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Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers Structures and Buildings 163 February 2010 Issue SB1 Pages 4151

doi: 10.1680/stbu.2009.163.1.41 Paper 800067 Accepted 09/09/2008 Received 27/08/2009 Keywords: concrete structures/ design methods & aids/buildings, structure & design Mounir K. El Debs Professor, Department of Structural Engineering, University of Sa o Paulo, Brazil Anamaria M. Miotto Former PhD student, Department of Structural Engineering, University of Sa o Paulo, Brazil cia H. C. El Debs Ana Lu Associate Professor, Department of Structural Engineering, University of Sa o Paulo, Brazil

Analysis of a semi-rigid connection for precast concrete


M. K. El Debs BEng, MSc, PhD, A. M. Miotto BEng, MSc, PhD and A. L. H. C. El Debs
This paper presents a study of a specic type of beam-tocolumn connection for precast concrete structures. Furthermore, an analytical model to determine the strength and the stiffness of the connection, based on test results of two prototypes, is proposed. To evaluate the inuence of the strength and stiffness of the connection on the behaviour of the structure, the results of numerical simulations of a typical multi-storey building with semi-rigid connections are also presented and compared with the results using pinned and rigid connections. The main conclusions are: (a) the proposed design model can reasonably evaluate the studied connection strength; (b) the evaluation of strength is more accurate than that of stiffness; (c) for a typical structure, it is possible to increase the number of storeys of the structure from two to four with lower horizontal displacement at the top, and only a small increase of the column base bending moment by replacing the pinned connections with semi-rigid ones; and (d ) although there is signicant uncertainty in the connection stiffness, the results show that the displacements at the top of the structure, and the column base moments present low susceptibility deviations to this parameter. 1. INTRODUCTION Precast concrete components are characterised by their ability to be easily produced in factory plants. However, it is necessary to connect these components to construct a building structure. These connections are one of the main problems designers have to face when using precast concrete structures. The connections affect all stages of structures production, from the adjacent parts of components manufacture to the assembly of the structure. This in turn determines the behaviour of the nal structure. Consequently, they can be considered the most important part of the design of precast concrete structures. The simplest connections are pinned connections, which produce structures subject to large bending moments. However, connections that reproduce the behaviour of cast-in-place reinforced concrete structures through the continuity of beams and columns require more labour, reducing the inherent advantages of precast concrete. The main problems of the moment-resisting connections are the need for connecting materials, steel and concrete, and tolerance adjustment, in addition to the consequences of fragile concrete behaviour. Structures and Buildings 163 Issue SB1 BEng, MSc, PhD

Thus, the beam-to-column connections of low-rise buildings are generally designed to be pinned connections, owing to the ease of production, instead of the better structural behaviour resulting when the column bending moments are reduced. In this case, the columns work as cantilevers and are fully responsible for the structure stability. Consequently, when the building height rises, the bending moments of the columns rapidly increase, and the system becomes economically impracticable. The alternatives to minimise this effect are the use of special bracing elements or moment-resistant beam-tocolumn connections. The adoption of a more difcult connection is justied by the reduction of the column bending moments when compared with pinned connection systems. The use of moment-resisting connections usually results in rigid connections. The main objective is to obtain a nal structure that behaves as similarly as possible to the cast-inplace concrete structures, whose structural analysis processes are well known. Between the pinned and the rigid connections, there are intermediate behaviours, resulting in semi-rigid connections. In steel structures and in concretesteel composite structures, the semi-rigid connection has been thoroughly studied. For precast concrete structures, this subject was given some attention in the 1980s (Bljuger, 1988). However, in the 1990s, there was a massive mobilisation of researchers on behalf of the COST C1 programme (control of the semi-rigid behaviour of civil engineering structural connections). This programme had seven working groups, one of which focused on the study of connections in prestressed and reinforced concrete. Most of the results obtained were related to precast concrete connections (Chefdebien and Daldare, 1994; Elliott et al., 1998; Lindberg and Keronen, 1992). However, the use of semi-rigid connections, which has so far been little explored in precast concrete structures, extends the design possibilities and can bring signicant benets to the design of multi-storey structures of small and medium-height buildings. The present paper proposes a study of the strength and stiffness of a specic type of beam-to-column connection for precast concrete structures by considering tests in two prototypes. The El Debs et al. 41

Analysis of a semi-rigid connection for precast concrete

complete results of the experimental programme can be found in Miotto (2002). This paper presents an analytical model to determine both the strength and stiffness of the connection. It also presents the inuence of these parameters on the structural behaviour by comparing the numerical simulation results of a typical multistorey building with semi-rigid connections and the usual pinned and rigid connection solutions. 2. STUDIED CONNECTION The studied connection is a modied beam-to-column connection currently used in Brazil for precast concrete structures with heights up to 10 m. Details of the considered connection are given in Figure 1. Compared with the current connection, which is generally assumed to be a pinned connection, it presents the following differences: (a) the elastomer cushion is replaced by a special mortar cushion and (b) the space between the beam end recess and the column was lled with grout. The cushion used was made of a mortar of cement and sand with additions of soft aggregate, latex and short bres to produce a cement-based material with high deformability and tenacity (El Debs et al., 2003). El Debs et al. (2006a) present deformability values, obtained from stressdeformation curves. This cushion was developed to avoid stress concentration and also to allow small rotations of the beam. The modications do not alter the connection appearance and the involved tolerances. However, concerning the manufacture, there is some additional work to ll the upper part of the joint with grout. Regarding the behaviour of the connection, a signicant transmission of negative bending moment is expected, as well as a positive bending moment, but at a lower level. For the beam design, the negative moments introduced will cause a reduction in the positive moments in the middle of the span for the vertical load applied after the connection has been accomplished.

For the column design, the bending moment transmission produces a partial, but signicant, reduction in the column bending moments as well as the horizontal displacements at the top level of the structure. As a consequence, the secondorder effects also tend to be reduced, in comparison to the pinned connection structures. Further, there are lower bending moments in the column base. The use of a structural system with semi-rigid connections could therefore make it possible to reduce the column cross-section or to increase the total height of the buildings. 3. EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAMME 3.1. Characteristics of the prototypes The experimental programme includes two prototypes: prototype No. 1 represents an interior connection, and prototype No. 2 represents an exterior connection. The main geometric characteristics of the specimens are presented in Figure 2. Owing to the loading procedure, the slab was separated in such a way that prototype No. 2 would represent two columns with reduced cross-sections. This reduction in the column cross-section of the prototype represents a lightly unfavourable situation. The reason for this option was the ease of both the prototype manufacture and testing procedures. The column and the corbel reinforcement, as well as the beam reinforcement, were designed to represent a span modulation of 6 m 3 6 m. The continuity reinforcement was estimated for these dimensions by considering the acting load after the connection was effective. For the exural continuity reinforcement distribution, half of the required steel area was adopted as bars passing through the column, while the rest of the area was distributed bars in the structural concrete topping. As a consequence of the available commercial bars, the effective reinforcement consisted of 216 mm (200 mm2 ) passing through the column, and 610 mm (470 mm2 ) on the sides of the column. In prototype No. 2, the bars in the concrete cover (610 mm) were anchored on the edge of the slab and the beam web bars (216 mm) passed through the column, as in prototype No. 1, to represent, in the actual situation, a suitable anchorage in the column. More details of the prototype construction can be seen in El Debs et al. (2006b). 3.2. Test and loading set-up The test set-up and some additional details are presented in Figure 3. A servo-controlled actuator of 500 kN capacity was used to apply the loads. The loading of prototype No. 1 was cyclic and reversed, with two cycles corresponding to 20% of the predicted load, for each side, two more cycles increasing the load to 40% of the predicted load, followed by two more cycles of 60% of the predicted load for the negative moment and then El Debs et al.

Cast-in-place concrete

Holes to pass reinforcement rods Continuity reinforcement

Hollow core slab

Filling with grout

Bolt

Cushion of mortar Column Beam

Figure 1. The proposed connection with details of the alterations from current connection

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Analysis of a semi-rigid connection for precast concrete

800 Continuity reinforcement Hollow core slab

Bolt ( 25 mm)

200 190

250 150

70

100

600

400

200

1290 20

300

Column (a) Upper view (b)

Column

The steel used to produce the dowels for the prototypes Figure 2. Geometry and details of the tested prototypes: (a) prototype No. 1; (b) prototype was SAE 1020 with a No. 2 (dimensions in mm) 25.4 mm diameter and nominal yielding stress (f y ) of 250 MPa. The reinforcement steel was Brazilian standard Actuator CA-50 with a nominal yielding stress of 500 MPa. The values Device to for the yielding stress (f y ) and ultimate strength (f u ) of the apply the load steel are given in Table 2 and are the average of four tested specimens. The hollow core slab with an average compressive Transducers 1400 mm strength of 45 MPa was furnished by a precast concrete Support company. 20 mm

450 mm

Support

Transducers Reaction structure 1600 mm

Figure 3. Test set-up and some details of the prototype tests (dimensions in mm)

3.4. Bending momentsrotation curves for connections The main results concerning semi-rigid connections are the bending momentrotation curves. The bending moment was calculated considering the reaction to half of the load introduced by the actuator at a distance of 1.40 m (on the column face). The rotation of the connection was obtained by averaging the relative displacements given by the transducers placed on the upper part of the prototype and on the upper face of the column corbel and dividing by 450 mm, which is the distance between these positions. Figure 4 shows the bending momentrotation curves for prototypes No. 1 and No. 2. These curves correspond to the envelope curves in the cyclic loading stages. As can be observed, the failure load for prototype No. 1 occurred in the direction of the negative moment, while the opposite occurred for prototype No. 2.

raising the load monotonically until failure. In prototype No. 2, the load was also cyclic and reversed, following the same procedures, but aiming to obtain a failure provoked by the positive moment.

Beam and column concrete Prot. No. 1 f c : MPa f t : MPa E: GPa 49.0 3.2 32.8 Prot. No. 2 49.5 3.9 36.3

Concrete topping Prot. No. 1 33.2 2.9 31.6 Prot. No. 2 28.5 2.5 24.8 Prot. No. 1 52.6 4.7 13.4

600

200

Bearing cushion

400

200

1050

Cast-in-place concrete

20

50

3.3. Materials The mechanical properties of the concrete and the grout are presented in Table 1. The properties were determined using tests on cylindrical samples of 150 mm diameter and 300 mm height for the concrete and 50 mm diameter and 100 mm height for the grout on the same day of the prototype testing. The compressive strength (f c ) and tensile strength (f t ) were calculated based on an average of six specimens and the modulus of elasticity (E) was calculated as an average of three samples.

600

Grout Prot. No. 2 59.4 4.5 14.9

Table 1. Mechanical properties of concrete and grout

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Diameter: mm 10 12.5 16 Table 2. Steel strength

fy :MPa 576 611 589

fu : MPa 683 705 764

Myp

kn

50

Bending moment: kN m

0 0 50 100 150 200 250

10

12

Myn

Prototype No. 1 Prototype No. 2

Figure 5. Proposed bending momentrotation relationship

Figure 4. Envelope of bending momentrotation curve for connection


d e

4. PROPOSED DESIGN MODEL


he zn

Rs ycn

Column face

Rotation 103

C V M

4.1. Ideal bending momentrotation curves for connection For negative moments, three stages can be observed from the results (a) a very short and stiff initial stage (b) a second stage, with less stiffness (c) a nal stage of yielding. For positive moments, it is also possible to observe an initial stage of high stiffness and then a very long stage where the moment increases slowly, indicating that the material is yielding. For negative and positive moments, the initial stiffer stages of the connections tend to lose stiffness with repeated loading; therefore, the use of a bi-linear diagram is proposed for both cases, as shown in Figure 5. In this way, the connection behaviour can be described by only two parameters, for each bending moment direction, the yielding moment My (Myp for positive moment and Myn for negative moment) and the stiffness k (kp for positive moment and kn for negative moment). 4.2. Negative moments The yielding moment can be determined based on Figure 6, where a rectangular distribution of stresses is assumed for the grout and the cushion, and the dowel contribution is neglected. Imposing force equilibrium in the vertical and horizontal directions, the moment equilibrium related to point C, which is aligned with Rcu , the solution can be determined. Suppose Rs As f y and Rg ycn f cg bw , the moment at C is 44 Structures and Buildings 163 Issue SB1

Rq

xcu Rcu

xcu/2

le

Figure 6. Stress diagram in the connection for negative moments

Myn As f y zn

with 2 9 zn he de ycn 2

and ycn As f y f cg bw

where As is the cross-section area for the continuity reinforcement, f y is the yielding stress for the continuity reinforcement, he is the height of the beam end recess, de 9 is the distance from the reinforcement to the beam face, ycn is the height of compression stress block at beam end recess, f cg is El Debs et al.

Analysis of a semi-rigid connection for precast concrete

the compressive strength of the grout, bw is the beam end recess width and x cu is the length of the compression stress block under the cushion. The value of x cu varies with the cushion stiffness. If the cushion is very deformable, its value tends towards the length of the beam end recess. If a triangular stress diagram at the beam end recess is adopted, the value of x cu will be 2e =3. Based on the test results, the beam end recess is supposed to be fully rigid. The deformability of the connections is therefore due to: (a) a strain concentration of a main crack in the face of the column on the tensioned side; (b) the joint deformation on the compressed side; and (c) cushion deformation. Figure 7 shows the deformed position of the beam end recess. It can be seen that the following components with their respective stiffnesses were considered (a) reinforcement (ks ) (b) grout of the joint (kg ) and cushion (kcu ). The position of the centre of rotation CR, which coincides with point C used to obtain the yielding moment, can be calculated from

(1 w ) s1 w s 2 wy 2 8(1 e rs,ef ) max E s

"

#1=1w

s 4 Es

with e Es E c,top

max 2:5

q f c,top

rs,ef

As Ac,ef

where As is the area of the continuity reinforcement, Ac,ef is the involved area of the continuity reinforcement, s is the stress in the continuity reinforcement, is the average diameter of the continuity reinforcement, E s is the steel modulus of elasticity, E c,top is the concrete topping modulus of elasticity, f c,top is the compressive strength of concrete topping, w 0:4 and s1 1. In this case, as the reinforcement is placed in the concrete topping, Ac,ef can be calculated from the product of the thickness of the concrete topping and the distance of the inuenced area from the tensioned bars. Since the objective is to obtain the stiffness of the reinforcement when yielding, the stress in the continuity reinforcement s is the yielding stress (f y ). The stiffness corresponding to the joint lled with grout is

ycr

ks ( he de 9 ) kg ycn =2 ks kg

The stiffness of the continuity reinforcement is

ks

s As wy

where wy is the opening of the pronounced crack, close to the column face, and its value can be estimated through the following expression used by Miotto (2002), where the rst de ration Internationale du Be ton (FIB, 1999) part is given in Fe and the second part is given in Engstrom (1992a)

10

kg

ycn bw Dgj

where bw is the beam width and Dgj is the deformability of the grout joint, in terms of stress.

ks

The deformability values for the mortar joints can be found in the technical literature (Barboza, 2002; Bljuger, 1988). Because the moment equilibrium is related to the rotation centre CR, the connection stiffness can be calculated using the expression "  ycn ycr 2 2 #

he kg ycn/2 kcu CR

V M ycr

xcu/2

11

9 kg kn ks he ycr de

Figure 7. Deformed position of the beam and deformation components for the negative moment

4.3. Positive moments The yielding moment can be determined based on Figure 8, where a rectangular block of stresses was considered in the concrete topping. The eventual reaction of the cushion close to the column is neglected. El Debs et al. 45

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Column face

kC 00 CR V M

Rc

C M ycp V ksd

zp

ktd

Fsd Ftd

l e/2 l e/2

le

Figure 9. Deformed position of the beam and deformation components for the positive moment

Figure 8. Stress diagram in the connection for positive moments coincides with the point C used to calculate the yielding moment. Imposing the force equilibrium in the vertical and horizontal directions and the moment equilibrium referring to point C, which corresponds to the dowel position, the bending moment in C can be obtained from 12 Myp Fsd zp The stiffness of the connection can be calculated by considering the equilibrium of moments referred to the centre of rotation CR, which produces the following expression   ycp 2 kp ksd hc 2

15

with ycp 2

The stiffness associated with the shear deformation of the dowel is ksd Fsd avy

13

zp he

16 and Fsd cd 2 q f yd f cc,max

14

where avy is the transverse displacement of the dowel when the maximum force is attained. More information for the calculation of the displacement can be found in the technical literature (Engstrom, 1992b). This displacement can also be obtained from CEB model code 1990 (CEBFIP, 1991), which indicates 0:10d . 4.4. Comparison with experimental results Based on the presented equations, the characteristic values of the momentrotation curves for prototypes No. 1 and No. 2 can be obtained. The geometry values of the prototypes are given in Figures 2 and 3. Most of the material mechanical properties were previously presented. The compressive strength of the mortar cushion, determined by cylinder samples of 50 mm diameter and 100 mm height, is 25 MPa. Table 3 shows other values used to obtain the theoretical curves. The following parameters were also considered (a) joint deformability of 0.1 3 104 m/MPa (Bljuger, 1988) (b) c coefcient of 1.2 in Equation 14 (c) displacement avy of 0:10d for Equation 16. El Debs et al.

where ycp is the height of the compression stress block at the top of the beam end recess and is calculated by ycp Fsd = f cc,max bf ( bf is composite beam width); c is a coefcient which can be found in the technical literature (CEBFIP, 1991); d is the dowel diameter; f yb is the yielding stress of dowel steel; and f cc,max is the higher value between the compressive strength concrete and compressive strength grout in contact with the dowel. The deformed position of the beam end recess, which is assumed to be rigid, can be obtained from Figure 9. It can be observed that the following deformation components with the associated stiffnesses are considered (a) compressed concrete (kc ) (b) tension in the dowel (ktd ) (c) shear in the dowel (ksd ). As kc approaches innity, the rotation centre CR is aligned, which automatically denes its position. In this case, CR also 46 Structures and Buildings 163 Issue SB1

Analysis of a semi-rigid connection for precast concrete

Prototype No. 1 Interior column Distance from the reinforcement to the beam top ( de 9) Continuity reinforcement Average diameter of the continuity reinforcement

Prototype No. 2 Exterior column

25 mm 870 mm2 216 + 610 12.5 mm 400 mm2 216 16 mm

Note: the continuity reinforcement outside the beam web of prototype No. 2 was not taken into account as it is not anchored appropriately on the slab border vicinity. Table 3. Values used to obtain the theoretical curves

Table 4 presents the connection stiffness and the yielding moments calculated with the proposed procedures, regarding points CR C. The difference between the interior and external columns is attributable to the material properties. Figure 10 shows the experimental momentrotation curves compared with the theoretical values given in Table 4. For this comparison, the experimental moments were calculated with respect to points CR C, which means lever-arms of 1.246 m for prototype No. 1 and 1.280 m for prototype No. 2. For prototype No. 2, which was intended to fail with the positive moment, the strength and stiffness were well predicted. Regarding prototype No. 1, the theoretical model is in good agreement with the connection strength. However, for the stiffness estimation, the design model furnished values which are not very close to the experimental ones for both cases. On the other hand, if the displacement analysis is considered, the model will also furnish safer values.

With these results, it can be observed that the strength is relatively well evaluated, but the stiffness evaluation is much less precise. This is a consequence of the uncertainties present in the calculation: the crack opening, the deformability of the joint lled by grout and the displacement of the dowel until the maximum force is reached.

5. NUMERICAL MODELLING OF A TYPICAL STRUCTURE In order to evaluate the inuence of the connection stiffness on the structure behaviour, numerical simulations of a typical multi-storey building with connections of different grades of stiffness were performed. The analysis was restricted to the global stability and the increase of bending moments in the columns owing to the structural deformation. The purpose was to show that some

Interior column Negative moments Stiffness: MN/rad Yielding moment: kN m 60.9 202.0 Positive moments 6.4 36.4

Exterior column Negative moments 25.1 96.3 Positive moments 6.3 36.3

Table 4. Theoretical values of connection stiffness and yielding moments

50

0 10 8 6 4 2 50 0 2 4 6 8 10

Bending moment: kN m

100

Prototype No. 1 Theoretical for internal connection

150

Prototype No. 2 Theoretical for external connection

200

250 Rotation 103

Figure 10. Comparison of experimental and theoretical bending momentrotation curves for connection

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advantages can be obtained when the column-to-beam connections are considered to be semi-rigid. Figure 11 represents a typical two-storey frame structure of three spans. The loads indicated in Figure 11 are already magnied by the safety factors. Figure 12 shows the structural models: (a) pinned before the connections between beams and columns were effective and (b) semi-rigid after the connections between beams and columns were effective. The dead-load (g), which corresponds to the weight of the structure itself, is working in the pinned connections model, while the live-load (q) and the wind load (W) are working in the semi-rigid connections model. The z coefcient method proposed by Franco and Vasconcelos (1991) was chosen for the performed analysis. The analysis also veries the need to consider second-order effects by demonstrating a simplied estimate of these effects. Concisely, it consists in calculating the z coefcient, which evaluates the deformability of the structure and, multiplied by the horizontal loads, can also take into account non-linear effects. The z coefcient is given by 1 z 1 Md = M1d

(a)

(b)

17

Figure 12. Structural model before (a) and after (b) the connections become effective: (a) pinned connections; (b) semi-rigid connections

where M1d is the rst-order moment at the bottom of the structure owing to the lateral loads and Md is the rst evaluation of the second-order moments, calculated from the structure deformations due to the rst-order moments. For design purposes, if z is less than 1.1, then there is no need to consider the overall second-order effects, and if z value is less than 1.2 and greater than 1.1, the moments obtained in the rst-order analysis must be multiplied by z . In this study, the z coefcient is applied even if it is lower than 1.1. The displacements of the structure can be obtained using the reduced values of exural stiffness in order to consider the non-linear behaviour of the materials. The usual values are (EI )red 0.4EI for beams and (EI )red 0.8EI for columns, in a framed structure, and (EI )red 0.4EI for xed-end columns (cantilever action) and pinned beams (El Debs, 2000). In the absence of data to establish the stiffness reduction for semirigid connections, the mean value of 0.60 is considered.

The nite-element-based program ANSYS 8.0 was used to process the calculation. The semi-rigid connections were simulated by spring elements, COMBIN39, available in the software library. The COMBIN39 elements are capable of representing a spring with non-linear behaviour, so the bilinear momentrotation curve dened for the connections was used. In order to analyse the effect of the stiffness of the connections, the following alternatives were considered (a) pinned connections (b) semi-rigid connections with the values present in Table 5 (c) rigid connections (fully restrained connections). The values in Table 5 were calculated considering the material properties (a) precast concrete compressive strength of 35 MPa (b) cast-in-place concrete compressive strength of 25 MPa

gt qt Wt 10 kN gi q i Wi 10 kN g: kN/m q: kN/m W: kN

375 m

Top storey Intermediate storey

20

10

10

375 m

26

14

20

60 m

60 m

60 m

Beam sections: 300 mm 650 mm Column sections: 300 mm 400 mm

Figure 11. Analysed structure and considered loads

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Interior column Negative moments Stiffness: MN/rad Yielding moment: kN m 63.5 147.5 Positive moments 5.4 24.2

Exterior column Negative moments 26.4 70.2 Positive moments 5.4 24.2

Table 5. Design values of connection stiffness and yielding moments

(c) continuity reinforcement and dowel of same diameters and strength of the prototype (d ) elasticity modulus of concrete of 30 GPa, which is approximately the mean value between the precast and the cast-in-situ concrete.

(d ) For the analysed parameters, the positive moment at the connection occurs only for load combination G + G and its value is low.

To calculate the negative and positive moments, safety factors for the materials (1.4 for concrete and 1.15 for steel) were introduced. Table 6 presents the main results obtained for the analysed situations. Several observations can be made. (a) The displacement at the top of the structure for semi-rigid connection is 13.7% of the value considering pinned connection. (b) The z coefcient is also signicantly reduced. (c) The bending moment in the column base for semi-rigid connection is 41.9% of the value considering pinned connection for the load combination G + Q + W.

Based on the results presented, other similar framed structures were simulated, with an increasing number of storeys. Vertical horizontal loads were repeated for the intermediate storeys, keeping the same load for the top level. Table 7 shows the results. Based on the results in Table 7, two primary conclusions can be drawn. First, it is possible to progress from a two-storey frame with pinned connections to a four-storey one with semirigid connections. The displacement at the top would be lower, and the bending moment in the column base would increase slightly, from 44.65 to 49.29 kN m. Second, even for a vestorey frame, the positive moments at the connection would be lower than the yielding moments, which indicate the possibility of another increase in the height; however, in this case, there would be a large increase in the column base moments.

Loads G + Q + W Connections a*: mm z Mb .z : kN m 44.65 18.72 15.27 Mv .z : kN m 0 a*: mm

Loads G + W z Mb .z : kN m 42.02 18.54 15.04 Mv .z : kN m 0 3.99 15.00

Pinned Semi-rigid Rigid

29.77 4.07 1.99

1.19 1.03 1.01

29.77 4.07 1.99

1.12 1.02 1.01

* a displacement at the structure top level (average of four columns) Mb moment at the column bottom (average of four columns) Mv positive moment at beamcolumn connection, () means that there is only negative moment Dead load actuates on pinned connections Table 6. Main results for the analysed alternatives

Load G + Q + W Connection n* a: mm 29.77 4.07 11.30 21.81 36.30 z Mb .z : kN m 44.65 18.73 33.94 49.29 66.26 Mv .z : kN m 0 0.06 4.75 a: mm

Load G + W z Mb .z : kN m 42.02 18.54 33.29 48.37 63.85 Mv .z : kN m 0 3.99 8.52 13.13 17.00

Pinned Semi-rigid

2 2 3 4 5

1.19 1.03 1.05 1.07 1.10

29.77 4.07 11.30 21.81 36.30

1.12 1.02 1.03 1.05 1.06

* n number of storeys Table 7. Results when the number of storeys is increased for semi-rigid connections

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a: mm n* 2 3 4 5 0.5 5.20 (27.6%) 15.21 (34.6%) 29.82 (36.8%) 50.44 (39.0%) 1.0 4.07 11.30 21.81 36.30 2.0 3.33 (18.2%) 8.75 (22.6%) 16.89 (22.6%) 27.78 (23.5%) 0.5 1.03 1.06 1.10 1.14

z 1.0 1.03 1.05 1.07 1.10 2.0 1.02 1.04 1.06 1.07 0.5 20.40 (9.3%) 38.18 (12.8%) 56.42 (14.4%) 77.08 (16.6%)

Mb . z : kN m 1.0 2.0 17.44 (6.5%) 30.76 (9.2%) 44.72 (9.4%) 59.22 (10.4%)

18.65 33.86 49.34 66.11

* n number of storeys Table 8. Analysis for G + Q + W loads using half and twice times the stiffness

Because of the uncertainty in the calculation of connection stiffness, a numerical simulation was performed to analyse the effect of this value on the studied parameters. Therefore, three different stiffnesses were considered: 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 times the calculated values presented in Table 5, while maintaining the same resistance moments. Table 8 presents the results of this analysis for the load combination G + Q + W. The results indicate that the variation of connection stiffness becomes more important when the structure turns more deformable as the storey number increases. It is also possible to observe that the connection stiffness affects the displacements more than the column base bending moments. For the case of the four-storey structure, when the connection stiffness decreases 50%, the displacement at the structure top level increases 36.8%, while the bending moment in the column base only increases 14.4%. The results show that the displacements at the top of the structure and the column base moments present low susceptibility to deviations of this parameter. 6. CONCLUSIONS Based on the results obtained, some conclusions can be drawn. (a) The proposed design models can reasonably evaluate the studied connection strength for both negative and positive moments. (b) The evaluation of strength is more accurate than that of stiffness. (c) In the example of a typical structure, it is possible to increase the number of storeys of the structure from two to four with lower horizontal displacement at the top and only a small increase of the column base bending moment by using semi-rigid connections. (d ) Although there is signicant uncertainty in the connection stiffness, the results show that the displacements at the top of the structure and the column base moments present low susceptibility to deviations of this parameter. In the example of a typical four-storey structure, the moment in the column base increases only 14.4% when the connection stiffness is reduced to half the calculated stiffness. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to acknowledge the Brazilian government agencies FAPESP and CNPq for the scholarship and nancial support given to this research. 50 Structures and Buildings 163 Issue SB1

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Structures and Buildings 163 Issue SB1

Analysis of a semi-rigid connection for precast concrete

El Debs et al.

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