In this study the effectiveness of the two bracing systems in increasing some seismic performance parameters was shown. Also, in a theoretical study, Maheri and Akbari presented the behaviour factor, R, for this class of dual systems [14]. Appropriate design of direct connections between the bracing members and the RC frame is important to achieve the required lateral load capacity. Maheri and Hadjipour [15] proposed a connection that minimizes the eccentricity of the brace member force. This allows transferring the brace force to the corner of the RC frame without producing local damage in concrete members. Using the results of an experimental program conducted on a number of fullscale connections, they also presented design guidelines for the brace–frame connections in the new construction. Recent experimental works by Youssef et al. [16] and Ghaffarzadeh and Maheri [17,18] have shown further that different directlyconnected internal bracing systems can be used effectively in the retrofitting of existing concrete frames as well as shear resisting elements for the construction of new RC structures. An important consideration in the design of internallybraced RC frames with direct brace–frame connections is the level of interaction between the strength capacities of the RC frame and the bracing system. In this paper, results of experimental and numerical investigations aimed at investigating the causes and evaluating the level of this interaction are discussed. Three specimens representing RC moment frames with moderate ductility, two of which were braced, were designed. Current seismic codes were used to design the moment frames. The model frames were subjected to cyclic loads. Their test results are compared and discussed. These results are also used as the basis for developing and calibrating numerical models of full-scale frames. Using the numerical models, a parametric investigation is carried out to determine the role of the main variable parameters affecting the level of capacity interaction between the RC frame and the bracing system. 2. Experimental program 2.1. Test specimens and results Unit frames were modelled using a mid-span panel measuring 4.0 m by 3.0 m from the third floor of a fourstorey frame with the dimensions of 12.0 m by 12.0 m. It

was assumed that the building is located in a highly seismic area. Two lateral load resisting systems, namely; moment frames and braced moment frames, were considered. The gravity and earthquake forces acting on the moment frame were determined in accordance with Iranian Seismic Code [19] using the seismic force reduction factor for moment frames with moderate ductility. Appropriate upgrading or added seismic loads were considered for the bracing system in the braced moment frames, based on the scaled capacities of the steel sections used in the model frames as discussed below. The size of the model frames was limited to the available laboratory space and equipment limits. A 2/5 scaled model, measuring 1.76 m by 1.36 m, was found satisfactory. The gravity forces acting on the models were also scaled down by a factor of (2/5)2 . This factor was chosen to keep the stresses in the scaled model similar to the full-scale panel. The boundary conditions for the tested frames were chosen such that the internal forces developed in them are similar to those developed in reality. Two hinged supports were thus used to support the frames. The dimensions of the beams and columns were chosen to be 140 mm by 160 mm. Three frames were designed and constructed, one moment frame (F1) and two moment frames with bracing (FX1 and FX2). The RC moment frames in the three frames had identical dimensions and flexural reinforcements, giving them identical flexural capacities. The moment frames were designed according to ACI 318-02 [20] and their detailing was done in accordance with the ACI special provisions for seismic design. Reinforcement details for the RC frames are shown in Fig. 1. AISC-LRFD [21] was used to design the brace members and their welded connections to the guest plates. Their design was also checked using the AISC seismic provisions for steel structures [22]. Two types of bracing members were considered; slender double angle cross-section for the frame FX1 and non-slender channel cross-section for frame FX2. Details of these sections are also shown in Fig. 1. The RC frames were first constructed. Two 150 × 120 × 10 mm plates were placed at each corner of the frames. The plates were cast in concrete using four 16 mm stud rods. The bracing members were then attached to the RC frame at the four corners using 150 × 150 × 10 mm gusset plates. The frames were tested using the setup presented in [18] (Fig. 2). An actuator was used to apply several cycles of inplane shear load using a displacement-controlled approach. In each cycle, the actuator was first pulled to a displacement of 5 mm (drift of 0.417%) then pushed to the same displacement. The displacement was increased in the following cycles by increments of 5 mm. Strain gauges were used to monitor strains in the beam–column joint, the transverse reinforcement of the columns, and the longitudinal reinforcement of the beams. The lateral load–drift hysteresis for the frames F1, FX1 and FX2 are shown in Fig. 3. The initial stiffness of the braced frame was expectedly higher than that of the unbraced frame. The yield and failure drifts of the frame F1 were 1.67% and 5.00%, respectively and those of the frames FX1 and FX2 were 2.08%, 4.0%, and 2.5%, 4.3%, respectively. This shows that the ductility of frame F1 was 3.0 and that of frames FX1 and FX2


M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948

Fig. 1. Detailing of the moment and braced RC frames.

Fig. 2. Setup for cyclic testing of model frames.

the load of 30.0 kN. It was a flexural crack in the bottom beam at the face of the column. On increasing the level of applied displacement, flexural cracks increased in number and width. No shear cracks were observed for this specimen. At a load of 37.5 kN, yielding of the bottom bars of the lower beam initiated the plastic response. Failure occurred by plastic hinging at the ends of the top and bottom beams at a load of 55 kN. The observed cracking load for the frame FX1 was 90.0 kN. Cracks noted in this model were less in number and smaller in width compared to those for the moment frame. At a load of 105.0 kN, yielding of a brace member initiated the plastic response. Failure occurred by the buckling of the compressive brace, which was directly followed by plastic hinging of the ends of the bottom and top beams. The failure load for this frame was 140 kN. It should be noted that the brace member connections, including welds and headed studs, behaved adequately. The frame FX2 exhibited almost linear behaviour because of the amount of bracing in comparison to frame FX1. In this frame, first cracks were observed at the load of 140 kN. On increasing lateral drift, failure happened at the load of 200 kN. 2.2. Experimental brace–frame capacity interaction When designing steel-braced RC frames, the level of interaction between the strength capacities of the RC frame and

were 1.9 and 1.7, respectively. It is clear from the hysteretic behaviour that the pinching was less significant in the braced frames, which indicates an overall better seismic performance. The behaviour of the tested models was significantly different. For the model F1, the first observed crack occurred at

M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948


Fig. 4. Comparisons between experimental lateral load–drift envelop curves of the moment frame, F1, bracing system and the braced RC frame, FX1.

Fig. 5. Comparisons between the experimental lateral load–drift envelop curves of the moment frame, F1, bracing system and the braced RC frame, FX2.

Fig. 3. Lateral load–drift hysteresis of frames (a) F1 (b) FX1 and (c) FX2.

the bracing system should be established. To investigate this interaction in the tested model frames, the corresponding forces in the bracing systems alone were evaluated by considering the relevant test displacements on the diagonals. A simple bilinear model for steel, which accounts for cyclic effects, was assumed and used to represent the force-deflection envelop curve of the bracing system alone. The envelop curve of the calculated force–drift relationship for the FX1 bracing system alone (marked as No. 2 in the figure) is plotted in Fig. 4. Also plotted in this figure, for comparison, are the experimental envelop of the force–drift relationship of the moment frame alone, F1, (marked as No. 1 in the figure) and the experimental envelop of the force–drift curves of the FX1-braced frame. To be able to gain an insight into the level of capacity interaction between different elements, the envelop curves of the bracing

system alone (2) and the moment RC frame (1) added together to obtain the sum strength capacity of the two elements are also presented in Fig. 4 ((1) + (2)). By comparing the sum strength capacity of the two constituent elements with the actual strength capacity of the braced frame, it is evident that the actual braced frame exhibits a larger capacity than the sum of the capacities of the two elements. This means that by adding a bracing system to an RC frame, the capacity of the RC frame is increased beyond the capacity of the bracing system. The positive interaction is evidently due to the stiffening effects of the connections between the RC frame and the bracing system. The capacity interaction for the frame FX1 is measured, as the minimum of all the evaluated values, as 8.5%. It should be noted that the dimensions and reinforcement details and therefore the flexural capacities of the RC frames in F1 and FX1 models are the same. This enables us to make a viable capacity interaction comparison as discussed above. Similarly, the calculated strength capacity of the bracing system of frame FX2 and the experimental strength capacities of the moment frame, F1, and the braced frame FX2 are plotted in Fig. 5. Also plotted in this figure is the sum of the strength capacities of the bracing system and the RC frame alone. Similar capacity interaction can be seen in this case. The increased capacity for the frame FX2 is measured as 7.0%. Considering the experimental results, it is evident that the


M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948

Fig. 6. The finite element models of (a) unbraced and (b) braced unit frames.

capacity interaction is an overstrength which can be attributed mainly to the effects of brace–frame connections in reducing the effective lengths of the RC beams and columns, hence increasing the stiffness and strength of the frame. It should be noted that the RC frames of models FX1 and FX2 are identical in dimensions and detail, FX2 model being stiffer (or stronger) compared to the FX1 model only because it has a stronger brace. Therefore, it is expected that the level of capacity interaction is the same in the two models. The small difference between the capacity interaction in model FX1 (8.5%) and model FX2 (7%) is due to the expected differences in the experimental data from which these interaction levels are evaluated. 3. Numerical evaluation of overstrength 3.1. Numerical models To investigate the level of connection overstrength in fullscale X-braced RC frames, nonlinear pushover numerical analyses of the moment frame, braced frames and the bracing systems were carried out. The OpenSEES (Open System for Earthquake Engineering Simulation) program was utilised to numerically model the frames. The program has a vast library of elements and is capable of performing nonlinear analysis in two and three dimensions using different material models. The beams and columns of the frames were modelled using nonlinear beam–column element of the program, suitable for modelling reinforced concrete. In this element, different constituents are represented as strings along the length of the element. In the element cross-section, concrete is divided into two different string types representing the weaker, cover section and the stronger, confined core section. Steel reinforcements are also represented as individual strings. The element uses a curvature-dependent linear distribution of nonelastic properties of the material. A representing nonlinear constitutive law was used for the concrete material and a bilinear stress–strain relation was adopted for the steel

Fig. 7. Calibration of the numerical model of moment frame F1 with the experimental results, using the cyclic pushover envelops.

material. The reinforced concrete beam–column connections were modelled using zero-length elements by which the translational and rotational stiffness of the connections could be specified. Simple truss elements with nonlinear responses were also used to model the bracing elements. The finite element representations of unit frames with bracing and without bracing are shown in Fig. 6. In the 2D nonlinear analysis of the frames, axial and shear deformations of the beam and column elements, as well as the secondary effects, such as P-Delta, are also accounted for. The numerical models described above were calibrated and their accuracy ascertained by comparing the results of the nonlinear cyclic analysis of the moment frame F1 and the braced frame FX1 with the results obtained from their respective cyclic tests. The results of the numerical cyclic analysis and the experimental responses, presented in the form of the response envelop curves, are shown in Fig. 7 for frame F1 and in Fig. 8 for the braced frame FX1. The numerical and experimental results for the moment frame F1 match favourably, as seen in Fig. 7. Also, for frame FX1, the results compare well for most parts. In later loading cycles, however, local failures result in a faster degradation of strength in tested frames compared with the numerical prediction (Fig. 8).

M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948


Fig. 8. Calibration of the numerical model of moment frame FX1 with the experimental results, using the cyclic pushover envelops.

3.2. Numerical evaluation of capacity interaction After calibrating the numerical models, a series of nonlinear pushover analyses were conducted on full-scale 2D frames of different heights and widths with different bracing configurations. These included frames, 4-, 8- and 12-storeys high and 3-, 6- and 9-bays wide. The number of braced bays in each frame was also made a function of the number of bays such that the 3-, 6- and 9-bay frames had, respectively, 1-, 2- and 3-bays braced. Fig. 9 shows the 8-storey frames considered. The number of bays and the bracing configuration for the 4-storey and the 12-storey high frames are similar to those shown in Fig. 9. All frames consisted of 3m high and 5m wide unit frames. Another variable parameter in this investigation is the apportioned share of bracing system from the applied loading. Load shares of 30%, 50%, 80% and 100% for bracing system are considered. As it was mentioned earlier, the main factor contributing to the interaction is the effect of connections on reducing the effective lengths of beams and columns. Therefore, another variable parameter considered is the ratio of the length of connection plates (L e ) to the length of their associated beam (L b ). Practical values of (L e )/(L b ) = 0.05, 0.075, 0.10, 0.125, 0.15, 0.175 and 0.20 are considered. Two hundred and fifty two braced frames were thus designed. Details of the loading considered and design of each frame and bracing system are given in [23]. For each frame, three nonlinear pushover analyses were carried out. These included; (i) pushover analysis of the RC frame without the bracing system, (ii) pushover analysis of the bracing system alone and (iii) pushover analysis of the braced

Fig. 10. Pushover curves for (a) 4-storey, 3-bay (b) 8-storey, 3-bay and (c) 12storey, 3-bay frames with 100% brace share of load and (L e )/(L b ) = 0.1.

frame. Typical pushover curves are shown in Fig. 10. In this figure the sum of the individual response of the RC frame and the bracing system are also plotted so that the level of overstrength in the braced frame can be observed. The overstrength for each frame was then quantified by considering a lower bound value at displacements

Fig. 9. The 8-storey frames considered for the analysis.


M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948

Table 1 The overstrength values for the 4-storey frames (%) No. of bays Share of brace (%) 30 50 80 100 30 50 80 100 30 50 80 100 (L e )/(L b ) 0.05 6.00 5.75 5.65 5.40 7.25 7.00 6.80 6.50 8.70 8.35 8.20 7.75 0.075 8.00 7.70 7.50 7.20 10.7 10.3 10.0 11.6 11.0 11.0 10.8 10.4 0.10 11.0 10.5 10.3 9.90 12.5 12.0 11.8 11.3 13.9 13.3 13.1 12.6 0.125 12.6 12.0 11.8 11.3 14.0 13.5 13.2 12.6 15.0 14.6 14.2 13.7 0.15 14.5 14.0 13.5 13.0 16.7 15.9 15.3 14.9 18.0 17.3 16.9 16.0 0.175 15.6 15.0 14.7 14.0 18.5 17.8 17.5 16.7 19.5 18.7 18.3 17.6 0.20 18.0 17.4 16.9 16.3 19.2 18.5 18.0 17.4 21.0 20.1 19.8 18.9




corresponding to code-recommended 2% drift for the frame. Typical overstrength values, designated R, for 4-storey frames with different number of bays, (L e )/(L b ) and bracing load share are listed in Table 1. The overstrength values, R, for the 4-storey and 12-storey frames are also plotted in Fig. 11. Table 1 and Fig. 11 show that the level of capacity interaction or brace–frame connection overstrength evaluated for different frames is a minimum of 5% and for some bracing configurations can be as high as 20%. The overstrength for more representing connection types are around 10%. These are values which cannot be ignored when cost-effective designs are considered. A closer look at Table 1 and Fig. 11 shows that the effects of load share of bracing system on the overstrength is negligible when it is compared with the effects of the parameter (L e )/(L b ). This was found to be true for all the other frames analysed. This result indicates that the relative size of the brace–frame connections and their contribution to the frame stiffness is the main contributing parameter to the observed overstrength. As a result, the effects of load share of bracing (or the cross-sectional area of the braces) on the overstrength is neglected and for further investigations the load share of bracing was assumed to be constant at 100% which is also on the safe side. 3.3. Simple presentation of connection overstrength In the above analyses, the parameter (L e )/(L b ) was assumed to loosely represent the effect of connections on the overstrength. However, this parameter does not take into consideration the influence of connections on the stiffness of the columns. Therefore, considering the nature of the interaction, a more representing parameter can be introduced as the ratio of the effective stiffness of the RC frame with brace–frame connections (K r ) to the stiffness of the RC frame without the brace–frame connections (K i ) and designated as ρ. Considering that the connections reduce the effective lengths of RC beams and columns, the effective stiffness of the frame with brace–frame connections corresponds to the stiffness of a reduced frame as shown in Fig. 12. For simplicity and conservatively, the reduced frame is assumed to have beams and

columns of lengths equal to the distances between the centroids of the four gusset plates as seen in Fig. 12. Also, for practical purposes, the parameter ρ is calculated as the ratio of the linear stiffness of the reduced RC frame of a central floor (K r ) and the linear stiffness of the initial RC frame of the same central floor (K i ), also shown in Fig. 12. The lateral, linear (initial or secant) stiffness of such a one-storey frame having upper and lower beams can be calculated analytically using the wellknown relation [23]; K = L2 c 24E
2 Kc 1 K bb 1 K bt




where, K c , K bb and K bt , are I /L for columns, lower beams and upper beams, respectively and L c , is the effective height of the frame. The stiffness ratio, ρ, as described above was calculated for all the frames analysed. The overstrength factors, R, previously determined for these frames with different problem variables are plotted against the stiffness ratio for different frame geometries considered. Typical plots for the 4-storey and 12-storey frames are shown in Fig. 13. A near linear relation between the two parameters can be seen for all cases. This enables us to draw linear relations between the two parameters as also presented in Fig. 13. To condense the results of the 9 relations thus obtained, the linear relation for the 4-storey, 3-bay frame will be considered as the base overstrength, Rb , and the effects of the two main variable parameters including the number of braced bays (number of bays in the frame) and the number of storeys will be considered respectively as correction factors α and β. Therefore; R = αβ Rb (%) where, Rb = 32ρ − 27. The variation in factor α, against the number of braced bays for different stiffness ratios are plotted in Fig. 14(a). Similar plots are presented in Fig. 14(b) for variation in factor β against the (2)

M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948


Fig. 11. The overstrength values, R, for the 4-storey, (a) 3-bay (b) 6-bay and (c) 9-bay and the 12-storey, (d) 3-bay (e) 6-bay and (f) 9-bay frames.

Fig. 12. The reduced frame dimensions for the calculation of effective stiffness.


M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948

Fig. 13. The overstrength, R as a function of ρ for (a) 4-storey, 3-bay, (b) 4-storey, 6-bay (c) 4-storey, 9-bay (d) 12-storey, 3-bay, (e) 12-storey, 6-bay and (d) 12-storey, 9-bay frames.

number of storeys. Fig. 14(a) indicates that the dependence of factor α on the number of braced panels is strongly influenced by the stiffness ratio, ρ; such that for weaker brace–frame connections, the number of braced panels has marginal effect on α, whereas for stiffer brace–frame connections, α varies considerably with the number of braced panels. It is evident that the contribution of the number of bays by themselves to the stiffness of the frame is minimal. Any contribution to the stiffness arises from the number of braced bays and the stiffness of connections. This point can also be deduced from Fig. 15, in which the frame stiffness ratio, ρ, is plotted against the

connection stiffness parameter (L e )/(L b ) for the 4-storey and 8-storey frames. Variations in factor β, presented graphically in Fig. 14(b), however, show that the effect of brace–frame connection stiffness on this parameter is markedly less than the effect of number of storeys. This is expected when we consider the fact that, unlike the number of bays, the height of a frame greatly influences its stiffness. In order that quantitative relations can be drawn between the factors α and β and the stiffness ratio ρ, the former parameters are plotted against the latter in Fig. 16(a) and (b), respectively.

M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948


Fig. 15. Relation between stiffness ratio ρ and connection stiffness parameter L e /L b .

Fig. 14. Variation in (a) α with number of braced bays and (b) β with number of storeys.

Noting the near linear variation of α against ρ the following relations can be presented for this correction factor; α = 0.16m + 0.84, α = 0.09m + 0.91, α = 0.06m + 0.94, for 0.0 < ρ ≤ 1.0 for 1.0 < ρ ≤ 1.25 for 1.25 < ρ ≤ 1.40.


Also, as the variation of β with ρ is small, this correction factor can be presented independent of the stiffness ratio in the following form; β = 0.0425n + 0.84. (4)

In Eqs. (3) and (4), m and n are the number of braced bays and the number of storeys, respectively. 4. Conclusions The conclusions drawn from the experimental and numerical investigations on the nature and level of capacity interaction between the bracing system and RC frame may be summarised as follows; 1. The overstrength in a braced RC frame is due to the stiffening effects of connections. This overstrength is termed the capacity interaction or connection overstrength. It is significant and needs to be considered in the design.

Fig. 16. Values of correction factors α and β for all frames.


M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948 [8] Tagawa Y, Aoki H, Huang T, Masuda H. Experimental study of new seismic strengthening method for existing RC structure. In: 10th world conf. on earthquake engineering. 1992, p. 5193–8. [9] Maheri MR, Sahebi A. Use of steel bracing in reinforced concrete frames. Engineering Structures 1997;19(12):1018–24. [10] Tasnimi A, Masoomi A. Evaluation of response reinforced concrete frames strengthened with steel bracing. In: Proc. 3rd int. conf. on seism. and earthq. engng. 1999 [in Persian]. [11] Abou-Elfath H, Ghobarah A. Behaviour of reinforced concrete frames rehabilitated with concentric steel bracing. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering 2000;27:433–44. [12] Ghobarah A, Abou-Elfath H. Rehabilitation of a reinforced concrete frames using eccentric steel bracing. Engineering Structures 2001;23: 745–55. [13] Maheri MR, Kousari R, Razazan M. Pushover tests on steel X-braced and knee-braced RC frames. Engineering Structures 2003;25:1697–705. [14] Maheri MR, Akbari R. Seismic behaviour factor, R, for steel X-braced and knee-braced RC buildings. Engineering Structures 2003;25(12): 1505–1513. [15] Maheri MR, Hadjipour A. Experimental investigation and design of steel brace connection to RC frame. Engineering Structures 2003;25: 1707–1714. [16] Youssef MA, Ghaffarzadeh H, Nehdi M. Seismic performance of RC frames with concentric internal steel bracing. Engineering Structures 2007;29(7):1561–8. [17] Ghaffarzadeh H, Maheri MR. Mechanical compression release device in steel bracing system for retrofitting RC frames. Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration 2006;5(1). [18] Ghaffarzadeh H, Maheri MR. Cyclic tests on the internally braced RC frames. Journal of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering 2006;8(3). [19] Iranian code of practice for seismic resistance design of buildings. Standard No. 2800, 3rd ed. 2005. [20] ACI Committee 318. Building code requirements for reinforced concrete (ACI 318-02). Detroit (MI): American Concrete Institute; 2002. [21] AISC Manual of steel construction: load and resistance factor design. 3rd ed. Chicago (IL): American Institute of Steel Construction; 2001. [22] AISC. Seismic provisions for structural steel buildings. Chicago (IL): American Institute of Steel Construction; 2002. [23] Ghaffarzadeh H. Design basis for internally-braced RC frames. Ph.D. thesis, Shiraz (Iran): Shiraz University; 2006.

2. The important parameters affecting the capacity interaction are recognised as the number of braced bays and the number of frame storeys. The third important parameter is the stiffening effects of the connections taken into consideration as a stiffness ratio. 3. The connection overstrength, R, for different 2D concentrically cross-braced frames are determined and presented in simple forms for use in the design of internally-braced RC frames. 4. Presentation of the connection overstrength in the form of a frame stiffness ratio, ρ, may enable us to use the results and formulations presented here for other types of concentric and eccentric bracing systems. This point, however, needs further verification. References
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