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Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948

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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 providing appropriate connections between the bracing system


and RC frames are two of the shortcomings of this method.
Traditionally, steel bracing system has been used to increase In internal bracing, steel bracing members are inserted in the
the lateral load resistance of steel structures. In recent empty space enclosed by columns and beams of RC frames. As
years, the concept of steel bracing has also been applied a result, each unit frame is individually braced from within. The
to the retrofitting of reinforced concrete frames. Increased bracing may be attached to the RC frame either indirectly or
architectural flexibility, reduced weight of the structure, ease directly. In the indirect internal bracing, a braced steel frame
and speed of construction and the ability to choose more ductile is positioned inside the RC frame. As a result, the transfer of
systems can be considered as the main advantages of steel load between the steel bracing and the concrete frame is carried
bracing in comparison with RC shear walls. out indirectly through the steel frame. Successful retrofits of
Two bracing systems are generally used, external bracing existing buildings by indirect internal bracing using different
and internal bracing. In external bracing, steel trusses or forms of X , V and K concentric and eccentric braces have been
frames are attached either as a global external support to the reported in the literature [5–8]. In some repair and retrofitting
building exterior or, more locally, to the face of the individual cases, provision of the steel frame may be necessary to reduce
building frames. A number of investigators have reported on the the strength demand on an already damaged and weakened RC
efficiency of external bracing in seismic retrofitting of existing frame; however, in other instances the steel frame acts only
RC buildings [1–4]. Architectural concerns and difficulties in as a costly connecting mechanism with inhibiting technical
difficulties in fixing the steel frame to the RC frame.
∗ Corresponding author. Tel.: +98 711 8321353; fax: +98 711 6286619. To overcome the shortcomings of the indirect internal
E-mail addresses: maheri@shirazu.ac.ir, mmaheri@hotmail.com bracing, Maheri and Sahebi [9] first recommended using direct
(M.R. Maheri). connections between the brace elements and RC frame without

c 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd


0141-0296/$ - see front matter
doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2007.12.016
M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948 1939

the need for an intermediary steel frame. In an experimental was assumed that the building is located in a highly seismic
work, they showed the ability of this bracing system to enhance area. Two lateral load resisting systems, namely; moment
the strength capacity of RC frames.The later experimental work frames and braced moment frames, were considered. The
on directly-braced model frames by Tasnimi and Masoomi [10] gravity and earthquake forces acting on the moment frame
also showed the applicability of this method. Recent analytical were determined in accordance with Iranian Seismic Code [19]
work carried out by Abou-Elfath and Ghobarah [11,12] on both using the seismic force reduction factor for moment frames with
concentric and eccentric direct internal bracing in non-ductile moderate ductility. Appropriate upgrading or added seismic
RC buildings also showed an improvement in the seismic loads were considered for the bracing system in the braced
performance, particularly when using eccentric bracing. moment frames, based on the scaled capacities of the steel
In a continuation of their previous work, Maheri et al. [13] sections used in the model frames as discussed below.
conducted experimental investigations on pushover response The size of the model frames was limited to the available
of scaled RC frames; braced with both diagonal bracing and laboratory space and equipment limits. A 2/5 scaled model,
knee bracing systems. In this study the effectiveness of the measuring 1.76 m by 1.36 m, was found satisfactory. The
two bracing systems in increasing some seismic performance gravity forces acting on the models were also scaled down by a
parameters was shown. Also, in a theoretical study, Maheri and factor of (2/5)2 . This factor was chosen to keep the stresses in
Akbari presented the behaviour factor, R, for this class of dual the scaled model similar to the full-scale panel. The boundary
systems [14]. conditions for the tested frames were chosen such that the
Appropriate design of direct connections between the internal forces developed in them are similar to those developed
bracing members and the RC frame is important to achieve in reality. Two hinged supports were thus used to support the
the required lateral load capacity. Maheri and Hadjipour [15] frames. The dimensions of the beams and columns were chosen
proposed a connection that minimizes the eccentricity of to be 140 mm by 160 mm.
the brace member force. This allows transferring the brace Three frames were designed and constructed, one moment
force to the corner of the RC frame without producing frame (F1) and two moment frames with bracing (FX1 and
local damage in concrete members. Using the results of FX2). The RC moment frames in the three frames had
an experimental program conducted on a number of full- identical dimensions and flexural reinforcements, giving them
scale connections, they also presented design guidelines for identical flexural capacities. The moment frames were designed
the brace–frame connections in the new construction. Recent according to ACI 318-02 [20] and their detailing was done
experimental works by Youssef et al. [16] and Ghaffarzadeh in accordance with the ACI special provisions for seismic
and Maheri [17,18] have shown further that different directly- design. Reinforcement details for the RC frames are shown
connected internal bracing systems can be used effectively in in Fig. 1. AISC-LRFD [21] was used to design the brace
the retrofitting of existing concrete frames as well as shear members and their welded connections to the guest plates. Their
resisting elements for the construction of new RC structures. design was also checked using the AISC seismic provisions
An important consideration in the design of internally- for steel structures [22]. Two types of bracing members were
braced RC frames with direct brace–frame connections is considered; slender double angle cross-section for the frame
the level of interaction between the strength capacities FX1 and non-slender channel cross-section for frame FX2.
of the RC frame and the bracing system. In this paper, Details of these sections are also shown in Fig. 1. The RC
results of experimental and numerical investigations aimed frames were first constructed. Two 150 × 120 × 10 mm plates
at investigating the causes and evaluating the level of this were placed at each corner of the frames. The plates were cast
interaction are discussed. Three specimens representing RC in concrete using four 16 mm stud rods. The bracing members
moment frames with moderate ductility, two of which were were then attached to the RC frame at the four corners using
braced, were designed. Current seismic codes were used to 150 × 150 × 10 mm gusset plates.
design the moment frames. The model frames were subjected The frames were tested using the setup presented in [18]
to cyclic loads. Their test results are compared and discussed. (Fig. 2). An actuator was used to apply several cycles of in-
These results are also used as the basis for developing and plane shear load using a displacement-controlled approach. In
calibrating numerical models of full-scale frames. Using the each cycle, the actuator was first pulled to a displacement of
numerical models, a parametric investigation is carried out to 5 mm (drift of 0.417%) then pushed to the same displacement.
determine the role of the main variable parameters affecting The displacement was increased in the following cycles by
the level of capacity interaction between the RC frame and the increments of 5 mm. Strain gauges were used to monitor strains
bracing system. in the beam–column joint, the transverse reinforcement of the
columns, and the longitudinal reinforcement of the beams.
2. Experimental program The lateral load–drift hysteresis for the frames F1, FX1 and
FX2 are shown in Fig. 3. The initial stiffness of the braced
2.1. Test specimens and results frame was expectedly higher than that of the unbraced frame.
The yield and failure drifts of the frame F1 were 1.67% and
Unit frames were modelled using a mid-span panel 5.00%, respectively and those of the frames FX1 and FX2 were
measuring 4.0 m by 3.0 m from the third floor of a four- 2.08%, 4.0%, and 2.5%, 4.3%, respectively. This shows that the
storey frame with the dimensions of 12.0 m by 12.0 m. It ductility of frame F1 was 3.0 and that of frames FX1 and FX2
1940 M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948

Fig. 1. Detailing of the moment and braced RC 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
Fig. 2. Setup for cyclic testing of model frames. of 140 kN. On increasing lateral drift, failure happened at the
load of 200 kN.
were 1.9 and 1.7, respectively. It is clear from the hysteretic
behaviour that the pinching was less significant in the braced 2.2. Experimental brace–frame capacity interaction
frames, which indicates an overall better seismic performance.
The behaviour of the tested models was significantly When designing steel-braced RC frames, the level of
different. For the model F1, the first observed crack occurred at interaction between the strength capacities of the RC frame and
M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948 1941

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.

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
Fig. 3. Lateral load–drift hysteresis of frames (a) F1 (b) FX1 and (c) FX2. the capacity of the bracing system. The positive interaction
is evidently due to the stiffening effects of the connections
the bracing system should be established. To investigate this between the RC frame and the bracing system. The capacity
interaction in the tested model frames, the corresponding forces interaction for the frame FX1 is measured, as the minimum of
in the bracing systems alone were evaluated by considering all the evaluated values, as 8.5%. It should be noted that the
the relevant test displacements on the diagonals. A simple dimensions and reinforcement details and therefore the flexural
bilinear model for steel, which accounts for cyclic effects, was capacities of the RC frames in F1 and FX1 models are the
assumed and used to represent the force-deflection envelop same. This enables us to make a viable capacity interaction
curve of the bracing system alone. The envelop curve of the comparison as discussed above.
calculated force–drift relationship for the FX1 bracing system Similarly, the calculated strength capacity of the bracing
alone (marked as No. 2 in the figure) is plotted in Fig. 4. system of frame FX2 and the experimental strength capacities
Also plotted in this figure, for comparison, are the experimental of the moment frame, F1, and the braced frame FX2 are
envelop of the force–drift relationship of the moment frame plotted in Fig. 5. Also plotted in this figure is the sum of the
alone, F1, (marked as No. 1 in the figure) and the experimental strength capacities of the bracing system and the RC frame
envelop of the force–drift curves of the FX1-braced frame. To alone. Similar capacity interaction can be seen in this case.
be able to gain an insight into the level of capacity interaction The increased capacity for the frame FX2 is measured as 7.0%.
between different elements, the envelop curves of the bracing Considering the experimental results, it is evident that the
1942 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. Fig. 7. Calibration of the numerical model of moment frame F1 with the
experimental results, using the cyclic pushover envelops.
3. Numerical evaluation of overstrength
material. The reinforced concrete beam–column connections
3.1. Numerical models were modelled using zero-length elements by which the
translational and rotational stiffness of the connections could be
To investigate the level of connection overstrength in full- specified. Simple truss elements with nonlinear responses were
scale X-braced RC frames, nonlinear pushover numerical also used to model the bracing elements. The finite element
analyses of the moment frame, braced frames and the bracing representations of unit frames with bracing and without bracing
systems were carried out. The OpenSEES (Open System are shown in Fig. 6. In the 2D nonlinear analysis of the frames,
for Earthquake Engineering Simulation) program was utilised axial and shear deformations of the beam and column elements,
to numerically model the frames. The program has a vast as well as the secondary effects, such as P-Delta, are also
library of elements and is capable of performing nonlinear accounted for.
analysis in two and three dimensions using different material The numerical models described above were calibrated
models. The beams and columns of the frames were modelled and their accuracy ascertained by comparing the results of
using nonlinear beam–column element of the program, suitable the nonlinear cyclic analysis of the moment frame F1 and
for modelling reinforced concrete. In this element, different the braced frame FX1 with the results obtained from their
constituents are represented as strings along the length of respective cyclic tests. The results of the numerical cyclic
the element. In the element cross-section, concrete is divided analysis and the experimental responses, presented in the form
into two different string types representing the weaker, of the response envelop curves, are shown in Fig. 7 for frame
cover section and the stronger, confined core section. Steel F1 and in Fig. 8 for the braced frame FX1. The numerical
reinforcements are also represented as individual strings. The and experimental results for the moment frame F1 match
element uses a curvature-dependent linear distribution of non- favourably, as seen in Fig. 7. Also, for frame FX1, the results
elastic properties of the material. A representing nonlinear compare well for most parts. In later loading cycles, however,
constitutive law was used for the concrete material and local failures result in a faster degradation of strength in tested
a bilinear stress–strain relation was adopted for the steel frames compared with the numerical prediction (Fig. 8).
M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948 1943

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 ) = Fig. 10. Pushover curves for (a) 4-storey, 3-bay (b) 8-storey, 3-bay and (c) 12-
0.05, 0.075, 0.10, 0.125, 0.15, 0.175 and 0.20 are considered. storey, 3-bay frames with 100% brace share of load and (L e )/(L b ) = 0.1.
Two hundred and fifty two braced frames were thus designed.
Details of the loading considered and design of each frame and frame. Typical pushover curves are shown in Fig. 10. In this
bracing system are given in [23]. figure the sum of the individual response of the RC frame
For each frame, three nonlinear pushover analyses were and the bracing system are also plotted so that the level of
carried out. These included; (i) pushover analysis of the RC overstrength in the braced frame can be observed.
frame without the bracing system, (ii) pushover analysis of the The overstrength for each frame was then quantified
bracing system alone and (iii) pushover analysis of the braced by considering a lower bound value at displacements

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


1944 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 (%) (L e )/(L b )


0.05 0.075 0.10 0.125 0.15 0.175 0.20
30 6.00 8.00 11.0 12.6 14.5 15.6 18.0
50 5.75 7.70 10.5 12.0 14.0 15.0 17.4
3
80 5.65 7.50 10.3 11.8 13.5 14.7 16.9
100 5.40 7.20 9.90 11.3 13.0 14.0 16.3

30 7.25 10.7 12.5 14.0 16.7 18.5 19.2


50 7.00 10.3 12.0 13.5 15.9 17.8 18.5
6
80 6.80 10.0 11.8 13.2 15.3 17.5 18.0
100 6.50 11.6 11.3 12.6 14.9 16.7 17.4

30 8.70 11.0 13.9 15.0 18.0 19.5 21.0


50 8.35 11.0 13.3 14.6 17.3 18.7 20.1
9
80 8.20 10.8 13.1 14.2 16.9 18.3 19.8
100 7.75 10.4 12.6 13.7 16.0 17.6 18.9

corresponding to code-recommended 2% drift for the frame. columns of lengths equal to the distances between the centroids
Typical overstrength values, designated R, for 4-storey frames of the four gusset plates as seen in Fig. 12. Also, for practical
with different number of bays, (L e )/(L b ) and bracing load purposes, the parameter ρ is calculated as the ratio of the linear
share are listed in Table 1. The overstrength values, R, stiffness of the reduced RC frame of a central floor (K r ) and
for the 4-storey and 12-storey frames are also plotted in the linear stiffness of the initial RC frame of the same central
Fig. 11. Table 1 and Fig. 11 show that the level of capacity floor (K i ), also shown in Fig. 12. The lateral, linear (initial
interaction or brace–frame connection overstrength evaluated or secant) stiffness of such a one-storey frame having upper
for different frames is a minimum of 5% and for some bracing and lower beams can be calculated analytically using the well-
configurations can be as high as 20%. The overstrength for known relation [23];
more representing connection types are around 10%. These are
24E
values which cannot be ignored when cost-effective designs are K =   (1)
considered. A closer look at Table 1 and Fig. 11 shows that the L 2c P2 + P1 + P1
Kc K bb K bt
effects of load share of bracing system on the overstrength is
negligible when it is compared with the effects of the parameter where, K c , K bb and K bt , are I /L for columns, lower beams and
(L e )/(L b ). This was found to be true for all the other frames upper beams, respectively and L c , is the effective height of the
analysed. This result indicates that the relative size of the frame.
brace–frame connections and their contribution to the frame The stiffness ratio, ρ, as described above was calculated
stiffness is the main contributing parameter to the observed for all the frames analysed. The overstrength factors, R,
overstrength. As a result, the effects of load share of bracing previously determined for these frames with different problem
(or the cross-sectional area of the braces) on the overstrength variables are plotted against the stiffness ratio for different
is neglected and for further investigations the load share of frame geometries considered. Typical plots for the 4-storey and
bracing was assumed to be constant at 100% which is also on 12-storey frames are shown in Fig. 13. A near linear relation
the safe side. between the two parameters can be seen for all cases. This
enables us to draw linear relations between the two parameters
3.3. Simple presentation of connection overstrength as also presented in Fig. 13.
To condense the results of the 9 relations thus obtained, the
In the above analyses, the parameter (L e )/(L b ) was linear relation for the 4-storey, 3-bay frame will be considered
assumed to loosely represent the effect of connections on as the base overstrength, Rb , and the effects of the two
the overstrength. However, this parameter does not take into main variable parameters including the number of braced bays
consideration the influence of connections on the stiffness (number of bays in the frame) and the number of storeys
of the columns. Therefore, considering the nature of the will be considered respectively as correction factors α and β.
interaction, a more representing parameter can be introduced Therefore;
as the ratio of the effective stiffness of the RC frame with R = αβ Rb (%) (2)
brace–frame connections (K r ) to the stiffness of the RC frame
without the brace–frame connections (K i ) and designated as ρ. where,
Considering that the connections reduce the effective lengths
Rb = 32ρ − 27.
of RC beams and columns, the effective stiffness of the frame
with brace–frame connections corresponds to the stiffness of The variation in factor α, against the number of braced bays for
a reduced frame as shown in Fig. 12. For simplicity and different stiffness ratios are plotted in Fig. 14(a). Similar plots
conservatively, the reduced frame is assumed to have beams and are presented in Fig. 14(b) for variation in factor β against the
M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948 1945

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.
1946 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 connection stiffness parameter (L e )/(L b ) for the 4-storey and
factor α on the number of braced panels is strongly influenced 8-storey frames.
by the stiffness ratio, ρ; such that for weaker brace–frame Variations in factor β, presented graphically in Fig. 14(b),
connections, the number of braced panels has marginal effect however, show that the effect of brace–frame connection
on α, whereas for stiffer brace–frame connections, α varies stiffness on this parameter is markedly less than the effect of
considerably with the number of braced panels. It is evident number of storeys. This is expected when we consider the fact
that the contribution of the number of bays by themselves to that, unlike the number of bays, the height of a frame greatly
the stiffness of the frame is minimal. Any contribution to the influences its stiffness.
stiffness arises from the number of braced bays and the stiffness In order that quantitative relations can be drawn between the
of connections. This point can also be deduced from Fig. 15, factors α and β and the stiffness ratio ρ, the former parameters
in which the frame stiffness ratio, ρ, is plotted against the are plotted against the latter in Fig. 16(a) and (b), respectively.
M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948 1947

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, for 0.0 < ρ ≤ 1.0
α = 0.09m + 0.91, for 1.0 < ρ ≤ 1.25 (3)
α = 0.06m + 0.94, 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.
1948 M.R. Maheri, H. Ghaffarzadeh / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1938–1948

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as a stiffness ratio. [10] Tasnimi A, Masoomi A. Evaluation of response reinforced concrete
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cally cross-braced frames are determined and presented in and earthq. engng. 1999 [in Persian].
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Engineering 2000;27:433–44.
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further verification. knee-braced RC frames. Engineering Structures 2003;25:1697–705.
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