You are on page 1of 164

FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

FEMA 267b / June, 1999

Interim Guidelines
Advisory No. 2

Steel Moment Frame Structures

Program to Reduce the Earthquake Hazards of

Supplement to FEMA-267

INTERIM GUIDELINES ADVISORY NO. 2


Supplement to FEMA-267 Interim Guidelines:
Evaluation, Repair, Modification and Design of
Welded Steel Moment Frame Structures
Report No. SAC-99-01

SAC Joint Venture


a partnership of:
Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC)
Applied Technology Council (ATC)
California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREe)
Prepared for SAC Joint Venture Partnership by
Guidelines Development Committee
Ronald O. Hamburger, Chair
Thomas Sabol
John D. Hooper
C. Mark Saunders
Robert E. Shaw
Raymond
H.R. Tide
Lawrence D. Reaveley

Project Oversight Committee


William J. Hall, Chair
John N. Barsom
Shirin Ader
John Barsom
Roger Ferch
Theodore V. Galambos
John Gross
James R. Harris

Richard Holguin
Nestor Iwankiw
Roy G. Johnston
Len Joseph
Duane K. Miller
John Theiss
John H. Wiggins

SAC Project Management Committee


SEAOC: William T. Holmes
ATC: Christoper Rojahn
CUREe: Robin Shepherd

Program Manager: Stephen A. Mahin


Investigations Director: James O. Malley
Product Director: Ronald O. Hamburger
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Project Officer: Michael Mahoney
Technical Advisor: Robert D. Hanson
SAC Joint Venture
555 University Avenue, Suite 126
Sacramento, California 95825
916-427-3647
June, 1999
i

THE SAC JOINT VENTURE


SAC is a joint venture of the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), the Applied Technology Council
(ATC), and California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREe,) formed specifically to address both
immediate and long-term needs related to solving problems of the Welded Steel Moment Frame (WSMF) connection that
became apparent as a result of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. SEAOC is a professional organization composed of
more than 3,000 practicing structural engineers in California. The volunteer efforts of SEAOCs members on various
technical committees have been instrumental in the development of the earthquake design provisions contained in the
Uniform Building Code as well as the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Provisions for Seismic
Regulations for New Buildings. The Applied Technology Council is a non-profit organization founded specifically to
perform problem-focused research related to structural engineering and to bridge the gap between civil engineering
research and engineering practice. It has developed a number of publications of national significance including ATC 306, which serves as the basis for the NEHRP Recommended Provisions. CUREe is a nonprofit organization formed to
promote and conduct research and educational activities related to earthquake hazard mitigation. CUREes eight
institutional members are: the California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California at
Berkeley, the University of California at Davis, the University of California at Irvine, the University of California at Los
Angeles, the University of California at San Diego, and the University of Southern California. This collection of
university earthquake research laboratory, library, computer and faculty resources is among the most extensive in the
United States. The SAC Joint Venture allows these three organizations to combine their extensive and unique resources,
augmented by subcontractor universities and organizations from around the nation, into an integrated team of
practitioners and researchers, uniquely qualified to solve problems related to the seismic performance of WSMF
structures.

DISCLAIMER
The purpose of this document is to serve as a supplement to the FEMA-267 publication Interim Guidelines: Evaluation,
Repair, Modification and Design of Welded Steel Moment Frame Structures. This Advisory, which is intended to be used
in conjunction with FEMA-267, supercedes and entirely replaces Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 1 (FEMA 267a).
FEMA-267 was published to provide engineers and building officials with guidance on engineering procedures for
evaluation, repair, modification and design of welded steel moment frame structures, to reduce the risks associated with
earthquake-induced damage. The recommendations were developed by practicing engineers based on professional
judgment and experience and a preliminary program of laboratory, field and analytical research. This preliminary
research, known as the SAC Phase 1 program, commenced in November, 1994 and continued through the publication of
the Interim Guidelines document. This Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2, which updates and replaces Interim
Guidelines Advisory No. 1, is based on supplementary data developed under a program of continuing research, known as
the SAC Phase 2 program, as well as findings developed by other, independent researchers. Final design
recommendations, superceding both FEMA-267 and this document are scheduled for publication in early 2000.
Independent review and guidance in the production of both the FEMA-267, Interim Guidelines and the advisories was
provided by a project oversight panel comprised of experts from industry, practice and academia. Users are cautioned that
research into the behavior of these structures is continuing. Interpretation of the results of this research may invalidate or
suggest the need for modification of recommendations contained herein. No warranty is offered with regard to the
recommendations contained herein, either by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the SAC Joint
Venture, the individual joint venture partners, their directors, members or employees. These organizations and
their employees do not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of
any of the information, products or processes included in this publication. The reader is cautioned to carefully
review the material presented herein. Such information must be used together with sound engineering judgment when
applied to specific engineering projects. This Interim Guidelines Advisory has been prepared by the SAC Joint Venture
with funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, under contract number EMW-95-C-4770. The
SAC Joint Venture gratefully acknowledges the support of FEMA and the leadership of Michael Mahoney and Robert
Hanson, Project Officer and Technical Advisor, respectively. The SAC Joint Venture also wishes to express its gratitude
to the large numbers of engineers, building officials, organizations and firms that provided substantial efforts, materials,
and advice and who have contributed significantly to the progress of the Phase 2 effort.

ii

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

PREFACE
Purpose
The purpose of the Interim Guidelines Advisory series is to provide engineers and building
officials with timely information and guidance resulting from ongoing problem-focused studies of
the seismic behavior of moment-resisting steel frame structures. These advisories are intended to
be supplements to FEMA-267 Interim Guidelines: Evaluation, Repair, Modification and Design
of Welded Steel Moment Frame Structures first published in August 1995.
The first Interim Guidelines Advisory, FEMA-267a, was published in January 1997. The
specific revisions and updates to the Interim Guidelines contained in FEMA-267a were developed
based on input obtained from a group of engineers and building officials actively engaged in the
use of the FEMA-267 document, in the period since its initial publication in August 1995. That
input was obtained during a workshop held in August 1996, in Los Angeles, California.
This second Interim Guidelines Advisory has been prepared as a series of updates and
revisions both to the FEMA-267, Interim Guidelines which it supplements and to the FEMA267a, Interim Guidelines Advisory publication, which it supercedes. The material contained in
this Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2 is based on the extensive analytical and laboratory
research that has been conducted by the SAC Joint Venture and other researchers during the
intervening period, along with recent developments in the steel construction industry. The
material contained in this Advisory has been formatted to match that contained in the original
Interim Guidelines, to permit the user to insert this material directly into appropriate sections of
that document. This Advisory is not intended to serve as a self-contained text and should not be
used as such. It does, however, completely replace the material contained in FEMA-267a.
A new set of recommendations for the design, analysis, evaluation repair, retrofit and
construction of moment-resisting steel frames is currently being prepared as part of the Phase 2
Program to Reduce Earthquake Hazards in Steel Moment Frame Structures. These new Seismic
Design Criteria, which are anticipated to be completed early in the year 2000, will replace in their
entirety the FEMA-267 Interim Guidelines and this Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2.
Background
The Northridge earthquake of January 17, 1994, dramatically demonstrated that the
prequalified, welded beam-to-column moment connection commonly used in the construction of
welded steel moment resisting frames (WSMFs) in the period 1965-1994 was much more
susceptible to damage than previously thought. The stability of moment frame structures in
earthquakes is dependent on the capacity of the beam-column connection to remain intact and to
resist tendencies of the beams and columns to rotate with respect to each other under the
influence of lateral deflection of the structure. The prequalified connections were believed to be
ductile and capable of withstanding the repeated cycles of large inelastic deformation explicitly
relied upon in the building code provisions for the design of these structures. Although many
affected connections were not damaged, a wide spectrum of unexpected brittle connection
iii

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

fractures did occur, ranging from isolated fractures through or adjacent to the welds of beam
flanges to columns, to large fractures extending across the full depth of the columns. At the time
this damage was discovered, the structural steel industry and engineering profession had little
understanding of the specific causes of this damage, the implications of this damage for building
safety, or even if reliable methods existed to repair the damage which had been discovered.
Although the connection failures did not result in any casualties or collapses, and many WSMF
buildings were not damaged, the incidence of damage was sufficiently pervasive in regions of
strong ground motion to cause wide-spread concern by structural engineers and building officials
with regard to the safety of these structures in future earthquakes.
In response to these concerns, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) entered
into a cooperative agreement with the SAC Joint Venture to perform problem-focused study of
the seismic performance of welded steel moment connections and to develop interim
recommendations for professional practice. Specifically, these recommendations were intended to
address the inspection of earthquake affected buildings to determine if they had sustained
significant damage; the repair of damaged buildings; the upgrade of existing buildings to improve
their probable future performance; and the design of new structures to provide more reliable
seismic performance. Within weeks of receipt of notification of FEMAs intent to enter into this
agreement, the SAC Joint Venture published a series of two design advisories (SAC, 1994a; SAC,
1994b). These design advisories presented a series of papers, prepared by engineers and
researchers engaged in the investigation of the damaged structures and presenting individual
opinions as to the causes of the damage, potential methods of repair, and possible designs for
more reliable connections in the future. In February 1995, Design Advisory No. 3 (SAC, 1995a)
was published. This third advisory presented a synthesis of the data presented in the earlier
publications, together with the preliminary recommendations developed in an industry workshop,
attended by more than 50 practicing engineers, industry representatives and researchers, on
methods of inspecting, repairing and designing WSMF structures. At the time this third advisory
was published, significant disagreement remained within the industry and the profession as to the
specific causes of the damage observed and appropriate methods of repair given that the damage
had occurred. Consequently, the preliminary recommendations were presented as a series of issue
statements, followed by the consensus opinions of the workshop attendees, where consensus
existed, and by majority and dissenting opinions where such consensus could not be formed.
During the first half of 1995, an intensive program of research was conducted to more
definitively explore the pertinent issues. This research included literature surveys, data collection
on affected structures, statistical evaluation of the collected data, analytical studies of damaged
and undamaged buildings and laboratory testing of a series of full-scale beam-column assemblies
representing typical pre-Northridge design and construction practice as well as various repair,
upgrade and alternative design details. The findings of this research (SAC 1995c, SAC 1995d,
SAC 1995e, SAC 1995f, SAC 1995g, SAC 1996) formed the basis for the development of FEMA
267 - Interim Guidelines: Evaluation, Repair, Modification, and Design of Welded Steel Moment
Frame Structures (SAC, 1995b), which was published in August, 1995. FEMA 267 provided the
first definite, albeit interim, recommendations for practice, following the discovery of connection
damage in the Northridge earthquake.

iv

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

As a result of these and supplemental studies conducted by the SAC Joint Venture, as well as
independent research conducted by others, it is now known that a large number of factors
contributed to the damage sustained by steel frame buildings in the Northridge earthquake. These
included:
design practice that favored the use of relatively few frame bays to resist lateral
seismic demands, resulting in much larger member and connection geometries than had
previously been tested;
standard detailing practice which resulted in the development of large inelastic
demands at the beam to column connections;
detailing practice that often resulted in large stress concentrations in the beam-column
connection, as well as inherent stress risers and notches in zones of high stress;
the common use of welding procedures that resulted in deposition of low toughness
weld metal in the critical beam flange to column flange joints;
relatively poor levels of quality control and assurance in the construction process,
resulting in welded joints that did not conform to the applicable quality standards;
excessively weak and flexible column panel zones that resulted in large secondary
stresses in the beam flange to column flange joints;
large variations in the strengths of rolled shape members relative to specified values;
an inherent inability of material to yield under conditions of high tri-axial restraint such
as exist at the center of the beam flange to column flange joints.
With the identification of these factors it was possible for FEMA 267 to present a
recommended methodology for the design and construction of moment-resisting steel frames to
provide connections capable of more reliable seismic performance. This methodology included
the following recommendations:
proportion the beam-column connection such that inelastic behavior occurs at a
distance remote from the column face, minimizing demands on the highly restrained
column material and the welded joints;
specify weld filler metals with rated toughness values for critical welded joints;
detail connections to incorporate beam flange continuity plates, to minimize stress
concentrations;
remove backing bars and weld tabs from critical joints to minimize the potential for
stress risers and notch effects and also to improve the reliability with which flaws at
the weld root can be observed and repaired;

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

qualify connection configurations through a program of full-scale inelastic testing of


representative beam-column assemblies, fabricated in the same manner as is proposed
for use in the structure;
increased participation of the design professional in the specification and surveillance
of welding procedures and the quality assurance process for welded joints.
In the time since the publication of FEMA-267, SAC has continued, under funding provided
by FEMA, to perform problem-focused study of the performance of moment resisting connections
of various configurations. This work, which is generally referred to as the SAC Phase II program,
includes detailed analytical evaluations of buildings and connections, parametric studies into the
effects on connection performance of connection configuration, base and weld metal strength,
toughness and ductility, as well as additional large scale testing of connection assemblies. The
intent of this study is to support development of final guidelines that will present more reliable and
economical performance-based methods for:
identification of damaged structures following an earthquake and determination of the
extent, severity and consequences of such damage;
design of effective repairs for damaged structures;
identification of existing structures that are vulnerable to unacceptable levels of
damage in future earthquakes;
design of structural upgrades for existing vulnerable structures;
design of new structures that are suitably resistant to earthquake induced damage;
procedures for construction quality assurance that are consistent with the levels of
reliability intended by the design criteria.
This Phase II program of research, which is being conducted by the SAC Joint Venture in
parallel and coordination with work by other researchers, is anticipated to be complete in late
1999. It is the intent of FEMA and the SAC Joint Venture to ensure that pertinent information
and findings from this program are made available to the user community in a timely manner
through the publication of this series of design advisory documents. This Interim Guidelines
Advisory No. 2 is the second such publication.
Format
This Advisory has been prepared as a series of updates and revisions to the FEMA-267,
Interim Guidelines publication. It has been formatted in a manner intended to facilitate the
identification of changes to the original FEMA-267 text. Only those sections of FEMA-267 that
are being revised at this time are included. Other sections of FEMA-267 remain in effect as the
current best recommendations of the SAC Joint Venture. This Advisory replaces the earlier
Interim Guidelines Advisory, FEMA-267a, in its entirety.

vi

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

To facilitate coordination of this Advisory with FEMA-267, the existing system of chapter and
section numbering has been retained. The Table of Contents lists all sections of the chapters
being revised, including those sections for which no revisions are included. Within the body of
this document, a section heading is provided for each section of the chapter; however, if no
revision to the section is currently being made, this is indicated immediately beneath the section
heading.
To facilitate reading of this document, where a revision is made to a section in FEMA 267, the
entire text of that section is included herein. Where existing text from FEMA-267 is reproduced
in this document, without edit, it is shown in normal face type for guidelines, and in italicized type
for commentary. Where existing text is being deleted, this is shown in strike through format. A
single strikethrough indicates text deleted in the first advisory, FEMA-267a. A double
strikethrough indicates text deleted in this current advisory. New text is shown in underline
format. A single underline identifies text added in the first advisory, FEMA-267a. A double
underline identifies text added in this current advisory. When a modification has been made to a
portion of text, relative to FEMA-267, this will also be noted by the presence of a vertical line at
the outside margin of the page. The following two paragraphs illustrate these conventions for
guideline and commentary text, respectively.
This sentence is representative of typical guideline text, that has been reprinted
from FEMA-267 without change.This sentence, is representative of the way in
which text being deleted from FEMA-267 in this Interim Guidelines Advisory is
identified. This sentence illustrates the way in which text deleted from FEMA-267
in the previous Interim Guidelines Advisory is identified. This sentence illustrates
the way in which text being added to FEMA-267 in this Interim Guidelines
Advisory is identified.This sentence illustrates the way in which text added to
FEMA-267 in the previous Interim Guidelines Advisory is identified.
Commentary: This sentence is representative of typical commentary text, that has
been reprinted from FEMA-267 without change. This sentence is representative of
the way in which commentary text being deleted from FEMA-267 in this Interim
Guidelines Advisory is identified. However, this sentence, is representative of the
way in which text being deleted from FEMA-267 commentary in the previous
Advisory is identified. This sentence indicates the way in which text added to the
FEMA-267 commentary in this Advisory is shown.This final sentence illustrates
the way in which text added in previous advisory, FEMA-267a, is identified.
Intent
This Interim Guidelines Advisory, together with the Interim Guidelines they modify, are primarily
intended for two different groups of potential users:
a) Engineers engaged in evaluation, repair, and upgrade of existing WSMF buildings and in
the design of new WSMF buildings incorporating either Special Moment-Resisting Frames
or Ordinary Moment-Resisting Frames utilizing welded beam-column connections. The

vii

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

recommendations for new construction are applicable to all WSMF construction expected
to resist earthquake demands through plastic behavior.
b) Regulators and building departments responsible for control of the evaluation, repair, and
occupancy of WSMF buildings that have been subjected to strong ground motion and for
regulation of the design, construction, and inspection of new WSMF buildings.
The fundamental goal of the information presented in the Interim Guidelines as modified by this
Advisory is to help identify and reduce the risks associated with earthquake-induced fractures in
WSMF buildings through provision of timely information on how to inspect existing buildings for
damage, repair damage if found, upgrade existing buildings and design new buildings. The information
presented here primarily addresses the issue of beam-to-column connection integrity under the severe
inelastic demands that can be produced by building response to strong ground motion. Users are
referred to the applicable provisions of the locally prevailing building code for information with regard
to other aspects of building construction and earthquake damage control.
Limitations
The information presented in this Interim Guidelines Advisory, together with that contained in the
Interim Guidelines it modifies, is based on limited research conducted since the Northridge
Earthquake, review of past research and the considerable experience and judgment of the professionals
engaged by SAC to prepare and review this document. Additional research on such topics as the effect
of floor slabs on frame behavior, the effect of weld metal and base metal toughness, the efficacy of
various beam-column connection details and the validity of current standard testing protocols for
prediction of earthquake performance of structures is continuing as part of the Phase 2 program and is
expected to provide important information not available at the time this Advisory was formulated.
Therefore, many of the recommendations cited herein may change as a result of forthcoming research
results.
The recommendations presented herein represent the group consensus of the committee of
Guideline Writers retained by SAC following independent review by the Project Oversight
Committee. They may not reflect the individual opinions of any single participant. They do not
necessarily represent the opinions of the SAC Joint Venture, the Joint Venture partners, or the
sponsoring agencies. Users are cautioned that available information on the nature of the WSMF
problem is in a rapid stage of development and any information presented herein must be used
with caution and sound engineering judgment.

viii

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE SAC JOINT VENTURE


DISCLAIMER
PREFACE
Purpose
Background
Format
Intent
Limitations

ii
ii
iii
iii
iii
vi
vii
viii

INTRODUCTION
1.1
Purpose
1.2
Scope
1.3
Background
1.4
The SAC Joint Venture
1.5
Sponsors
1.6
Summary of Phase I Research
1.7
Intent
1.8
Limitations
1.9
Use of the Guidelines

1-1
1-1
1-1
1-8
1-8
1-8
1-8
1-9
1-9

CLASSIFICATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS OF DAMAGE


3.1
Summary of Earthquake Damage
3.2
Damage Types
3.2.1 Girder Damage
3.2.2 Column Flange Damage
3.2.3 Weld Damage, Defects and Discontinuities
3.2.4 Shear Tab Damage
3.2.5 Panel Zone Damage
3.2.6 Other Damage
3.3
Safety Implications
3.4
Economic Implications

3-1
3-1
3-1
3-1
3-1
3-4
3-4
3-4
3-5
3-7

POST-EARTHQUAKE EVALUATION
4.1
Scope
4.2
Preliminary Evaluation
4.2.1 Evaluation Process
4.2.1.1 Ground Motion
4.2.1.2 Additional Indicators
4.2.2 Evaluation Schedule
4.2.3 Connection Inspections
4.2.3.1 Analytical Evaluation
4.2.3.2 Buildings with Enhanced Connections
4.2.4 Previous Evaluations and Inspections

4-1
4-1
4-1
4-1
4-1
4-1
4-2
4-2
4-3
4-3

ix

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2


4.3

4.4
4.5

SAC 99-01

Detailed Evaluation Procedure


4.3.1 Eight Step Inspection and Evaluation Procedure
4.3.2 Step 1 - Categorize Connections By Group
4.3.3 Step 2 - Select Samples of Connections for Inspection
4.3.3.1 Method A - Random Selection
4.3.3.2 Method B - Deterministic Selection
4.3.3.3 Method C - Analytical Selection
4.3.4 Step 3- Inspect the Selected Samples of Connections
4.3.4.1 Damage Characterization
4.3.5 Step 4 - Inspect Connections Adjacent to Damaged Connections
4.3.6 Step 5 - Determine Average Damage Index for the Group
4.3.7 Step 6 - Determine the Probability that the Connections in a
Group at a Floor Level Sustained Excessive Damage
4.3.7.1 Some Connections In Group Not Inspected
4.3.7.2 All Connections in Group Inspected
4.3.8 Step 7 - Determine Recommended Recovery
Strategies for the Building
4.3.9 Step 8 - Evaluation Report
Alternative Group Selection for Torsional Response
Qualified Independent Engineering Review
4.5.1 Timing of Independent Review
4.5.2 Qualifications and Terms of Employment
4.5.3 Scope of Review
4.5.4 Reports
4.5.5 Responses and Corrective Actions
4.5.6 Distribution of Reports
4.5.7 Engineer of Record
4.5.8 Resolution of Differences

POST-EARTHQUAKE INSPECTION
5.1
Connection Types Requiring Inspection
5.1.1 Welded Steel Moment Frame (WSMF) Connections
5.1.2 Gravity Connections
5.1.3 Other Connection Types
5.2
Preparation
5.2.1 Preliminary Document Review and Evaluation
5.2.1.1 Document Collection and Review
5.2.1.2 Preliminary Building Walk-Through
5.2.1.3 Structural Analysis
5.2.1.4 Vertical Plumbness Check
5.2.2 Connection Exposure
5.3
Inspection Program
5.3.1 Visual Inspection (VI)
5.3.1.1 Top Flange
5.3.1.2 Bottom Flange

4-3
4-3
4-4
4-4
4-5
4-5
4-5
4-5
4-5
4-8
4-8
4-9
4-9
4-9
4-9
4-9
4-9
4-9
4-9
4-9
4-9
4-9
4-10
4-10
4-10
4-10

5-1
5-1
5-3
5-3
5-4
5-4
5-4
5-4
5-4
5-4
5-4
5-6
5-6
5-6
5-6

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

5.3.2
5.3.3
5.3.4
5.3.5
6

SAC 99-01

5.3.1.3 Column and Continuity Plates


5.3.1.4 Beam Web Shear Connection
Nondestructive Testing (NDT)
Inspector Qualification
Post-Earthquake Field Inspection Report
Written Report

5-6
5-7
5-7
5-9
5-9
5-9

POST-EARTHQUAKE REPAIR AND MODIFICATION


6.1
Scope
6.2
Shoring
6.3
Repair Details
6.4
Preparation
6.5
Execution
6.6
Structural Modification
6.6.1 Definition of Modification
6.6.2 Damaged vs. Undamaged Connections
6.6.3 Criteria
6.6.4 Strength and Stiffness
6.6.4.1 Strength
6.6.4.2 Stiffness
6.6.5 Plastic Rotation Capacity
6.6.6 Connection Qualification and Design
6.6.6.1 Qualification Test Protocol
6.6.6.2 Acceptance Criteria
6.6.6.3 Calculations
6.6.6.3.1 Material Strength Properties
6.6.6.3.2 Determine Plastic Hinge Location
6.6.6.3.3 Determine Probable Plastic Moment at Hinges
6.6.6.3.4 Determine Beam Shear
6.6.6.3.5 Determine Strength Demands on Connection
6.6.6.3.6 Check Strong Column - Weak Beam Conditions
6.6.6.3.7 Check Column Panel Zone
6.6.7 Modification Details
6.6.7.1 Haunch at Bottom Flange
6.6.7.2 Top and Bottom Haunch
6.6.7.3 Cover Plate Sections
6.6.7.4 Upstanding Ribs
6.6.7.5 Side-Plate Connections
6.6.7.6 Bolted Brackets

6-1
6-1
6-1
6-1
6-1
6-1
6-1
6-1
6-1
6-4
6-4
6-6
6-7
6-10
6-11
6-11
6-12
6-13
6-16
6-18
6-19
6-20
6-21
6-23
6-24
6-24
6-26
6-26
6-28
6-29
6-29

NEW CONSTRUCTION
7.1
Scope
7.2
General - Welded Steel Frame Design Criteria
7.2.1 Criteria
7.2.2 Strength and Stiffness

7-1
7-3
7-3
7-4

xi

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

7.3

7.4

7.5

7.6
7.7
7.8

7.9

SAC 99-01

7.2.2.1 Strength
7.2.2.2 Stiffness
7.2.3 Configuration
7.2.4 Plastic Rotation Capacity
7.2.5 Redundancy
7.2.6 System Performance
7.2.7 Special Systems
Connection Design and Qualification Procedures - General
7.3.1 Connection Performance Intent
7.3.2 Qualification by Testing
7.3.3 Design by Calculation
Guidelines for Connection Qualification by Testing
7.4.1 Testing Protocol
7.4.2 Acceptance Criteria
Guidelines for Connection Design by Calculation
7.5.1 Material Strength Properties
7.5.2 Design Procedure - Strengthened Connections
7.5.2.1 Determine Plastic Hinge Locations
7.5.2.2 Determine Probable Plastic Moment at Hinge
7.5.2.3 Determine Shear at Plastic Hinge
7.5.2.4 Determine Strength Demands at Critical Sections
7.5.2.5 Check for Strong Column - Weak Beam Condition
7.5.2.6 Check Column Panel Zone
7.5.3 Design Procedure - Reduced Beam Section Connections
7.5.3.1 Determine Reduced Section and Plastic Hinge Locations
7.5.3.2 Determine Strength and Probable Plastic Moment in RBS
7.5.3.3 Strong Column - Weak Beam Condition
7.5.3.4 Column Panel Zone
7.5.3.5 Lateral Bracing
7.5.3.6 Welded Attachments
Metallurgy & Welding
Quality Control / Quality Assurance
Guidelines on Other Connection Design Issues
7.8.1 Design of Panel Zones
7.8.2 Design of Web Connections to Column Flanges
7.8.3 Design of Continuity Plates
7.8.4 Design of Weak Column and Weak Way Connections
Moment Frame Connections for Consideration in New Construction
7.9.1 Cover Plate Connections
7.9.2 Flange Rib Connections
7.9.3 Bottom Haunch Connections
7.9.4 Top and Bottom Haunch Connections
7.9.5 Side-Plate Connections
7.9.6 Reduced Beam Section Connections
7.9.7 Slip-Friction Energy Dissipating Connections

xii

7-4
7-5
7-6
7-9
7-13
7-15
7-15
7-15
7-15
7-16
7-16
7-16
7-16
7-16
7-18
7-18
7-23
7-23
7-24
7-26
7-26
7-27
7-29
7-30
7-33
7-33
7-35
7-36
7-36
7-37
7-38
7-38
7-38
7-39
7-39
7-40
7-40
7-40
7-40
7-43
7-44
7-46
7-46
7-46
7-48

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

7.10

12.

SAC 99-01

7.9.8 Column Tree Connections


7.9.9 Slotted Web Connections
7.9.10 Bolted Bracket Connections
Other Types of Welded Connection Structures
7.10.1 Eccentrically Braced Frames (EBF)
7.10.2 Dual Systems
7.10.3 Welded Base Plate Details
7.10.4 Vierendeel Truss Systems
7.10.5 Moment Frame Tubular Systems
7.10.6 Welded Connections of Collectors, Ties and Diaphragm Chords
7.10.7 Welded Column Splices
7.10.8 Built-up Moment Frame Members

METALLURGY & WELDING


8.1
Parent Materials
8.1.1 Steels
8.1.2 Chemistry
8.1.3 Tensile/Elongation Properties
8.1.4 Toughness Properties
8.1.5 Lamellar Discontinuities
8.1.6 K-Area Fractures
8.2
Welding
8.2.1 Welding Process
8.2.2 Welding Procedures
8.2.3 Welding Filler Metals
8.2.4 Preheat and Interpass Temperatures
8.2.5 Postheat
8.2.6 Controlled Cooling
8.2.7 Metallurgical Stress Risers
8.2.8 Welding Preparation & Fit-up

REFERENCES

7-48
7-48
7-50
7-52
7-52
7-52
7-52
7-52
7-52
7-53
7-53
7-53

8-1
8-1
8-3
8-3
8-10
8-10
8-10
8-11
8-11
8-12
8-13
8-17
8-17
8-17
8-17
8-17
12-1

xiii

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

This page intentionally left blank.

xiv

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Purpose
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 1.1 at this time.
1.2 Scope
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 1.2 at this time.
1.3 Background
Following the January 17, 1994 Northridge, California Earthquake, more than 100 steel buildings
with welded moment-resisting frames were found to have experienced beam-to-column connection
fractures. The damaged structures cover a wide range of heights ranging from one story to 26 stories;
and a wide range of ages spanning from buildings as old as 30 years of age to structures just being
erected at the time of the earthquake. The damaged structures are were spread over a large
geographical area, including sites that experienced only moderate levels of ground shaking. Although
relatively few such buildings were located on sites that experienced the strongest ground shaking,
damage to these buildings was quite severe. Discovery of these extensive connection fractures, often
with little associated architectural damage to the buildings, was has been alarming. The discovery has
also caused some concern that similar, but undiscovered damage may have occurred in other buildings
affected by past earthquakes. Indeed, there are now confirmed isolated reports of such damage. In
particular, a publicly owned building at Big Bear Lake is known to have been was damaged by the
Landers-Big Bear, California sequence of earthquakes, and at least one building, under construction in
Oakland, California at the time fo the several buildings were damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta
Earthquake, was reported to have experienced such damage in the San Francisco Bay Area.
WSMF construction is used commonly throughout the United States and the world, particularly
for mid- and high-rise construction. Prior to the Northridge Earthquake, this type of construction was
considered one of the most seismic-resistant structural systems, due to the fact that severe damage to
such structures had rarely been reported in past earthquakes and there was no record of earthquakeinduced collapse of such buildings, constructed in accordance with contemporary US practice.
However, the widespread severe structural damage which occurred to such structures in the
Northridge Earthquake calleds for re-examination of this premise.
The basic intent of the earthquake resistive design provisions contained in the building codes is to
protect the public safety, however, there is also an intent to control damage. The developers of the
building code provisions have explicitly set forth three specific performance goals for buildings
designed and constructed to the code provisions (SEAOC - 1990). These are to provide buildings with
the capacity to
resist minor earthquake ground motion without damage;
Introduction
1-1

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

resist moderate earthquake ground motion without structural damage but possibly some
nonstructural damage; and
resist major levels of earthquake ground motion, having an intensity equal to the strongest
either experienced or forecast for the building site, without collapse, but possibly with some
structural as well as nonstructural damage.
In general, WSMF buildings in the Northridge Earthquake met the basic intent of the building
codes, to protect life safety. However, the ground shaking intensity experienced by most of these
buildings was significantly less than that anticipated by the building codes. Many buildings that
experienced moderate intensity ground shaking experienced significant damage that could be viewed as
failing to meet the intended performance goals with respect to damage control. Further, some
members of the engineering profession (SEAOC - 1995b) and government agencies (Seismic Safety
Commission - 1995) have stated that even these performance goals are inadequate for societys current
needs.
WSMF buildings are designed to resist earthquake ground shaking based on the assumption that
they are capable of extensive yielding and plastic deformation, without loss of strength. The intended
plastic deformation is intended to be developed through a combination of consists of plastic rotations
developing within the beams, at their connections to the columns, and plastic shear yielding of the
column panel zones,. and is tTheoretically these mechanisms should be capable of resulting in benign
dissipation of the earthquake energy delivered to the building. Damage is expected to consist of
moderate yielding and localized buckling of the steel elements, not brittle fractures. Based on this
presumed behavior, building codes require a minimum lateral design strength for WSMF structures that
is approximately 1/8 that which would be required for the structure to remain fully elastic.
Supplemental provisions within the building code, intended to control the amount of interstory drift
sustained by these flexible frame buildings, typically result in structures which are substantially stronger
than this minimum requirement and in zones of moderate seismicity, substantial overstrength may be
present to accommodate wind and gravity load design conditions. In zones of high seismicity, most
such structures designed to minimum code criteria will not start to exhibit plastic behavior until ground
motions are experienced that are 1/3 to 1/2 the severity anticipated as a design basis. This design
approach has been developed based on historical precedent, the observation of steel building
performance in past earthquakes, and limited research that has included laboratory testing of beamcolumn models, albeit with mixed results, and non-linear analytical studies.
Observation of damage sustained by buildings in the Northridge Earthquake indicates that contrary
to the intended behavior, in some many cases brittle fractures initiated within the connections at very
low levels of plastic demand, and in some cases, while the structures remained essentially elastic.
Typically, but not always, fractures initiated at, or near, the complete joint penetration (CJP) weld
between the beam bottom flange and column flange (Figure 1-1). Once initiated, these fractures
progressed along a number of different paths, depending on the individual joint and stress conditions.
Figure 1-1 indicates just one of these potential fracture growth patterns. Investigators initially identified
a number of factors which may have contributed to the initiation of fractures at the weld root including:
notch effects created by the backing bar which was commonly left in place following joint completion;
sub-standard welding that included excessive porosity and slag inclusions as well as incomplete fusion;
Introduction
1-2

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

and potentially, pre-earthquake fractures resulting from initial shrinkage of the highly restrained weld
during cool-down. Such problems could be minimized in future construction, with the application of
appropriate welding procedures and more careful exercise of quality control during the construction
process. However, it is now known that these were not the only causes of the fractures which
occurred.
Column flange
Fused zone
Beam flange

Backing bar
Fracture

Figure 1-1 - Common Zone of Fracture Initiation in Beam -Column Connection


Current production processes for structural steel shapes result in inconsistent strength and
deformation capacities for the material in the through-thickness direction. Non-metallic inclusions in
the material, together with anisotropic properties introduced by the rolling process can lead to lamellar
weakness in the material. Further, the distribution of stress across the girder flange, at the connection
to the column is not uniform. Even in connections stiffened by continuity plates across the panel zone,
significantly higher stresses tend to occur at the center of the flange, where the column web produces a
local stiffness concentration. Large secondary stresses are also induced into the girder flange to
column flange joint by kinking of the column flanges resulting from shear deformation of the column
panel zone.
The dynamic loading experienced by the moment-resisting connections in earthquakes is
characterized by high strain tension-compression cycling. Bridge engineers have long recognized that
the dynamic loading associated with bridges necessitates different connection details in order to provide
improved fatigue resistance, as compared to traditional building design that is subject to static
loading due to gravity and wind loads. While the nature of the dynamic loads resulting from
earthquakes is somewhat different than the high cycle dynamic loads for which fatigue-prone structures
are designed, similar detailing may be desirable for buildings subject to seismic loading.
In design and construction practice for welded steel bridges, mechanical and metallurgical notches
should be avoided because they may be the initiators of fatigue cracking. As fatigue cracks grow under
repetitive loading, a critical crack size may be reached whereupon the material toughness (which is a
function of temperature) may be unable to resist the onset of brittle (unstable) crack growth. The
beam-to-column connections in WSMF buildings are comparable to category C or D bridge details that
have a reduced allowable stress range as opposed to category B details for which special metallurgical,
inspection and testing requirements are applied. The rapid rate of loading imposed by seismic events,
and the complete inelastic range of tension-compression-tension loading applied to these connections is
Introduction
1-3

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

much more severe than typical bridge loading applications. The mechanical and metallurgical notches
or stress risers created by the beam-column weld joints are a logical point for fracture problems to
initiate. This, coupled with the tri-axial restraint provided by the beam web and the column flange, is a
recipe for brittle fracture.
During the Northridge Earthquake, oOnce fractures initiated in beam-column joints, they
progressed in a number of different ways. In some cases, the fractures initiated but did not grow, and
could not be detected by visual observation. In other cases, In many cases, the fractures progressed
completely directly through the thickness of the weld, and if fireproofing was removed, the fractures
were evident as a crack through exposed faces of the weld, or the metal just behind the weld (Figure 12a). Other fracture patterns also developed. In some cases, the fracture developed into a surface that
resembled a through-thickness failure of the column flange material behind the CJP weld (Figure 1-2b).
In these cases, a portion of the column flange remained bonded to the beam flange, but pulled free
from the remainder of the column. This fracture pattern has sometimes been termed a divot or
nugget failure.
A number of fractures progressed completely through the column flange, along a near horizontal
plane that aligns approximately with the beam lower flange (Figure 1-3a). In some cases, these
fractures extended into the column web and progressed across the panel zone Figure (1-3b).
Investigators have reported some instances where columns fractured entirely across the section.

a. Fracture at Fused Zone

b. Column Flange Divot Fracture

Figure 1-2 - Fractures of Beam to Column Joints

a. Fractures through Column Flange

b. Fracture Progresses into Column Web

Figure 1-3 - Column Fractures


Introduction
1-4

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Once these fractures have occurred, the beam - column connection has experienced a significant
loss of flexural rigidity and capacity. Residual flexural strength and rigidity must be developed through
a couple consisting of forces transmitted through the remaining top flange connection and the web
bolts. Initial rResearch suggests that residual stiffness is approximately 20% of that of the undamaged
connection and that residual strength varies from 10% to 40% of the undamaged capacity, when
loading results in tensile stress normal to the fracture plane. When loading produces compression
across the fracture plane, much of the original strength and stiffness remain. However, in providing
this residual strength and stiffness, the beam shear connections can themselves be subject to failures,
consisting of fracturing of the welds of the shear plate to the column, fracturing of supplemental welds
to the beam web or fracturing through the weak section of shear plate aligning with the bolt holes
(Figure 1-4).

Figure 1-4 - Vertical Fracture through Beam Shear Plate Connection


It is now known that these fractures were the result of a number of complex factors that were not
well understood either when these connections were first adopted as a standard design approach, or
when the damage was discovered immediately following the Northridge earthquake. Engineers had
commonly assumed that when these connections were loaded to yield levels, flexural stresses in the
beam would be transferred to the column through a force couple comprised of nearly uniform yield
level tensile and compressive stresses in the beam flanges. It was similarly assumed that nearly all of
the shear stress in the beam was transferred to the column through the shear tab connection to the
beam web. In fact, the actual behavior is quite different from this. As a result of local deformations
that occur in the column at the location of the beam connection, a significant portion of the shear stress
in the beam is actually transferred to the column through the beam flanges. This causes large localized
secondary stresses in the beam flanges, both at the toe of the weld access hole and also in the complete
joint penetration weld at the face of the column. The presence of the column web behind the column
flange tends to locally stiffen the joint of the beam flange to the column flange, further concentrating
the distribution of connection stresses and strains. Finally, the presence of the heavy beam and column
flange plates, arranged in a + shaped pattern at the beam flange to column flange joint produces a
condition of very high restraint, which retards the onset of yielding, by raising the effective yield
strength of the material, and allowing the development of very large stresses.
Introduction
1-5

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

The most severe stresses typically occur at the root of the complete joint penetration weld of the
beam bottom flange to the column flange. This is precisely the region of this welded joint that is most
difficult for the welder to properly complete, as the access to the weld is restricted by the presence of
the beam web and the welder often performs this weld while seated on the top flange, in the so-called
wildcat position. The welder must therefore work from both sides of the beam web, starting and
terminating the weld near the center of the joint, a practice that often results in poor fusion and the
presence of slag inclusions at this location. These conditions, which are very difficult to detect when
the weld backing is left in place, as was the typical practice, are ready-made crack initiators. When this
region of the welded joints is subjected to the large concentrated tensile stresses, the weld defects begin
to grow into cracks and these cracks can quickly become unstable and propagate as brittle fractures.
Once these brittle fractures initiate, they can grow in a variety of patterns, as described above, under
the influence of the stress field and the properties of the base and weld metals present at the zone of the
fracture.
Despite the obvious local strength impairment resulting from these fractures, many damaged
buildings did not display overt signs of structural damage, such as permanent drifts or extreme damage
to architectural elements. Until news of the discovery of connection fractures in some buildings began
to spread through the engineering community, it was relatively common for engineers to perform
cursory post-earthquake evaluations of WSMF buildings and declare that they were undamaged. In
order to reliably determine if a building has sustained connection damage, it is necessary to remove
architectural finishes and fireproofing and perform nondestructive examination including visual
inspection and ultrasonic testing careful visual inspection of the welded joints supplemented, in some
cases, by nondestructive testing. Even if no damage is found, this is a costly process. Repair of
damaged connections is even more costly. A few WSMF buildings have sustained so much connection
damage that it has been deemed more practical to demolish the structures rather than to repair them.
In the case of one WSMF building, damaged by the Northridge earthquake, repair costs were
sufficiently large that the owner elected to demolish rather than replace than building.
Immediately following the Northridge Earthquake, a series of tests of beam-column subassemblies
were performed at the University of Texas at Austin, under funding provided by the AISC as well as
private sources. The test specimens used heavy W14 column sections and deep (W36) beam sections
commonly employed in some California construction. Initial specimens were fabricated using the
standard prequalified connection specified by the Uniform Building Code (UBC). Section 2211.7.1.2
of UBC-94 {NEHRP-91 Section 10.10.2.3} specified this prequalified connection as follows:
2211.7.1.2 Connection strength. The girder top column connection may be considered to be adequate
to develop the flexural strength of the girder if it conforms to the following:
1. the flanges have full penetration butt welds to the columns.
2. the girder web to column connection shall be capable of resisting the girder shear determined for the
combination of gravity loads and the seismic shear forces which result from compliance with Section
2211.7.2.1. This connection strength need not exceed that required to develop gravity loads plus
3(Rw/8) times the girder shear resulting from the prescribed seismic forces.

Introduction
1-6

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Where the flexural strength of the girder flanges is greater than 70 percent of the flexural strength of
the entire section, (i.e. btf/(d-tf)Fy>0.7ZxFy) the web connection may be made by means of welding or
high-strength bolting.
For girders not meeting the criteria in the paragraph above, the girder web-to-column connection shall
be made by means of welding the web directly or through shear tabs to the column. That welding shall
have a strength capable of developing at least 20 percent of the flexural strength of the girder web. The
girder shear shall be resisted by means of additional welds or friction-type slip-critical high strength bolts
or both.
and:
2211.7.2.1 Strength. The panel zone of the joint shall be capable of resisting the shear induced by beam
bending moments due to gravity loads plus 1.85 times the prescribed seismic forces, but the shear
strength need not exceed that required to develop 0.8Ms of the girders framing into the column flanges
at the joint...

In order to investigate the effects that backing bars and weld tabs had on connection performance,
these were removed from the specimens prior to testing. Despite these precautions, the test specimens
failed at very low levels of plastic loading. Following these tests at the University of Texas at Austin,
reviews of literature on historic tests of these connection types indicated a significant failure rate in past
tests as well, although these had often been ascribed to poor quality in the specimen fabrication. It was
concluded that the prequalified connection, specified by the building code, was fundamentally flawed
and should not be used for new construction in the future.
In retrospect, this conclusion may have been somewhat premature. More recent testing of
connections having configurations similar to those of the prequalified connection, but incorporating
tougher weld metals, having backing bars removed from the bottom flange joint, and fabricated with
greater care to avoid the defects that can result in crack initiation, have performed better than those
initially tested at the University of Texas. However, as a class, when fabricated using currently
prevailing construction practice, these connections still do not appear to be capable of consistently
developing the levels of ductility presumed by the building codes for service in moment-resisting frames
that are subjected to large inelastic demands.When the first test specimens for that series were
fabricated, the welder failed to follow the intended welding procedures. Further, no special precautions
were taken to assure that the materials incorporated in the work had specified toughness. Some
engineers, with knowledge of fracture mechanics, have suggested that if materials with adequate
toughness are used, and welding procedures are carefully specified and followed, adequate reliability
can be obtained from the traditional connection details. Others believe that the conditions of high triaxial restraint present in the beam flange to column flange joint (Blodgett - 1995) would prevent ductile
behavior of these joints regardless of the procedure used to make the welds. Further they point to the
important influence of the relative yield and tensile strengths of beam and column materials, and other
variables, that can affect connection behavior. To date, there has not been sufficient research
conducted to resolve this issue.

Introduction
1-7

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

In reaction to the University of Texas tests as well as the widespread damage discovered following
the Northridge Earthquake, and the urging of the California Seismic Safety Commission, in September,
1994 the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) adopted an emergency code change to
the 1994 edition of the Uniform Building Code (UBC-94) {1994 NEHRP Recommended Provisions
Section 5.2}. This code change, jointly developed by the Structural Engineers Association of
California, AISI and ICBO staff, deleted the prequalified connection and substituted the following in its
place:
2211.7.1.2 Connection Strength. Connection configurations utilizing welds or high-strength
bolts shall demonstrate, by approved cyclic test results or calculation, the ability to sustain
inelastic rotation and develop the strength criteria in Section 2211.7.1.1 considering the effect of
steel overstrength and strain hardening.
2211.7.1.1 Required strength. The girder-to-column connection shall be adequate to develop the
lesser of the following:
1. The strength of the girder in flexure.
2. The moment corresponding to development of the panel zone shear strength as determined from
formula 11-1.

Unfortunately, neither the required inelastic rotation, or calculation and test procedures are well
defined by these code provisions. Design Advisory No. 3 (SAC-1995) included an Interim
Recommendation (SEAOC-1995) that attempted to clarify the intent of this code change, and the
preferred methods of design in the interim period until additional research could be performed and
reliable acceptance criteria for designs re-established. The State of California similarly published a joint
Interpretation of Regulations (DSA-OSHPD - 1994) indicating the interpretation of the current code
requirements which would be enforced by the state for construction under its control. This applied
only to the construction of schools and hospitals in the State of California. The intent of these Interim
Guidelines is to supplement these previously published documents and to provide updated
recommendations based on the results of the limited directed research performed to date.
1.4 The SAC Joint Venture
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 1.4 at this time.
1.5 Sponsors
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 1.5 at this time.
1.6 Summary of Phase 1 Research
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 1.6 at this time.
1.7 Intent
Introduction
1-8

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 1.7 at this time.
1.8 Limitations
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 1.8 at this time.
1.9 Use of the Guidelines
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 1.9 at this time.

Introduction
1-9

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

This page intentionally left blank

Introduction
1-10

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

12. REFERENCES
ATLSS, Fractographic Analysis of Specimens from Failed Moment Connections, (publication
pending, title not exact)Fracture Analysis of Failed Moment Frame Weld Joints Produced in FullScale Laboratory Tests and Buildings Damaged in the Northridge Earthquake, SAC95-08, 1995.
ATLSS, Testing of Welded T Specimens, (publication pending, title not exact), SAC, 1995 A
Study of the Effects of Material and Welding Factors on Moment-Frame Weld Joint
Performance Using a Small-Scale Tension Specimen. Kauffman, E.J., and Fisher, J.W., SAC9508 1995.
Allen J., Personal Correspondence, Test Reports for New Detail, July 30, 1995.
Allen J., Partridge, J.E., and Richard, R.M., Stress Distribution in Welded/Bolted Beam to
Column Moment Connections. The Allen Company, March, 1995.
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Bridge Welding Code
AASHTO/AWS D1.5, 1995.
American Institute of Steel Construction, Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings, April,
1997
American Institute of Steel Construction, Statistical Analysis of Charpy V-notch Toughness For
Steel Wide Flange Structural Shapes, July, 1995.
American Institute of Steel Construction, Manual of Steel Construction, ASD, Ninth Edition,
1989.
American Institute of Steel Construction, Manual of Steel Construction, LRFD, Second Edition,
1998.
American Institute of Steel Construction, Load and Resistance Factor Design Specification for
Structural Steel Buildings, December 1, 1993.
American Institute of Steel Construction, Specification for Structural Joints using ASTM A325
or A490 Bolts. 1985.
American Institute of Steel Construction, AISC Northridge Steel Update I, October, 1994.
American Welding Society, Guide for Nondestructive Inspection of Welds, AWS B1.10-86, 1986.
American Welding Society, Guide for Visual Inspection of Welds, AWS B1.11-88, 1988.
American Welding Society, Surface Roughness Guide for Oxygen Cutting, AWS C4.1-77, 1977.
American Welding Society, Structural Welding Code - Steel AWS D1.1-94, 1994.
References
12-1

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

American Welding Society, Structural Welding Code Steel AWS D1.1-98, 1998
Anderson, J.C., Johnson, R.G., Partridge, J.E., Post Earthquake Studies of A Damaged Low
Rise Office Building Technical Report: Case Studies of Steel Moment Frame Building
Performance in the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC 95-07. SAC, December,
1995.
Anderson, J.C., Filippou, F.C., Dynamic Response Analysis of the 18 Story Canoga Building,
SAC, March, 1995.
Anderson, J.C., Test Results for Repaired Specimen NSF#1, Report to AISC Steel Advisory
Committee, June, 1995.
Applied Technology Council, Earthquake Damage Evaluation Data for California ATC-13,
Redwood City, CA 1985.
Applied Technology Counicl, Procedures for Post Earthquake Safety Evaluations of Buildings
ATC-20, Redwood City, CA, 1989.
Applied Technology Council, Guidelines for Cyclic Seismic Testing of Components of Steel
Structures, ATC-24, Redwood City, CA, 1992.
Astaneh-Asl, A. Post-Earthquake Stability of Steel Moment Frames with Damaged Connections.
Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Connections in Steel Structures, University
of Trento, Trento, Italy, 1995.
Avent, R., Designing Heat-Straightening Repairs, National Steel Construction Conference
Proceedings, Las Vegas, NV, AISC, 1992.
Avent, R., Engineered Heat Straightening, National Steel Construction Conference
Proceedings, San Antonio, TX, AISC, 1995.
Barsom, J. M. and Korvink, S. A. Through-thickness Properties of Structural Steels,
manuscript submitted to ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, 1997.
Beck, J.L., May, B.S., Polidori, D.C., Vanik, M.W., Ambient Vibration Surveys of Three SteelFrame Buildings Strongly Shaken by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, Analytical and Field
Investigations of Buildings Affected by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 9504 Part 2, SAC, December, 1995.
Bertero, V.V., and Whittaker, A. and Gilani, A., Testing of Repaired Welded Beam Column
AssembliesSeismic Tesing of Full-Scale Steel Beam-Column Assemblies, SAC96-01, publication
pending (title not exact), 1995X1996.
Blodgett, O., Evaluation of Beam to Column Connections, SAC Steel Moment Frame
Connection Advisory No. 3, Feb. 1995.
References
12-2

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Bonowitz, D, and Youssef, N. SAC Survey of Steel-Moment Frames Affected by the 1994
Northridge Earthquake, Surveys and Assessment of Damage to Buildings Affected by the
Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC 95-06, SAC, 1995.
Building Seismic Safety Council. NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for
New Buildings -1991 Edition FEMA 222, (Commentary FEMA 223), Washington D.C., January,
1992.
Building Seismic Safety Council. NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for
New Buildings -1994 Edition FEMA 222A, (Commentary FEMA223A), Washington D.C., July,
1995.
Building Seismic Safety Council. NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for
New Buildings and Other Structures. 1997 Edition, FEMA 302, (Commentary FEMA303),
Washington, D.C., February, 1998
Campbell, K.W. and Bazorgnia, Y., Near Source Attentuation of Peak Horizontal Acceleration
from World Wide Accelerogram Records from 1957 - 1993, Proceedings of the Fifth National
Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Chicago, Ill, 1994.
Campbell, S., Modeling of Weld Fractures Using the Drain Programs, Technical Report:
Parametric Analytical Investigations of Ground Motion and Structural Response, Northridge
Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC95-05. SAC, 1995.
Chen, S.J. and Yeh, C.H., Enhancement of Ductility of Steel Beam-to-Column Connections for
Seismic Resistance, Department of Construction Engineering, National Taiwan University, May,
1995.
Diererlein, G. Summary of Building Analysis Studies Analytical and Field Investigations of
Buildings Affected by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-04 Part 1, SAC,
December, 1995
Durkin, M. E., Inspection, Damage, and Repair of Steel Frame Buildings Following the
Northridge Earthquake, Technical Report: Surveys and Assessment of Damage to Buildings
Affected by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC 95-06, SAC, December, 1995.
Engelhardt, M.D., and Sabol, T.A. Testing of Welded Steel Moment Connections In Response to
the Northridge Earthquake, Progress Report to the AISC Advisory Subcommittee on Special
Moment Resisting Frame Research, October, 1994.
Engelhardt, M. D., Keedong, K.M. Sabol T. A., Ho, L., Kim, H. Uzarski, J. and Abunnasar, H.
Analysis of a Six Story Steel Moment Frame Building in Santa Monica, Analytical and Field
Investigations of Buildings Affected by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 9504 Part 1 SAC, December, 1995.

References
12-3

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Engelhardt, M. D., Keedong, K.M., Uzarski, J., Abunassar, H., Sabol, T.A., Ho, L., and Kim, H.
Parametric Studies on Inelastic Modeling of Steel Moment Frames, Technical Report:
Parametric Analytical Investigations of Ground Motion and Structural Response, Northridge
Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC95-05. SAC, 1995.
Engelhardt, M.D., Sabol, T. A., and Shuey, B.D. Testing of Repair Concepts for Damaged Steel
Moment Connections.et. al. Testing of Repaired Welded Beam Column Assemblies, SAC96-01,
publication pending (title not exact), 19951996.
Englehardt, M.D. Fowler, T.J., and Barnes, C.A., Acoustic Emission Monitoring of Welded Steel
Moment Connection Tests.et. al. Accoustic Emission Recordings for Welded Beam Column
Assembly Tests, SAC95-08, publication pending (title not exact), 1995.
Frank, K.H. The Physical and Metallurgical Properties Of Structural Steels State of Art Papers:
Metallurgy, Fracture Mechanics, Welding, Moment Connections and Frame System Behavior
SAC 95-09. SAC, September, 1996
Fillippou, F.C. Nonlinear Static and Dynamic Analysis of Canoga Park Towers with FEAPSTRUC, Analytical and Field Investigations of Buildings Affected by the Northridge
Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-04 Part 2, SAC., December, 1995.
Fisher, J.W., Dexter, R.J., and Kauffman, E.J., Fracture Mechanics of Welded Structural Steel
Connections. State of Art Papers: Metallurgy, Fracture Mechanics, Welding, Moment
Connections and Frame System Behavior SAC 95-09. SAC, September, 1996
Forrel/Elsesser Engineers, Inc., Lawrence Berkeley National Labs Steel Joint Test - Technical
Brief, San Francisco, CA, July 17, 1995.
Gates, W.E., and Morden, M., Lessons from Inspection, Evaluation, Repair and Construction of
Welded Steel Moment Frames Following the Northridge Earthquake, Surveys and Assessment of
Damage to Buildings Affected by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC 95-06
SAC, December, 1995.
Gates, W.E. Interpretation of SAC Survey Data on Damaged Welded Steel Moment Frames
Following the Northridge Earthquake, Surveys and Assessment of Damage to Buildings Affected
by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC 95-06, SAC, December, 1995.
Green, M. Santa Clarita City Hall; Northridge Earthquake Damage Technical Report: Case
Studies of Steel Moment Frame Building Performance in the Northridge Earthquake of January
17, 1994 SAC 95-07. SAC, December, 1995.
Hall, J.F., Parameter Study of the Response of Moment-Resisting Steel Frame Buildings to
Near-Source Ground Motions, Technical Report: Parametric Analytical Investigations of
Ground Motion and Structural Response, Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC9505. SAC, 1995.

References
12-4

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Hajjar, J.F., OSullivan D.P., Leon, R. T., Gourley, B.C. Evaluation of the Damage to the Borax
Corporate Headquarters Building As A Result of the Northridge Earthquake, Technical Report:
Case Studies of Steel Moment Frame Building Performance in the Northridge Earthquake of
January 17, 1994 SAC 95-07. SAC, December, 1995.
Harrison, P.L. and Webster, S.E., Examination of Two Moment Resisting Frame Connectors
Utilizing a Cover-Plate Design, British Steel Technical, Swinden Laboratories, Moorgate,
Rotherham, 1995.
Hart, G.C., Huang, S.C., Lobo, R.F., Van Winkle, M., Jain, A., Earthquake Response of
Strengthened Steel Special moment Resisting Frames Analytical and Field Investigations of
Buildings Affected by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-04 Part 1, SAC.,
December, 1995
Hart, G.C., Huang, S., Lobo, R., and Stewart, J., Elastic and Inelastic Analysis for Weld Failure
Prediction of Two Adjacent Steel Buildings, Analytical and Field Investigations of Buildings
Affected by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-04 Part 1, SAC, December,
1995.
Hart, G.C., Huang, S., Lobo, R., and Stewart, J., Influence of Vertical Ground Motion on
Special Moment-Resisting Frames, Technical Report: Parametric Analytical Investigations of
Ground Motion and Structural Response, Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC9505. SAC, 1995.
Heaton, T.H., Hall, J.F., Wald, D.J., and Halling, M.W. Response of High-Rise and BaseIsolated Buildings to a Hypothetical Mw 7.0 Blind Thrust Earthquake Science Vol. 26, pp 206211, January, 1995.
International Conference of Building Officials, Uniform Building Code UBC-97, Whittier, CA,
1997.
International Conference of Building Officials, Uniform Building Code UBC-94. Whittier, CA,
1994.
Iwan, W.D., Drift Demand Spectra for Selected Northridge Sites, Technical Report:
Parametric Analytical Investigations of Ground Motion and Structural Response, Northridge
Earthquake of January 17, 1994 SAC95-05. SAC, 1995.
Joyner, W.B., and Boore, D.M., Ground Motion Parameters for Seismic Design,Bulletin of the
Sesimological Society of America, 1994.
Kariotis, J. and Eimani, T.J., Analysis of a Sixteen Story Steel Frame Building at Site 5, for the
Northridge Earthquake, Analytical and Field Investigations of Buildings Affected by the
Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-04 Part 2, SAC, December, 1995.

References
12-5

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Krawinkler, H.K., Systems Behavior of Structural Steel Frames Subjected to Earthquake


Ground Motions State of Art Papers: Metallurgy, Fracture Mechanics, Welding, Moment
Connections and Frame System Behavior SAC 95-09. SAC, September, 1996
Krawinkler, H.K., Ali, A.A., Thiel, C.C., Dunlea, J.M., Analysis of a Damaged 4-Story Building
and an Undamaged 2- Story Building, Analytical and Field Investigations of Buildings Affected
by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-04 Part 1, SAC, December, 1995.
Ksai, K. , and Bleiman, D. Bolted Brackets for Repair of Damaged Steel Moment Frame
Connections, 7th U.S.-Japan Workshop on the Improvement of Structural Design and
Construction Practices: Lessons Learned from Northridge and Kobe, Kobe, Japan, January, 1996
Leon, R. T., Seismic Performance of Bolted and Riveted Connections State of Art Papers:
Metallurgy, Fracture Mechanics, Welding, Moment Connections and Frame System Behavior
SAC 95-09. SAC, September, 1996
Miller, D.K. Welding of Seismically Resistant Steel Structures State of Art Papers: Metallurgy,
Fracture Mechanics, Welding, Moment Connections and Frame System Behavior SAC 95-09.
SAC, September, 1996
Naeim F., DiJulio, R., Benuska, K., Reinhorn, A. M., and Chen, L. Evaluation of Seismic
Performance of an 11 Story Steel Moment Frame Building During the 1994 Northridge
Earthquake, Analytical and Field Investigations of Buildings Affected by the Northridge
Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-04 Part 2 SAC, December, 1995.
Newmark, N.M. and Hall W.J., Earthquake Spectra and Design. Earthquake Engineering
Research Institute, 1982.
NIST and AISC. Modification of Existing Welded Steel Moment Frame Connections for Seismic
Resistance. National Institute of Standards and Technology and American Institute of Steel
Construction. 1999
Paret, T.F., Sasaki, K.K., Analysis of a 17 Story Steel Moment Frame Building Damaged by the
Northridge Earthquake, Analytical and Field Investigations of Buildings Affected by the
Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-04 Part 2, SAC, December, 1995.
Popov, E.P. and Yang, T.S. Steel Seismic Moment Resisting Connections. University of
California at Berkeley, May, 1995.
Popov, E.P. Blondet, M., Stepanov, L, and Stodjadinovic, B. Full-Scale Beam-Column
Connection Tests. et. al. Testing of Repaired Welded Beam Column Assemblies, SAC,
publication pending (title not exact), 1995 SAC 96-01. 1996..
SAC, Proceedings of the International Workshop on Steel Moment Frames, October 23-24, 1994
SAC-94-01. Sacramento, CA, December, 1994.

References
12-6

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

SAC . Steel Moment Frame Advisory No. 1. September, Sacramento, CA, 1994.
SAC . Steel Moment Frame Advisory No. 2. October, Sacramento, CA, 1994.
SAC . Steel Moment Frame Advisory No. 3 SAC-95-01, February, Sacramento, CA, 1995.
Shonafelt, G.O., and Horn, W.B.. Guidelines for Evaluation and Repair of Damaged Steel
Bridge Members, NCHRP Report 271, Transportation Research Board, 1984.
Skiles, J.L. and Campbell, H.H., Why Steel Fractured in the Northridge Earthquake SAC
Advisory No. 1, October, 1994.
Seismic Safety Commission, Northridge Earthquake Turning Loss to Gain, Report to the
Governor, Sacramento, CA, 1995.
Smith Emery Company. Report of Test, July, 1995.
Sommerville, P, Graves, R., Chandan, S. Technical Report: Characterization of Ground Motion
During the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-03, SAC, December, 1995.
State of California. Division of the State Architect (DSA) and Office of Statewide Health
Planning and Development (OSHPD). Interpretation of Regulations Steel Moment Resisting
Frames, Sacramento, CA, 1994.
Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), Seismology Committee, Recommended
Lateral Force Requirements and Commentary, Sacramento, CA. 1990.
Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), Seismology Committee, Interim
Recommendations for Design of Steel Moment Resisting Connection,. Sacramento, CA, January,
1995.
Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), Vision 2000: A Framework for
Performance Based Engineering of Buildings, Sacramento, CA, April, 1995.
Structural Shape Producers Council, Statistical Analysis of Tensile Data for Wide Flange
Structural Shapes, 1994.
Thiel, C.C., and Zsutty, T.C., Earthquake Characteristics and Damage Statistics, Earthquake
Spectra, Volume 3, No. 4., Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Oakland, Ca. 1987.
Tremblay, R., Tchebotarev, N., and Filiatrault, A., Seismic Performance of RBS Connections for
Steel Moment Resisting Frames: Influence of Loading Rate and Floor Slab, Proceedings of the
Second International Conference on the Behavior of Steel Structures in Seismic Area, Kyoto,
Japan, August, 1997

References
12-7

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Tsai, K.C. and Popov, E. P. Seismic Steel Beam-Column Moment Connections State of Art
Papers: Metallurgy, Fracture Mechanics, Welding, Moment Connections and Frame System
Behavior SAC 95-09. SAC, September, 1996
Uang, C.M. and Latham, C.T. Cyclic Testing of Full-Scale MNH-SMRF Moment Connections,
Structural Systems Research, University of California, San Diego, March, 1995.
Tsai, K.C. and Popov, E.P., Steel Beam - Column Joints In Seismic Moment Resisting Frames,
Report No. UCB/EERC-88/19, Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of
California, Berkeley, Nov., 1988.
Uang, C.M., Yu, Q.S., Sadre, A., Bonowitz, D., Youssef, N. Performance of a 13 Story Steel
Moment-Resisting Frame Damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, Analytical and Field
Investigations of Buildings Affected by the Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 9504 Part 2 SAC, December, 1995.
Uang, C.M. and Bondad, D. Progress Report on Cyclic Testing of Three Repaired UCSD
Specimens, SAC, 1995.
Uang, C.M. and Lee, C.H. Seismic Response of Haunch Repaired Steel SMRFs: Analytical
Modelling and Case Studies Analytical and Field Investigations of Buildings Affected by the
Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994, SAC 95-04 Part 2, SAC., December, 1995
Wald, D.J., Heaton, T.H., and Hudnut, K.W., The Slip History of the 1994 Northridge,
California, Earthquake Determined from Strong-Motion, Teleseismic, GPS, and Leveling Data,
United Sates Geologic Survey, 1995.
Watabe, M. Peformance of Wooden Houses and Steel Buildings during the Great Hanshin
Earthquake, Architectural Institute of Japan, May, 1995.
Youssef, N.F.G, Bonowitz, D., and Gross, J.L., A Survey of Steel Moment-Resisting Frame
Buildings Affected by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, NISTR 5625, Gaithersburg Md, April,
1995.

References
12-8

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

3. CLASSIFICATION AND IMPLICATIONS OF DAMAGE


3.1 Summary of Earthquake Damage
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 3.1 at this time.
3.2 Damage Types
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 3.2 at this time.
3.2.1 Girder Damage

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 3.2.1 at this time.
3.2.2 Column Flange Damage

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 3.2.2 at this time.
3.2.3 Weld Damage, Defects and Discontinuities

Six types of weld discontinuities, defects and damage are defined in Table 3-3 and illustrated
in Figure 3-4. All apply to the complete joint penetration (CJP) welds between the girder flanges
and the column flanges. This category of damage was the most commonly reported type
fFollowing the Northridge Earthquake, many instances of W1a and W1b conditions were reported
as damage. These conditions, which are detectable only by ultrasonic testing or by removal of
weld backing, are now thought more likely to be construction defects than damage.
Table 3-3 - Types of Weld Damage, Defects and Discontinuities
Type
W1
W1a
W1b
W2
W3
W4
W5

Description
Weld root indications
Incipient indications - depth <3/16 or
tf/4; width < bf/4
Root indications larger than that for W1a
Crack through weld metal thickness
Fracture at column interface
Fracture at girder flange interface
UT detectable indication - non-rejectable

Classifications and Implications of Damage


3-1

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

W3
W4

W2

W1, W5

Note: See Figure 3-2 for related column damage and Figure 3-3 for girder damage

Figure 3-4 - Types of Weld Damage


Commentary: Despite significant controversy, type W1 and W5 discovered in
buildings following the Northridge earthquake, were commonly reported as
damage. These small discontinuities and defects located at the roots of the CJP
welds are detectable only by ultrasonic testing (UT) when the weld backing is left
in place or by visual testing (VT) or magnetic particle testing (MT) when weld
backing is removed. It now seems likely that most such conditions are not
damage at all, but rather, are pre-existing construction defects. A number of
factors point to this conclusion. First, statistical surveys of damage sustained by
buildings in the Northridge earthquake show that if type W1 and W5 conditions
are not considered, there was a much greater incidence of damage in frames
resisting north-south ground shaking than in frames resisting east-west shaking.
This appears to be correlated with the relative strength of the ground shaking
experienced along these two directional axes. However, there is no significant
difference between the incidence rate of reported W1 and W5 conditions in these
two directions, suggesting that these conditions are not correlated with shaking
intensity.
The discovery of W1 conditions in welds for which original construction
quality assurance documentation is available, indicating that no such defects
were present when the building was originally constructed, tends to contradict
this argument. However, investigations conducted by SAC under the Phase 2
project have indicated that as a result of the joint geometry, UT techniques are
often unable to detect W1 conditions at the weld root, when scanning of the joint
is conducted from the top surface of the beam bottom flange. It is important to
note that this is the most common method of conducting UT as part of
construction quality assurance. When UT scanning of a joint is conducted from
the bottom surface of the flange, as is commonly done when inspecting for
Classifications and Implications of Damage
3-2

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

earthquake damage, it becomes more likely that such conditions will be detected,
since the geometric constraints present for top flange scanning are altered. This
leads to the conclusion that it is probable that typical construction quality
assurance UT of welded joints would be likely to miss W1 conditions, allowing
them to be discovered in later post-earthquake surveys.
When FEMA-267 was first published, it was recommended that W1 conditions
be treated as damage and that UT be used as a routine part of the postearthquake investigation process, in order to discover these conditions. However,
more recent investigations conducted by SAC have revealed that even the careful
scanning typically conducted as part of a post-earthquake inspection is not able
to reliably detect these conditions. Given that it is both expensive and difficult to
locate W1 conditions as part of a post-earthquake investigation, and also, that
most of these conditions are unlikely to be damage at all, it is no longer
recommended that exhaustive investigations for these conditions be conducted as
part of the earthquake damage investigation process.
Type W1 damage, discontinuities and defects and type W5 discontinuities are
detectable only by NDT, unless the backing bar is removed, allowing direct
detection by visual inspection or magnetic particle testing. Type W5 consists of
small discontinuities and may or may not actually be earthquake damage. AWS
D1.1 permits small discontinuities in welds. Larger discontinuities are termed
defects, and are rejectable per criteria given in the Welding Code. It is likely
therefore that some weld indications detected by NDT in a post-earthquake
inspection may be discontinuities which pre-existed the earthquake and do not
constitute a rejectable condition, per the AWS standards. Repair of these
discontinuities, designated as type W5 is not generally recommended. Some type
W1 indications are small planar defects, which are rejectable per the AWS D1.1
criteria, but are not large enough to be classified as one of the types W2 through
W4. Type W1 is the single most commonly reported non-conforming condition
reported in the post-Northridge statistical data survey, and in some structures,
represents more than 80 per cent of the total damage reported. The W1
classification is split into two types, W1a and W1b, based on their severity. Type
W1a incipient root indications are defined as being nominal in extent, less than
3/16 deep or 1/4 of the flange thickness, whichever is less, and having a length
less than 1/4 of the flange width. Some engineers believe that type W1a
indications are not earthquake damage at all, but rather, previously undetected
defects from the original construction process. A W1b indication is one that
exceeds these limits but is not clearly characterized by one of the other types. It
is more likely that W1b indications are a result of the earthquake than the
construction process.
As previously stated, some engineers believe that both type W1a and some
type W1b conditions are not earthquake related damage at all, but instead, are
Classifications and Implications of Damage
3-3

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

rejectable conditions not detected by the quality control and assurance programs
in effect during the original construction. However, in recent large-scale subassembly testing of the inelastic rotation capacity of girder-column connections
conducted in SAC Phase 1 at the University of Texas at Austin and the
Earthquake Engineering Research Center of the University of California at
Berkeley, it was reported that significantly more indications were detectable in
unfailed CJP welds following the testing than were detectable prior to the test.
This tends to indicate that type W1 damage may be related to stresses induced in
the structures by their response to the earthquake ground motions. Regardless of
whether or not type W1 conditions are directly attributable to earthquake
response, it is clear that these conditions result in a reduced capacity for the CJP
welds and can act as stress risers, or notches, to initiate fracture in the event of
future strong demands.
Type W2 fractures extend completely through the thickness of the weld metal
and can be detected by either MT or VI techniques. Type W3 and W4 fractures
occur at the zone of fusion between the weld filler metal and base material of the
girder and column flanges, respectively. All three types of damage result in a
loss of tensile capacity of the girder flange to column flange joint and should be
repaired.
As with girder damage, damage to welds has most commonly been reported at
the bottom girder to column connection, with fewer instances of reported damage
at the top flange. Available data indicates that approximately 25 per cent of the
total damage in this category occurs at the top flange, and most often, top flange
damage occurs in connections which also have bottom flange damage. For the
same reasons previously described for girder damage, less weld damage may be
expected at the top flange. However, it is likely that there is a significant amount
of damage to welds at the top girder flange which have never been discovered due
to the difficulty of accessing this joint. Later sections of these Interim Guidelines
provide recommendations for situations when such inspection should be
performed.
3.2.4 Shear Tab Damage

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 3.2.4 at this time.
3.2.5 Panel Zone Damage

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 3.2.5 at this time.
3.2.6 Other Damage

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 3.2.6 at this time.
Classifications and Implications of Damage
3-4

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

3.3 Safety Implications


The implications of the damage described above with regard to building safety are discussed in
this section. As part of the SAC Phase 2 program, extensive nonlinear analyses have been
conducted of WSMF buildings to determine the effects of connection fractures on building
performance and also to develop an understanding of the risk of earthquake-induced building
collapse. These studies indicate that risk of collapse of WSMF buildings designed to modern
standards and having connections capable of ductile behavior is quite low. Even in regions of
very high seismicity, such as those areas of coastal California adjacent to major active faults, the
probability that such a building would experience earthquake-induced collapse appears to be on
the order of one occurrence per building, every 20,000 years. For buildings that have brittle
connections such as those commonly constructed prior to 1994, the probability of collapse
increases somewhat. If only the bottom flange connections of beams to columns is subject to
fracture, the risk of global collapse of buildings increases to perhaps one occurrence in 15,000
years, presuming that the fractures do not jeopardize column capacity. However, if both flanges
of the connections are subject to fracture, or if substantial column damage occurs, the risk of
collapse increases significantly. Also, it is important to note that severe connection fractures can
result in significant risk of local collapse and life safety endangerment.
While these studies have been helpful in providing an understanding of the level of risk
inherent in WSMF structures with brittle connections, they do not provide sufficient information
to There is insufficient knowledge at this time to permit determination of the assess the degree of
risk with any real confidence. However, based on the historic performance of modern WSMF
buildings, typical of those constructed in the United States, it appears that the risk of collapse in
moderate magnitude earthquakes, ranging up to perhaps M7, is very low for buildings which have
been properly designed and constructed according to prevailing standards. A possible exception
to this may be buildings located in the near field (< 10 km from the surface projection of the fault
rupture) of such earthquakes (Heaton, et. al. - 1995), however, this is not uniquely a problem
associated with steel buildings. Our current building codes in general, may not be adequate to
provide for reliable performance of buildings within the near field of large earthquakes. As is also
the case with all other types of construction, buildings with incomplete lateral force resisting
systems, severe configuration irregularities, inadequate strength or stiffness, poor construction
quality, or deteriorated condition are at higher risk than buildings not possessing these
characteristics.
No modern WSMF buildings have been sited within the areas of very strong ground motion
from earthquakes larger than M7, or for that matter, within the very near field for events
exceeding M6.5. This style of construction has been in wide use only in the past few decades.
Consequently, it is not possible to state what level of risk may exist with regard to building
response to such events. This same lack of performance data for large magnitude, long duration
events exists for virtually all forms of contemporary construction. Consequently, there is
considerable uncertainty in assigning levels of risk to any building designed to minimum code
requirements for these larger events.

Classifications and Implications of Damage


3-5

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Commentary: Research conducted to date has not been conclusive with regard to
the risk of collapse of WSMF buildings. Some testing of damaged connections
from a building in Santa Clarita, California have been conducted at the
University of Southern California (Anderson - 1995). In these tests, connection
assemblies which had experienced type P6 damage were subjected to repeated
cycles of flexural loading, while the column was maintained under axial
compression. Under these conditions, the specimens were capable of resisting as
much as 40 per cent of the nominal plastic strength of the girder for several
cycles of slowly applied loading, at plastic deformation levels as large as 0.025
radians. However, damage did progress in the specimen, as this testing was
performed. It is not known how these assemblies would have performed if the
columns were permitted to experience tensile loading. Data from other tests
suggests that the residual strength of connections which have experienced types
G1, G4, W2, W3, and W4 damage is on the order of 15 per cent of the
undamaged strength. Some analytical research (Hall - 1995) in which nonlinear
time history analyses simulating the effects of connection degradation due to
fractures were included, indicates that typical ground motions resulting in the
near field of large earthquakes can cause sufficient drift in these structures to
induce instability and collapse. Other researchers (Astaneh - 1995) suggest that
damaged structures, even if unrepaired, have the ability to survive additional
ground motion similar to that of the Northridge Earthquake.
Even though there were no collapses of WSMF buildings in the 1994
Northridge Earthquake, it should not be assumed that no risk of such collapse
exists. Indeed, a number of WSMF buildings did experience collapse in the 1995
Kobe Earthquake. The detailing of these collapsed Japanese buildings was
somewhat different than that found in typical US practice, however, much of the
fracture damage that occurred was similar to that discovered following the
Northridge event.
Because of a lack of data and experience with the effects of larger, longer
duration earthquakes, there is considerable uncertainty about the performance of
all types of buildings in large magnitude seismic events. It is believed that
seismic risks in such large events are highly dependent on the individual ground
motion at a specific site and the characteristics of the individual buildings.
Therefore, generalizations with regard to the probable performance of individual
types of construction may not be particularly meaningful.
The risks to occupants of WSMF buildings with brittle connections is regarded
as less, in most cases, than to occupants of the types of buildings listed below.
However, because of the uncertainties involved, the degree of risk in large events
cannot be definitively quantified, nor can it categorically be stated that properly
constructed WSMF buildings sited in the near field of large events are either

Classifications and Implications of Damage


3-6

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

more or less at risk than many other code designed building systems which do not
appear on the following list:

Concentric braced steel frames with bracing connections that are weaker than the
braces

Knee braced steel frames

Unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings

Non-ductile reinforced concrete moment frames (infilled or otherwise)

Reinforced concrete moment frames with gravity load bearing elements that were
not designed to participate in the lateral force resisting system and that do not
have capacity to withstand earthquake-induced deformations

Tilt-up and reinforced masonry buildings with inadequate anchorage of their


heavy walls to their horizontal wood diaphragms

Precast concrete structures without adequate interconnection of their structural


elements.

In addition, WSMF structures with brittle connections would appear to have


lower inherent seismic risk than structures of any construction type that:

do not having complete, definable load paths

have significant weak and/or soft stories

have major torsional irregularity and insufficient stiffness and strength to resist
the resulting seismic demands

minimal redundancy and concentrations of lateral stiffness

These are general statements that represent a global view of system


performance. As with all seismic performance generalizations, there are many
steel moment frame buildings that are more vulnerable to damage than some
individual buildings of the general categories listed, just as there are many that
will perform better.
3.4 Economic Implications
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 3.4 at this time.

Classifications and Implications of Damage


3-7

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

Classifications and Implications of Damage


3-8

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

4. POST-EARTHQUAKE EVALUATION
4.1 Scope
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.1 at this time.
4.2 Preliminary Evaluation
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.2 at this time.
4.2.1 Evaluation Process

Preliminary evaluation is the process of determining if a building should be subjected to


detailed post-earthquake evaluations. Detailed evaluations should be performed for all buildings
thought to have experienced strong ground motion, as indicated in Section 4.2.1.1 or for which
the other indicators of Section 4.2.1.2 apply. Detailed post-earthquake evaluations include the
entire process of determining if a building has experienced significant damage and if damage is
found, determining appropriate strategies for occupancy, structural repair and/or modification.
Except as indicated in Section 4.2.3, detailed evaluation should, as a minimum, include
inspections of a representative sample of moment-resisting (and other type) connections within
the building.
4.2.1.1 Ground Motion

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.2.1.1 at this time.
4.2.1.2 Additional Indicators

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.2.1.2 at this time.
4.2.2 Evaluation Schedule

There are no modifications to the Guidelines of Section 4.2.2 at this time.


Commentary: It is important to conduct post-earthquake evaluations as soon
following the earthquake as is practical. Aftershock activity in the months
immediately following an earthquake is likely to produce additional strong
ground motion at the site of a damaged building. If there is adequate reason to
assume that damage has occurred, then such damage should be expeditiously
uncovered and repaired. However, since adequate resources for post-earthquake
evaluation may be limited, a staggered schedule is presented, with those buildings
having a greater likelihood of damage recommended for evaluation first.

Post Earthquake Evaluation


4-1

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

Large magnitude earthquakes are often followed by large magnitude


aftershocks. Therefore, it is particularly urgent that post-earthquake evaluations
be performed expeditiously following such events. If insufficient resources are
available in the affected region to perform the NDT tests recommended by the
Guidelines of Chapter 5, it is recommended that visual inspection, in accordance
with Section 5.2.2, proceed as soon as possible. If visual inspection reveals
substantial damage, consideration should be given to vacating the building until
either an adequate period of time has passed so as to make the likelihood of very
large aftershocks relatively low (e.g. 4 weeks for magnitude 7 and lower, and 8
weeks for magnitudes above this), complete inspections and repairs are made, or
a detailed evaluation indicates that the structure retains adequate structural
stiffness and strength to resist additional strong ground shaking. Preliminary
visual inspections should not be used as an alternative to complete evaluation.
The table Table 4-1relates the urgency for post-earthquake building
evaluation to both the magnitude of the earthquake and the estimated peak
ground acceleration experienced by the building site. This is because large
magnitude events are more likely to have large magnitude aftershocks and
because buildings that experienced stronger ground accelerations are more likely
to have been damaged. Except in regions with extensive strong motion
instrumentation, estimates of ground motion are quite subjective. Following
major damaging earthquakes, government agencies usually produce ground
motion maps showing projected acceleration contours. These maps should be
used when available. When such maps are not available, ground motions can be
estimated using any of several attenuation relationships that have been published.
4.2.3 Connection Inspections

Except as indicated in Sections 4.2.3.1 and 4.2.3.2, below, Ddetailed evaluations should
include inspection of the buildings moment-resisting connections in order to determine their
condition. As a first pass, inspections may be limited to careful visual inspection of the joint of
the beam bottom flange to the column. When such inspection reveals the presence of connection
damage, a more thorough inspection of the damaged connection should be conducted. Since
moment-resisting frame buildings commonly have many connections, inspections can be quite
costly. Therefore, it shall be permissible to limit inspections toof a representative sample of
WSMF (and other) connections, except as indicated in Sections 4.2.3.1 and 4.2.3.2, below.
Section 4.3.3 provides three alternative approaches to selecting an appropriate sample of
connections for inspection.
4.2.3.1 Analytical Evaluation

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.2.3.1 at this time.

Post Earthquake Evaluation


4-2

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

4.2.3.2 Buildings with Enhanced Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.2.3.2 at this time.
4.2.4 Previous Evaluations and Inspections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.2.4 at this time.
4.3 Detailed Evaluation Procedure
Where detailed evaluation is recommended by Section 4.2, assessment of the post earthquake
condition of a building, its ability to resist additional strong ground motion and other loads, and
determination of appropriate occupancy, structural repair and/or modification strategies should be
based on the results of a detailed inspection and assessment of the extent to which structural
systems have been damaged.
In order to obtain complete data on a buildings post-earthquake condition, it is necessary to
inspect each of the buildings moment-resisting frame elements and their connections. However,
such extensive inspections could be very costly. As an alternative to that approach, this Section
presents a series of procedures by which a representative sample of beam-column connections is
selected and inspected. This Section presents one approach for making such assessments. In this
approach, the results of the sample inspections are used to calculate a cumulative damage index,
D, for the structure as well as the probability that if all of the buildings connections had been
inspected, the damage index at any floor of the structure has would have been found to exceeded
a value of 1/3. General occupancy, structural repair and modification recommendations are made
based upon the values calculated for these damage indices. In particular, a calculated damage
index of 1/3 is used to indicate, in the absence of more detailed analyses, that a potentially
hazardous condition may exist.
The structural engineer may use other procedures consistent with the principles of statistics
and structural mechanics to determine the residual strength and stiffness of the structure in the asdamaged state and the acceptability of such characteristics relative to the criteria contained in the
building code, or other rational criteria acceptable to the building official.
There are no modifications to the Commentary of Section 4.3 at this time.
4.3.1 Eight Step Evaluation Procedure

Post-earthquake evaluation should be carried out under the direct supervision of a structural
engineer. The following eight-step procedure may be used to determine the condition of the
structure and to develop occupancy, repair and modification strategies. Note that this procedure
is written presuming that inspection is limited to a representative sample of the total number of
connections present in the building. If all connections in the building are to be inspected, steps 1,
2, 4 and 6 may be omitted.

Post Earthquake Evaluation


4-3

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2


Step 1:

SAC99-01

The moment-resisting connections in the building are categorized into two or more
groups (Section 4.3.2 and 4.4) comprised of connections expected to have similar
probabilities of being damaged.

Complete steps 2 through 7 below, for each group of connections.


Step 2:

Determine the minimum number of connections in each group that should be inspected
and select the specific sample of connections to be inspected. (Section 4.3.3)

Step 3:

Inspect the selected set of connections using the technical guidelines of Section 5.2.
and determine connection damage indices, dj , for each inspected connection (Section
4.3.4)

Step 4:

If inspected connections are found to be seriously damaged, perform additional


inspections of connections adjacent to the damaged connections. (Section 4.3.5)

Step 5:

Determine the average damage index (davg) for connections in each group, and then the
average damage index at a typical floor. (Section 4.3.6)

Step 6:

Given the average damage index for connections in the group, determine the
probability, P, that the connection damage index for any group, at a floor level,
exceeds 1/3, and determine the maximum estimated damage index for any floor, Dmax.
(Section 4.3.7)

Step 7:

Based on the calculated damage indices and statistics, determine appropriate


occupancy, structural repair and modification strategies (Section 4.3.8). If deemed
appropriate, the structural engineer may conduct detailed structural analyses of the
building in the as-damaged state, to obtain improved understanding of its residual
condition and to confirm that the recommended strategies are appropriate or to
suggest alternative strategies.

Step 8:

Report the results of the inspection and evaluation process to the building official and
building owner. (Section 4.3.9)

Sections 4.3.2 through 4.3.9 indicate how these steps should be performed.
There are no modifications to the Commentary of Section 4.3.1 at this time.
4.3.2 Step 1 Categorize Connections by Groups

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.2 at this time.
4.3.3 Step 2 Select Samples of Connections for Inspection

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.3 at this time.
Post Earthquake Evaluation
4-4

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

4.3.3.1 Method A - Random Selection

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.3.1 at this time.
4.3.3.2 Method B - Deterministic Selection

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.3.2 at this time.
4.3.3.3 Method C - Analytical Selection

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.3.3 at this time.
4.3.4 Step 3 Inspect the Selected Samples of Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines of Section 4.3.4 at this time.


Commentary: The sample size suggested for inspection in the methods of Section
4.3.3 are based on full inspection using both visual (Section 5.3.1) and NDT
techniques (Section 5.3.2) at all connections in the sample. Other methods of
selection and inspection may be used as provided in Section 4.3, with the
approval of the building official. One such approach might be the visual-only
inspection of the bottom girder flange to column connection, but with the
inspection of a large fraction of the total connections in the group, possibly
including all of them. If properly performed, such an inspection procedure would
detect almost all instances of the most severe damage but would not detect weld
defects (W1a), or root cracking (W1b), nor lamellar damage in columns (C5).
The occurrence of a few of these conditions, randomly scattered through the
building would not greatly affect the assessment of the buildings post-earthquake
condition, or the calculation of the damage index. However, if a large number of
such defects were present in the building, this would be significant to the overall
assessment. Therefore, such an inspection approach should probably include
confirming NDT investigations of at least a representative sample of the total
connections investigated. If within that sample, significant incidence of visually
hidden damage is found, then full NDT investigations should be performed, as
suggested by these Interim Guidelines. Similarly, if visual damage is found at the
bottom flange, then complete connection inspection should be performed to
determine if other types of damage are also present.
4.3.4.1 Damage Characterization

Characterize the observed damage at each of the inspected connections by assigning a


connection damage index, dj, obtained either from Table 4-3a or Table 4-3b. Table 4-3a presents
damage indices for individual classes of damage and a rule for combining indices where a
connection has more than one type of damage. Table 4-3b provides combined indices for the
more common combinations of damage.
Post Earthquake Evaluation
4-5

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

Table 4-3a - Connection Damage Indices


Type
G1
G2
G3
G4
G5
G6
G7
G8
C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6
C7
W1a
W1b
W2
W3
W4
W5
S1a
S1b
S2a
S2b
S3
S4
S5
S6
P1
P2
P3
P4
P5
P6
P7
P8
P9

Location
Girder
Girder
Girder
Girder
Girder
Girder
Girder
Girder
Column
Column
Column
Column
Column
Column
Column
CJP weld
CJP weld
CJP weld
CJP weld
CJP weld
CJP weld
Shear tab
Shear tab
Shear tab
Shear tab
Shear tab
Shear tab
Shear tab
Shear tab
Panel Zone
Panel Zone
Panel Zone
Panel Zone
Panel Zone
Panel Zone
Panel Zone
Panel Zone
Panel Zone

Description1
Buckled Flange
Yielded Flange
Top or Bottom Flange fracture in HAZ
Top or Bottom Flange fracture outside HAZ
Top and Bottom Flange fracture
Yielding or Buckling of Web
Fracture of Web
Lateral-torsional Buckling
Incipient flange crack (detectable by UT)
Flange tear-out or divot
Full or partial flange crack outside HAZ
Full or partial flange crack in HAZ
Lamellar flange tearing
Buckled Flange
Fractured column splice
Minor root indication - thickness <3/16 or tf/4; width < bf/4
Root indication - thickness > 3/16 or tf/4 or width > bf/4
Crack through weld metal thickness
Fracture at girder interface
Fracture at column interface
Root indication non-rejectable
Partial crack at weld to column (beam flanges sound)
Partial crack at weld to column (beam flange cracked)
Crack in Supplemental Weld (beam flanges sound)
Crack in Supplemental Weld (beam flange cracked)
Fracture through tab at bolt holes
Yielding or buckling of tab
Damaged, or missing bolts4
Full length fracture of weld to column
Fracture, buckle, or yield of continuity plate3
Fracture of continuity plate welds3
Yielding or ductile deformation of web3
Fracture of doubler plate welds3
Partial depth fracture in doubler plate3
Partial depth fracture in web3
Full (or near full) depth fracture in web or doubler plate3
Web buckling3
Fully severed column

Index2dj
4
1
8
8
10
4
10
8
4
8
8
8
6
8
8
01
04
8
8
8
0
4
8
1
8
10
6
6
10
4
4
1
4
4
8
8
6
10

Notes To Table 4-3a:


1. See Figures 3-2 through 3-6 for illustrations of these types of damage.
2. Where multiple damage types have occurred in a single connection, then:
a. Sum the damage indices for all types of damage with d=1 and treat as one type. If multiple types still
exist; then:

Post Earthquake Evaluation


4-6

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

b. For two types of damage refer to Table 4-3b. If the combination is not present in Table 4-3b and the
damage indices for both types are greater than or equal to 4, use 10 as the damage index for the
connection. If one is less than 4, use the greater value as the damage index for the connection.
c. If three or more types of damage apply and at least one is greater than 4, use an index value of 10,
otherwise use the greatest of the applicable individual indices.
3. Panel zone damage should be reflected in the damage index for all moment connections attached to the
damaged panel zone within the assembly.
4. Missing or loose bolts may be a result of construction error rather than damage. The condition of the metal
around the bolt holes, and the presence of fireproofing or other material in the holes can provide clues to this.
Where it is determined that construction error is the cause, the condition should be corrected and a damage
index of 0 assigned.

Table 4-3b - Connection Damage Indices for Common Damage Combinations1


Girder, Column
or Weld Damage

Shear Tab
Damage

Damage
Index

Girder, Column
or Weld Damage

Shear Tab
Damage

Damage
Index

G3 or G4

S1a
S1b
S2a
S2b
S3
S4
S5
S6
S1a
S1b
S2a
S2b
S3
S4
S5
S6
S1a
S1b
S2a
S2b
S3
S4
S5
S6

8
10
8
10
10
10
10
10
8
10
8
10
10
10
10
10
8
10
8
10
10
10
10
10

C5

S1a
S1b
S2a
S2b
S3
S4
S5
S6
S1a
S1b
S2a
S2b
S3
S4
S5
S6

6
10
6
10
10
10
10
10
8
10
8
10
10
10
10
10

C2

C3 or C4

1.

W2, W3, or W4

See Table 4-3a, footnote 2 for combinations other than those contained in this table.

More complete descriptions (including sketches) of the various types of damage are provided
in Section 3.1. When the engineer can show by rational analysis that other values for the relative
severities of damage are appropriate, these may be substituted for the damage indices provided in
Post Earthquake Evaluation
4-7

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

the tables. A full reporting of the basis for these different values should be provided to the
building official, upon request.
Commentary: The connection damage indices provided in Table 4-3 (ranging
from 0 to 10) represent judgmental estimates of the relative severities of this
damage. An index of 0 indicates no damage and an index of 10 indicates very
severe damage.
When initially developed, these connection damage indices were
conceptualized as estimates of the connections lost capacity to reliably
participate in the buildings lateral-force-resisting system in future earthquakes
(with 0 indicating no loss of capacity and 10 indicating complete loss of
capacity). However, due to the limited data available, no direct correlation
between these damage indices and the actual residual strength and stiffness of a
damaged connection was ever made. They do provide a convenient measure,
however, of the extent of damage that various connections in a building have
experienced.
When FEMA-267 was first published, weld root discontinuities, Type W1a and
defects, type W1b, were classified as damage in Table 4-3a with damage indices
of 1 and 4, respectively assigned. Recent evidence and investigations, however,
suggest strongly that these W1 conditions are not likely to be damage, and also
are difficult to reliably detect. As a result, with the publication of Interim
Guidelines Advisory No. 2, the damage indices for these conditions has been
reduced to a null value, consistent with classifying them as pre-existing
conditions, rather than damage.
It should be noted that the reduced damage index associated with these
conditions is not intended to indicate that these are not a concern with regard to
future performance of the building. In particular, type W1b conditions can serve
as ready initiators for the types of brittle fractures associated with the other
damage types and connections having such conditions are more susceptible to
future earthquake-induced damage than connections that do not have these
conditions. Correction of these conditions should generally be considered an
upgrade or modification, rather than a damage repair.
4.3.5 Step 4 Inspect Connections Adjacent to Damaged Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.5 at this time.
4.3.6 Step 5 Determine Average Damage Index for Each Group

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.6 at this time.

Post Earthquake Evaluation


4-8

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

4.3.7 Step 6 Determine the Probability that the Connections in a Group at a Floor Level
Sustained Excessive Damage

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.7 at this time.
4.3.7.1 Some Connections in Group Not Inspected

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.7.1 at this time.
4.3.7.2 All Connections in Group Inspected

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.7.2 at this time.
4.3.8 Step 7 Determine Recommended Recovery Strategies for the Building

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.8 at this time.
4.3.9 Step 8 - Evaluation Report

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.3.9 at this time.
4.4 Alternative Group Selection for Torsional Response
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.4 at this time.
4.5 Qualified Independent Engineering Review
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.5 at this time.
4.5.1 Timing of Independent Review

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.5.1 at this time.
4.5.2 Qualifications and Terms of Employment

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.5.2 at this time.
4.5.3 Scope of Review

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.5.3 at this time.
4.5.4 Reports

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.5.4 at this time.

Post Earthquake Evaluation


4-9

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

4.5.5 Responses and Corrective Actions

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.5.5 at this time.
4.5.6 Distribution of Reports

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.5.6 at this time.
4.5.7 Engineer of Record

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.5.7 at this time.
4.5.8 Resolution of Differences

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 4.5.8 at this time.

Post Earthquake Evaluation


4-10

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

5. POST-EARTHQUAKE INSPECTION
When required by the building official, or recommended by the Interim Guidelines in Chapter
4, post-earthquake inspections of buildings may be conducted in accordance with the Interim
Guidelines of this Chapter. In order to determine, with certainty, the actual post-earthquake
condition of a building, it is necessary to inspect all elements and their connections. However, it
is permissible to select An an appropriate sample (or samples) of WSMF connections should be
selected for inspection in accordance with the Chapter 4 Guidelines. These connections, and
others deemed appropriate by the engineer, should be subjected to visual inspection (VI) and
supplemented by non-destructive testing (NDT) as required by this Chapter.
Commentary: The only way to be certain that all damage sustained by a building
is detected is to perform complete inspections of every structural element and
connection. In most cases, such exhaustive post-earthquake inspections would be
both economically impractical and also unnecessary. As recommended by these
guidelines, the purpose of post-earthquake inspections is not to detect all damage
that has been sustained by a building, but rather, to detect with reasonable
certainty, that damage likely to result in a significant degradation in the
buildings ability to resist future loading. The connection sampling process,
suggested by Chapter 4 of these Interim Guidelines was developed to provide a
low probability that damage in buildings that had sustained a substantial
reduction in load carrying capacity would be overlooked while avoiding the
performance of exhaustive investigations of buildings that have sustained
relatively insignificant damage.
Where greater certainty in the detection of damage is desired for a building, a
more extensive program of inspection can be conducted. For those cases in
which it is desired to perform an analytical determination of the residual load
carrying capacity of the structure, complete inspections of elements and
connections should be performed so that an analytical model of the building can
be developed that reasonably represents its post-earthquake condition.
5.1 Connection Types Requiring Inspection
5.1.1 Welded Steel Moment Frame (WSMF) Connections

The inspection of a WSMF connection should start with visual inspection of the welded
bottom beam flange to column flange joint and the base materials immediately adjacent to this
joint. If damage to this joint is apparent, or suspected, then inspections of that connection should
be extended to include the complete joint penetration (CJP) groove welds connecting both top
and bottom beam flanges to the column flange, including the backing bar and the weld access
holes in the beam web; the shear tab connection, including the bolts, supplemental welds and
Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-1

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

beam web; the column's web panel zone, including doubler plates; and the continuity plates and
continuity plate welds (See Figure 3-1). In addition, where visual inspection indicates potential
concealed damage, visual inspection should be supplemented with other methods of
nondestructive testing.
Commentary: The largest concentration of reported damage following the
Northridge Earthquake occurred at the welded joint between the bottom girder
flange and column, or in the immediate vicinity of this joint. To a much lesser
extent, damage was also observed in some buildings at the joint between the top
girder flange and column. If damage at either of these locations is substantial (dj
per Chapter 4 greater than 5), then damage is also commonly found in the panel
zone or shear tab areas.
When originally published,These these Interim Guidelines recommended
complete inspection, by visual and NDT assisted means, of all of these potential
damage areas for a small representative sample of connections. This practice is
was consistent with that followed by most engineers in the Los Angeles area,
following the Northridge Earthquake. It requires removal of fireproofing from a
relatively large surface of the steel framing, which at most connections will be
undamaged.
In the time since the Interim Guidelines were first published, extensive
investigations have been conducted of the statistical distribution of damage
sustained by buildings in the Northridge earthquake, the nature of this damage
and the effect of this damage on the future load-carrying capacity of the
buildings. These investigations strongly suggest that the W1a and W1b
conditions at the weld root are unlikely to be earthquake damage, but rather,
conditions of discontinuity and defects from the original construction. Further,
studies have shown that NDT methods are generally unreliable in the detection of
these conditions. As a result, the current recommendation is not to conduct
exhaustive NDT investigations of connections in order to discover hidden
damage, as was originally recommended.
In a series of analytical investigations of the effect of moment-resisting
connection damage on building behavior, it was determined that even if a large
number of connections experience fracture at one beam flange to column joint,
there is relatively little increase in the probability of global collapse in a future
earthquake. Similarly, these investigations indicate that if both the top and
bottom beam flange to column joints fracture in a large a number of connections,
a very significant increase in the probability of global building collapse occurs.
Therefore, to reduce the costs associated with post-earthquake inspections, with
the publication of Interim Guidelines Advisory No.2 it is recommended that postearthquake inspections initially be limited to visual inspection of the beam bottom
Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-2

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

flange to column joint region. If there is evidence of potential damage in this


region that is not directly observable by visual means, for example, a gap between
the weld backing and column flange, then supplemental investigations of this joint
should be conducted using NDT. Similarly, if it is determined that fractures have
occurred at the beam bottom flange joint, then inspections of that connection
should be extended to encompass the entire connection including the top beam
flange joint, the shear tab and column panel zone. This approach was permitted
as an alternate, in the original publication of the Interim Guidelines.
Some engineers have suggested an alternative approach consisting of visual only inspections, limited to the girder bottom flange to column joint, but for a
very large percentage of the total connections in the building. These bottom
flange joint connections can be visually inspected with much less fireproofing
removed from the framing surfaces. When significant damage is found at the
exposed bottom connection, then additional fireproofing is removed to allow full
exposure of the connection and inspection of the remaining surfaces. These
engineers feel that by inspecting more connections, albeit to a lesser scope than
recommended in these Interim Guidelines, their ability to locate the most severe
occurrences of damage in a building is enhanced. These engineers use NDT
assisted inspection on a very small sample of the total connections exposed to
obtain an indication of the likelihood of hidden problems including damage types.
If properly executed, such an approach can provide sufficient information to
evaluate the post-earthquake condition of a building and to make appropriate
occupancy, structural repair and/or modification decisions. It is important that
the visual inspector be highly trained and that visual inspections be carefully
performed, preferably by a structural engineer. Casual observation may miss
clues that hidden damage exists. If, as a result of the partial visual inspection,
there is any reason to believe that damage exists at a connection (such as small
gaps between the CJP weld backing and column face), then complete inspection
of the suspected connection, in accordance with the recommendations of these
Interim Guidelines should be performed. If this approach is followed, it is
recommended that a significantly larger sample of connections than otherwise
recommended by these Interim Guidelines, perhaps nearly all of the connections,
be inspected.
5.1.2 Gravity Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.1.2 at this time.
5.1.3 Other Connection Types

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.1.3 at this time.
Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-3

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

5.2 Preparation
5.2.1 Preliminary Document Review and Evaluation
5.2.1.1 Document Collection and Review

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.2.1.1 at this time.
5.2.1.2 Preliminary Building Walk-Through.

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.2.1.2 at this time.
5.2.1.3 Structural Analysis

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.2.1.3 at this time.
5.2.1.4 Vertical Plumbness Check

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.2.1.4 at this time.
5.2.2 Connection Exposure

Pre-inspection activities to expose and prepare a connection for inspection should include the
local removal of suspended ceiling panels or (as applicable) local demolition of permanent ceiling
finish to access the connection; and cleaning of sufficient fireproofing from the beam and column
surfaces to allow visual observation of the area to be inspected. If initial inspections are to be
limited to the beam bottom flange to column joint and the surrounding material, fireproofing
should be removed from the connection as indicated in Figure 5-1a. Removal of fireproofing need
only be sufficient to permit observation of the surfaces of base and weld metals. Wire brushing
and cleaning to remove all particles of fireproofing material is not necessary unless ultrasonic
testing of the joint area is to be conducted. In the event that damage is found at the bottom beam
flange to column joint, then additional fireproofing should be removed, as indicated in Figure 51b, to expose the column panel zone, the column flange, continuity plates, beam web and flanges.
The extent of the removal of fireproofing should be sufficient to allow adequate inspection of the
surfaces to be inspected. Figure 5-1b suggests a pattern that will allow both visual and NDT
inspection of the top and bottom beam flange to column joints, the beam web and shear
connection, column panel zone and continuity plates, and column flanges in the areas of highest
expected demands. The maximum extent of the removal of fireproofing need not be greater than
a distance equal to the beam depth "d" into the beam span to expose evidence of any yielding.

Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-4

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

Exposed surfaces

6
6
Fireproofing

Figure 5-1a Recommended Zone for Fireproofing Removal for Initial Inspections

12
6
Fireproofing

Figure 5-1b Recommended Zone for Removal of Fireproofing for Complete Inspections
Commentary: If inspection is to be limited to visual observation of the surfaces of
the base metal and welds, cleaning of fireproofing need only be sufficient to
expose these surfaces. However, if ultrasonic testing is to be performed, the
surface over which the scanning will be performed must be free Cleaning of weld
areas and removal of mill scale and weld spatter. Such cleaning should be done
with care, preferably using a power wire brush, to ensure a clean surface that
does not affect the accuracy of ultrasonic testing. The resulting surface finish
should be clean, free of mill scale, rust and foreign matter. The use of a chisel
should be avoided to preclude scratching the steel surfaces which could be
mistaken for yield lines. Sprayed-on fireproofing on WSMFs erected prior to
about 19801970 is likely to contain asbestos and should be handled according to
Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-5

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

applicable standards for the removal of hazardous materials. Health hazards


associated with asbestos were recognized by industry in the late 1960s and by
1969, most commercial production of asbestos containing materials had ceased.
In April, 1973, the federal government formally prohibited the production of
asbestos containing materials with the adoption of the National Emission
Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. Allowing for shelf life of materials
produced prior to that date, it should be considered possible that buildings
constructed prior to 1975 contain some asbestos hazards. To preclude physical
exposure to hazardous materials and working conditions in such buildings, the
structural engineer should require by contractual agreement with the building
owner, prior to the start of the inspection program, that the building owner
deliver to the structural engineer for his/her review and files a laboratory
certificate that confirms the absence of asbestos in structural steel fireproofing,
local pipe insulation, ceiling tiles, and drywall joint compound.
The pattern of fireproofing removal indicated in Figure 5-1 is adequate to
allow visual and UT inspection of the top and bottom girder flange to column
joints, the beam web and shear connection and the column panel zone. As
discussed in the commentary to Section 5.1.1, some engineers prefer to initially
inspect only the bottom beam flange to column joint. In such cases, the initial
removal of fireproofing can be more limited than indicated in the figure. If after
initial inspection, damage at a connection is suspected, then full removal, as
indicated in the figure, should be performed to allow inspection of all areas of the
connection.
5.3 Inspection Program
5.3.1 Visual Inspection (VI)

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.3.1 at this time.
5.3.1.1 Top Flange

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.3.1.1 at this time.
5.3.1.2 Bottom Flange

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.3.1.2 at this time.
5.3.1.3 Column and Continuity Plates

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.3.1.3 at this time.

Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-6

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

5.3.1.4 Beam Web Shear Connection

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.3.1.4 at this time.
5.3.2 Nondestructive Testing (NDT)

NDT should may be used to supplement the visual inspection of connections selected in
accordance with the Interim Guidelines of Chapter 4. The testing agency and NDT personnel
performing this work should conform to the qualifications indicated in Chapter 11 of these Interim
Guidelines. The following NDT techniques should may be used at the top and bottom of each
connection, where accessible, to supplement visual inspection: These techniques should be used
whenever visual inspection indicates the potential for damage that is not directly observable.
a) Magnetic particle testing (MT) of the beam flange to column flange weld surfaces may be
used to confirm the presence of suspected surface cracks based on visual evidence. Where
fractures are evident from visual inspection, MT should be used to confirm the lateral
extent of the fracture.All surfaces which were visually inspected should be tested using the
magnetic particle technique.
Commentary: The color of powder should be selected to achieve maximum
contrast to the base and weld metal under examination. The test may be further
enhanced by applying a white coating made specifically for MT or by applying
penetrant developer prior to the MT examination. This background coating
should be allowed to thoroughly dry before performing the MT.
b) Ultrasonic testing (UT) may be used to detect the presence of hidden fractures, where
visual inspection reveals the potential for such fractures. of all faces at the beam flange
welds and adjacent column flanges (extending at least 3 inches above and below the
location of the CJP weld, along the face of the column, but not less than 1-1/2 times the
column flange thickness).
Commentary: The purpose of UT is to 1) locate and describe the extent of
internal defects not visible on the surface and 2) to determine the extent of cracks
observed visually and by MT. These guidelines recommend the use of visual
inspection as the primary tool for detecting earthquake damage (See commentary
to Sec. 5..1.1). UT can be a useful technique for confirmation of the presence of
suspected fractures at the beam flange to column flange joints. Visual evidence
that may suggest the need for such testing could include apparent separation of
the base of the weld backing from the face of the column.
Requirements and acceptance criteria for NDT should be as given in AWS D1.1-98 Sections 6
and 8. Acceptance or rejection of planar weld discontinuity (cracks, slag inclusion, or lack of
fusion), including root indications, should, as a minimum, be consistent with AWS Discontinuities
Severity Class designations of cracks and defects per Table 8.26.2 of AWS D1.1-98 for Static
Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-7

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

Structures. Beam flange welds should be tested as "tension welds" per AWS D1.1 Table 8.15.3,
Note 3. Backing bars need not be removed prior to performing UT.
Commentary: The value of UT for locating small discontinuities at the root of
beam flange to column flange welds when the backing is left in place is not
universally accepted. The reliability of this technique is particularly questionable
at the center of the joint, where the beam web obscures the signal. There have
been a number of reported instances of UT detected indications which were not
found upon removal of the backing, and similarly, there have been reported
instances of defects which were missed by UT examination but were evident upon
removal of the backing. The smaller the defect, the less likely it is that UT alone
will reliably detect its presence.
Despite the potential inaccuracies of this technique, it is the only method
currently available, short of removal of the backing, to find subsurface damage in
the welds. It is also the most reliable method for finding lamellar problems in the
column flange (type C4 and C5 damage) opposite the girder flange. Removal of
weld backing at these connections results in a significant cost increase that is
probably not warranted unless UT indicates widespread, significant defects
and/or damage in the building.
The proper scanning techniques, beam angle(s) and transducer sizes should be used as
specified in the written UT procedure contained in the Written Practice, prepared in accordance
with Section 5.3.3 of these Interim Guidelines. The acceptance standard should be that specified
in the original contract documents, but in no case should it be less than the acceptance criteria of
AWS D1.1, Chapter 8, for Statically Loaded Structures.
The base metal should be scanned with UT for cracks. Cracks which have propagated to the
surface of the weld or beam and column base metal will probably have been detected by visual
inspection and magnetic particle tests performed earlier. The purpose of ultrasonic testing of the
base metal is to:
1. Locate and describe the extent of internal indications not apparent on the surface and,
2. Determine the extent of cracks found visually and by magnetic particle test.
Commentary: Liquid dye penetrant testing (PT) may be used where MT is
precluded due to geometrical conditions or restricted access. Note that more
stringent requirements for surface preparation are required for PT than MT, per
AWS D1.1.
If practical, NDT should be performed across the full width of the bottom
beam flange joint. However, if there are no discontinuity signals from UT of
Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-8

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

accessible faces on one side of the bottom flange weld, obstructions on the other
side of the connection need not be removed for testing of the bottom flange weld.
Slabs, flooring and roofing need not be removed to permit NDT of the top
flange joint unless there is significant visible damage at the bottom beam flange,
adjacent column flange, column web, or shear connection. Unless such damage
is present, NDT of the top flange should be performed as permitted, without local
removal of the diaphragms or perimeter wall obstructions.
It should be noted that UT is not 100% effective in locating discontinuities
and defects in CJP beam flange to column flange welds. The ability of UT to
reliably detect such defects is very dependent on the skill of the operator and the
care taken in the inspection. Even under perfect conditions, it is difficult to
obtain reliable readings of conditions at the center of the beam flange to column
flange connection as return signals are obscured by the presence of the beam
web. If backing is left in place on the welds, UT becomes even less reliable.
There have been a number of reported instances in which UT indicated apparent
defects, that were found not to exist upon removal of the backing. Similarly, UT
has failed in some cases to locate defects that were later discovered upon removal
of the backing. Additional information on UT may be found in AWS B1.10.
5.3.3 Inspector Qualification
5.3.4 Post-Earthquake Field Inspection Report

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.3.4 at this time.
5.3.5 Written Report

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 5.3.5 at this time.

Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-9

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC99-01

This page intentionally left blank

Post-Earthquake Inspection
5-10

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

6. POST-EARTHQUAKE REPAIR AND MODIFICATION


6.1 Scope
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.1 at this time.
6.2 Shoring
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.2 at this time.
6.3 Repair Details
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.3 at this time.
6.4 Preparation
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.4 at this time.
6.5 Execution
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.5 at this time.
6.6 STRUCTURAL MODIFICATION
6.6.1 Definition of Modification

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.6.1 at this time.
6.6.2 Damaged vs. Undamaged Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.6.2 at this time.
6.6.3 Criteria

Connection modification intended to permit inelastic frame behavior should be proportioned


so that the required plastic deformation of the frame may be accommodated through the
development of plastic hinges at pre-determined locations within the girder spans, as indicated in
Figure 6-12 Figure 6.6.3-1. Beam-column connections should be designed with sufficient
strength (through the use of cover plates, haunches, side plates, etc.) to force development of the
plastic hinge away from the column face. This condition may also be attained through local
weakening of the beam section, at the desired location for plastic hinge formation. All elements
of the connection should have adequate strength to develop the forces resulting from the

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-1

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

formation of the plastic hinge at the predetermined location, together with forces resulting from
gravity loads.

Undeformed
frame

Deformed frame shape

Plastic Hinges

drift angle -

L
L

Figure 6-12 Figure 6.6.3-1 - Desired Plastic Frame Behavior


Commentary: Nonlinear deformation of frame structures is typically
accommodated through the development of inelastic flexural or shear strains
within discrete regions of the structure. At large inelastic strains these regions
can develop into plastic hinges, which can accommodate significant concentrated
rotations at constant (or nearly constant) load through yielding at tensile fibers
and buckling at compressive fibers. If a sufficient number of plastic hinges
develop in a frame, a mechanism is formed and the frame can deform laterally in
a plastic manner. This behavior is accompanied by significant energy
dissipation, particularly if a number of members are involved in the plastic
behavior, as well as substantial local damage to the highly strained elements.
The formation of hinges in columns, as opposed to beams, is undesirable, as this
results in the formation of weak story mechanisms with relatively few elements
participating, and consequently little energy dissipation occurring. In addition,
such mechanisms also result in local damage to critical gravity load bearing
elements.
The prescriptive connection contained in the UBC and NEHRP Recommended
Provisions prior to the Northridge Earthquake was based on the assumed
development of plastic hinge zones within the beams at adjacent to the face of the
column, or within the column panel zone itself. If the plastic hinge develops in
the column panel zone, the resulting column deformation results in very large
secondary stresses on the beam flange to column flange joint, a condition which
can contribute to brittle failure. If the plastic hinge forms in the beam, at the face
of the column, this can result in very large through-thickness strain demands on
Post-earthquake Repair and Modification
6-2

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

the column flange material and large inelastic strain demands on the weld metal
and surrounding heat affected zones stress and strain demands on the welded
beam flange to column flange joint. These conditions can also lead to brittle
joint failure. Although ongoing research may reveal conditions of material
properties, design and detailing configurations that permit connections with
yielding occurring at the column face to perform reliably, for the present, it is
recommended In order to achieve more reliable performance, it is recommended
that the connection of the beam to the column be modified to be sufficiently
strong to force the inelastic action (plastic hinge) away from the column face.
Plastic hinges in steel beams have finite length, typically on the order of half the
beam depth. Therefore, the location for the plastic hinge should be shifted at
least that distance away from the face of the column. When this is done, the
flexural demands on the columns are increased. Care must be taken to assure
that weak column conditions are not inadvertently created by local strengthening
of the connections.
It should be noted that connection modifications of the type described above,
while believed to be effective in preventing brittle connection fractures, will not
prevent structural damage from occurring. Brittle connection fractures are
undesirable because they result in a substantial reduction in the lateral-forceresisting strength of the structure which, in extreme cases, can result in instability
and collapse. Connections modified as described in these Interim Guidelines
should experience many fewer such brittle fractures than unmodified connections.
However, the formation of a plastic hinge within the span of a beam is not a
completely benign event. Beams which have formed such hinges may exhibit
large buckling and yielding deformation, damage which typically must be
repaired. The cost of such repairs could be comparable to the costs incurred in
repairing fracture damage experienced in the Northridge Earthquake. The
primary difference is that life safety protection will be significantly enhanced and
most structures that have experienced such plastic deformation damage should
continue to be safe for occupancy while repairs are made.
If the types of damage described above are unacceptable for a given building,
then alternative methods of structural modification should be considered that will
reduce the plastic deformation demands on the structure during a strong
earthquake. Appropriate methods of achieving such goals include the installation
of supplemental braced frames, energy dissipation systems, and similar
systematic modifications of the buildings basic lateral force resisting system.
It is important to recognize that in frames with relatively short bays, the
flexural hinging indicated in Figure 6.6.3-1 may not be able to form. If the
effective flexural length (Lin the figure) of beams in a frame becomes too short,
then the beams or girders will yield in shear before zones of flexural plasticity

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-3

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

can form, resulting in an inelastic behavior that is more like that of an


eccentrically braced frame than that of a moment frame. This behavior may
inadvertently occur in frames in which relatively large strengthened connections,
such as haunches, cover plates or side plates have been used on beams with
relatively short spans. This behavior is illustrated in Figure 6.6.3-2.
The guidelines contained in this section are intended to address the design of
flexurally dominated moment resisting frames. When utilizing these guidelines, it
is important to confirm that the configuration of the structure is such that the
presumed flexural hinging can actually occur. It is possible that shear yielding of
frame beams, such as that schematically illustrated in Figure 6.6.3-2 may be a
desirable behavior mode. However, to date, there has not been enough research
conducted into the behavior of such frames to develop recommended design
guidelines. If modifications to an existing frame result in such a configuration
designers should consider referring to the code requirements for eccentrically
braced frames. Particular care should be taken to brace the shear link of such
beams against lateral-torsional buckling and also to adequately stiffen the webs
to avoid local buckling following shear plastification.
Shear Link

Shear Link

Figure 6.6.3-2 Shear Yielding Dominated Behavior of Short Bay Frames


6.6.4 Strength and Stiffness
6.6.4.1 Strength

When these Interim Guidelines require determination of the strength of a framing element or
component, this shall be calculated in accordance with the criteria contained in UBC-94, Section

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-4

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

2211.4.2 {NEHRP-91 Section 10.2, except that the factor should be taken as 1.0}, restated as
follows:
2211.4.1 Member strength. Where this section requires that the strength of the member be
developed, the following shall be used:
Flexure
Shear
Axial compression
Axial tension
Connectors
Full Penetration welds
Partial Penetration welds
Bolts and fillet welds

Ms = Z F y
Vs = 0.55 Fy d t
Psc = 1.7 Fa A
Pst = Fy A
Fy A
1.7 allowable (see commentary)
1.7 allowable

Alternatively, the criteria contained in the 1997 edition of the AISC Seismic Provisions for
Structural Steel Buildings (AISC, 1997) may be used.
Commentary: At the time the Interim Guidelines were first published, they were
based on the 1994 edition of the Uniform Building Code and the 1994 edition of
the NEHRP Provisions. In the time since that initial publication, more recent
editions of both documents have been published, and codes based on these
documents have been adopted by some jurisdictions. In addition, the American
Institute of Steel Construction has adopted a major revision to its Seismic
Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (AISC Seismic Provisions), largely
incorporating, with some modification, the recommendations contained in the
Interim Guidelines. This updated edition of the AISC Seismic Provisions has
been incorporated by reference into the 1997 edition of the NEHRP Provisions
and has also been adopted by some jurisdictions as an amendment to the model
building codes. Structural upgrades designed to comply with the requirements of
the 1997 AISC Seismic Provisions may be deemed to comply with the intent of
these Interim Guidelines. Where reference is made herein to the requirements of
the 1994 Uniform Building Code or 1994 NERHP Provisions, the parallel
provisions of the 1997 editions may be used instead, and should be used in those
jurisdictions that have adopted codes based on these updated standards.
Partial penetration welds are not recommended for tension applications in
critical connections resisting seismic induced stresses. The geometry of partial
penetration welds creates a notch-like condition that can initiate brittle fracture
under conditions of high tensile strain.
Many WSMF structures are constructed with concrete floor slabs that are
provided with positive shear attachment between the slab and the top flanges of
the girders of the moment-resisting frames. Although not generally accounted for
in the design of the frames, the resulting composite action can increase the

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-5

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

effective strength of the girder significantly, particularly at sections where


curvature of the girder places the top flange into compression. Although this
effect is directly accounted for in the design of composite systems, it is typically
neglected in the design of systems classified as moment resisting steel frames.
The increased girder flexural strength caused by this composite action can result
in a number of effects including the unintentional creation of weak column strong beam and weak panel zone conditions. In addition, this composite effect
has the potential to reduce the effectiveness of reduced section or dog-bone
type connection assemblies. Unfortunately, very little laboratory testing of large
scale connection assemblies with slabs in place has been performed to date and
as a result, these effects are not well quantified. In keeping with typical
contemporary design practice, the design formulae provided in these Guidelines
neglect the strengthening effects of composite action. Designers should, however,
be alert to the fact that these composite effects do exist. Similar, and perhaps
more severe, effects may also exist where steel beams support masonry or
concrete walls.
6.6.4.2 Stiffness

Calculation of frame stiffness for the purpose of determining interstory drift under the
influence of the design lateral forces should be based on the properties of the bare steel frame,
neglecting the effects of composite action with floor slabs. The stiffening effects of connection
reinforcements (e.g.: haunches, side plates, etc.) may be considered in the calculation of overall
frame stiffness and drift demands. When reduced beam section connections are utilized, the
reduction in overall frame stiffness, due to local reductions in girder cross section, should be
considered.
Commentary: For design purposes, frame stiffness is typically calculated
considering only the behavior of the bare frame, neglecting the stiffening effects
of slabs, gravity framing, and architectural elements such as walls. The resulting
calculation of building stiffness and period typically underestimates the actual
properties, substantially. Although this approach can result in unconservative
estimates of design force levels, it typically produces conservative estimates of
interstory drift demands. Since the design of most moment-resisting frames are
controlled by considerations of drift, this approach is considered preferable to
methods that would have the potential to over-estimate building stiffness. Also,
many of the elements that provide additional stiffness may be subject to rapid
degradation under severe cyclic lateral deformation, so that the bare frame
stiffness may provide a reasonable estimate of the effective stiffness under long
duration ground shaking response.
Notwithstanding the above, designers should be alert to the fact that
unintentional stiffness introduced by walls and other non-structural elements can

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-6

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

significantly alter the behavior of the structure in response to ground shaking. Of


particular concern, if these elements are not uniformly distributed throughout the
structure, or isolated from its response, they can cause soft stories and torsional
irregularities, conditions known to result in poor behavior.
6.6.5 Plastic Rotation Capacity

The plastic rotation capacity of modified connections should reflect realistic estimates of the
required level of plastic rotation demand. In the absence of detailed calculations of rotation
demand, connections should be shown to be capable of developing a minimum plastic rotation
capacity on the order of 0.025 to 0.030 radian. The demand may be lower when braced frames,
supplemental damping, base isolation, or other elements are introduced into the moment frame
system, to control its lateral deformation; when the design ground motion is relatively low in the
range of predominant periods for the structure; and when the frame is sufficiently strong and stiff.
As used in these Guidelines, plastic rotation is defined as the plastic chord rotation angle. The
plastic chord rotation angle is calculated using the rotated coordinate system shown in Fig. 6.6.51 as the plastic deflection of the beam or girder, at the point of inflection (usually at the center of
its span,) CI, divided by the distance between the center of the beam span and the centerline of
the panel zone of the beam column connection, LCL. This convention is illustrated in Figure 6.6.51.
It is important to note that this definition of plastic rotation is somewhat different than the
plastic rotation that would actually occur within a discrete plastic hinge in a frame model similar
to that shown in Figure 6.6.3-1. These two quantities are related to each other, however, and if
one of them is known, the other may be calculated from Eq. 6.6.5-1.
cL

LCL

Plastic hinge

Beam span center line

cL

CL

lh

p =

CL

LCL

Figure 6.6.5-1 Calculation of Plastic Rotation Angle

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-7

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

p = ph
where: p
ph
LCL
lh

SAC 99-01

( LCL lh )
LCL

(6.6.5-1)

is the plastic chord angle rotation, as used in these Guidelines


is the plastic rotation, at the location of a discrete hinge
is the distance from the center of the beam span to the center of the
beam-column assembly panel zone
is the assumed location of the discrete plastic hinge relative to the center of the
beam-column assembly panel zone

If calculations are performed to determine the required connection plastic rotation capacity,
the capacity should be taken somewhat greater than the calculated deformation demand, due to
the high variability and uncertainty inherent in predictions of inelastic seismic response. Until
better guidelines become available, a required plastic rotation capacity on the order of 0.005
radians greater than the demand calculated for the design basis earthquake (or if greater
conservatism is desired - the maximum capable considered earthquake) is recommended.
Rotation demand calculations should consider the effect of plastic hinge location within the beam
span, as indicated in Figure 6-12 Figure 6.6.3-1, on plastic rotation demand. Calculations should
be performed to the same level of detail specified for nonlinear dynamic analysis for base isolated
structures in UBC-94 Section 1655 {NEHRP-94 Section 2.6.4.4}. Ground motion time histories
utilized for these nonlinear analyses should satisfy the scaling requirements of UBC-94 Section
1655.4.2 {NEHRP-94 Section 2.6.4.4} except that instead of the base isolated period, TI, the
structure period, T, calculated in accordance with UBC-94 Section 1628 {NEHRP-94 Section
2.3.3.1} should be used.
Commentary. When the Interim Guidelines were first published, the plastic
rotation was defined as that rotation that would occur at a discrete plastic hinge,
similar to the definition of ph. in Eq. 6.6.5-1, above. In subsequent testing of
prototype connection assemblies, it was found that it is often very difficult to
determine the value of this rotation parameter from test data, since actual plastic
hinges do not occur at discrete points in the assembly and because some amount
of plasticity also occurs in the panel zone of many assemblies. The plastic chord
angle rotation, introduced in Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 1, may more
readily be obtained from test data and also more closely relates to the drift
experienced by a frame during earthquake response.
Traditionally, structural engineers have calculated demand in moment
frames by sizing the members for strength and drift using code forces (either
equivalent static or reduced dynamic forces) and then "developing the strength of
the members." Since 1988, "developing the strength" has been accomplished by
prescriptive means. It was assumed that the prescribed connections would be
strong enough so that the girder would yield (in bending), or the panel zone

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-8

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

would yield (in shear) in a nearly perfectly plastic manner producing the plastic
rotations necessary to dissipate the energy of the earthquake. It is now known
that the prescriptive connection is often incapable of behaving in this manner.
In the 1994 Northridge earthquake, many moment-frame connections
fractured with little evidence of plastic hinging of the girders or yielding of the
column panel zones. Testing of moment frame connections both prior to and
subsequent to the earthquake suggests that the standard welded flange-bolted web
connection is unable to reliably provide plastic rotations beyond about 0.005
radian for all ranges of girder depths and often fails below that level. Thus, for
frames designed for code forces and for the code drift limits, new connection
configurations must be developed to reliably accommodate such rotation without
brittle fracture.
In order to develop reasonable estimates of the plastic rotation demands on a
frames connections, it is necessary to perform inelastic time history analyses.
For regular structures, approximations of the plastic rotation demands can be
obtained from linear elastic analyses. Analytical research (Newmark and Hall 1982) suggests that for structures having the dynamic characteristics of most
WSMF buildings, and for the ground motions typical of western US earthquakes,
the total frame deflections obtained from an unreduced (no R or Rw factor)
dynamic analysis provide an approximate estimate of those which would be
experienced by the inelastic structure. For the typical spectra contained in the
building code, this would indicate expected drift ratios on the order of 1%. The
drift demands in a real structure, responding inelastically, tend to concentrate in
a few stories, rather than being uniformly distributed throughout the structures
height. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect typical drift demands in individual
stories on the order of 1.5% to 2% of the story height. As a rough
approximation, the drift demand may be equated to the joint rotation demand,
yielding expected rotation demands on the order of perhaps 2%. Since there is
considerable variation in ground motion intensity and spectra, as well as the
inelastic response of buildings to these ground motions, conservatism in selection
of an appropriate connection rotation demand is warranted.
In recent testing of large scale subassemblies incorporating modified
connection details, conducted by SAC and others, when the connection design was
able to achieve a plastic rotation demand of 0.025 radians or more for several
cycles, the ultimate failure of the subassembly generally did not occur in the
connection, but rather in the members themselves. Therefore, the stated
connection capacity criteria would appear to result in connections capable of
providing reliable performance.
It should be noted that the connection assembly capacity criteria for the
modification of existing buildings, recommended by these Interim Guidelines, is
Post-earthquake Repair and Modification
6-9

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

somewhat reduced compared to that recommended for new buildings (Chapter 7).
This is typical of approaches normally taken for existing structures. For new
buildings, these Interim Guidelines discourage building-specific calculation of
required plastic rotation capacity for connections and instead, encourage the
development of highly ductile connection designs. For existing buildings, such an
approach may lead to modification designs that are excessively costly, as well as
the modification of structures which do not require such modification.
Consequently, an approach which permits the development of semi-ductile
connection designs, with sufficient plastic rotation capacity to withstand the
expected demands from a design earthquake is adopted. It should be understood
that buildings modified to this reduced criteria will not have the same reliability
as new buildings, designed in accordance with the recommendations of Chapter
7. The criteria of Chapter 7 could be applied to existing buildings, if superior
reliability is desired.
When performing inelastic frame analysis, in order to determine the required
connection plastic rotation capacity, it is important to accurately account for the
locations at which the plastic hinges will occur. Simplified models, which
represent the hinge as occurring at the face of the column, maywill underestimate
the plastic rotation demand. This problem becomes more severe as the column
spacing, L, becomes shorter and the distance between plastic hinges, L, a
greater portion of the total beam span. Eq. 6.6.5-1 may be used to convert
calculated values of plastic rotation at a hinge remotely located from the column,
to the chord angle rotation, used for the definition of acceptance criteria
contained in these Guidelines. In extreme cases, the girder will not form plastic
hinges at all, but instead, will develop a shear yield, similar to an eccentric
braced frame.
6.6.6

Connection Qualification and Design

Modified girder-column connections may be qualified by testing or designed using


calculations. Qualification by testing is the preferred approach. Preliminary designs of
connections to be qualified by test may be obtained using the calculation procedures of Section
6.6.6.3. The procedures of that section may also be used to calibrate previous tests of similar
connection configurations to slightly different applications, by extrapolation. Extrapolation of test
results should be limited to connections of elements having similar geometries and material
specifications as the tested connections. Designs based on calculation alone should be subject to
qualified independent third party review.
Commentary: Because of the cost of testing, use of calculations for interpolation
or extrapolation of test results is desirable. How much extrapolation should be
accepted is a difficult decision. As additional testing is done, more information
may be available on what constitutes "conservative" testing conditions, thereby

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-10

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

allowing easier decisions relative to extrapolating tests to actual conditions which


are likely to be less demanding than the tests. For example, it is hypothesized
that connections of shallower, thinner flanged members are likely to be more
reliable than similar connections consisting of deeper, thicker flanged members.
Thus, it may be possible to test the largest assemblages of similar details and
extrapolate to the smaller member sizes? - at least within comparable member
group families. However, there is evidence to suggest that extrapolation of test
results to assemblies using members of reduced size is not always conservative.
In a recent series of tests of cover plated connections, conducted at the University
of California at San Diego, a connection assembly that produced acceptable
results for one family of beam sizes, W24, did not behave acceptably when the
beam depth was reduced significantly to W18. In that project, the change in
relative flexibilities of the members and connection elements resulted in a shift in
the basic behavior of the assembly and initiation of a failure mode that was not
observed in the specimens with larger member sizes. In order to minimize the
possibility of such occurrences, when extrapolation of test results is performed, it
should be done with a basic understanding of the behavior of the assembly, and
the likely effects of changes to the assembly configuration on this behavior. Test
results should not be extrapolated to assembly configurations that are expected to
behave differently than the tested configuration. Extrapolation or interpolation
of results with differences in welding procedures, details or material properties is
even more difficult.
6.6.6.1 Qualification Test Protocol

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.6.6.1 at this time.
6.6.6.2 Acceptance Criteria

The minimum acceptance criteria for connection qualification for specimens tested in
accordance with these Interim Guidelines should be as follows:
a) The connection should develop beam plastic rotations as indicated in Section 6.6.5, for
at least one complete cycle.
b) The connection should develop a minimum strength equal to 80% of the plastic
strength of the girder, calculated using minimum specified yield strength Fy,
throughout the loading history required to achieve the required plastic rotation
capacity, as indicated in a), above.
c) The connection should exhibit ductile behavior throughout the loading history. A
specimen that exhibits a brittle limit state (e.g. complete flange fracture, column
cracking, through-thickness failures of the column flange, fractures in welds subject to

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-11

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

tension, shear tab cracking, etc. ) prior to reaching the required plastic rotation shall be
considered unsuccessful.
d) Throughout the loading history, until the required plastic rotation is achieved, the
connection should be judged capable of supporting dead and live loads required by the
building code. In those specimens where axial load is applied during the testing, the
specimen should be capable of supporting the applied load throughout the loading
history.
The evaluation of the test specimens performance should consistently reflect the relevant limit
states. For example, the maximum reported moment and the moment at the maximum plastic
rotation are unlikely to be the same. It would be inappropriate to evaluate the connection using
the maximum moment and the maximum plastic rotation in a way that implies that they occurred
simultaneously. In a similar fashion, the maximum demand on the connection should be
evaluated using the maximum moment, not the moment at the maximum plastic rotation unless the
behavior of the connection indicated that this limit state produced a more critical condition in the
connection.
Commentary: Many connection configurations will be able to withstand
plastic rotations on the order of 0.025 radians or more, but will have sustained
significant damage and degradation of stiffness and strength in achieving this
deformation. The intent of the acceptance criteria presented in this Section is to
assure that when connections experience the required plastic rotation demand,
they will still have significant remaining ability to participate in the structures
lateral load resisting system.
In evaluating the performance of specimens during testing, it is important to
distinguish between brittle behavior and ductile behavior. It is not uncommon for
small cracks to develop in specimens after relatively few cycles of inelastic
deformation. In some cases these initial cracks will rapidly lead to ultimate
failure of the specimen and in other cases they will remain stable, perhaps
growing slowly with repeated cycles, and may or may not participate in the
ultimate failure mode. The development of minor cracks in a specimen, prior to
achievement of the target plastic rotation demand should not be cause for
rejection of the design if the cracks remain stable during repeated cycling.
Similarly, the occurrence of brittle fracture at inelastic rotations significantly in
excess of the target plastic rotation should not be cause for rejection of the
design.
6.6.6.3 Calculations

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.6.6.3 at this time.

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-12

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

6.6.6.3.1 Material Strength Properties


In the absence of project specific material property information (for example, mill test
reports), the values listed in Table 6-3 Table 6.6.6.3.1-1 should be used to determine the strength
of steel shape and plate for purposes of calculation. The permissible strength for weld metal
should be taken in accordance with the building code.
Table 6-3Table 6.6.6.3-1 - Properties for Use in Connection Modification Design
Material
Fy (ksi)
Fy m (ksi)
Fu (ksi)
1
1
A36 Beam
36
Dual Certified Beam
Axial, Flexural
50
65 min.
Shape Group 1
552
Shape Group 2
582
Shape Group 3
572
Shape Group 4
542
Through-Thickness
Note 3
A572 Column/Beam
Axial, Flexural
50
65 min.
Shape Group 1
582
Shape Group 2
582
Shape Group 3
572
Shape Group 4
572
Shape Group 5
552
Through-Thickness
Note 3
A992 Structural Shape1
Use same values as for A572, Gr. 50
Notes:
1. See Commentary
2. Based on coupons from web. For thick flanges,
the Fy flange is approximately 0.95 Fy web.
3. See Commentary

Commentary: Table 6-3, Note 1 - The material properties for steel nominally
designated on the construction documents as ASTM A36 can be highly variable
and in recent years, steel meeting the specified requirements for both ASTM A36
and A572 has routinely been incorporated in projects calling for A36 steel.
Consequently, unless project specific data is available to indicate the actual
strength of material incorporated into the project, the properties for ASTM A572
steel should be assumed when ASTM A36 is indicated on the drawings, and the
assumption of a higher yield stress results in a more severe design condition.
The ASTM A992 specification was specifically developed by the steel industry
in response to expressed concerns of the design community with regard to the
permissible variation in chemistry and mechanical properties of structural steel
under the A36 and A572 specifications. This new specification, which was
adopted in late 1998, is very similar to ASTM A572, except that it includes
somewhat more restrictive limits on chemistry and on the permissible variation in
Post-earthquake Repair and Modification
6-13

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

yield and ultimate tensile stress, as well as the ratio of yield to tensile strength.
At this time, no statistical data base is available to estimate the actual
distribution of properties of material produced to this specification. However, the
properties are likely to be very similar, albeit with less statistical scatter, to those
of material recently produced under ASTM A572, Grade 50.
Table 6-3Table 6.6.6.3-1, Note 3 - In the period immediately following the
Northridge earthquake, the Seismology Committee of the Structural Engineers
Association of California and the International Conference of Building Officials
issued Interim Recommendation No. 2 (SEAOC-1995) to provide guidance on the
design of moment resisting steel frame connections. Interim Recommendation
No. 2 included a recommendation that the through-thickness stress demand on
column flanges be limited to a value of 40 ksi, applied to the projected area of
beam flange attachment. This value was selected somewhat arbitrarily, to ensure
that through-thickness yielding did not initiate in the column flanges of momentresisting connections and because it was consistent with the successful tests of
assemblies with cover plates conducted at the University of Texas at Austin
(Engelhardt and Sabol - 1994), rather than being the result of a demonstrated
through-thickness capacity of typical column flange material. Despite the
somewhat arbitrary nature of the selection of this value, its use often controls the
overall design of a connection assembly including the selection of cover plate
thickness, haunch depth, and similar parameters.
It would seem to be important to prevent the inelastic behavior of connections
from being controlled by through-thickness yielding of the column flanges. This
is because it would be necessary to develop very large local ductilities in the
column flange material in order to accommodate even modest plastic rotation
demands on the assembly. However, extensive investigation of the throughthickness behavior of column flanges in a T joint configuration reveals that
neither yielding, nor through-thickness failure are likely to occur in these
connections. Barsom and Korvink (1997) conducted a statistical survey of
available data on the tensile strength of rolled shape material in the throughthickness direction. These tests were generally conducted on small diameter
coupons, extracted from flange material of heavy shapes. The data indicates that
both the yield stress and ultimate tensile strength of this material in the throughthickness direction is comparable to that of the material in the direction parallel
to rolling. However, it does indicate somewhat greater scatter, with a number of
reported values where the through-thickness strength was higher, as well as lower
than that in the longitudinal direction. Review of this data indicates with high
confidence that for small diameter coupons, the yield and ultimate tensile values
of the material in a through-thickness direction will exceed 90% and 80%
respectively of the comparable values in the longitudinal direction. theThe causes
for through-thickness failures of column flanges (types C2, C4, and C5), observed

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-14

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

both in buildings damaged by the Northridge Earthquake and in some test


specimens, are not well understood. They are thought to be a function of the
metallurgy and purity of the steel; conditions of loading including the presence
of axial load and rate of loading application; conditions of tri-axial restraint;
conditions of local hardening and embrittlement within the welds heat affected
zone; stress concentrations induced by the presence of backing bars and defects
at the root of beam flange to column flange welds; and by the relationship of the
connection components as they may affect flange bending stresses and flange
curvature induced by panel zone yielding. Given the many complex factors which
can affect the through-thickness strength of the column flange, determination of a
reliable basis upon which to set permissible design stresses will require
significant research. Such research is currently being conducted under the SAC
phase II program.
While this statistical distribution suggests the likelihood that the throughthickness strength of column flanges could be less than the flexural strength of
attached beam elements, testing of more than 40 specimens at Lehigh University
indicates that this is not the case. In these tests, high strength plates,
representing beam flanges and having a yield strength of 100 ksi were welded to
the face of A572, Grade 50 and A913, Grade 50 column shapes, to simulate the
portion of a beam-column assembly at the beam flange. These specimens were
placed in a universal testing machine and loaded to produce high throughthickness tensile stresses in the column flange material. The tests simulated a
wide range of conditions, representing different weld metals as well and also to
include eccentrically applied loading. In 40 of 41 specimens tested, the assembly
strength was limited by tensile failure of the high strength beam flange plate as
opposed to the column flange material. In the one failure that occurred within
the column flange material, fracture initiated at the root of a low-toughness weld,
at root defects that were intentionally introduced to initiate such a fracture.
The behavior illustrated by this test series is consistent with mechanics of
materials theory. At the joint of the beam flange to column flange, the material is
very highly restrained. As a result of this, both the yield strength and ultimate
tensile strength of the material in this region is significantly elevated. Under
these conditions, failure is unlikely to occur unless a large flaw is present that can
lead to unstable crack propagation and brittle fracture. In light of this evidence,
Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2 deletes any requirement for evaluation of
through-thickness flange stress in columns.
Interim Recommendation No. 2 (SEAOC-1995) included a value of 40 ksi,
applied to the projected area of beam flange attachment, for the throughthickness strength to be used in calculations. This value was selected because it
was consistent with the successful tests of cover plated assemblies conducted at

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-15

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

the University of Texas at Austin (Engelhardt and Sabol - 1994). However,


because of the probable influence of all the factors noted above, this value can
only be considered to reflect the specific conditions of those tests and specimens.
Although reduced stresses at the column face produced acceptable results in
the University of Texas tests, the key to that success was more likely the result of
forcing the plastic hinge away from the column than reduction of the throughthickness stress by the cover plates. Reduction of through-thickness column
flange stress to ever lower levels by the use of thicker cover plates is not
recommended, since such cover plates will result in ever higher forces on the face
of the column flange as well as larger weldments with potential for enlarged heat
affected zones, higher residual stresses and conditions of restraint.
Since the initial publication of the Interim Guidelines, a significant number of
tests have been performed on reduced beam section connections (See section
7.5.3), most of which employed beam flanges which were welded directly to the
column flanges using improved welding techniques, but without reinforcement
plates. No through-thickness failures occurred in these tests despite the fact that
calculated through-thickness stresses at the root of the beam flange to column
flange joint ranged as high as 58 ksi. The successful performance of these welded
joints is most probably due to the shifting of the yield area of the assembly away
from the column flange and into the beam span. Based on the indications of the
above described tests, and noting the undesirability of over reinforcing
connections, it is now suggested that a maximum through-thickness stress of
0.9Fyc may be appropriate for use with connections that shift the hinging away
from the column face. Notwithstanding this recommendation, engineers are still
cautioned to carefully consider the through-thickness issue when these other
previously listed conditions which are thought to be involved in this type of
failure are prevalent.
Notwithstanding all of the above, successful tests using cover plates and other
measures of moving hinges (and coincidentally reducing through-thickness stress)
continue to be performed. In the interim, structural engineers choosing to utilize
connections relying on through-thickness strength should recognize that despite
the successful testing, connections relying on through-thickness strength can not
be considered to be fully reliable until the influence of the other parameters
discussed above can be fully understood. A high amount of structural
redundancy is recommended for frames employing connections which rely on
through-thickness strength of the column flange.
6.6.6.3.2 Determine Plastic Hinge Location
The desired location for the formation of plastic hinges should be determined as a basic
parameter for the calculations. For beams with gravity loads representing a small portion of the
Post-earthquake Repair and Modification
6-16

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

total flexural demand, the location of the plastic hinge may be assumed to occur as indicated in
Table 6.6.6.3.2-1 and illustrated in Figure 6.6.6.3.2-1, at a distance equal to 1/3 of the beam depth
from the edge of the reinforced connection (or start of the weakened beam section), unless
specific test data for the connection indicates that a different value is appropriate. Refer to Figure
6-13.
Table 6.6.6.3.2-1 Plastic Hinge Location - Strengthened Connections
Connection Type

Reference Section

Hinge Location sh

Sect. 7.9.1

d/4 beyond end of cover plates

Haunches

Sect. 7.9.3, 7.9.4

d/3 beyond toe of haunch

Vertical Ribs

Sect. 7.9.2

d/3 beyond toe of ribs

Plastic
hinge
s h=

Edge of reinforced
connection

d/4

Connection
reinforcement

sh =
d/3

Edge of reinforced
connection

Beam depth - d

Cover plates

Figure 6-13 Figure 6.6.6.3.2-1 - Location of Plastic Hinge


Commentary: The suggested locations for the plastic hinge, at a distance d/3
away from the end of the reinforced section indicated in Table 6.6.6.3.2-1 and
Figure 6.6.6.3.2-1 are is based on the observed behavior of test specimens, with
no significant gravity load present. If significant gravity load is present, this can
shift the locations of the plastic hinges, and in the extreme case, even change the
form of the collapse mechanism. If flexural demand on the girder due to gravity
load is less than about 30% of the girder plastic capacity, this effect can safely be
neglected, and the plastic hinge locations taken as indicated. If gravity demands
significantly exceed this level then plastic analysis of the girder should be

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-17

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

performed to determine the appropriate hinge locations. Note that in zones of


high seismicity (UBC Zones 3 and 4, and NEHRP Map Areas 6 and 7) gravity
loading on the girders of earthquake resisting frames typically has a very small
effect.
6.6.6.3.3 Determine Probable Plastic Moment at Hinges
The probable value of the plastic moment, Mpr, at the location of the plastic hinges should be
determined from the equation:
M pr = 0.95aZ b Fya
M pr = 1.1Z b Fya
where:

(6-1)
(6.6.6.3.3-1)

is a coefficient that accounts for the effects of strain hardening and modeling
uncertainty, taken as:
1.1

when qualification testing is performed or calculations are


correlated with previous qualification testing

1.3

when design is based on calculations, alone.

Fya

is the actual yield stress of the material, as identified from mill test reports. Where
mill test data for the project is not traceable to specific framing elements, the
average of mill test data for the project for the given shape may be used. When
mill test data for the project is not available, the value of Fym, from
table 6-3Table 6.6.6.3-1 may be used.

Zb

is the plastic modulus of the section

Commentary: The 1.10.95 factor, in equation 6.6.6.3.3-1, is used to adjust


account for two effects. First, it is intended to account for the typical difference
between the yield stress in the beam web, where coupons for mill certification
tests are normally extracted, andto the value in the beam flange. Beam flanges,
being comprised of thicker material, typically have somewhat lower yield
strengths than do beam web material. Second, it is intended toThe factor of 1.1
recommended to account for strain hardening, or other sources of strength above
yield, and agrees fairly well with available test results. It should be noted that the
1.1 factor could underestimate the over-strength where significant flange
buckling does not act as the gradual limit on the connection. Nevertheless, the
1.1 factor seems a reasonable expectation of over-strength considering the
complexities involved.

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-18

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Connection designs that result in excessive strength in the girder connection


relative to the column or excessive demands on the column panel zone are not
expected to produce superior performance. There is a careful balance that must
be maintained between developing connections that provide for an appropriate
allowance for girder overstrength and those that arbitrarily increase connection
demand in the quest for a conservative connection design. The factors
suggested above were chosen in an attempt to achieve this balance, and arbitrary
increases in these values are not recommended.
When the Interim Guidelines were first published, Eq. 6.6.6.3.3-1 included a
coefficient, , intended to account both for the effects of strain hardening and
also for modeling uncertainty when connection designs were based on
calculations as opposed to a specific program of qualification testing. The intent
of this modeling uncertainty factor was twofold: to provide additional
conservatism in the design when specific test data for a representative connection
was not available, and also as an inducement to encourage projects to undertake
connection qualification testing programs. After the Interim Guidelines had been
in use for some time, it became apparent that this approach was not an effective
inducement for projects to perform qualification testing, and also that the use of
an overly large value for the coefficient often resulted in excessively large
connection reinforcing elements (cover plates, e.g.) and other design features that
did not appear conducive to good connection behavior. Consequently, it was
decided to remove this modeling uncertainty factor from the calculation of the
probable strength of an assembly.
6.6.6.3.4 Determine Beam Shear
The shear in the beam at the location of the plastic hinge should be determined. A free body
diagram of that portion of the beam located between plastic hinges is a useful tool for obtaining
the shear at each plastic hinge. Figure 6-14Figure 6.6.3.4-1 provides an example of such a
calculation.

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-19

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01
L/2

Plastic
hinge

Note: if 2Mpr /Lis less


then the gravity shear in
the free body (in this
case P/2 + wL/2),
then the plastic hinge
location will shift and L
must be adjusted,
accordingly

L
sh
L

VA

w
Mpr

Vp

Mpr

taking the sum of moments about A = 0


Vp ={Mpr + Mpr + P L/2 + wL2/2}/L

Figure 6-14 Figure 6.6.3.4-1 - Sample Calculation of Shear at Plastic Hinge


6.6.6.3.5 Determine Strength Demands on Connection
In order to complete the design of the connection, including sizing the various plates and
joining welds which make up the connection, it is necessary to determine the shear and flexural
strength demands at each critical section. These demands may be calculated by taking a free body
of that portion of the connection assembly located between the critical section and the plastic
hinge. Figure 6-15 Figure 6.6.3.5-1 demonstrates this procedure for two critical sections, for the
beam shown in Figure 6-14Figure 6.6.3.4-1.

Plastic
hinge

Plastic
hinge

Mpr

Mf

Vp

dc

Vp
x+dc/2

Mf=Mpr +Vpx
Critical Section at Column Face

Mpr

Mc

Mc=Mpr +Vp(x+dc/2)
Critical Section at Column Centerline

Figure 6-15 Figure 6.6.3.5-1 - Calculation of Demands at Critical Sections


Post-earthquake Repair and Modification
6-20

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Commentary: Each unique connection configuration may have different critical


sections. The vertical plane that passes through the joint between the beam
flanges and column (if such joining occurs) will typically define at least one such
critical section, used for designing the joint of the beam flanges to the column, as
well as evaluating shear demands on the column panel zone. A second critical
section occurs at the center line of the column. Moments calculated at this point
are used to check weak beam - strong column conditions. Other critical sections
should be selected as appropriate to the connection configuration.
6.6.6.3.6 Check for Strong Column - Weak Beam Condition
Buildings which form sidesway mechanisms through the formation of plastic hinges in the
beams can dissipate more energy than buildings that develop mechanisms consisting primarily of
plastic hinges in the columns. Therefore, if an existing buildings original design was such that
hinging would occur in the beams rather than the columns, care should be taken not to alter this
behavior with the addition of connection reinforcement. To determine if the desired strong
column - weak beam condition exists, the connection assembly should be checked to determine if
the following equation is satisfied:

Z
where:

(Fyc f a )

> 1.0

(6.6.6.3.6-12)

Zc is the plastic modulus of the column section above and below the connection
Fyc is the minimum specified yield stress for the column above and below
fa is the axial load in the column above and below
Mc is the moment calculated at the center of the column in accordance with
Section 6.6.6.3.5 sum of the column moments at the top and bottom of the
panel zone, respectively, resulting from the development of the probable beam
plastic moments, Mpr, within each beam in the connection.
Commentary: Equation 6.6.6.3.6-12 is based on the building code provisions for
strong column - weak beam design. The building code provisions for evaluating
strong column - weak beam conditions presume that the flexural stiffness of the
columns above and below the beam are approximately equal, that the beams will
yield at the face of the column, and that the depth of the columns and beams are
small relative to their respective span lengths. This permits the code to use a
relatively simple equation to evaluate strong column - weak beam conditions in
which the sum of the flexural capacities of columns at a connection are compared
to the sums of the flexural capacities in the beams. The first publication of the
Interim Guidelines took this same approach, except that the definition of Mc was
modified to explicitly recognize that because flexural hinging of the beams would
occur at a location removed from the face of the column, the moments delivered
by the beams to the connection would be larger than the plastic moment strength
of the beam. In this equation, Mc was taken as the sum of the moments at the
Post-earthquake Repair and Modification
6-21

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

center of the column, calculated in accordance with the procedures of Sect.


6.6.3.5.
This simplified approach is not always appropriate. If non-symmetrical
connection configurations are used, such as a haunch on only the bottom side of
the beam, this can result in an uneven distribution of stiffness between the two
column segments, and premature yielding of the column, either above, or below,
the beam-column connection. Also, it was determined that for connection
configurations in which the panel zone depth represents a significant fraction of
the total column height, such as can occur in some haunched and side-plated
connections, the definition of Mc contained in the initial printing of the
Guidelines could lead to excessive conservatism in determining whether or not a
strong column - weak beam condition exists in a structure. Consequently, Interim
Guidelines Advisory No. 1 adopted the current definition of Mc for use in this
evaluation. This definition requires that the moments in the column, at the top
and bottom of the panel zone be determined for the condition when a plastic
hinge has formed at all beams in the connection. Figure 6.6.6.3.6-1 illustrates a
method for determining this quantity. In such cases, When evaluation indicates
that a strong column - weak beam condition does not exist, a plastic analysis
should be considered to determine if an undesirable story mechanism is likely to
form in the building.
assumed point of zero moment

ht

Vc

Vp

Vc =

[M

M ct = Vc ht

Mct

dp

Mpr
Vf

pr

+ V p ( L L ' ) / 2) V f hb + d p / 2

hb + d p + ht

M cb = Vc + V f hb

M c = M ct + M cb

Mpr
Mcb

hb

Vp

Vc+Vf
(L-L)/2

Note:
The quantities Mpr, Vp, L, and Lare
as previously identified.
Vf is the incremental shear distributed
to the column at the floor level.
Other quantities are as shown.

Figure 6.6.6.3.6-1 Calculation of Column Moment for Strong Column Evaluation

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-22

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

6.6.6.3.7 Check Column Panel Zone


The adequacy of the shear strength of the column panel zone should be checked. For this
purpose, the term 0.8Mf should be substituted for the term 0.8Ms in UBC-94 Section
2211.7.2.1 {0.9bMp in NEHRP-91 Section 10.10.3.1} repeated below for convenience of
reference. Mf is the calculated moment at the face of the column, when the beam mechanism
forms, calculated as indicated in Section 6.6.6.3.5, above. In addition, it is recommended not to
use the alternative design criteria indicated in UBC-94 Section 2211.7.2.1 (NEHRP-91 Sect.
10.10.3.1), permitting panel zone shear strength to be proportioned for the shear induced by
bending moments from gravity loads plus 1.85 times the prescribed seismic forces. For
convenience of reference, UBC-94 Section 2211.7.2.1 is reproduced below, edited, to indicate the
recommended application:
2211.7.2.1 Strength (edited). The panel zone of the joint shall be capable of resisting the
shear induced by beam bending moments due to gravity loads plus 1.85 times the
prescribed seismic forces, but the shear strength need not exceed that required to develop
0.8Ms 0.8Mf of the girders framing into the column flanges at the joint. The joint panel
zone shear strength may be obtained from the following formula:

3b c t c f 2
V = 0.55Fy d c t 1 +

dbdct

(11-1)

where: bc = width of column flange


db = the depth of the beam (including haunches or cover plates)
dc = the depth of the column
t = the total thickness of the panel zone including doubler plates
tcf = the thickness of the column flange

Commentary: The effect of panel zone shear yielding on connection behavior is


not well understood. In the past, panel zone shear yielding has been viewed as a
benign mechanism that permits overall frame ductility demands to be
accommodated while minimizing the extent of inelastic behavior required of the
beam and beam flange to column flange joint. The criteria permitting panel zone
shear strength to be proportioned for the shears resulting from moments due to
gravity loads plus 1.85 times the design seismic forces was adopted by the code
specifically to encourage designs with weak panel zones. However, during recent
testing of large scale connection assemblies with weak panel zones, it has been
noted that in order to accommodate the large shear deformations that occur in
the panel zone, extreme kinking deformations were induced into the column
flanges at the beam flange to column flange welded joint. While this did not lead
to premature joint failure in all cases, it is believed to have contributed to such
premature failures in at least some of the specimens. The recommendations of
this section are intended to result in stronger panel zones than previously
Post-earthquake Repair and Modification
6-23

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

permitted by the code, thereby avoiding potential failures due to this kinking
action on the column flanges.
6.6.7

Modification Details

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.6.7 at this time.
6.6.7.1 Haunch at Bottom Flange

Figure 6-166.6.7.1-1 illustrates the basic configuration for a connection modification


consisting of the addition of a welded haunch at the bottom beam flange. Several tests of such a
modification were conducted by Uang under the SAC phase I project (Uang, 1995). Following
that work, additional research on the feasibility of improving connection performance with welded
haunches was conducted under a project that was jointly sponsored by NIST and AISC (NIST,
1998). As indicated in the report of that work, the haunched modification improves connection
performance by altering the basic behavior of the connection. In essence, the haunch creates a
prop type support, beneath the beam bottom flange. This both reduces the effective flexural
stresses in the beam at the face of the support, and also greatly reduces the shear that must be
transmitted to the column through the beam. Laboratory tests indicate this modification can be
effective when the existing low-toughness welds between the beam bottom flange and column are
left in place, however, more reliable performance is obtained when the top welds are modified. A
complete procedure for the design of this modification may be found in NIST, 1998. two
alternative configurations of this detail that have been tested (Uang - 1995). The basic concept is
to reinforce the connection with the provision of a triangular haunch at the bottom flange. The
intended behavior of both configurations is to shift the plastic hinge from the face of the column
and to reduce the demand on the CJP weld by increasing the effective depth of the section. In one
test, shown on the left of Figure 6-16, the joint between the girder bottom flange and column was
cut free, to simulate a condition which might occur if the bottom joint had been damaged, but not
repaired. In a second tested configuration, the bottom flange joint was repaired and the top flange
was replaced with a locally thickened plate, similar to the detail shown in Figure 6-9.
Design Issues: This approach developed acceptable levels of plastic rotation. Acceptable levels
of connection strength were also maintained during large inelastic deformations of the plastic
hinge. This approach does not require that the top flange be modified, or slab disturbed, unless
other conditions require repair of the top flange, as in the detail on the left of Figure 6-16. The
bottom flange is generally far more accessible than the top flange because a slab does not have
to be removed. In addition, the haunch can be installed at perimeter frames without removal of
the exterior building cladding. There did not appear to be any appreciable degradation in
performance when the bottom beam flange was not re-welded to the face of the column.
Eliminating this additional welding should help reduce the cost of the repair.
Performance is dependent on properly executed complete joint penetration welds at the column
face and at the attachment of the haunch to the girder bottom flange. The joint can be subject to
through-thickness flaws in the column flange; however, this connection may not be as sensitive
Post-earthquake Repair and Modification
6-24

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

to this potential problem because of the significant increase in the effective depth of the beam
section which can be achieved. Welding of the bottom haunch requires overhead welding. The
skewed groove welds of the haunch flanges to the girder and column flanges may be difficult to
execute.
Experimental Results: This approach developed excellent levels of plastic rotation. In Specimen
1, the bottom flange CJP weld was damaged in a prior test but was not repaired: only the bottom
haunch was added. During the test of specimen 1, a slowly growing crack developed at the
underside of the top flange-web intersection, perhaps exacerbated by significant local buckling
of the top flange. Some of the buckling may be attributed to lateral torsional buckling that
occurred because the bottom flange was not restrained by a CJP weld. A significant portion of
the flexural strength was lost during the cycles of large plastic rotation. In the second specimen,
the bottom girder flange weld was intact during the haunch testing, and its performance was
significantly improved compared with the first specimen. The test was stopped when significant
local buckling led to a slowly growing crack at the beam flange and web intersection. At this
time, it appears that repairing damaged bottom flange welds in this configuration can produce
better performance. Acceptable levels of flexural strength were maintained during large
inelastic deformations of the plastic hinge for both specimens. As reported in NIST, 1998, a total
of 9 beam-column connection tests incorporating bottom haunch modifications of preNorthridge connections have been tested in the laboratory, including two dynamic tests. Most of
the connection assemblies tested resisted in excess of 0.02 radians of imposed plastic rotation.
However, for those specimens in which the existing low-toughness weld was left in place at the
beam top flange, without modification, connection behavior was generally limited by fractures
generating at these welds at relatively low plastic rotations. It may be expected that enhanced
performance can be obtained by replacing or reinforcing these welds as part of the modification.

Figure 6-166.6.7.1-1 - Bottom Haunch Connection Modification

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-25

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Quantitative Results: No. of specimens tested: 29


Girder Size: W30 x 99
Column Size: W14 x 176
Plastic Rotation achievedSpecimen 1 UCSD-1R: 0.04 radian (w/o bottom flange weld)
Specimen 2 UCSD-3R:0.05 radian (with bottom flange weld)
Specimen UCSD-4R: 0.014 radian (dynamic- limited by test setup)
Speciemn UCSD-5R: 0.015 radian (dynamic- limited by test setup)
Girder Size: W36x150
Column Size: W14x257
Plastic Rotation achieved Specimen UCB-RN2: 0.014 radian (no modification of top weld)
Specimen UTA-1R: 0.019 radian (partial modification of top weld)
Specimen UTA-1RB: 0.028 radian (modified top weld)
Girder Size: W36x150
Column Size: W14x455
Plastic Rotation achievedSpecment UTA-NSF4: 0.015 radian (no modification of top weld)
Girder Size: W18x86
Column Size: W24x279
Plastic Rotation achievedSpecimen SFCCC-8: 0.035 radian (cover plated top flange)
6.6.7.2 Top and Bottom Haunch

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.6.7.2 at this time.
6.6.7.3 Cover Plate Sections

Figure 6.6.7.3-1 Figure 6-18 illustrates the basic configurations of cover plate connections.
The assumption behind the cover plate is that it reduces the applied stress demand on the weld at
the column flange and shifts the plastic hinge away from the column face. Only the connection
with cover plates on the top of the top flange has been tested. There are no quantitative results
for cover plates on the bottom side of the top flange, such as might be used in repair. It is likely
that thicker plates would be required where the plates are installed on the underside of the top
flange. The implications of this deviation from the tested configuration should be considered.

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-26

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Near and Far Sides

d/2, typical
Top &Bottom

Top &Bottom

Figure 6-18 Figure 6.6.7.3-1 - Cover Plate Connection Modification


Design Issues: Following the Northridge earthquake, the University of Texas at Austin
conducted a program of research, under private funding, to develop a modified connection
configuration for a specific project. Following a series of unsuccessful tests on various types of
connections,Approximately eight connections similar to that shown in Figure 6-18Figure 6.7.3-1
have been were tested (Engelhardt & Sabol - 1994), and have demonstrated the ability to
achieve acceptable levels of plastic rotation provided that the beam flange to column flange
welding wasis correctly executed and through-thickness problems in the column flange wereare
avoided. Due to the significant publicity that followed these successful tests, as well as the
economy of these connections relative to some other alternatives, cover plated connections
quickly became the predominant configuration used in the design of new buildings. As a result,
a number of qualification tests have now been performed on different variations of cover plated
connections, covering a wide range of member sizes ranging from W16 to W36 beams, as part of
the design process for individual building projects. The results of these tests have been
somewhat mixed, with a significant number of failures reported. Although this connection type
appears to be significantly more reliable than the typical pre-Northridge connection, it should be
expected that some connections in buildings incorporating this detail may still be subjected to
earthquake initiated fracture damage. Designers should consider using alternative connection
types, unless highly redundant framing systems are employed.
The option with the top flange cover plate located on top of the flange can be used on
perimeter frames where access to the outer side of the beam is restricted by existing building
cladding. The option with the cover plate for the top flange located beneath the flange can be
installed without requiring modification of the slab. In the figures shown, the bottom cover plate
is rectangular, and sized slightly wider than the beam flange to allow downhand fillet welding of
the joint between the two plates. Some configurations using triangular plates at the bottom
flange, similar to the top flange have also been tested.

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-27

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Designers using this detail are cautioned to be mindful of not making cover plates so thick
that excessively large welds of the beam flange combination to column flange result. As the
cover plates increase in size, the weld size must also increase. Larger welds invariably result in
greater shrinkage stresses and increased potential for cracking prior to actual loading. In
addition, larger welds will lead to larger heat affected zones in the column flange, a potentially
brittle area.
Performance is dependent on properly executed girder flange welds. The joint can be subject
to through-thickness failures in the column flange. Access to the top of the top flange requires
demolition of the existing slab. Access to the bottom of the top flange requires overhead welding
and may be problematic for perimeter frames. Costs are greater than those associated with
approaches that concentrate modifications on the bottom flange
Experimental Results: Six of eight connections tested by the University of Texas at Austin were
able to achieve plastic rotations of at least 0.025 radians, or better. These tests were performed
using heavy column sections which forced nearly all of the plastic deformation into the beam
plastic hinge; very little column panel zone deformation occurred. Strength loss at the extreme
levels of plastic rotation did not reduce the flexural capacity to less than the plastic moment
capacity of the section based on minimum specified yield strength. One specimen achieved
plastic rotations of 0.015 radians when a brittle fracture of the CJP weld (type W2 failure)
occurred. This may partially be the result of a weld that was not executed in conformance with
the specified welding procedure specification. The second unsuccessful test specimen achieved
plastic rotations of 0.005 radian when a section of the column flange pulled out (type C2
failure). The successful tests were terminated either when twisting of the specimen threatened to
damage the test setup or the maximum stroke of the loading ram was achieved. Since the
completion of that testing, a number of additional tests have been performed. Data for 18 tests,
including those performed by Engelhardt and referenced above, are in the public domain. At
least 12 other tests have been performed on behalf of private parties, however, the data from
these tests are not available. Some of those tests exhibited premature fractures.
Quantitative Results: No. of specimens tested: 18
Girder Size: W21 x 68 to W36 x 150
Column Size: W12 x 106 to W14 x 455, and 426
Plastic Rotation achieved6 13 Specimens : >.025 radian to 0.05 radian
13 Specimens: 0.005 < p < 0.0250.015 radian (W2 failure)
12 Specimens: 0.005 radian (C2 failure)
6.6.7.4 Upstanding Ribs

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.6.7.4 at this time.

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-28

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

6.6.7.5 Side-Plate Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 6.6.7.5 at this time.
6.6.7.6 Bolted Brackets

Heavy bolted brackets, incorporating high strength bolts, may be added to existing welded
connections to provide an alternative load path for transfer of stress between the beams and
columns. To be compatible with existing welded connections, the brackets must have sufficient
strength and rigidity to transfer beam stresses with negligible deformation. Pre-tensioning of the
bolts or threaded rods attaching the brackets to the column flanges and use of welds or slipcritical connections between the brackets and beam flanges can help to minimize deformation
under load. Reinforcement of the column flanges may be required to prevent local yielding and
excessive deformation of these elements. Two alternative configurations, which may be used
either to repair an existing damaged, welded connection or to reinforce an existing undamaged
connection are illustrated in Figure 6.6.7.6-1. The developer of these connections offers the
brackets in the form of proprietary steel castings. Several tests of these alternative connections
have been performed on specimens with beams ranging in size from W16 to W36 sections and
with large plastic rotations successfully achieved. Under a project jointly funded by NIST and
AISC, the use of a single bracket at the bottom flange of the beam was investigated. It was
determined that significant improvement in connection behavior could be obtained by placing a
bracket at the bottom beam flange and by replacing existing low-toughness welds at the top flange
with tougher material. NIST, 1998 provides a recommended design procedure for such
connection modifications.
Design Issues: The concept of bolted bracket connections is similar to that of the riveted wind
connections commonly installed in steel frame buildings in the early twentieth century. The
primary difference is that the riveted wind connections were typically limited in strength either
by flexural yielding of outstanding flanges of the brackets, or shear and tension on the rivets,
rather than by flexural hinging of the connected framing. Since the old-style wind connections
could not typically develop the flexural strength of the girders and also could be quite flexible,
they would be classified either as partial strength or partially restrained connections. Following
the Northridge earthquake, the concept of designing such connections with high strength bolts
and heavy plates, to behave as fully restrained connections, was developed and tested by a
private party who has applied for patents on the concept of using steel castings for this purpose.
Bolted bracket connections can be installed in an existing building without field welding. Since
this reduces the risk of construction-induced fire, brackets may be installed with somewhat less
demolition of existing architectural features than with welded connections. In addition, the
quality assurance issues related to field welding are eliminated. However, the fabrication of the
brackets themselves does require quality assurance. Quality assurance is also required for
operations related to the drilling of bolt holes for installation of bolts, surface preparation of
faying surfaces and for installation and tensioning of the bolts themselves.

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-29

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

Steel
casting

SAC 99-01
High tensile
threaded rod

Pipe
Plate
Bolts

Bolts

WARNING: The information presented in this figure is PROPRIETARY. US and Foreign


Patents have been applied for. Use of this information is strictly prohibited except as authorized
in writing by the developer. Violators shall be prosecuted in accordance with US and Foreign
Patent Intellectual Property Laws.

Figure 6.6.7.6-1 Bolted Bracket Modification


Bolted brackets can be used to repair damaged connections. If damage is limited to the beam
flange to column flange welds, the damaged welds should be dressed out by grinding. Any
existing fractures in base metal should be repaired as indicated in Section 6.3, in order to
restore the strength of the damaged members and also to prevent growth of the fractures under
applied stress. Since repairs to base metal typically require cutting and welding, this reduces
somewhat the advantages cited above, with regard to avoidance of field welding.
Experimental Results: A series of tests on several different configurations of proprietary heavy
bolted bracket connections have been performed at Lehigh University (Ksai & Bleiman, 1996) to
qualify these connections for use in repair and modification applications. To test repair
applications, brackets were placed only on the bottom beam flange to simulate installations on a
connection where the bottom flange weld in the original connection had failed. In these
specimens, bottom flange welds were not installed, to approximate the condition of a fully
fractured weld. The top flange welds of these specimens were made with electrodes rated for
notch toughness, to preclude premature failure of the specimens at the top flange. For
specimens in which brackets were placed at both the top and bottom beam flanges, both welds
were omitted. Acceptable plastic rotations were achieved for each of the specimens tested. No
testing has yet been performed to determine the effectiveness of bolted brackets when applied to
an existing undamaged connection with full penetration beam flange to column flange welds with
low toughness or significant defects or discontinuities.
Quantitative Results: No. of specimens tested: 8
Girder Size: W16x40 and W36x150
Column Size: W12x65 and W14x425
Plastic Rotation achieved - 0.05 radians - 0.07 radians

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-30

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

This page intentionally left blank

Post-earthquake Repair and Modification


6-31

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

7. NEW CONSTRUCTION
7.1 Scope
This Chapter presents interim design guidelines for new welded steel moment frames
(WSMFs) intended to resist seismic demands through inelastic behavior. The criteria apply to all
SMRF structures designed for earthquake resistance and those IMRF and OMRF structures
located in Uniform Building Code (UBC) Seismic Zones 3 and 4 {National Earthquake Hazards
Reduction Program (NEHRP) Map Areas 6 and 7} or assigned to 1997 NEHRP Seismic Design
Categories D, E, or F. Light, single-story buildings, the design of which is governed by wind,
need not consider these Interim Guidelines. Frames with bolted connections, either fully
restrained (type FR) or partially restrained (type PR), are beyond the scope of this document.
However, the acceptance criteria for connections may be applied to type FR bolted connections as
well.
Commentary: Observation of damage experienced by WSMF buildings in the
Northridge Earthquake and subsequent laboratory testing of large scale beamcolumn assemblies has demonstrated that the standard details for WSMF
connections commonly used in the past are not capable of providing reliable
service in the post-elastic range. Therefore, structures which are expected to
experience significant post-elastic demands from design earthquakes, or for
which highly reliable seismic performance is desired, should be designed using
the Interim Guidelines presented herein.
In order to determine if a structure will experience significant inelastic
behavior in a design earthquake, it is necessary to perform strength checks of the
frame components for the combination of dead and live loads expected to be
present, together with the full earthquake load. Except for structures with special
performance goals, or structures located within the near field (within 10
kilometers) of known active earthquake faults, the full earthquake load may be
taken as the minimum design earthquake load specified in the building code, but
calculated using a lateral force reduction coefficient (Rw or R) of unity. If all
components of the structure and its connections have adequate strength to resist
these loads, or nearly so, then the structure may be considered to be able to resist
the design earthquake, elastically.
Design of frames to remain elastic under unreduced (Rw {R} taken as unity)
earthquake forces may not be an overly oppressive requirement, particularly in
more moderate seismic zones. Most frame designs are currently controlled by
drift considerations and have substantially more strength than the minimum
specified for design by the building code. As part of the SAC Phase 1 research, a
number of modern frame buildings designed with large lateral force reduction
coefficients (Rw = 12, {R = 8}) were evaluated for unreduced forces calculated
New Construction
7-1

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

using the standard building code spectra. It was determined that despite the
nominally large lateral force reduction coefficients used in the original design,
the maximum computed demands from the dynamic analyses were only on the
order of 2 to 3 times those which would cause yielding of the real structures
(Krawinkler, et. al. - 1995; Uang, et. al. - 1995; Engelhardt, et. al. - 1995, Hart,
et. al. - 1995; Kariotis and Eimani - 1995). Therefore, it is not unreasonable to
expect that OMRF structures (nominally designed with a lateral force reduction
coefficient Rw = 6 {R = 4.5}) could resist the design earthquakes with near elastic
behavior. Regardless of these considerations, better seismic performance can be
expected by designing structures with greater ductility rather than less, and
engineers are not encouraged to design structures for elastic behavior using
brittle or unreliable details..
For structures designed to meet special performance goals, and buildings
located within the near field of major active faults, full earthquake loads
calculated in accordance with the above procedure may not be adequate. For
such structures, the full earthquake load should be determined using a site
specific ground motion characterization and a suitable analysis procedure.
Recent research (Heaton, et. al. - 1995) suggests that the elastic response
spectrum technique, typically used for determining seismic forces for structural
design, may not provide an adequate indication of the true earthquake demands
produced by the large impulsive ground motions common in the near field of
large earthquake events. Further, this research indicates that frame structures,
subjected to such impulsive ground motions can experience very large drifts, and
potential collapse. In an attempt to address this, both the 1997 edition of the
Uniform Building Code and the 1997 edition of the NEHRP Provisions specify
design ground motions for structures located close to major active faults that are
substantially more severe than those contained in earlier codes. While the more
severe ground motion criteria contained in these newer provisions are probably
adequate for the design of most structures, analytical studies conducted by SAC
confirm that even structures designed to these criteria can experience very large
drift demands, and potentially collapse, if the dynamic characteristics of the
impulsive loading and those of the structure are matched. Direct nonlinear time
history analysis, using an appropriate ground motion representation would be
one method of more accurately determining the demands on structures located in
the near field. Additional research on these effects is required.
As an alternative to use of the criteria contained in these Interim Guidelines,
OMRF structures in zones of high seismicity (UBC seismic zones 3 and 4 and
NEHRP map areas 6 and 7) and OMRF structures assigned to 1997 NEHRP
Seismic Design Categories D, E or F, may be designed for the connections to
remain elastic (Rw or R taken as 1.0) while the beams and columns are designed
using the standard lateral force reduction coefficients specified by the building

New Construction
7-2

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

code. Although this is an acceptable approach, it may result in much larger


connections than would be obtained by following these Interim Guidelines.
The use of partially restrained connections may be an attractive and
economical alternative to the design of frames with fully restrained connections.
However, the design of frames with partially restrained connections is beyond the
scope of this document. The AISC is currently working on development of
practical design guidelines for frames with partially restrained connections.
7.2 General - Welded Steel Frame Design Criteria
7.2.1 Criteria

Welded Steel Moment Frame (WSMF) systems should, as a minimum, be designed for the
provisions of the prevailing building code and these Interim Guidelines. Special MomentResisting Frames (SMRF)s and Ordinary Moment-Resisting Frames (OMRF)s with FR
connections, should additionally be designed in accordance with either the 1997 edition of the
AISC Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (AISC, 1997) or the emergency code
change to the 1994 UBC {NEHRP-1994}, restated as follows:
2211.7.1.1. Required Strength {NEHRP-1994 Section 5.2, revision to Ref. 8.2c of Ref. 5.3}
The girder-to-column connections shall be adequate to develop the lesser of the following:
1.

The strength of the girder in flexure.

2.

The moment corresponding to development of the panel zone shear strength as determined by Formula (11-1).

2211.7.1.3-2 Connection Strength


Connection configurations utilizing welds and high strength bolts shall demonstrate, by approved cyclic test results or
calculation, the ability to sustain inelastic rotations and to develop the strength criteria in Section 2211.7.1.1
considering the effects of steel overstrength and strain hardening.

Commentary: At the time the Interim Guidelines were first published, they were
based on the 1994 edition of the Uniform Building Code and the 1994 edition of
the NEHRP Provisions. In the time since that initial publication, more recent
editions of both documents have been published, and codes based on these
documents have been adopted by some jurisdictions. In addition, the American
Institute of Steel Construction has adopted a major revision to its Seismic
Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (AISC Seismic Provisions), largely
incorporating, with some modification, the recommendations contained in the
Interim Guidelines. This updated edition of the AISC Seismic Provisions has
been incorporated by reference into the 1997 edition of the NEHRP Provisions
and has also been adopted by some jurisdictions as an amendment to the model
building codes. SMRF and OMRF systems that are designed to comply with the
requirements of the 1997 AISC Seismic Provisions may be deemed to comply with
the intent of these Interim Guidelines. Where reference is made herein to the
New Construction
7-3

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

requirements of the 1994 Uniform Building Code or 1994 NERHP Provisions, the
parallel provisions of the 1997 editions may be used instead, and should be used
in those jurisdictions that have adopted codes based on these updated standards.
The 1997 edition NEHRP Provisions and AISC Seismic Provisions introduce
a new structural system termed an Intermediate Moment Resisting Frame (IMRF).
Provisions for IMRF structures include somewhat more restrictive detailing and
design requirements than those for OMRF structures, and less than those for
SMRF structures. The intent was to provide a system that would be more
economical than SMRF structures yet have better inelastic response capability
than OMRF structures. The SAC project is currently conducting research to
determine if the provisions for the new IMRF system are adequate, but has not
developed a position on this at this time.
At this time, no recommendations are made to change the minimum lateral
forces, drift limitations or strength calculations which determine member sizing
and overall performance of moment frame systems, except as recommended in
Sections 7.2.2, 7.2.3 and 7.2.4. The design of joints and connections is discussed
in Section 7.3. The UBC permits OMRF structures with FR connections,
designed for 3/8Rw times the earthquake forces otherwise required, to be
designed without conforming to Section 2211.7.1. However, this is not
recommended.
7.2.2 Strength and Stiffness
7.2.2.1 Strength

When these Interim Guidelines require determination of the strength of a framing element or
component, this shall be calculated in accordance with the criteria contained in UBC-94, Section
2211.4.2 {NEHRP-91 Section 10.2, except that the factor should be taken as 1.0}, restated as
follows:
2211.4.1 Member strength. Where this section requires that the strength of the member be
developed, the following shall be used:
Flexure
Shear
Axial compression
Axial tension
Connectors
Full Penetration welds
Partial Penetration welds
Bolts and fillet welds

Ms = Z F y
Vs = 0.55 Fy d t
Psc = 1.7 Fa A
Pst = Fy A
Fy A
1.7 allowable (see commentary)
1.7 allowable

New Construction
7-4

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Commentary: Partial penetration welds are not recommended for tension


applications in critical connections resisting seismic-induced stresses. The
geometry of partial penetration welds creates a notch-like condition that can
initiate brittle fracture under conditions of high tensile strain.
Many WSMF structures are constructed with concrete floor slabs that are
provided with positive shear attachment between the slab and the top flanges of
the girders of the moment-resisting frames. Although not generally accounted for
in the design of the frames, the resulting composite action can increase the
effective strength of the girder significantly, particularly at sections where
curvature of the girder places the top flange into compression. Although this
effect is directly accounted for in the design of composite systems, it is typically
neglected in the design of systems classified as moment resisting steel frames.
The increased girder flexural strength caused by this composite action can result
in a number of effects including the unintentional creation of weak column strong beam and weak panel zone conditions. In addition, this composite effect
has the potential to reduce the effectiveness of reduced section or dog-bone
type connection assemblies. Unfortunately, very little laboratory testing of large
scale connection assemblies with slabs in place has been performed to date and
as a result, these effects are not well quantified. In keeping with typical
contemporary design practice, the design formulae provided in these Guidelines
neglect the strengthening effects of composite action. Designers should, however,
be alert to the fact that these composite effects do exist.
7.2.2.2 Stiffness

Calculation of frame stiffness for the purpose of determining interstory drift under the
influence of the design lateral forces should be based on the properties of the bare steel frame,
neglecting the effects of composite action with floor slabs. The stiffening effects of connection
reinforcements (e.g.: haunches, side plates, etc.) may be considered in the calculation of overall
frame stiffness and drift demands. When reduced beam section connections are utilized, the
reduction in overall frame stiffness, due to local reductions in girder cross section, should be
considered.
Commentary: For design purposes, frame stiffness is typically calculated
considering only the behavior of the bare frame, neglecting the stiffening effects
of slabs, gravity framing, and architectural elements. The resulting calculation of
building stiffness and period typically underestimates the actual properties,
substantially. Although this approach can result in unconservative estimates of
design force levels, it typically produces conservative estimates of interstory drift
demands. Since the design of most moment-resisting frames are controlled by
considerations of drift, this approach is considered preferable to methods that
would have the potential to over-estimate building stiffness. Also, many of the

New Construction
7-5

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

elements that provide additional stiffness may be subject to rapid degradation


under severe cyclic lateral deformation, so that the bare frame stiffness may
provide a reasonable estimate of the effective stiffness under long duration
ground shaking response.
Notwithstanding the above, designers should be alert to the fact that
unintentional stiffness introduced by walls and other non-structural elements can
significantly alter the behavior of the structure in response to ground shaking. Of
particular concern, if these elements are not uniformly distributed throughout the
structure, or isolated from its response, they can cause soft stories and torsional
irregularities, conditions known to result in poor behavior.
7.2.3 Configuration

Frames should be proportioned so that the required plastic deformation of the frame can may
be accommodated through the development of plastic hinges at pre-determined locations within
the girder spans, as indicated in Figure 7-1Figure 7.2.3-1. Beam-column connections should be
designed with sufficient strength (through the use of cover plates, haunches, side plates, etc.) to
force development of the plastic hinge away from the column face. This condition may also be
attained through local weakening of the beam section at the desired location for plastic hinge
formation.

Undeformed
frame

Deformed frame shape

Plastic Hinges

drift angle -

L
L

Figure 7-1 Figure 7.2.3-1 - Desired Plastic Frame Behavior


Commentary: Nonlinear deformation of frame structures is typically
accommodated through the development of inelastic flexural or shear strains
within discrete regions of the structure. At large inelastic strains these regions
can develop into plastic hinges, which can accommodate significant concentrated
rotations at constant (or nearly constant) load through yielding at tensile and
compressive fibers and by buckling at compressive fibers. If a sufficient number
of plastic hinges develop in a frame, a mechanism is formed and the frame can
New Construction
7-6

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

deform laterally in a plastic manner. This behavior is accompanied by significant


energy dissipation, particularly if a number of members are involved in the
plastic behavior, as well as substantial local damage to the highly strained
elements. The formation of hinges in columns, as opposed to beams, is
undesirable, as this results in the formation of weak story mechanisms with
relatively few elements participating, so called story mechanisms and
consequently little energy dissipation occurring. In addition, such mechanisms
also result in local damage to critical gravity load bearing elements.
The prescriptive connection contained in the UBC and NEHRP Recommended
Provisions prior to the Northridge Earthquake was based on the assumed
development of plastic hinge zones within the beams at adjacent to the face of the
column, or within the column panel zone itself. If the plastic hinge develops in
the column panel zone, the resulting column deformation results in very large
secondary stresses on the beam flange to column flange joint, a condition which
can contribute to brittle failure. If the plastic hinge forms in the beam, at the face
of the column, this can result in very large through-thickness strain demands on
the column flange material and large inelastic strain demands on the weld metal
and surrounding heat affected zones. These conditions can also lead to brittle
joint failure. Although ongoing research may reveal conditions of material
properties, design and detailing configurations that permit connections with
yielding occurring at the column face to perform reliably, for the present it is
recommended In order to achieve more reliable performance, it is recommended
that the connection of the beam to the column be configured to force the inelastic
action (plastic hinge) away from the column face. This can be done either by
local reinforcement of the connection, or locally reducing the cross section of the
beam at a distance away from the connection. Plastic hinges in steel beams have
finite length, typically on the order of half the beam depth. Therefore, the
location for the plastic hinge should be shifted at least that distance away from
the face of the column. When this is done through reinforcement of the
connection, the flexural demands on the columns, for a given beam size, are
increased. Care must be taken to assure that weak column conditions are not
inadvertently created by local strengthening of the connections.
It should be noted that some professionals and researchers believe that
configurations which permit plastic hinging to occur adjacent to the column face
may still provide reliable service under some conditions. These conditions may
include limitations on the size of the connected sections, the use of base and weld
metals with adequate notch toughness, joint detailing that minimizes notch effects,
and appropriate control of the relative strength of the beam and column
materials. Sufficient research has not been performed to date either to confirm
these suggestions or define the conditions in which they are valid. Research
however does indicate that reliable performance can be attained if the plastic

New Construction
7-7

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

hinge is shifted away from the column face, as suggested above. Consequently,
these Interim Guidelines make a general recommendation that this approach be
taken. Additional research should be performed to determine the acceptability of
other approaches.
It should also be noted that reinforced connection (or reduced beam section)
configurations of the type described above, while believed to be effective in
preventing brittle connection fractures, will not prevent structural damage from
occurring. Brittle connection fractures are undesirable because they result in a
substantial reduction in the lateral-force-resisting strength of the structure which,
in extreme cases, can result in instability and collapse. Connections configured
as described in these Interim Guidelines should experience many fewer such
brittle fractures than unmodified connections. However, the formation of a
plastic hinge within the span of a beam is not a completely benign event. Beams
which have formed such hinges may, if plastic rotations are large, exhibit
significantlarge buckling and yielding deformation, damage which typically must
be repaired. The cost of such repairs could be comparable to the costs incurred
in repairing fracture damage experienced in the Northridge Earthquake. The
primary difference is that life safety protection will be significantly enhanced and
most structures that have experienced such plastic deformation damage should
continue to be safe for occupancy while repairs are made.
If the types of damage described above are unacceptable for a given building,
then alternative structural systems should be considered that will reduce the
plastic deformation demands on the structure during a strong earthquake.
Appropriate methods of achieving such goals include the installation of
supplemental braced frames, energy dissipation systems, base isolation systems
and similar structural systems. Framing systems incorporating partially
restrained connections may also be quite effective in resisting large earthquake
induced deformation with limited damage.
It is important to recognize that in frames with relatively short bays, the
flexural hinging indicated in Figure 7.2.3-1 may not be able to form. If the
effective flexural length (Lin the figure) of beams in a frame becomes too short,
then the beams or girders will yield in shear before zones of flexural plasticity
can form, resulting in an inelastic behavior that is more like that of an
eccentrically braced frame than that of a moment frame. This behavior may
inadvertently occur in frames in which relatively large strengthened connections,
such as haunches, cover plates or side plates have been used on beams with
relatively short spans. This behavior is illustrated in Figure 7.2.3-2.
The guidelines contained in this section are intended to address the design of
flexurally dominated moment resisting frames. When utilizing these guidelines, it
is important to confirm that the configuration of the structure is such that the
New Construction
7-8

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

presumed flexural hinging can actually occur. It is possible that shear yielding of
frame beams, such as that schematically illustrated in Figure 7.2.3-2 may be a
desirable behavior mode. However, to date, there has not been enough research
conducted into the behavior of such frames to develop recommended design
guidelines. Designers wishing to utilize such configurations should refer to the
code requirements for eccentrically braced frames. Particular care should be
taken to brace the shear link of such beams against lateral-torsional buckling and
also to adequately stiffen the webs to avoid local buckling following shear
plastification.
Shear Link

Shear Link

Figure 7.2.3-2 Shear Yielding Dominated Behavior of Short Bay Frames


7.2.4 Plastic Rotation Capacity

The plastic rotation capacity of tested connection assemblies should reflect realistic estimates
of the total (elastic and plastic) drift likely to be induced in the frame by earthquake ground
shaking, and the geometric configuration of the frame. For frames of typical configuration, and
for ground shaking of the levels anticipated by the building code, a minimum plastic rotation
capacity of 0.03 radian is recommended. As used in these Guidelines, plastic rotation is defined
as the plastic chord rotation angle. The plastic chord rotation angle is calculated using the rotated
coordinate system shown in Fig. 7.2.4-1 as the plastic deflection of the beam or girder, at its point
of inflection (usually the mid-span,) CI, divided by the distance between this mid-span point and
the centerline of the panel zone of the beam column connection, LCL. This convention is
illustrated in Figure 7.2.4-1.

New Construction
7-9

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2


cL

SAC 99-01

LCL

Plastic hinge

Beam span center line

cL

CL

lh

p =

CL

LCL

Figure 7.2.4-1 Calculation of Plastic Rotation Angle


It is important to note that this definition of plastic rotation is somewhat different than the
plastic rotation that would actually occur within a discrete plastic hinge in a frame model similar
to that shown in Figure 7.2.3-1. These two quantities are related to each other, however, and if
one of them is known, the other may be calculated from Eq. 7.2.4-1.When the configuration of a
frame is such that the ratio L/Lis greater than 1.25, the plastic rotation demand should be taken
as follows:

p = ph
where: p
ph
LCL
lh

( LCL lh )
LCL

(7.2.4-1)

is the plastic chord angle rotation, as used in these Guidelines


is the plastic rotation, at the location of a discrete hinge
is the distance from the center of the beam-column assembly panel zone
to the center of the beam span
is the location of the discrete plastic hinge relative to the center of the
beam-column assembly panel zone
= 0.025(1 + ( L L' ) L' )

(7-1)

where: L is the center to center spacing of columns, and


Lis the center to center spacing of plastic hinges in the bay under consideration
The indicated rotation demands may be reduced when positive means, such as the use of base
isolation or energy dissipation devices, are introduced into the design to control the buildings
response. When such measures are taken, nonlinear dynamic analyses should be performed and
the connection demands taken as 0.005 radians greater than the plastic rotation demands
calculated in the analyses. The nonlinear analyses should conform to the criteria specified in
UBC-94 Section 1655 {NEHRP-94 Section 2.6.4.2} for nonlinear dynamic analysis of base
New Construction
7-10

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

isolated structures. Ground motion time histories utilized for these nonlinear analyses should
satisfy the scaling requirements of UBC-94 Section 1655.4.2 {NEHRP-94 Section 2.6.4.4},
except that if the building is not base isolated, the structure period T, calculated in accordance
with UBC-94 Section 1628 {NEHRP-94 Section 2.3.3.1} should be substituted for TI. When
using methods of nonlinear analysis to establish the plastic rotation demands on frame
connections, the analysis results should not be scaled by the factor Rw (R) or RWi (Ri ), as
otherwise permitted by the building code.
Commentary: When the Interim Guidelines were first published, the plastic
rotation was defined as that rotation that would occur at a discrete plastic hinge,
similar to the definition of ph. in Eq. 7.2.4-1, above. In subsequent testing of
prototype connection assemblies, it was found that it is often very difficult to
determine the value of this rotation parameter from test data, since actual plastic
hinges do not occur at discrete points in the assembly and because some amount
of plasticity also occurs in the panel zone of many assemblies. The plastic chord
angle rotation, introduced in this advisory, may more readily be obtained from
test data and also more closely relates to the drift experienced by a frame during
earthquake response.
This change in the definition of plastic rotation does not result in any
significant change in the acceptance criteria for beam-column assembly
qualification testing. When the Interim Guidelines were first published, they
recommended an acceptance criteria given by Eq. 7.2.4-2, below:

L L'
p = 0.0251 +

L'

(7.2.4-2)

For typical beam-column assemblies in which the plastic hinge forms relatively
close to the face of the column, perhaps within a length of 1/2 the beam depth,
this typically resulted in a plastic rotation demand of 0.03 radians, as currently
measured.
Traditionally, engineers have calculated demand in moment frames by sizing
the members for strength and drift using code forces (either equivalent static or
reduced dynamic forces) and then "developing the strength of the members."
Since 1988, "developing the strength" has been accomplished by prescriptive
means based on a review of testing of moment frame connections to that date. It
was assumed that the prescribed connections would be strong enough that the
beam or girder would yield (in bending), or the panel zone would yield (in shear)
in a nearly perfectly plastic manner producing the plastic rotations necessary to
dissipate the energy of the earthquake.

New Construction
7-11

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

A realistic estimate of the interstory drift demand for most structures and most
earthquakes is on the order of 0.015 to 0.025 times the story height for WSMF
structures designed to code allowable drift limits. In such frames, a portion of
the drift will be due to elastic deformations of the frame, while the balance must
be provided by inelastic rotations of the beam plastic hinges, by yielding of the
column panel zone, or by a combination of the two.
In the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, many moment-frame connections
fractured with little evidence of plastic hinging of the beams or yielding of the
column panel zones. Testing of moment frame connections both prior to and
subsequent to the earthquake suggests that the standard, pre-Northridge, welded
flange-bolted web connection is unable to reliably provide plastic rotations
beyond about 0.005 radian for all ranges of beam depths and often fails below
that level. Since the elastic contribution to drift may approach 0.01 radian, the
necessary inelastic contributions will exceed the capability of the standard
connection in many cases. For frames designed for code forces and for the code
drift, the necessary plastic rotational demand may be expected to be on the order
of 0.02 radian or more and new connection configurations should be developed to
accommodate such rotation without brittle fracture.
The recommended plastic rotation connection demand of 0.03 radians was
selected both to provide a comfortable margin against the demands actually
expected in most cases and because in recent testing of connection assemblies,
specimens capable of achieving this demand behaved in a ductile manner through
the formation of plastic hinges.
For a given building design, and known earthquake hazard, it is possible to
more accurately estimate plastic rotation demands on frame connections. This
requires the use of nonlinear analysis techniques. Analysis software capable of
performing such analyses is becoming more available and many design offices
will have the ability to perform such analyses and develop more accurate
estimates of inelastic demands for specific building designs. However, when
performing such analyses, care should be taken to evaluate building response for
multiple earthquake time histories, representative of realistic ground motions for
sites having similar geologic characteristics and proximity to faults as the actual
building site. Relatively minor differences in the ground motion time history used
as input in such an analysis can significantly alter the results. Since there is
significant uncertainty involved in any ground motion estimate, it is
recommended that analysis not be used to justify the design of structures with
non-ductile connections, unless positive measures such as the use of base
isolation or energy dissipation devices are taken to provide reliable behavior of
the structure.

New Construction
7-12

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

It has been pointed out that it is not only the total plastic rotation demand that
is important to connection and frame performance, but also the connection
mechanism (for example - panel zone yielding, girder flange yielding/buckling,
etc.) and hysteretic loading history. These are matters for further study in the
continuing research on connection and joint performance.
7.2.5 Redundancy

The frame system should be designed and arranged to incorporate as many moment-resisting
connections as is reasonable into the moment frame.
Commentary: Early moment frame designs were highly redundant and nearly
every column was designed to participate in the lateral-force-resisting system. In
an attempt to produce economical designs, recent practice often yieldedproduced
designs which utilized only a few large columns and beams in a small proportion
of the buildings frames for lateral resistance, with the balance of the building
columns designed not considered or designed to participate in lateral resistance.
This practice led to the need for large welds at the connections and to reliance on
only a few connections for the lateral stability of the building. The resulting
large framing elements and connections are believed to have exacerbated the
poor performance of the pre-Northridge connection. Further, if only a few
framing elements are available to resist lateral demands, then failure of only a
few connections has the potential to result in a significant loss of earthquakeresisting strength. Together, these effects are not beneficial to building
performance.
The importance of redundancy to building performance can not be overemphasized. Even connections designed and constructed according to the
improved procedures recommended by these Interim Guidelines will have some
potential, albeit greatly reduced, for brittle failures. As the number of individual
beams and columns incorporated into the lateral-force-resisting system is
increased, the consequences of isolated connection failures are significantly
reduceds. Further, as more framing elements are activated in the buildings
response to earthquake ground motion, the building develops greater potential for
energy absorption and dissipation, and greater ability to limit control
earthquake-induced deformations to acceptable levels.
Incorporation of more of the building framing into the lateral-force-resisting
system will lead to smaller members and therefore an anticipated increase in the
reliability of individual connections. It will almost certainly lead to improved
overall system reliability. Further, recent studies conducted by designers indicate
that under some conditions, redundant framing systems can be constructed as
economically as non-redundant systems. In these studies, the additional costs
incurred in making a greater number of field-welded moment-resisting
New Construction
7-13

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

connections in the more redundant frame were balanced by a reduced total


tonnage of steel in the lateral-force-resisting systems, and sometimes reduced
foundation costs as well.
In order to codify the need for more redundant structural systems, the 1997
Uniform Building Code has specifically adopted a reliability coefficient, x, tied
to the redundancy of framing present in the building. This coefficient, with values
varying from 1.0 for highly redundant structures to 1.5 for non-redundant
structures, is applied to the design earthquake forces, E, in the load combination
equations, and has the effect of requiring more conservative design force levels
for structures with nonredundant systems. The Building Seismic Safety Councils
Provisions Update Committee has also approved a proposal to include such a
coefficient in the1997 NEHRP Provisions also includes such a coefficient. The
formulation of this coefficient and its application are very similar in both the
1997 Uniform Building Code and 1997 NEHRP Provisions.
As proposed contained in the 1997 NEHRP Provisions, the reliability
coefficient is given by the equation:
= 2

20
rmax Ax

(7.25-1)

where:

rmax x =

the ratio of the design story shear resisted by the single element

carrying the most shear force in the story to the total story shear, for a
given direction of loading. For moment frames,

rmax x

is taken as the

maximum of the sum of the shears in any two adjacent columns in a


moment frame divided by the story shear. For columns common to two
bays with moment resisting connections on opposite sides at the level
under consideration, 70% of the shear in that column may be used in the
column shear summation.
Ax = the floor area in square feet of the diaphragm level immediately above the
story.
The 1997 UBC and NEHRP Provisions also require that structures utilizing
moment resisting frames as the primary lateral force resisting system be
proportioned such that they qualify for a maximum value of x of 1.25. Structures
located within a few kilometers of major active faults must be configured so as to
qualify for a maximum value of x of 1.1.

New Construction
7-14

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

The most redundant moment-resisting frame systems are distributed frames in


which all beam-column connections are detailed to be moment resisting. In these
types of structures, half of the moment-resisting connections will be to the minor
axis of the column which will typically result in weak column/strong beam
framing. The 1994 UBC requirements limit the portion of the building design
lateral forces that can be resisted by relative number of weak column/strong beam
connections in the moment frame system. This limitation was adopted to avoid
the design of frames likely to develop story mechanisms as opposed to concern
about the adequacy of moment-resisting connections to the minor axis of
columns. However, the limited research data available on such connections
suggests that they do not behave well.
There is a divergence of opinion among structural engineers on the
desirability of frames in which all beam-column connections are made momentresisting, including those of beams framing to the minor axis of columns. Use of
such systems as a means of satisfying the redundancy recommendations of these
Interim Guidelines requires careful consideration by the structural engineer.
Limited testing in the past has indicated that moment connections made to the
minor axis of wide flange columns are subject to the same types of fracture
damage experienced by major axis connections. As of this time, there has not
been sufficient research to suggest methods of making reliable connections to the
column minor axis.
7.2.6 System Performance

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.2.6 at this time.
7.2.7 Special Systems

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.2.7 at this time.
7.3 Connection Design & Qualification Procedures - General
7.3.1 Connection Performance Intent

The intent of connection design should be to force the plastic hinge away from the face of the
column to a pre-determined location within the beam span. This may be accomplished by local
reinforcement of the connection itself (cover plates, haunches, side plates, etc.) or by local
reductions of the beam section (drilled holes, trimmed flanges, etc.). All elements of the
connection should have adequate strength to develop the forces resulting from the formation of
the plastic hinge at the predetermined location, together with forces resulting from gravity loads.
Section 7.5.2 outlines a design procedure for reinforced connection designs. Section 7.5.3
provides a design procedure for reduced section connections.

New Construction
7-15

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

7.3.2 Qualification by Testing

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.3.2 at this time.
7.3.3 Design by Calculation

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.3.3 at this time.
7.4 Guidelines for Connection Qualification by Testing
7.4.1 Testing Protocol

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.4.1 at this time.
7.4.2 Acceptance Criteria

The minimum acceptance criteria for connection qualification for specimens tested in
accordance with these Interim Guidelines should be as follows:
a)

The connection should develop beam plastic rotations as indicated in Section


7.2.4, for at least one complete cycle.

b)

The connection should develop a minimum strength equal to the plastic strength of
the girder, calculated using minimum specified yield strength Fy, tThroughout the
loading history required to achieve the required plastic rotation capacity, as
indicated in a), above, the connection should develop a minimum moment at the
column face as follows:
i)

For strengthened connections, the minimum moment at the column face


should be equal to the plastic moment of the girder, calculated using the
minimum specified yield strength, Fy of the girder. If the load limiting
mechanism in the test is buckling of the girder flanges, the engineer, upon
consideration of the effect of strength degradation on the structure, may
consider a minimum of 80% of the nominal strength as acceptable.

ii)

For reduced section connection designs, the minimum moment at the


column face should be equal to the moment corresponding to development
of the nominal plastic moment of the reduced section at the reduced
section, calculated using the minimum specified yield strength, Fy of the
girder, and the plastic section modulus for the reduced section. The
moment at the column face should not be less than 80% of the nominal
plastic moment capacity of the unreduced girder section.

New Construction
7-16

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

c)

The connection should exhibit ductile behavior throughout the loading history. A
specimen that exhibits a brittle limit state (e.g. complete flange fracture, column
cracking, through-thickness failures of the column flange, fractures in welds
subject to tension, shear tab cracking, etc. ) prior to reaching the required plastic
rotation should be considered unsuccessful.

d)

Throughout the loading history, until the required plastic rotation is achieved, the
connection should be judged capable of supporting dead and live loads required by
the building code. In those specimens where axial load is applied during the
testing, the specimen should be capable of supporting the applied load throughout
the loading history.

The evaluation of the test specimens performance should consistently reflect the relevant limit
states. For example, the maximum reported moment and the moment at the maximum plastic
rotation are unlikely to be the same. It would be inappropriate to evaluate the connection using
the maximum moment and the maximum plastic rotation in a way that implies that they occurred
simultaneously. In a similar fashion, the maximum demand on the connection should be
evaluated using the maximum moment, not the moment at the maximum plastic rotation unless the
behavior of the connection indicated that this limit state produced a more critical condition in the
connection.
Commentary: While the testing of all connection geometries and member
combinations in any given building might be desirable, it would not be very
practical nor necessary. Test specimens should replicate, within the limitations
associated with test specimen simplification, the fabrication and welding
procedures, connection geometry and member size, and potential modes of
failure. If the testing is done in a manner consistent with other testing programs,
reasonable comparisons can be made. On the other hand, testing is expensive
and it is difficult to realistically test the beam-column connection using actual
boundary conditions and earthquake loading histories and rates.
It was suggested in Interim Recommendation No. 2 by the SEAOC Seismology
Committee that three tested specimens be the minimum for qualification of a
connection. Further consideration has led to the recognition that while three tests
may be desirable, the actual testing program selected should consider the
conditions of the project. Since the purpose of the testing program is to "qualify
the connection", and since it is not practical for a given project to do enough tests
to be statistically meaningful considering random factors such as material,
welder skills, and other variables, arguments can be made for fewer tests of
identical specimens, and concentration on testing specimens which represent the
range of different properties which may occur in the project. Once a connection
is qualified, that is, once it has been confirmed that the connection can work,
monitoring of actual materials and quality control to assure emulation of the
tested design becomes most important.
New Construction
7-17

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Because of the cost of testing, use of calculations for interpolation or


extrapolation of test results is desirable. How much extrapolation should be
accepted is a difficult decision. As additional testing is done, more information
may be available on what constitutes "conservative" testing conditions, thereby
allowing easier decisions relative to extrapolating tests to actual conditions which
are likely to be less demanding than the tests. For example, it is hypothesized
that connections of shallower, thinner flanged members are likely to be more
reliable than similar connections consisting of deeper, thicker flanged members.
Thus, it may be possible to test the largest assemblages of similar details and
extrapolate to the smaller member sizes - at least within comparable member
group families. However, there is evidence to suggest that extrapolation of test
results to assemblies using members of reduced size is not always conservative.
In a recent series of tests of cover plated connections, conducted at the University
of California at San Diego, a connection assembly that produced acceptable
results for one family of beam sizes, W24, did not behave acceptably when the
beam depth was reduced significantly, to W18. In that project, the change in
relative flexibilities of the members and connection elements resulted in a shift in
the basic behavior of the assembly and initiation of a failure mode that was not
observed in the specimens with larger member sizes. In order to minimize the
possibility of such occurrences, when extrapolation of test results is performed, it
should be done with a basic understanding of the behavior of the assembly, and
the likely effects of changes to the assembly configuration on this behavior. Test
results should not be extrapolated to assembly configurations that are expected to
behave differently than the tested configuration. Extrapolation or interpolation
of results with differences in welding procedures, details or material properties is
even more difficult.
7.5 Guidelines for Connection Design by Calculation
In conditions where it has been determined that design of connections by calculation is
sufficient, or when calculations are used for interpolation or extrapolation, the following
guidelines should be used.
7.5.1 Material Strength Properties

In the absence of project specific material property information, the values listed in Table 7-1
Table 7.5.1-1 should be used to determine the strength of steel shape and plate for purposes of
calculation. The permissible strength for weld metal should be taken in accordance with the
building code. Additional information on material properties may be found in the Interim
Guidelines of Chapter 8.

New Construction
7-18

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Table 7-1Table 7.5.1-1 - Properties for Use in Connection Design


Material
A36

Fy (ksi)
36

Fy m (ksi)
use values for
Dual Certified

Fu (ksi)
58

Dual Certified Beam


Axial, Flexural3
50
65 min.
Shape Group 1
551
Shape Group 2
581
Shape Group 3
571
Shape Group 4
541
Through-Thickness
Note 5
A572 Column/Beam
Axial, Flexural3
50
65 min.
Shape Group 1
581
Shape Group 2
581
Shape Group 3
571
Shape Group 4
571
Shape Group 5
551
,
Through-Thickness
Note 5
A9922
Use same values as ASTM A572
A913-50
Axial, Flexural
50
581
65 min.
,
Through-thickness
Note 5
A913-- 65
Axial, Flexural
65
751(4)
80 min.
Through-thickness
Note 5
Notes:
1. Based on coupons from web. For thick flanges,
the Fy flange is approximately 0.95 Fy web.
2. See Commentary
3. Values based on (SSPC-1994)
4.
ASTM A913, Grade 65 material is not recommended for use in the
beams of moment resisting frames
5. See Commentary

Commentary: Table7.5.1-1 Note 2 - The ASTM A992 specification was


specifically developed by the steel industry in response to expressed concerns of
the design community with regard to the permissible variation in chemistry and
mechanical properties of structural steel under the A36 and A572 specifications.
This new specification, which was adopted in late 1998, is very similar to ASTM
A572, except that it includes somewhat more restrictive limits on chemistry and
on the permissible variation in yield and ultimate tensile stress, as well as the
ratio of yield to tensile strength. At this time, no statistical data base is available
to estimate the actual distribution of properties of material produced to this
specification. However, the properties are likely to be very similar, albeit with
less statistical scatter, to those of material recently produced under ASTM A572,
Grade 50.

New Construction
7-19

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Table 7.5.1-1 Note 5 -In the period immediately following the Northridge
earthquake, the Seismology Committee of the Structural Engineers Association of
California and the International Conference of Building Officials issued Interim
Recommendation No. 2 (SEAOC-1995) to provide guidance on the design of
moment resisting steel frame connections. Interim Recommendation No. 2
included a recommendation that the through-thickness stress demand on column
flanges be limited to a value of 40 ksi, applied to the projected area of beam
flange attachment. This value was selected somewhat arbitrarily, to ensure that
through-thickness yielding did not initiate in the column flanges of momentresisting connections and because it was consistent with the successful tests of
assemblies with cover plates conducted at the University of Texas at Austin
(Engelhardt and Sabol - 1994), rather than being the result of a demonstrated
through-thickness capacity of typical column flange material. Despite the
somewhat arbitrary nature of the selection of this value, its use often controls the
overall design of a connection assembly including the selection of cover plate
thickness, haunch depth, and similar parameters.
It would seem to be important to prevent the inelastic behavior of connections
from being controlled by through-thickness yielding of the column flanges. This
is because it would be necessary to develop very large local ductilities in the
column flange material in order to accommodate even modest plastic rotation
demands on the assembly. However, extensive investigation of the throughthickness behavior of column flanges in a T joint configuration reveals that
neither yielding, nor through-thickness failure are likely to occur in these
connections. Barsom and Korvink (1997) conducted a statistical survey of
available data on the tensile strength of rolled shape material in the throughthickness direction. These tests were generally conducted on small diameter
coupons, extracted from flange material of heavy shapes. The data indicates that
both the yield stress and ultimate tensile strength of this material in the throughthickness direction is comparable to that of the material in the direction parallel
to rolling. However, it does indicate somewhat greater scatter, with a number of
reported values where the through-thickness strength was higher, as well as lower
than that in the longitudinal direction. Review of this data indicates with high
confidence that for small diameter coupons, the yield and ultimate tensile values
of the material in a through-thickness direction will exceed 90% and 80%
respectively of the comparable values in the longitudinal direction. the actual
The causes for through-thickness failures of column flanges (types C2, C4, and
C5), observed both in buildings damaged by the Northridge Earthquake and in
some test specimens, are not well understood. They are thought to be a function
of the metallurgy and purity of the steel; conditions of loading including the
presence of axial load and rate of loading application; conditions of tri-axial
restraint; conditions of local hardening and embrittlement within the welds heat
affected zone; stress concentrations induced by the presence of backing bars and

New Construction
7-20

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

defects at the root of beam flange to column flange welds; and by the relationship
of the connection components as they may affect flange bending stresses and
flange curvature induced by panel zone yielding. Given the many complex factors
which can affect the through-thickness strength of the column flange,
determination of a reliable basis upon which to set permissible design stresses
will require significant research. Such research is currently being conducted
under the SAC phase II program.
While this statistical distribution suggests the likelihood that the throughthickness strength of column flanges could be less than the flexural strength of
attached beam elements, testing of more than 40 specimens at Lehigh University
indicates that this is not the case. In these tests, high strength plates,
representing beam flanges and having a yield strength of 100 ksi were welded to
the face of A572, Grade 50 and A913, Grade 50 and 65 column shapes, to
simulate the portion of a beam-column assembly at the beam flange. These
specimens were placed in a universal testing machine and loaded to produce high
through-thickness tensile stresses in the column flange material. The tests
simulated a wide range of conditions, representing different weld metals as well
and also to include eccentrically applied loading. In 40 of 41 specimens tested,
the assembly strength was limited by tensile failure of the high strength beam
flange plate as opposed to the column flange material. In the one failure that
occurred within the column flange material, fracture initiated at the root of a lowtoughness weld, at root defects that were intentionally introduced to initiate such
a fracture.
The behavior illustrated by this test series is consistent with mechanics of
materials theory. At the joint of the beam flange to column flange, the material is
very highly restrained. As a result of this, both the yield strength and ultimate
tensile strength of the material in this region is significantly elevated. Under
these conditions, failure is unlikely to occur unless a large flaw is present that can
lead to unstable crack propagation and brittle fracture. In light of this evidence,
Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2 deletes any requirement for evaluation of
through-thickness flange stress in columns.
Interim Recommendation No. 2 (SEAOC-1995) included a value of 40 ksi,
applied to the projected area of beam flange attachment, for the throughthickness strength to be used in calculations. This value was selected because it
was consistent with the successful tests of assemblies with cover plates conducted
at the University of Texas at Austin (Engelhardt and Sabol - 1994). However,
because of the probable influence of all the factors noted above, this value can
only be considered to reflect the specific conditions of those tests and specimens.
Although reduced stresses at the column face produced acceptable results in
the University of Texas tests, the key to that success was more likely the result of
New Construction
7-21

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

forcing the plastic hinge away from the column than reduction of the throughthickness stress by the cover plates. Reduction of through-thickness column
flange stress to ever lower levels by the use of thicker cover plates is not
recommended, since such cover plates will result in ever higher forces on the face
of the column flange as well as larger weldments with potential for enlarged heat
affected zones, higher residual stresses and conditions of restraint.
Since the initial publication of the Interim Guidelines, a significant number of
tests have been performed on reduced beam section connections (See section
7.5.3), most of which employed beam flanges which were welded directly to the
column flanges using improved welding techniques, but without reinforcement
plates. No through-thickness failures occurred in these tests despite the fact that
calculated through-thickness stresses at the root of the beam flange to column
flange joint ranged as high as 58 ksi. The successful performance of these welded
joints is most probably due to the shifting of the yield area of the assembly away
from the column flange and into the beam span. Based on the indications of the
above described tests, and noting the undesirability of over reinforcing
connections, it is now suggested that a maximum through-thickness stress of
0.9Fyc may be appropriate for use with connections that shift the hinging away
from the column face. Notwithstanding this recommendation, engineers are still
cautioned to carefully consider the through-thickness issue when these other
previously listed conditions which are thought to be involved in this type of
failure are prevalent. Connections relying on through-thickness strength can not
be considered to be fully reliable until the influence of the other parameters
discussed above can be fully understood. A high amount of structural
redundancy is recommended for frames employing connections which rely on
through-thickness strength of the column flange.
Notwithstanding all of the above, successful tests using cover plates and other
measures of moving hinges (and coincidentally reducing through-thickness stress)
continue to be performed. In the interim, engineers choosing to utilize
connections relying on through-thickness strength should recognize that despite
the successful testing, connections relying on through-thickness strength can not
be considered to be fully reliable until the influence of the other parameters
discussed above can be fully understood. A high amount of structural
redundancy is recommended for frames employing connections which rely on
through-thickness strength of the column flange.
7.5.2 Design Procedure - Strengthened Connections

The following procedure may be followed to size the various elements of strengthened
connection assemblies that are intended to promote formation of plastic hinges within the beam
span by providing a reinforced beam section at the face of the column. Section 7.5.3 provides a

New Construction
7-22

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

modified procedure recommended for use in the design of connection assemblies using reduced
beam sections to promote similar inelastic behavior. Begin by selecting Select a connection
configuration, such as one of those indicated in Sections 7.9.1, 7.9.2, 7.9.3, 7.9.4, or 7.9.5, that
will permit the formation of a plastic hinge within the beam span, away from the face of the
column, when the frame is subjected to gravity and lateral loads. Then proceed as described in
the following sections. The following procedure should be followed to size the various elements
of the connection assembly:
7.5.2.1 Determine Plastic Hinge Locations

For beams with gravity loads representing a small portion of the total flexural demand, the
location of the plastic hinge may be assumed to occur as indicated in Table 7.5.2.1-1 at a distance
equal to 1/3 of the beam depth from the edge of the reinforced connection (or start of the reduced
beam section), unless specific test data for the connection indicates that a different location value
is more appropriate. Refer to Figure 7-2Figure 7.5.2.1-1.
Table 7.5.2.1-1 Plastic Hinge Location - Strengthened Connections
Connection Type

Reference Section

Hinge Location sh

Sect. 7.9.1

d/4 beyond end of cover plates

Haunches

Sect. 7.9.3, 7.9.4

d/3 beyond toe of haunch

Vertical Ribs

Sect. 7.9.2

d/3 beyond toe of ribs

Plastic
hinge
sh=

Edge of reinforced
connection

d/4

Connection
reinforcement

sh=
d/3

Edge of reinforced
connection

Beam depth - d

Cover plates

Figure 7-2 Figure 7.5.2.1-1 - Location of Plastic Hinge


Commentary: The suggested locations for the plastic hinge, at a distance d/3
away from the end of the reinforced section (or beginning of reduced section)
indicated in Table 7.5.2.1-1 and Figure 7.5.2.1-1 are is based on the observed
behavior of test specimens, with no significant gravity load present. If significant

New Construction
7-23

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

gravity load is present, this can shift the locations of the plastic hinges, and in the
extreme case, even change the form of the collapse mechanism. If flexural
demand on the girder due to gravity load is less than about 30% of the girder
plastic capacity, this effect can safely be neglected, and the plastic hinge
locations taken as indicated. If gravity demands significantly exceed this level,
then plastic analysis of the girder should be performed to determine the
appropriate hinge locations. In zones of high seismicity (UBC Zones 3 and 4,
and NEHRP Map Areas 6 and 7), gravity loading on the girders of earthquake
resisting frames typically has a very small effect, unless tributary areas for
gravity loads are large.
7.5.2.2 Determine Probable Plastic Moment at Hinges

Determine the probable value of the plastic moment, Mpr, at the location of the plastic hinges
as:
M pr = M p = Z b Fy
where:

Zb

(7.5.2.2-12)

is a coefficient that adjusts the nominal plastic moment to the estimated hinge
moment based on the mean yield stress of the beam material and the estimated
strain hardening. A value of 1.2 should be taken for for ASTM A572, A992 and
A913 steels. When designs are based upon calculations alone, an additional factor
is recommended to account for uncertainty. In the absence of adequate testing of
the type described above, should be taken as 1.4 for ASTM A572 and for A913,
Grades 50 and 65 steels. Where adequate testing has been performed should be
permitted to be taken as 1.2 for these materials.
is the plastic modulus of the section

Commentary: In order to compute , the expected yield strength, strain


hardening and an appropriate uncertainty factor need to be determined. The
following assumed strengths are recommended:
Expected Yield:

The expected yield strength, for purposes of computing (Mpr) may be


taken as:
Fye = 0.95 Fym

(7.5.2.2-2-3)

The 0.95 factor is used to adjust the yield stress in the beam web, where
coupons for mill certification tests are normally extracted, to the value in the
beam flange. Beam flanges, being comprised of thicker material, typically have
somewhat lower yield strengths than do beam web material.

New Construction
7-24

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Fy m for various steels are as shown in Table 7-1 Table 7.5.1-1, based on a
survey of web coupon tensile tests (Steel Shape Producers Council - 1994). The
engineer is cautioned that there is no upper limit on the yield point for ASTM A36
steel and consequently, dual-certification steel having properties consistent with
ASTM A572, Grade 50 is routinely supplied when ASTM A36 is specified.
Consequently, it is the recommendation here that the design of connections be
based on an assumption of Grade 50 properties, even when A36 steel is specified
for beams. It should be noted that at least one producer offers A36 steel with a
maximum yield point of 50 ksi in shape sizes ranging up to W 24x62. Refer to the
commentary to Section 8.1.3 for further discussion of steel strength issues.
Strain Hardening: A factor of 1.1 is recommended for use with the mean yield
stress in the foregoing table when calculating the probable plastic moment
capacity Mpr.. The 1.1 factor for strain hardening, or other sources of strength
above yield, agrees fairly well with available test results. The 1.1 factor could
underestimate the over-strength where significant flange buckling does not act as
a gradual limit on the beam strength. Nevertheless, the 1.1 factor seems a
reasonable expectation of over-strength considering the complexities involved.
Modeling Uncertainty: Where a design is based on approved cyclic testing, the
modeling uncertainty may be taken as 1.0, otherwise the recommended value is
1.2. When the Interim Guidelines were first published, the coefficient included
a 1.2 factor to account for modeling uncertainty when connection designs were
based on calculations as opposed to a specific program of qualification testing.
The intent of this factor was twofold: to provide additional conservatism in the
design when specific test data for a representative connection was not available
and also as an inducement to encourage projects to undertake connection
qualification testing programs. After the Interim Guidelines had been in use for
some time, it became apparent that this approach was not an effective inducement
for projects to perform qualification testing, and also that the use of an overly
large value for the coefficient often resulted in excessively large connection
reinforcing elements (cover plates, e.g.) and other design features that did not
appear conducive to good connection behavior. Consequently, it was decided to
remove this modeling uncertainty factor from the calculation of .
In summary, for Grade 50 steel, we have:
= [0.95 (54 ksi to 58 ksi)/50 ksi] (1.1) 1.2) = 1.35 t0 1.45, say 1.4
= [0.95 (54 ksi to 59 ksi)/50 ksi] (1.1) = 1.13 to 1.21, say 1.2

New Construction
7-25

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

7.5.2.3 Determine Shear at the Plastic Hinge

The shear at the plastic hinge should be determined by statics, considering gravity loads acting
on the beam. A free body diagram of that portion of the beam between plastic hinges, is a useful
tool for obtaining the shear at each plastic hinge. Figure 7-3 Figure 7.5.2.3-1 provides an
example of such a calculation. For the purposes of such calculations, gravity load should be based
on the load combinations required by the building code in use.
L/2

Plastic
hinge

Note: Gravity loads can


effect the location of the
plastic hinges. If 2Mpr /L
is less then the gravity shear in
the free body (in this case
P/2 + wL/2), then the plastic
hinge location will shift
significantly and Lmust be
adjusted, accordingly

L
sh
L

P
w

VA

Mpr
A

Vp

Mpr

taking the sum of moments about A = 0


Vp ={Mpr + Mpr + P L/2 + wL2/2}/L

Figure 7-3 Figure 7.5.2.3-1- Sample Calculation of Shear at Plastic Hinge


Commentary: The UBC gives no specific guidance on the load combinations to
use with strength level calculations while the NEHRP Recommended Provisions
do specify load factors for the various dead, live and earthquake components of
load. For designs performed in accordance with the UBC, it is customary to use
unfactored gravity loads when checking the strength of elements.
7.5.2.4 Determine Strength Demands at Each Critical Section

In order to complete the design of the connection, including sizing the various plates and
joining welds which make up the connection, it is necessary to determine the shear and flexural
strength demands at each critical section. These demands may be calculated by taking a free body
of that portion of the connection assembly located between the critical section and the plastic
hinge. Figure 7-4 Figure 7.5.2.4-1 demonstrates this procedure for two critical sections, for the
beam shown in Figure 7-3 Figure 7.5.2.3-1.

New Construction
7-26

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Plastic
hinge

Plastic
hinge

Mpr

Mf

Mpr

Mc

Vp

dc

Vp
x+dc/2

Mf =Mpr +Vpx

Mc=Mpr +Vp(x+dc/2)

Critical Section at Column Face

Critical Section at Column Centerline

Figure 7-4 Figure 7.5.2.4-1 - Calculation of Demands at Critical Sections


Commentary: Each unique connection configuration may have different critical
sections. The vertical plane that passes through the joint between the beam
flanges and column (if such joining occurs) will typically define at least one such
critical section, used for designing the joint of the beam flanges to the column, as
well as evaluating shear demands on the column panel zone. A second critical
section occurs at the center line of the column. Moments calculated at this point
are used to check strong column - weak beam conditions. Other critical sections
should be selected as appropriate.
7.5.2.5 Check for Strong Column - Weak Beam Condition

When required by the building code, the connection assembly should be checked to determine
if strong column - weak beam conditions are satisfied. In lieu of UBC-94 equation 11-3.1
{NEHRP-91 equation 10-3}, the following equation should be used:

Z
where:

(Fyc f a )

> 1.0

(7.5.2.5-1-4)

Zc is the plastic modulus of the column section above and below the connection
Fyc is the minimum specified yield stress for the column above and below
fa is the axial load in the column above and below
Mc is the moment calculated at the center of the column in accordance with
Section 7.5.2.4 sum of the column moments at the top and bottom of the
panel zone, respectively, resulting from the development of the probable beam
plastic moments, Mpr, within each beam in the connection.

New Construction
7-27

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Commentary: The building code provisions for evaluating strong column - weak
beam conditions presume that the flexural stiffness of the columns above and
below the beam are approximately equal, that the beams will yield at the face of
the column, and that the depth of the columns and beams are small relative to
their respective span lengths. This permits the code to use a relatively simple
equation to evaluate strong column - weak beam conditions in which the sum of
the flexural capacities of columns at a connection are compared against the sums
of the flexural capacities in the beams. The first publication of the Interim
Guidelines took this same approach, except that the definition of Mc was
modified to explicitly recognize that because flexural hinging of the beams would
occur at a location removed from the face of the column, the moments delivered
by the beams to the connection would be larger than the plastic moment strength
of the beam. In this equation, Mc was taken as the sum of the moments at the
center of the column, calculated in accordance with the procedures of Sect.
7.5.2.4.
assumed point of zero moment

ht

Vc

Vp

Vc =

[M

M ct = Vc ht

Mct

dp

Mpr
Vf

pr

+ V p ( L L ' ) / 2) V f hb + d p / 2
hb + d p + ht

M cb = Vc + V f hb

M c = M ct + M cb

Mpr
Mcb

hb

Vp

Vc+Vf
(L-L)/2

Note:
The quantities Mpr, Vp, L, and Lare
as previously identified.
Vf is the incremental shear distributed
to the column at the floor level.
Other quantities are as shown.

Figure 7.5.2.5-1 Calculation of Column Moment for Strong Column


Evaluation
This simplified approach is not always appropriate. If non-symmetrical
connection configurations are used, such as a haunch on only the bottom side of
the beam, this can result in an uneven distribution of stiffness between the two
column segments, and premature yielding of the column, either above, or below,
the beam-column connection. Also, it was determined that for connection
configurations in which the panel zone depth represents a significant fraction of
New Construction
7-28

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

the total column height, such as can occur in some haunched and side-plated
connections, the definition of Mc contained in the initial printing of the
Guidelines could lead to excessive conservatism in determining whether or not a
strong column - weak beam condition exists in a structure. Consequently, Interim
Guidelines Advisory No. 1 adopted the current definition of Mc for use in this
evaluation. This definition requires that the moments in the column, at the top
and bottom of the panel zone be determined for the condition when a plastic
hinge has formed at all beams in the connection. Figure 7.5.2.5-1 illustrates a
method for estimating this quantity.
7.5.2.6 Check Column Panel Zone

The adequacy of the shear strength of the column panel zone should be checked. For this
purpose, the term 0.8Mf should be substituted for the term 0.8Ms in UBC-94 Section
2211.7.2.1 {0.9bMp in NEHRP-91 Section 10.10.3.1}, repeated below for convenience of
reference. Mf is the calculated moment at the face of the column, when the beam mechanism
forms, calculated as indicated in Section 7.5.2.4 above. In addition, it is recommended that the
alternative design criteria indicated in UBC-94 Section 2211.7.2.1 (NEHRP-91 Sect. 10.10.3.1),
permitting panel zone shear strength to be proportioned for the shear induced by bending
moments from gravity loads plus 1.85 times the prescribed seismic forces, not be used. For
convenience of reference, UBC-94 Section 2211.7.2.1 is reproduced below, edited, to indicate the
recommended application.
2211.7.2.1 Strength (edited). The panel zone of the joint shall be capable of resisting the
shear induced by beam bending moments due to gravity loads plus 1.85 times the
prescribed seismic forces, but the shear strength need not exceed that required to develop
0.8Ms 0.8Mf of the girders framing into the column flanges at the joint. The joint panel
zone shear strength may be obtained from the following formula:

3b c t c f 2
V = 0.55Fy d c t 1 +

dbdct

(11-1)

where: bc = width of column flange


db = the depth of the beam (including any haunches or cover plates)
dc = the depth of the column
t = the total thickness of the panel zone including doubler plates
tcf = the thickness of the column flange

Commentary: The effect of panel zone shear yielding on connection behavior is


not well understood. In the past, panel zone shear yielding has been viewed as a
benign, or even beneficial mechanism that permits overall frame ductility
demands to be accommodated while minimizing the extent of inelastic behavior
required of the beam and beam flange to column flange joint. The criteria

New Construction
7-29

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

permitting panel zone shear strength to be proportioned for the shears resulting
from moments due to gravity loads plus 1.85 times the design seismic forces was
adopted by the code specifically to permit designs with somewhat weak panel
zones. However, during recent testing of large scale connection assemblies with
weak panel zones, it has been noted that in order to accommodate the large shear
deformations that occur in the panel zone, extreme kinking deformations were
induced into the column flanges at the beam flange to column flange welded joint.
While this did not lead to premature joint failure in all cases, it is believed to
have contributed to such premature failures in at least some of the specimens.
The recommendations of this section are intended to result in stronger panel
zones than previously permitted by the code, thereby avoiding potential failures
due to this kinking action on the column flanges.
7.5.3 Design Procedure - Reduced Beam Section Connections

The following procedure may be followed to size the various elements of reduced beam
section (RBS) assemblies with circular curved reductions in beam flanges, such as shown in
Figure 7.5.3-1., such as those indicated in Section 7.9.6 indicates other configurations for such
connections, however, the circular curved configuration shown in Figure 7.5.3-1 is currently
preferred. RBS assemblies are intended to promote the formation of plastic hinges within the
beam span by developing a segment of the beam with locally reduced section properties and
strength. Begin by selecting an RBS configuration, such as one of those indicated in Figure 7.5.31, that will permit the formation of a plastic hinge within the reduced section of the beam. Of the
configurations shown in the figure, the circular curved configuration is preferred.
2

4a + l
R = radius of cut =
8a

a
b
f
a
c
l
Figure 7.5.3-1 Geometry of Reduced Beam Section

Commentary: Connection assemblies in which inelastic behavior is shifted away


from the column face through development of a segment of the beam with
intentionally reduced properties, so-called reduced beam section (RBS) or
dogbone connections, appear to have the potential to provide an economical
New Construction
7-30

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

solution to the WMSF connection problem. These recommendations are based on


limited design configurations that have successfully been tested ing that has been
conducted of these types of connections to date. While a A large number of RBS
tests have been conducted, these tests have not included the effects of floor slabs
or loading rates approximating those that would be produced by a buildings
response to earthquake ground motionsincluding some tests of assemblies with
floor slabs present. Extensive additional testing of RBS connections, intended to
explore these and other factors relevant to connection performance, are currently
planned under funding provided by NIST and the SAC phase II program. In the
interim, designers specifying RBS connections may wish to consider provision of
details to minimize the participation of the slab in the flexural behavior of the
beam at the reduced section. The criteria presented in this section are partially
based on a draft procedure developed by AISC (Iwankiw, 1996).

Circular

Straight

Reduced
Section

Drilled Constant

Tapered

Drilled Tapered

Figure 7.5.3-2 Alternative Reduced-Beam Section Patterns


Figure 7.5.3-1 Reduced Beam Section Patterns
Several alternative configurations of RBS connections have also been tested
to date. As indicated in Figures 7.5.3-21 and 7.9.6-1, these include constant
section, tapered section, curved section, and drilled hole patterns. It appears that
several of these configurations are more desirable than others. In particular, the
drilled hole section patterns have been subject to tensile failure across the
reduced net section of the flange through the drill holes. A few RBS tests utilizing
straight or tapered cuts have failed within the reduced section at plastic rotation
demands less than recommended by these Guidelines. In all of these cases, the
failure occurred at locations at which there was a change in direction of the cuts
in the beam flange, resulting in a geometric stress riser or notch effect. It is also
reported that one of these tests failed at the beam flange continuity plate - to
column flange joint. There have been no reported failures of RBS connection
New Construction
7-31

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

assemblies employing the circular curved flange cuts, and therefore, this is the
pattern recommended in these Guidelines. This would appear, therefore, to be a
more desirable configuration, although some successful tests have been
performed using the straight and tapered configurations.
It is important that the pattern of any cuts made in the flange be proportioned
so as to avoid sharp cut corners. All corners should be rounded to minimize
notch effects and in addition, cut edges should be cut or ground in the direction
of the flange length to have a surface roughness meeting the requirements of AWS
C4.1-77 class 4, or smootherroughness value less than or equal to 1,000, as
defined in ANSI/ASME B46.1.
Concerns have been raised by some engineers over the strength reduction
inherent in the RBS. Clearly, code requirements for strength, considering gravity
loads and gravity loads in combination with wind, seismic and other loads must
be met. For higher seismic zones, beam sizes are typically governed by elastic
stiffness considerations (drift control) and this must be addressed. Also, for
seismic loads, the Building Codes typically require that connections for Special
Moment Resisting Frames must develop the strength or the plastic bending
moment of the beam. There may be a problem of semantics where these
requirements are applied to a system using RBS connections. Is the RBS part of
the connection or is it part of the beam, the strength of which must be developed
by the connection? Clearly, the latter interpretation should be applied.
Notwithstanding the above, it must be kept in mind that, although unstated,
and typically not quantified, there is inherent in design practice an implied
relationship between the elastic behavior that we analyze and the inelastic
behavior which the building is expected to experience. Elastic drift limitations
commonly used are considered to be related to the anticipated inelastic drifts and
ultimate lateral stability of the framed structure in at least an intuitively
predictable manner. It can be shown that RBSs such as those that have been
tested will reduce the elastic stiffness (increase the drift) on the order of 5%.
However, because of the reduction in strength, the effect on the inelastic drift may
be more significant. Thus, it seems prudent to require that the RBS maintain a
reasonably high proportion of the frame inelastic strength. For the connections
tested to date, the inelastic strength of the RBS section has been in the range of
70% of that of the full section. However, the moment demand at the face of the
column, corresponding to development of this reduced section strength, is likely
to be in the range of 85% to 90% of the strength of the full beam. This seems to
be quite reasonably high considering the accuracy of other seismic design
assumptions.
Although the use of RBS designs tends to reduce the total strength demand on
the beam flange - to - column flange connection, relative to strengthened
New Construction
7-32

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

connections, designs utilizing RBS configurations should continue to follow the


recommendations for beam flange continuity plates, weld metal and base metal
notch toughness recommended by the Interim Guidelines for strengthened
connections.
7.5.3.1 Determine Reduced Section and Plastic Hinge Locations

Beam depth - d

The reduced beam section should be located at a sufficient distance from the face of the
column flange (dimension c in Figures 7.5.3-1 and 7.5.3.1-1) to avoid significant inelastic
behavior of the material at the beam flange - to - column flange joint. Based on testing performed
to date, it appears that a value of c on the order of to of the beam width, bf, is sufficient.
d/4 (where d is the beam depth) is sufficient. The total length of the reduced section of beam
flange (dimension l in Figures 7.5.3-1 and 7.5.3.1-1) should be on the order of 0.65d to 0.85d,
where d is the beam depth.3d/4 to d. The location of the plastic hinge, sh,, may be taken as the
length of the cut-out, l.indicated in Table 7.5.3.1-1, unless test data indicates a more appropriate
value should be used. When tapered configurations are utilized, the slope of the tapered cut in the
beam flange should be arranged such that the variation of the plastic section modulus, Zx, within
the reduced section approximates the moment gradient in the beam during the condition when
plastic hinges have formed within the reduced beam sections at both ends.

Plastic
hinge

reduced
section

sh
c

Figure 7.5.3.1-1 Critical Dimensions - RBS Assemblies


7.5.3.2 Determine Strength and Probable Plastic Moment in RBS

The RBS may be proportioned to meet the following criteria:

New Construction
7-33

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

1. The section at the RBS should be sufficient to satisfy the strength criteria specified by
the building code for Dead, Live, Seismic, Snow, Wind, and other applicable design
forces.
2. The elastic stiffness of the frame, considering the effects of the RBS, should be
sufficient to meet the drift requirements specified by the code, under the design seismic
and other forces.
3. The expected stress in the beam flange - to - column flange weld, under the application
of gravity forces and that seismic force that results in development of the probable
plastic moment of the reduced section at both ends of the beam, should be less than or
equal to the strength of the weld, as indicated in Section 7.2.2 of the Interim
Guidelines.
4. The expected through-thickness stress on the face of the column flange, calculated as
Mf/Sc, under the application of gravity forces and that seismic force that results in
development of the probable plastic moment of the reduced section at both ends of the
beam, should be less than or equal to the values indicated in Section 7.5.1, where Mf is
the moment at the face of the column flange, calculated as indicated in Section 7.5.2.4,
and Sc is the elastic section modulus of the beam at the connection considering weld
reinforcement, bolt holes, reinforcing plates, etc. The maximum moment at the face of
the column should be in the range of 85 percent to 100 percent of the beams expected
plastic moment capacity. The depth of cut-out, a, should be selected to be less than or
equal to bf/4.
The plastic section modulus of the RBS may be calculated from the equation:

Z RBS = Z x bR t f d t f

(7.5.3.2-1)

where:
ZRBS
Zx
bR
tf
d

is the plastic section modulus of the reduced beam section


is the plastic modulus of the unreduced section
is the total width of material removed from the beam flange
is the thickness of the beam flange
is the depth of the beam

The probable plastic moment, Mpr, at the RBS shall be calculated from the equation:

M pr = Z RBS Fy
where:
ZRBS

is the plastic section modulus of the reduced beam section


is as defined in Section 7.5.2.2
New Construction
7-34

(7.5.3.2-2)

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

The strength demand on the beam flange - to - column flange weld and on the face of the
column may be determined by following the procedures of Section .7.5.2.3 and 7.5.2.4 of the
Interim Guidelines, using the value of Mpr determined in accordance with Eq. 7.5.3.2-2.
Commentary: Initial design procedures for RBS connections published by SAC
recommended that sufficient reduction of the beam flange be made to maintain
flexural stresses in the beam, at the column face, below the anticipated throughthickness yield strength of the column flange material. Since the publication of
those recommendations, extensive testing of RBS connections has been conducted,
both with and without composite slabs. The testing conducted to date on RBS
specimens This testing has typically been for configurations that would result in
somewhat larger strength demands at the face of the column flange than
suggested by the criteria originally published by SAC. contained in this Advisory.
Typically, the tested specimens had reductions in the beam flange area on the
order of 35% to 45% and produced moments at the face of the column that
resulted in stresses on the weld and column as large as large as 90 to 100% of the
expected material strength of the beam, which is often somewhat in excess of the
through-thickness yield strength of the column material. The specimens in these
tests all developed acceptable levels of inelastic deformation. Recent studies
conducted for SAC at Lehigh University confirm that the significant conditions of
restraint that exist at the beam flange to column flange joint results in
substantially elevated column through-thickness strength, negating a need to
reduce flexural stresses below the anticipated column yield strength. In view of
this evidence, SAC has elected to adopt design recommendations consistent with
configurations that were successfully tested. The criteria contained in this
Advisory suggest that these demands be reduced to a level which would maintain
weld stresses within their normally specified values and through-thickness column
flange stresses at the same levels recommended for strengthened connections.
This may require the beam flanges to be reduced by as much as 50% or more for
some frame configurations, or that supplemental reinforcement such as cover
plates or vertical ribs be provided in addition to the reduced section. This
approach was taken to maintain consistency with the criteria recommended for
strengthened connections and with the knowledge that the factors affecting the
performance of these connections are not yet fully understood.
7.5.3.3 Strong Column - Weak Beam Condition

The adequacy of the design to meet strong column - weak beam conditions should be checked
in accordance with the procedures of Section 7.5.2.5

New Construction
7-35

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

7.5.3.4 Column Panel Zone

The adequacy of the column panel zone should be checked in accordance with the procedures
of Section 7.5.2.6.
7.5.3.5 Lateral Bracing

The reduced section of the beam flanges should be provided with adequate lateral support to
prevent lateral-torsional buckling of the section. Lateral braces should be located within a
distance equal to 1/2 the beam depth from the expected location of plastic hinging, but should not
be located within the reduced section of the flanges.
Commentary: Unbraced compression flanges of beams are subject to lateraltorsional buckling, when subjected to large flexural stresses , such as occur in the
plastic hinges of beams reduced sections of RBS connections during response to
strong ground motion. To prevent such behavior lateral-torsional buckling, it is
recommended that both flanges of beams be provided with lateral support.
Section 9.8 of the 1997 AISC Seismic Specification requires such bracing in
general, and specifically states as follows:
Both flanges of beams shall be laterally supported directly or indirectly.
The unbraced length between lateral supports shall not exceed 2500ry/Fy. In
addition, lateral supports shall be placed near concentrated forces, changes
in cross section and other locations where analysis indicates that a plastic
hinge will form during inelastic deformations of the SMF.
Adequate lateral support of the top flanges of beams supporting concrete
filled metal deck or formed slabs can usually be obtained through the normal
welded attachments of the deck to the beam or through shear studs. Lateral
support of beam flanges can also be provided through the connections of
transverse framing members or by provision of special lateral braces, attached
directly to the flanges. Such attachments should not be made within the reduced
section of the beam flange as the welding or bolting required to make such
attachments can lead to premature fracturing in these regions of high plastic
demands.
For beams in moment-resisting frames, it has traditionally been assumed that
the direct attachment of the beam flanges to the columns provided sufficient
lateral support of both beam flanges to accommodate the plastic hinges
anticipated to develop in these frames at the beam-column connection. However,
connection configurations like the RBS, developed following the Northridge
earthquake, are intended to promote formation of these plastic hinges at some
distance from the beam-column interface. This brings to question the adequacy
of the beam flange to column flange attachments to provide the necessary lateral

New Construction
7-36

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

support at the plastic hinge. While this issue is pertinent for any connection
configuration that promotes plastic hinge formation remote from the beamcolumn interface, RBS connections could be more susceptible to lateral-torsion
buckling at the plastic hinge because the reductions in the beam flange used to
achieve plastic hinge formation also locally reduce the torsional resistance of the
section. For that reason, FEMA-267a recommended provision of lateral bracing
adjacent to the reduced beam section.
Provision of lateral bracing does result in some additional cost. Therefore,
SAC has engaged in specific investigations to evaluate the effect of lateral
bracing both on the hysteretic behavior of individual connections as well as
overall frame response to large lateral displacements. Until these investigations
have concluded SAC continues to recommend provision of lateral bracing for
RBS connections. It should be noted that Section 9.8 of the 1997 AISC Seismic
Specification states:
If members with Reduced Beam Sections, tested in accordance with
Appendix S are used, the placement of lateral support for the member shall be
consistent with that used in the tests.
Most testing of RBS specimens performed as part of the SAC project have
consisted of single beams cantilevered off a column to simulate the exterior
connection in a multi-bay moment-resisting frame. The beams have generally
been braced at the end of the cantilever length, typically located about 100 inches
from the face of the column. For the ASTM A572, Grade 50, W36x150 sections
typically tested, this results in a nominal length between lateral supports that is
comparable to 2500ry/Fy.
The appropriate design strength for lateral bracing of compression elements
has long been a matter of debate. Most engineers have applied rules of thumb
that suggest that the bracing element should be able to resist a small portion,
perhaps on the order of 2% to 6% of the compressive force in the element being
braced, applied normal to the line of action of the compression. A recent
successful test of an RBS specimen conducted at the University of Texas at Austin
incorporated lateral bracing with a strength equal to 6% of the nominal
compressive yield force in the reduced section.
7.5.3.6 Welded Attachments

Headed studs for composite floor construction should not be placed on the beam flange
between the face of the column and the extreme end of the RBS, as indicated in Figure 7.5.3.6-1.
Other welded attachments should also be excluded from these regions of the beam.

New Construction
7-37

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

welded attachment prohibited


welded attachment permitted

Reduced beam section

Figure 7.5.3.6-1 Welded Attachments to RBS Beams


Commentary: There are two basic reasons for omitting headed studs in the
region between the reduced beam section and the column. The first of these is
that composite action of the slab and beam can effectively counteract the
reduction in beam section properties achieved by the cutouts in the top beam
flange. By omitting shear studs in the end region of the beam, this composite
behavior is neutralized, protecting the effectiveness of the section reduction. The
second reason is that the portion of the beam at the reduced section is expected to
experience large cyclic inelastic strains. If welded attachments are made to the
beam in this region, the potential for low-cycle fatigue of the beam, under these
large cyclic inelastic strains is greatly increased. For this same reason, other
welded attachments should also be excluded from this region.
7.6 Metallurgy and Welding
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.6 at this time.
7.7 Quality Control/Quality Assurance
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.7 at this time.
7.8 Guidelines on Other Connection Design Issues
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.8 at this time.

New Construction
7-38

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

7.8.1 Design of Panel Zones

No current recommendations are made to supplement or modify the UBC-1994 {NEHRP-91}


provisions for the design of panel zones, other than as indicated in Section 7.5.2.6, above. Panel
zone demands should be calculated in accordance with Section 7.5.2.6. As with other elements of
the connection, available panel zone strength should be computed using minimum specified yield
stress for the material, except when the panel zone strength is used as a limit on the required
connection strength, in which case Fym should be used.
Where connection design for two-sided connection assemblies is relying on test data for onesided connection assemblies, consideration should be given to maintaining the level of panel zone
deformation in the design to a level consistent with that of the test, or at least assume that the
panel zone must remain elastic, under the maximum expected shear demands.
Commentary: At present, no changes are recommended to the code requirements
governing the design of panel zones, other than in the calculation of the demand.
As indicated in Section 7.5.2.6, it is recommended that the formulation for panel
zone demand contained in the UBC, based on 1.85 times the prescribed seismic
forces, not be utilized. This formulation, which is not contained in either the
AISC Seismic Provisions or the NEHRP Provisions, is felt to lead to the design of
panel zones that are excessively flexible and weak in shear. There is evidence
that panel zone yielding may contribute to the plastic rotation capability of a
connection. However, there is also concern and some evidence that if the
deformation is excessive, a kink will develop in the column flange at the joint with
the beam flange and, if the local curvature induced in the beam and column
flanges is significant, can contribute to failure of the joint. This would suggest
that greater conservatism in column panel zone design may be warranted.
In addition to the influence of the deformation of the panel zone on the
connection performance, it should be recognized that the use of doubler plates
and especially the welding associated with them is likely to be detrimental to the
connection performance. It is recommended that the Engineer consider use of
column sizes which will not require addition of doubler plates, where practical.
7.8.2 Design of Web Connections to Column Flanges

Specific modifications to the code requirements for design of shear connections are not made
at this time. It should be noted that the emergency code change to the UBC-94 {NEHRP-94}
deleted the former requirements for supplemental web welds on shear connections. This is felt to
be appropriate since these welds can apparently contribute to the potential for shear tab failure at
large induced rotations.
When designing shear connections for moment-resisting assemblies, the designer should
calculate shear demands on the web connection in accordance with Section 7.5.2.4, above. For

New Construction
7-39

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

connection designs based on tested configurations, the web connection design should be
consistent with the conditions in the tested assemblies.
Commentary: Some engineers consider that it is desirable to develop as much
bending strength in the web as possible. Additionally, it has been observed in
some laboratory testing that pre-mature slip of the bolted web connection can
result in large secondary flexural stresses in the beam flanges and the welded
joints to the column flange. However, there is some evidence to suggest that if
flange connections should fail, welding of shear tabs to the beam web may
promote tearing of the tab weld to the column flange or the tab itself through the
bolt holes, and some have suggested that welding be avoided and that web
connections should incorporate horizontally slotted holes to limit the moment
which can be developed in the shear tab, thereby protecting its ability to resist
gravity loads on the beam in the event of flexural connection failure.
Some recent finite element studies of typical connections by Goel, Popov and
others have suggested that even when the shear tab is welded, shear demands at
the connections tend to be resisted by a diagonal tension type behavior in the web
that tends to result in much of the shear being resisted by the flanges.
Investigation of these effects is continuing.
7.8.3 Design of Continuity Plates

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.8.3 at this time.
7.8.4 Design of Weak Column and Weak Way Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.8.4 at this time.
7.9 Moment Frame Connections for Consideration in New Construction
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.9 at this time.
7.9.1 Cover Plate Connections

Figure 7-5 Figure 7.9.1-1 illustrates the basic configuration of cover plated connections.
Short cover plates are added to the top and bottom flanges of the beam with fillet welds adequate to
transfer the cover plate forces to the beam flanges. The bottom flange cover plate is shop welded to the
column flange and the beam bottom flange is field welded to the column flange and to the cover plate.
The top flange and the top flange cover plate are both field welded to the column flange with a
common weld. The web connection may be either welded or high strength (slip critical) bolted.
Limited testing of these connections (Engelhardt & Sabol - 1994), (Tsai & Popov -1988) has been
performed. More than 30 tests of such connections have been performed, with data on at least 18 of
these tests available in the public domain.
New Construction
7-40

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

A variation of this concept which has been tested successfully very recently (Forell/Elsesser
Engineers -1995), uses cover plates sized to take the full flange force, without direct welding of the
beam flanges themselves to the column. In this version of the detail, the cover plate provides a cross
sectional area at the column face about 1.7 times that of the beam flange area. In the detail which has
been tested, a welded shear tab is used, and is designed to resist a significant portion of the plastic
bending strength of the beam web.

T&B

Figure 7-5 Figure 7.9.1-1 - Cover Plate Connection


Design Issues: Following the Northridge earthquake, the University of Texas at Austin
conducted a program of research, under private funding, to develop a modified connection
configuration for a specific project. Following a series of unsuccessful tests on various types of
connections, approximatelyApproximately eight connections similar to that shown in Figure 7-5
Figure 7.9.1-1 were have been recently tested (Engelhardt & Sabol - 1994), and they have
demonstrated the ability to achieve acceptable levels of plastic rotation provided that the beam
flange to column flange welding wasis correctly executed and through-thickness problems in the
column flange were are avoided. This configuration is relatively economical, compared to some
other reinforced configurations, and has limited architectural impact. As a result of these
factors, and the significant publicity that followed the first successful tests of these connections,
cover plated connections quickly became the predominant configuration used in the design of
new buildings. As a result, a number of qualification tests have now been performed on different
variations of cover plated connections, covering a wide range of member sizes ranging from
W16 to W36 beams, as part of the design process for individual building projects. The results of
these tests have been somewhat mixed, with a significant number of failures reported. Although
this connection type appears to be significantly more reliable than the typical pre-Northridge
connection, it should be expected that some connections in buildings incorporating this detail
may still be subjected to earthquake initiated fracture damage. Designers should consider using
alternative connection types, unless highly redundant framing systems are employed.

New Construction
7-41

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Six of eight connections tested by the University of Texas at Austin were able to achieve
plastic rotations of at least 0.025 radians, or better. Strength loss at the extreme levels of plastic
rotation did not reduce the flexural capacity to less than the plastic moment capacity of the
section based on minimum specified yield strength. One specimen achieved plastic rotations of
0.015 radians when a brittle fracture of the CJP weld (type W2 failure) occurred. This may
partially be the result of a weld that was not executed in conformance with the specified welding
procedure specification. The second unsuccessful test specimen achieved plastic rotations of
0.005 radian when a section of the column flange (type C2 failure) occurred. A similar failure
occurred in recent testing by Popov of a specimen with cover plates having a somewhat modified
plan shape.
Quantitative Results: No. of specimens tested: 18
Girder Size: W21 x 68 to W36 x 150
Column Size: W12 x 106 to W14 x 455
Plastic Rotation achieved6 13 Specimens : >0.025 radian
1 3 Specimens: 0.015 0.005 < p < 0.025 radian
1 2 Specimens: 0.005 radian
Although apparently more reliable than the former prescriptive connection, this
configuration is subject to some of the same flaws including dependence dependent on properly
executed beam flange to column flange welds, and through-thickness behavior of the column
flange. Further these effects are somewhat exacerbated as the added effective thickness of the
beam flange results in a much larger groove weld at the joint, and therefore potentially more
severe problems with brittle heat affected zones and lamellar defects in the column. Indeed, a
significant percentage of connections of this configuration have failed to produce the desired
amount of plastic rotation.
One of the issues that must be faced by designers utilizing cover plated connections is the
sequence of operations used to attach the cover plate and beam flange to the column. In one
approach, the bottom cover plate is shop welded to the column, and then used as the backing for
the weld of the beam bottom flange to the column flange. This approach has the advantage of
providing an erection seat and also results in a somewhat reduced amount of field welding for
this joint. A second approach is to attach the cover plate to the beam flange, and then weld it to
the column, in the field, as an integral part of the beam flange. There are tradeoffs to both
approaches. The latter approach results in a relatively large field weld at the bottom flange with
large heat input required into the column and beam. If this operation is not performed with
proper preheat and control of the heat input, it can potentially result in an enlarged and brittle
heat affected zone in both members. The first approach results in reduced heat input and
therefore, somewhat minimized potential for this effect. However, proper control of preheat and
heat input remains as important in either case, as improper procedures can still result in brittle
conditions in the heat affected zone. Further, the detail in which the cover plate is shop welded
to the column can lead to a notch effect for the column flange at the seam between the beam

New Construction
7-42

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

flange and cover plate. This is effect is illustrated in Figure 7.9.1-2. At least one specimen
employing this detail developed a premature fracture across the column flange that has been
related to this notch effect. This effect has been confirmed by recent fracture mechanics
modeling of this condition conducted by Deierlein.
When developing cover plated connection details, designers should attempt to minimize the
total thickness of beam flange and cover plate, so as to reduce the size of the complete joint
penetration weld of these combined elements to the column flange. For some frame
configurations and member sizes, this combined thickness and the resulting CJP weld size can
approach or even exceed the thickness of the column flange. While there is no specific criteria
in the AWS or AISC specifications that would suggest such weldments should not be made,
judgementally they would not appear to be desirable from either a constructability or
performance perspective. As a rough guideline, it is recommended that for connections in which
both the beam flange and cover plate are welded to the column flange, the combined thickness of
these elements should not exceed twice the thickness of the beam flange nor 100% of the
thickness of the column flange. For cover plated connections in which only the cover plate is
welded to the column flange, the same thickness limits should be applied to the cover plate.

seam acts as notch


beam bottom flange
column
flange
(in tension)

cover plate

Figure 7.9.1-2 Notch Effect at Cover Plated Connections


7.9.2 Flange Rib Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.9.2 at this time.

New Construction
7-43

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

7.9.3 Bottom Haunch Connections

Figure 7.9.3-1 7-7 indicates the configuration of a connection with a haunch at the bottom
beam flange.several potential configurations for single, haunched beam-column connections. As
with the cover plated and ribbed connections, the intent is to shift the plastic hinge away from the
column face and to reduce the demand on the CJP weld by increasing the depth of the section.
To date, the configuration incorporating the triangular haunch has been subjected to limited
testing. Testing of configurations incorporating the straight haunch are currently planned, but
have not yet been performed. Several tests of this connection type were conducted by Uang under
the SAC phase I project (Uang, 1995). Following that work, additional research on the feasibility
of improving connection performance with welded haunches was conducted under a project that
was jointly sponsored by NIST and AISC (NIST, 1998). That project was primarily focused on
the problem of upgrading connections in existing buildings. As indicated in the report of that
work, the haunched modification improves connection performance by altering the basic behavior
of the connection. In essence, the haunch creates a prop type support, beneath the beam bottom
flange. This both reduces the effective flexural stresses in the beam at the face of the support, and
also greatly reduces the shear that must be transmitted to the column through the beam. A
complete procedure for the design of this modification may be found in NIST, 1998.
Figure 7-7 - Bottom Haunch Connection Modification

Figure 7.9.3-1 Bottom Haunch Connecction


Two Nine tests are known to have been performed to date, both successfully all intended to
replicate the condition of an existing connection that has been upgraded. Except for those
specimens in which existing vulnerable welded joints were left in place at the top flange, these
connections generally achieved large plastic rotations. Several dynamic tests have also been
New Construction
7-44

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

successfully conducted, although only moderate plastic deformation demands could be imposed
due to limitations of the laboratory equipment. Both tests were conducted in a
repair/modification configuration. In one test, a portion of the girder top flange, adjacent to the
column, was replaced with a thicker plate. In addition, the bottom flange and haunch were both
welded to the column. This specimen developed a plastic hinge within the beam span, outside the
haunched area and behaved acceptably. A second specimen did not have a thickened top flange
and the bottom girder flange was not welded to the column. Plastic behavior in this specimen
occurred outside the haunch at the bottom flange and adjacent to the column face at the top
flange. Failure initiated in the girder at the juncture between the top flange and web, possibly
contributed to by buckling of the flange as well as lateral torsional buckling of the section.
Fracture progressed slowly along the top fillet of the girder and eventually, traveled into the
flange itself.
Design Issues: The haunch can be attached to the girder in the shop, reducing field erection
costs. Weld sizes are smaller than in cover plated connections. The top flange is free of
obstructions.
Quantitative Results: No. of specimens tested: 92
Girder Size: W30 x 99
Column Size: W14 x 176
Plastic Rotation achievedSpecimen 1 UCSD-1R:0.04 radian (w/o bottom flange weld and
reinforced top flange)
Specimen 2 UCSD-3R:0.05 radian (with bottom flange weld and
reinforced top flange)
Specimen UCSD-4R: 0.014 radian (dynamic- limited by test setup)
Specimen UCSD-5R: 0.015 radian (dynamic- limited by test setup)
Girder Size: W36x150
Column Size: W14x257
Plastic Rotation achieved Specimen UCB-RN2: 0.014 radian (no modification of top weld)
Specimen UTA-1R: 0.019 radian (partial modification of top weld)
Specimen UTA-1RB: 0.028 radian (modified top weld)
Girder Size: W36x150
Column Size: W14x455
Plastic Rotation achievedSpecimen UTA-NSF4: 0.015 radian (no modification of top weld)
Girder Size: W18x86
Column Size: W24x279
Plastic Rotation achievedSpecimen SFCCC-8: 0.035 radian (cover plated top flange)
New Construction
7-45

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Performance is dependent on properly executed complete joint penetration welds at the


column face. The joint can be subject to through-thickness flaws in the column flange; however,
this connection may not be as sensitive to this potential problem because of the significant
increase in the effective depth of the beam section which can be achieved. Welding of the bottom
haunch requires overhead welding when relatively shallow haunches are used. The skewed
groove welds of the haunch flanges to the girder and column flanges may be difficult to execute.
The increased depth of the beam, resulting from the haunch may have undesirable impact on
architectural design. Unless the top flange is prevented from buckling at the face of the column,
performance may not be adequate. For configurations incorporating straight haunches, the
haunch must be long, in order to adequately develop stress into the haunch, through the web.
This tends to increase demands at the column face. Additional testing of all these configurations
is recommended.
7.9.4 Top and Bottom Haunch Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.9.4 at this time.
7.9.5 Side-Plate Connections

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.9.5 at this time.
7.9.6 Reduced Beam Section Connections

In this connection, the cross section of the beam is intentionally reduced within a segment, to
produce an intended plastic hinge zone or fuse, located within the beam span, away from the
column face. Several ways of performing this cross section reduction have been proposed. One
method includes removal of a portion of the flanges, symmetrical about the beam centerline, in a
so-called dog bone profile. Care should be taken with this approach to provide for smoothly
contoured transitions to avoid the creation of stress risers which could initiate fracture. It has also
been proposed to create the reduced section of beam by drilling a series of holes in the beam
flanges. Figure 7-11 Figure 7.9.6-1 illustrates both concepts. The most successful configurations
have used reduced sections formed with circular cuts. Configurations which taper the reduced
section, through the use of unsymmetrical cut-outs, or variable size holes, to balance the cross
section and the flexural demand have also been tested with success.
Testing of this concept was first performed by a private party, and US patents were applied
for and granted. These patents have now been released. Limited testing of both dog-bone and
drilled hole configurations have been performed in Taiwan (Chen and Yeh - 1995). The American
Institute of Steel Construction is currently performing additional tests of this configuration
(Smith-Emery - 1995), however the full results of this testing are not yet available. has performed
successful testing of 4 linearly tapered RBS connections. In the time since the first publication of
the Interim Guidelines, a number of tests have been successfully conducted of RBS connections
with circular curved cut-outs, including investigations and at the University of Texas at Austin,
has successfully tested 4 circular curved RBS specimens. Others, including Popov at the
New Construction
7-46

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

University of California at Berkeley, and Texas A&M University., have also tested circular curved
RBS connections with success.
When this connection type was first proposed, There is a concern was expressed that the
presence of a concrete slab at the beam top flange would tend to limit the effectiveness of the
reduced section of that flange, particularly when loading places the top flange into compression.
It may be possible to mitigate this effect with proper detailing of the slab. Limited testing of RBS
specimens with composite slabs has recently been successfully conducted at Ecole Polytechnic, in
Montreal, Canada. In these tests, shear studs were omitted from the portion of the top flange
having a reduced section, in order to minimize the influence of the slab on flexural hinging. In
addition, a 1 inch wide gap was placed in the slab, around the column, to reduce the influence of
the slab on the connection at the column face. More recently, both the University of Texas at
Austin and Texas A&M University have conducted successful tests of RBS connections with
slabs and without such gaps present between the slab and column. This most recent testing
suggests that the presence of the slab actually enhances connection behavior by retarding buckling
of the top flange in compression and delaying strength degradation effects commonly observed in
specimens tested without slabs.
Design Issues: This connection type is potentially the most economical of the several types which
have been suggested. The reliability of this connection type is dependent on the quality of the
complete joint penetration weld of the beam to column flange, and the through-thickness
behavior of the column flange. If the slab is not appropriately detailed, it may inhibit the
intended fuse behavior of the reduced section beam segment. It is not clear at this time
whether it would be necessary to use larger beams with this detail to attain the same overall
system strength and stiffness obtained with other configurations. In limited testing conducted to
date of the unsymmetrical dog-bone configuration (Smith-Emery - 1995), the plastic hinging
which occurred at the reduced section was less prone to buckling of the flanges than in some of
the other configurations which have been tested, due to the very compact nature of the flange in
the region of the plastic hinge. However, the tendency for lateral-torsional buckling is
significantly increased suggesting the need for lateral bracing of the beam flanges, near the
reduced section.
Experimental Results: A number of researchers have performed tests on RBS specimens to date.
Most tests have utilized the ATC-24 loading protocol, which is similar to the protocol described
in Section 7.4.1 of the Interim Guidelines. Testing employed at Ecole Polytechnic, in Montreal,
Canada utilized a series of different testing protocols including the ATC-24 procedure and a
dynamic excitation simulating the response of a connection in a building to an actual earthquake
accelerogram (Tremblay, et. al., 1997). This research included two tests of connections with
composite floor slabs. All of the reported tests with circular flange cuts have performed
acceptably, however, the dynamic tests at Ecole Polytechnic only imposed 0.025 radians of
plastic rotation on the assembly.

New Construction
7-47

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Straight

Tapered

Circular
Reduced
Section

Drilled Constant

Drilled Tapered

Figure 7-11 7.9.6-1 - Reduced Beam Section Connection


Quantitative Results:
No. of specimens tested: 219 published (without slabs)2
Girder Size: W21 x 62W30 x 99 thru W 36 x 194
Column Size: W14x120W14 x 176 thru W 14 x 426, W24 x 229
Plastic Rotation achieved:- 0.03 radian
Straight: - 0.02 radian
Tapered - 0.027 - 0.045 radian
Circular - 0.03 - 0.04 radian
No. of specimens tested: 42published (with slabs)
Girder Size: W21 x 44 to W36 x 150
Column Size: W14 x 90 to W14x257
Plastic Rotation achieved: 0.03-0.05 radians (ATC-24 loading protocol)
0.025 radians (earthquake simulation limited
by laboratory setup, no failure observed)
7.9.7 Slip - Friction Energy Dissipating Connection

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.9.7 at this time.
7.9.8 Column-Tree Connection

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.9.8 at this time.
7.9.9 Proprietary Slotted Web Connections

In the former prescriptive connection, in which the beam flanges were welded directly to the
column flanges, beam flexural stress was transferred into the column web through the combined

New Construction
7-48

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

action of direct tension across the column flange, opposite the column web, and through flexure
of the column flange. This stress transfer mechanism and its resulting beam flange prying moment
results in a large stress concentration at the center of the beam flange, opposite the column web.
Recent research (Allen, et. al. - 1995) indicates that the provision of continuity plates within the
column panel zone reduces this stress concentration somewhat, but not completely. The intent of
the proprietary slotted web connections is to further reduce this stress concentration and to
achieve a uniform distribution of flexural stress across the beam flange at the connection, and also,
to promote local buckling of the beam flanges under compressive loads to limit the amount of
demand on the beam flange to column flange weld. Claimed assets for this connection include
elimination of the vertical beam shear in the beam flange welds, elimination of the beam lateral
torsional buckling mode, and the participation of the beam web in resisting its portion of the beam
moment. A number of different configurations for this connection type have been developed and
tested. Figure 7.9.9-17-14 indicates one such configuration for this connection type that has been
successfully tested and which has been used in both new and retrofit steel moment-resisting
frames. In this configuration, slots are cut into the beam web, extending from the weld access
hole adjacent to the top and bottom flanges, and extending along the beam axis a sufficient length
to alleviate the stress concentration effects at the beam flange to column flange weld. The beam
web is welded to the column flange. vertical plates are placed between the column flanges,
opposite the edges of the top and bottom beam flanges to stiffen the outstanding column flanges
and draw flexural stress away from the center of the beam flange. Horizontal plates are placed
between these vertical plates and the column web to transfer shear stresses to the panel zone. The
web itself is softened with the cutting of a vertical slot in the column web, opposite the beam
flange. High fidelity finite element models were utilized to confirm that a nearly uniform
distribution of stress occurs across the beam flange.

Slot, typ.
NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION:
WARNING: The information presented in this figure is PROPRIETARY. US patents have been granted
and Foreign Patents have been applied for. Use of this information is strictly prohibited except as
authorized in writing by the developer. Violators shall be prosecuted in accordance with US and Foreign
Patent Intellectual Property Laws.

Figure 7.9.9-17-14 - Proprietary Slotted Web Connection


New Construction
7-49

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Design Issues: This detail is potentially quite economical, entailing somewhat more shop
fabrication than the former prescriptive connection, but similar levels of field erection work.
Contrary to the recommendations contained in these Interim Guidelines, this connection does
not shift the location of plastic hinging away from the column face. However, two a number of
connections employing details similar to that shown in Figure 7-147.9.9-1 have recently been
tested successfully (Allen. - 1995). The connection detail is sensitive to the quality of welding
employed in the critical welds, including those between the beam and column flanges., and
between the vertical and horizontal plates and the column elements. It has been reported that
one specimen, with a known defect in the beam flange to column flange weld was informally
tested and failed at low levels of loading.
The detail is also sensitive to the balance in stiffness of the various plates and flanges. For
configurations other than those tested, detailed finite element analyses may be necessary to
confirm that the desired uniform stress distribution is achieved. The developer of this detail
indicates that for certain column profiles, it may be possible to omit the vertical slots in the
column web and still achieve the desired uniform beam flange stress distribution.
This detail may also be sensitive to the toughness of the column base metal at the region of
the fillet between the web and flanges. In heavy shapes produced by some rolling processes the
metal in this region may have substantially reduced toughness properties relative to the balance
of the section. This condition, coupled with local stress concentrations induced by the slot in the
web may have the potential to initiate premature fracture. The developer believes that it is
essential to perform detailed analyses of the connection configuration, in order to avoid such
problems. Popov tested one specimen incorporating a locally softened web, but without the
vertical and horizontal stiffener plates contained in the detail shown in Figure 7-14. That
specimen failed by brittle fracture through the column flange which progressed into the holes cut
into the web. The stress patterns induced in that specimen, however, were significantly different
than those which occur in the detail shown in the figure.
Quantitative Results: Number of specimens tested: 2
Girder Size: W 27x94
Column Size: W 14x176
Plastic Rotation Achieved:
Specimen 1: 0.025 radian
Specimen 2: 0.030 radian
Quantitative data on connection testing may be obtained from the
licensor.
7.9.10 Bolted Bracket Connections

Framing connections employing bolted or riveted brackets have been used in structural steel
construction since its inception. Early connections of this type were often quite flexible, and also
had limited strength compared to the members they were connecting, resulting in partially
restrained type framing. However, it is possible to construct heavy bolted brackets employing
New Construction
7-50

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

high strength bolts to develop fully restrained moment connections. Pretensioing of the bolts or
threaded rods attaching the brackets to the column flanges and use of slip-critical connections
between the brackets and beam flanges can help to provide the rigidity required to obtain fully
restrained behavior. Reinforcement of the column flanges may be required to prevent local
yielding and excessive deformation of these elements, as well. Two alternative configurations that
have been tested recently are illustrated in Figure 7.9.10-1. The developer of these configurations
offers the brackets in the form of proprietary steel castings. Several tests of these alternative
connections have been performed on specimens with beams ranging in size from W16 to W36
sections and with large plastic rotations successfully achieved.
Design Issues: The concept of bolted bracket connections is similar to that of the riveted wind
connections commonly installed in steel frame buildings in the early twentieth century. The
primary difference is that the riveted wind connections were typically limited in strength either
by flexural yielding of outstanding flanges of the brackets, or shear and tension on the rivets,
rather than by flexural hinging of the connected framing. Since the old-style wind connections
could not typically develop the flexural strength of the girders and also could be quite flexible,
they would be classified either as partial strength or partially restrained connections. Following
the Northridge earthquake, the concept of designing such connections with high strength bolts
and heavy plates, to behave as fully restrained connections, was developed and tested by a
private party who has applied for patents on the concept of using steel castings for this purpose.
Bracket

High tensile
threaded rod

Pipe
Plate

Bolts

WARNING: The information presented in this figure is PROPRIETARY. US and Foreign


Patents have been applied for. Use of this information is strictly prohibited except as authorized
in writing by the developer. Violators shall be prosecuted in accordance with US and Foreign
Patent Intellectual Property Laws.

Figure 7.9.10-1 Bolted Bracket Connections


Bolted connections offer a number of potential advantages over welded connections. Since no
field welding is required for these connections, they are inherently less labor intensive during
New Construction
7-51

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

erection, and also less dependent on the technique of individual welders for successful
performance. However, quality assurance should be provided for installation and tensioning of
the bolts, as well as correction of any problems with fit-up due to fabrication tolerances.
Experimental Results: A series of tests on several different configurations of proprietary heavy
bolted bracket connections have been performed at Lehigh University (Ksai & Bleiman, 1996) to
qualify these connections for use in repair and modification applications. To test repair
applications, brackets were placed only on the bottom beam flange to simulate installations on a
connection where the bottom flange weld in the original connection had failed. In these
specimens, bottom flange welds were not installed, to approximate the condition of a fully
fractured weld. The top flange welds of these specimens were made with electrodes rated for
notch toughness, to preclude premature failure of the specimens at the top flange. For
specimens in which brackets were placed at both the top and bottom beam flanges, both welds
were omitted. Acceptable plastic rotations were achieved for each of the specimens tested.
Quantitative Results: No. of specimens tested: 8
Girder Size: W16x40 and W36x150
Column Size: W12x65 and W14x425
Plastic Rotation achieved - 0.05 radians - 0.07 radians
7.10 Other Types of Welded Connection Structures
There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.10 at this time.
7.10.1 Eccentrically Braced Frames (EBF)

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.10.1 at this time.
7.10.2 Dual Systems

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.10.2 at this time.
7.10.3 Welded Base Plate Details

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.10.3 at this time.
7.10.4 Vierendeel Truss Systems

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.10.4 at this time.
7.10.5 Moment Frame Tubular Systems

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.10.5 at this time.

New Construction
7-52

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

7.10.6 Welded Connections of Collectors, Ties and Diaphragm Chords

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.10.6 at this time.
7.10.7 Welded Column Splices

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.10.7 at this time.
7.10.8 Built-up Moment Frame Members

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 7.10.8 at this time.

New Construction
7-53

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

This page intentionally left blank

New Construction
7-54

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

8. METALLURGY & WELDING


8.1 Parent Materials
8.1.1 Steels

Designers should specify materials which are readily available for building construction and which
will provide suitable ductility and weldability for seismic applications. Structural steels which may be
used in the lateral-force-resisting systems for structures designed for seismic resistance without special
qualification include those contained in Table 8.1.1-1. Refer to the applicable ASTM reference
standard for detailed information.
Table 8.1.1-1 - Structural Steel Prequalified for Use in Seismic Lateral-Force-Resisting Systems
ASTM Specification
ASTM A36
ASTM A283
Grade D
ASTM A500
(Grades B & C)
ASTM A501
ASTM A572
(Grades 42 & 50)
ASTM A588
ASTM A9921
Notes:
1- See Commentary

Description
Carbon Structural Steel
Low and Intermediate Tensile Strength Carbon Steel Plates
Cold-Formed Welded & Seamless Carbon Steel Structural Tubing in Rounds &
Shapes
Hot-Formed Welded & Seamless Carbon Steel Structural Tubing
High-Strength Low-Alloy Columbium-Vanadium Steels of Structural Quality
High-Strength Low-Alloy Structural Steel (weathering steel)
Steel for Structural Shapes for Use in Building Framing

Structural steels which may be used in the lateral-force-resisting systems of structures designed for
seismic resistance with special permission of the building official are those listed in Table 8.1.1-2. Steel
meeting these specifications has not been demonstrated to have adequate weldability or ductility for
general purpose application in seismic-force-resisting systems, although it may well possess such
characteristics. In order to demonstrate the acceptability of these materials for such use in WSMF
construction it is recommended that connections be qualified by test, in accordance with the guidelines
of Chapter 7. The test specimens should be fabricated out of the steel using those welding procedures
proposed for use in the actual work.
Table 8.1.1-2 - Non-prequalified Structural Steel
ASTM Specification
Description
ASTM A242
High-Strength Low-Alloy Structural Steel
ASTM A709
Structural Steel for Bridges
ASTM A913
High-Strength Low-Alloy Steel Shapes of Structural Quality, Produced by
Quenching & Self-Tempering Process
Metallurgy & Welding
8-1

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Commentary: Many WSMF structures designed in the last 10 years incorporated


ASTM A36 steel for the beams and ASTM A572 grade 50 steel for the columns.
This provided an economical way to design structures for the strong column weak beam provisions contained in the building code. Recent studies conducted
by the Structural Shape Producers Council (SSPC), however, indicate that
material produced to the A36 specification has wide variation in strength
properties with actual yield strengths that often exceed 50 ksi. This wide
variation makes prediction of connection and frame behavior difficult. Some
have postulated that one of the contributing causes to damage experienced in the
Northridge earthquake was inadvertent pairing of overly strong beams with
average strength columns.
The AISC and SSPC have been working for several years to develop a new
specification for structural steel that would have both minimum and maximum
yield values defined and provide for a margin between maximum yield and
minimum ultimate tensile stress. AISC recently submitted such a specification,
for a material with 50 ksi specified yield strength, to ASTM for development into
a standard specification. ASTM formally adopted the new specification for
structural shapes, with a yield strength of 50 ksi, under designation A992 in 1998
and It is anticipated that domestic mills will begin have begun producing
structural wide flange shapes to this specification. within a few years and that
eventually, this new material will replace A36 as the standard structural material
for incorporation into lateral-force-resisting systems.
Since the formal approval of the A992 specification by ASTM occurred after
publication of the 1997 editions of the building codes and the AISC Seismic
Specification, it is not listed in any of these documents as a prequalified material
for use in lateral force resisting systems. Neither is it listed as prequalified in
AWS D1.1-98. However, all steel that complies with the ASTM-992 specification
will also meet the requirements of ASTM A572, Grade 50 and should therefore be
permissible for any application for which the A572 material is approved. See
also, the commentary to Section 8.2.2.
Under certain circumstances it may be desirable to specify steels that are not
recognized under the UBC for use in lateral-force-resisting systems. For
instance, ASTM A709 might be specified if the designer wanted to place limits on
toughness for fracture-critical applications. In addition, designers may wish to
begin incorporating ASTM A913, Grade 65 steel, as well as other higher strength
materials, into projects, in order to again be able to economically design for
strong column - weak beam conditions. Designers should be aware, however, that
these alternative steel materials may not be readily available. It is also
important when using such non-prequalified steel materials, that precautions be
taken to ensure adequate weldability of the material and that it has sufficient
ductility to perform under the severe loadings produced by earthquakes. The
Metallurgy & Welding
8-2

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

cyclic test program recommended by these Interim Guidelines for qualification of


connection designs, by test, is believed to be an adequate approach to qualify
alternative steel material for such use as well.
Note that ASTM A709 steel, although not listed in the building code as
prequalified for use in lateral-force-resisting systems, actually meets all of the
requirements for ASTM A36 and ASTM A572. Consequently, special
qualification of the use of this steel should not be required.
Although the 1994 editions of the Uniform Building Code and the NEHRP
Provisions do not prequalify the use of ASTM A913 steel in lateral force resisting
systems, the pending 1997 edition of the UBC does prequalify its use. Both the
1997 NEHRP Provisions and the AISC Seismic Provisions prequalify the use of
this steel in elements that do not undergo significant yielding, for example, the
columns of moment-resisting frames designed to meet strong column - weak beam
criteria. Consequently, special approval of the Building Official should no
longer be required as a pre-condition of the use of material conforming to this
specification, at least for columns.
8.1.2 Chemistry

There are no modifications to the Guidelines of Section 8.1.2 at this time.


Commentary: Some concern has been expressed with respect to the movement in
the steel producing industry of utilizing more recycled steel in its processes. This
results in added trace elements not limited by current specifications. Although
these have not been shown quantitatively to be detrimental to the performance of
welding on the above steels, a the new A992specification for structural steel
proposed by AISC does place more control on these trace elements. Mill test
reports now include elements not limited in some or all of the specifications.
They include copper, columbium, chromium, nickel, molybdenum, silicon and
vanadium. The analysis and reporting of an expanded set of elements should be
possible, and could be beneficial in the preparation of welding procedure
specifications (WPSs) by the welding engineer if critical welding parameters are
required. Modern spectrographs used by the mills are capable of automated
analyses. When required by the engineer, a request for special supplemental
requests should be noted in the contract documents.
8.1.3 Tensile/Elongation Properties

Mechanical property test specimens are taken from rolled shapes or plates at the rolling mill in the
manner and location prescribed by ASTM A6 and ASTM A370. Table 8-3 Table 8.1.3-1 gives the
basic mechanical requirements for commonly used structural steels. Properties specified, and
controlled by the mills, in current practice include minimum yield strength or yield point, ultimate

Metallurgy & Welding


8-3

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

tensile strength and minimum elongation. However, there can be considerable variability in the actual
properties of steel meeting these specifications.
SSPC, in cooperation with SEAOC, has collected statistical data on the strength characteristics of
two grades (ASTM A36 and ASTM A572 Grade 50) of structural steels, based on mill test reports
from selected domestic producers for the 1992 production year. Data were also collected for "Dual
Grade" material that was certified by the producers as complying with both ASTM A36 and ASTM
A572 Grade 50. Table 8-4 Table 8.1.3-2 summarizes these results as well as data provided by a single
producer for ASTM A913 material.
Unless special precautions are taken to limit the actual strength of material incorporated into the
work to defined levels, new material specified as ASTM A36 should be assumed to be the dual grade
for connection demand calculations, whenever the assumption of a higher strength will result in a more
conservative design condition.
Table 8-3 Table 8.1.3-1 - Typical Tensile Requirements for Structural Shapes
Minimum Yield
Ultimate Tensile
Minimum Elongation
Minimum Elongation
Strength or Yield
Strength, Ksi
%
%
Point, Ksi
in 2 inches
in 8 inches
A36
36 Min.
58-801
212
20
4
A242
42 Min..
63 MIN.
213
18
A572, Gr. 42
42 Min.
60 Min.
24
20
A572, GR50
50 Min.
65 MIN.
212
18
A588
50 Min.
70 MIN.
213
18
A709, GR36
36 Min.
58-80
212
20
A709, GR50
50 Min.
65 MIN.
21
18
A913, GR50
50 Min.
65 MIN.
21
18
A913, GR65
65 Min.
80 MIN.
17
15
A992
50 Min. 65 Max.
65 MIN
21
18
Notes: 1No maximum for shapes greater than 426 lb./ft.
2Minimum is 19% for shapes greater than 426 lb. /ft.
3No limit for Shape Groups 1, 2 and 3.Minimum is 18% for shapes greater than 426 lb./ft.
4.
Minimum is 50 ksi for Shape Groups 1 and 2, 46 ksi for Shape Group 3, and 42 ksi for Shape Groups 4
and 5.
ASTM

Metallurgy & Welding


8-4

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Table 8-4 Table 8.1.3-2 - Statistics for Structural Shapes1,2


Statistic

A 36

Dual
GRADE

A572
GR50

A913
GR65

Mean
Minimum
Maximum
Standard Deviation [ s ]
Mean + 1 s

Yield Point (ksi)


49.2
36.0
72.4
4.9
54.1

55.2
50.0
71.1
3.7
58.9

57.6
50.0
79.5
5.1
62.7

75.3
68.2
84.1
4.0
79.3

Mean
Minimum
Maximum
Standard Deviation [ s ]
Mean + 1 s

Tensile Strength (ksi)


68.5
58.0
88.5
4.6
73.1

73.2
65.0
80.0
3.3
76.5

75.6
65.0
104.0
6.2
81.8

89.7
83.4
99.6
3.5
93.2

Mean
Minimum
Maximum
Standard Deviation [ s ]
Mean + 1 s
Mean - 1 s

Yield/Tensile Ratio
0.72
0.51
0.93
0.06
0.78
0.66

0.75
0.65
0.92
0.04
0.79
0.71

0.76
0.62
0.95
0.05
0.81
0.71

0.84
0.75
0.90
0.03
0.87
0.81

1: The data presented for ASTM A36, Dual Grade and ASTM A572 Grade 50 were included as
part of the SSPC study (SSPC-1994). The data for ASTM A913 were derived from a single
producer and may not be available from all producers.
2. Statistical Data on the distribution of strength properties for material meeting ASTM A992 are not
presently available. Pending the development of such statistics, it should be assumed that A992
material will have similar properties to ASTM A572, Gr. 50 material.

Commentary: The data given in Table 8-4 Table 8.1.3-2 for A36 and A572
Grade 50 is somewhat weighted by the lighter, Group 1 shapes that will not
ordinarily be used in WSMF applications. Excluding Group 1 shapes and
combining the Dual Grade and A572 Grade 50 data results in a mean yield
strength of 48 ksi for A36 and 57 ksi for A572 Grade 50 steel. It should also be
noted that approximately 50% of the material actually incorporated in a project
will have yield strengths that exceed these mean values. For the design of
facilities with stringent requirements for limiting post-earthquake damage,
consideration of more conservative estimates of the actual yield strength may be
warranted.
Until recently, In wide flange sections the tensile test coupons in wide flange
sections are currently were taken from the web. The amount of reduction rolling,
finish rolling temperatures and cooling conditions affect the tensile and impact
Metallurgy & Welding
8-5

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

properties in different areas of the member. Typically, the web exhibits about five
percent higher strength than the flanges due to faster cooling. In 1998 ASTM A6
was revised to specify that coupons be taken from the flange of wide flange
shapes.
Design professionals should be aware of the variation in actual properties
permitted by the ASTM specifications. This is especially important for yield
strength. Yield strengths for ASTM A36 material have consistently increased over
the last 15 years so that several grades of steel may have the same properties or
reversed properties, with respect to beams and columns, from those the designer
intended. Investigations of structures damaged by the Northridge earthquake
found some WSMF connections in which beam yield strength exceeded column
yield strength despite the opposite intent of the designer.
As an example of the variations which can be found, Table 8-5 Table 8.1.3-2
presents the variation in material properties found within a single building
affected by the Northridge earthquake. Properties shown include measured yield
strength (Fya,), measured tensile strength (Fua ) and Charpy V-Notch energy rating
(CVN).
Table 8-5Table 8.1.3-2 - Sample Steel Properties from a Building Affected by the Northridge
Earthquake
Shape

Fya1 ksi

Fua, ksi

CVN, ft-lb.

W36 X 182

38.0

69.3

18

W36 X 230

49.3

71.7

195

Note 1 - ASTM A36 material was specified for both structures.

The practice of dual certification of A36 and A572, Grade 50 can result in
mean yield strengths that are fifty percent higher than the specified yield of A36.
Since there is no practical way to discern whether dual grade steel will be
supplied, unless direct purchase of steel from specific suppliers is made, in the
absence of such procurement practices, the prudent action for determining
connection requirements, where higher strengths could be detrimental to the
design, would be to assume the dual grade material whenever A36 or A572 Grade
50 is specified.
In the period since the initial publication of the Interim Guidelines, several
researchers and engineers engaged in connection assembly prototype testing have
reported that tensile tests on coupons extracted from steel members used in the
prototype tests resulted in lower yield strength than reported on the mill test
report furnished with the material, and in a few cases lower yield strength than
would be permitted by the applicable ASTM specification. This led to some
confusion and concern, as to how mill test reports should be interpreted.
Metallurgy & Welding
8-6

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

The variation of the measured yield strength of coupons reported by


researchers engaged in connection prototype testing, as compared to that
indicated on the mill test reports, is not unusual and should be expected. These
variations are the result of a series of factors including inconsistencies between
the testing procedures employed as well as normal variation in the material itself.
The following paragraphs describe the basis for the strengths reported by
producers on mill certificates, as well as the factors that could cause independent
investigators to determine different strengths for the same material.
Mill tests of mechanical properties of steel are performed in accordance with
the requirements of ASTM specifications A6 and A370. ASTM A6 had
historically required that test specimens for rolled W shapes be taken from the
webs of the shapes, but recently was revised to require testing from the flanges of
wide flange shapes with 6 inch or wider flanges. A minimum of two tests must be
made for each heat of steel, although additional tests are required if shapes of
significantly different thickness are cast from the same heat. Coupon size and
shape is specified based on the thickness of the material. The size of the coupon
used to test material strength can effect the indicated value. Under ASTM A6,
material that is between 3/4 inches thick and 4 inches thick can either be tested in
full thickness straps or in smaller 1/2 diameter round specimens. In thick
material, the yield strength will vary through the thickness, as a result of cooling
rate effects. The material at the core of the section cools most slowly, has larger
grain size and consequently lower strength. If full-thickness specimens are used,
as is the practice in most mills, the recorded yield strength will be an average of
the relatively stronger material at the edges of the thickness and the lower yield
material at the center. Many independent laboratories will use the smaller 1/2
round specimens, and sometimes even sub-sized 1/4 round specimens for tensile
testing, due to limitations of their testing equipment. Use of these smaller
specimens for thick material will result in testing only of the lower yield strength
material at the center of the thickness.
ASTM A370 specifies the actual protocol for tensile testing including the
loading rate and method of reporting test data. Strain rate can affect the strength
and elongation values obtained for material. High strain rates result in elevated
strength and reduced ductility. Under ASTM A370, yield values may be
determined using any convenient strain rate, but not more than 1/16 inch per
inch, per minute which corresponds to a maximum loading rate of approximately
30 ksi per second. Once the yield value is determined, continued testing to obtain
ultimate tensile values can proceed at a more rapid rate, not to exceed 1/2 inch
per inch per minute.
Under ASTM A370, there are two different ways in which the yield property
for structural steel can be measured and reported. These include yield point and
yield strength. These are illustrated in Figure 8.1.3-1. The yield point is the peak
Metallurgy & Welding
8-7

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

stress that occurs at the limit of the elastic range, while the yield strength is a
somewhat lower value, typically measured at a specified offset or elongation
under load. Although a number of methods are available to determine yield
point, the so-called drop of the beam method is most commonly used for
structural steel. In this method the load at which a momentary drop-off in
applied loading occurs is recorded, and then converted to units of stress to obtain
the yield point. Yield strength may also be determined by several methods, but is
most commonly determined using the offset method. In this method, the stress strain diagram for the test is drawn, as indicated in Figure 8.1.3-1. A specified
offset, typically 0.2% strain for structural steel, is laid off on the abscissa of the
curve and a line is drawn from this offset, parallel to the slope of the elastic
portion of the test. The stress at the intersection of this offset line with the stressstrain curve is taken as the yield strength.

Yield Point
Yield Strength

Offset

Figure 8.1.3-1 Typical Stress - Strain Curve for Structural Steel


The material specifications for structural steels typically specify minimum
values for yield point but do not control yield strength. The SSPC has reported
that actual practice among the mills varies, with some mills reporting yield
strength and others reporting yield point. This practice is permissible as yield
strength will always be a somewhat lower value than yield point, resulting in a
somewhat conservative demonstration that the material meets specified
requirements. However, this does mean that there is inconsistency between the
values reported by the various mills on certification reports. Similarly, the
procedures followed by independent testing laboratories may be different than
those followed by the mill, particularly with regard to strain rate and the location
at which a coupon is obtained.
Metallurgy & Welding
8-8

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Under ASTM A6, coupons for tensile tests had historically been obtained from
the webs of structural shapes. However, most engineers and researchers engaged
in connection testing have preferred to extract material specimens from the
flanges of the shape, since this is more representative of the flexural strength of
the section. Coupons removed from the web of a rolled shape tend to exhibit
somewhat higher strength properties than do coupons removed from the flanges,
due to the extra amount of working the thinner web material typically experiences
during the rolling process and also because the thinner material cools more
rapidly after rolling, resulting in finer grain size. Given these differences in
testing practice, as well as the normal variation that can occur along the length
of an individual member and between different members rolled from the same
heat, the reported differences in strength obtained by independent laboratories,
as compared to that reported on the mill test reports, should not be surprising. It
is worth noting that following the recognition of these differences in testing
procedure, the SSPC in coordination with AISC and ASTM developed and
proposed a revision to the A6 specification to require test specimens to be taken
from the flanges of rolled shapes when the flanges are 6 inches or more wide. It
is anticipated that mills will begin to alter practice to conform to a revised
specification in early 1997 This has since become the standard practice.
The discovery of the somewhat varied practice for reporting material strength
calls into question both the validity of statistics on the yield strength of structural
steel obtained from the SSPC study, and its relevance to the determination of the
expected strength of the material for use in design calculations. Although the
yield point is the quantity controlled by the ASTM material specifications, it has
little relevance to the plastic moment capacity of a beam section. Plastic section
capacity is more closely related to the stress along the lower yield plateau of the
typical stress-strain curve for structural steel. This strength may often be
somewhat lower than that determined by the offset drop-of-the-beam method.
Since the database of material test reports on which the SSPC study was based
appears to contain test data based on both the offset and drop-of-the-beam
methods, it is difficult to place great significance in the statistics derived from it
and to draw a direct parallel between this data and the expected flexural strength
of rolled shapes. It would appear that the statistics reported in the SSPC study
provide estimates of the probable material strength that are somewhat high.
Thus, the recommended design strengths presented in Tables 6.6.6.3-1 and 7.5.11 of the Interim Guidelines would appear to be conservative with regard to design
of welds, panel zones and other elements with demands limited by the beam yield
strength.
Under the phase II program of investigation, SAC, together with the shape
producers, is engaged in additional study of the statistical distribution of yield
strength of various materials produced by the mills. This study is intended to
provide an improved understanding of the statistical distribution of the lower
Metallurgy & Welding
8-9

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

yield plateau strength of material extracted from section flanges, measured in a


consistent manner. In addition, it will provide correlation with yield strengths
determined by other methods such that the data provided on mill test certificates
can be properly interpreted and utilized. In addition, the possibility of revising
the ASTM specifications to provide for more consistent reporting of strength data
as well as the reporting of strength statistics that are directly useful in the design
process will be evaluated. In the interim period, the data reported in Table 8-1.32, extracted from the SSPC study, remain the best currently available
information.
8.1.4 Toughness Properties

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 8.1.4 at this time.
8.1.5 Lamellar Discontinuities

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 8.1.5 at this time.
8.1.6 K-Area Fractures

Recently, there have beenIn the period 1995-96 there were several reports of fractures initiating in
the webs of column sections during the fabrication process, as flange continuity plates and/or doubler
plates were welded into the sections. This fracturing typically initiated in the region near the fillet
between the flange and web. This region has been commonly termed the k-area because the AISC
Manual of Steel Construction indicates the dimension of the fillet between the web and flange with the
symbol k. The k-area may be considered to extend from mid-point of the radius of the fillet into the
web, approximately 1 to 1-1/2 inches beyond the point of tangency between the fillet and web. The
fractures typically extended into, and sometimes across, the webs of the columns in a characteristic
half-moon or smiley face pattern.
Investigations of materials extracted from fractured members have indicated that the material in this
region of the shapes had elevated yield strength, high yield/tensile ratio, high hardness and very low
toughness, on the order of a few foot-pounds at 70oF. Material with these properties can behave in a
brittle manner. Fracture can be induced by thermal stresses from the welding process or by subsequent
weld shrinkage, as apparently occurred in the reported cases. There have been no reported cases of inservice k-line fracture from externally applied loading, as in beam-column connections, although such a
possibility is perceived to exist under large inelastic demand.
It appears that this local embrittling of sections can be attributed to the rotary straightening process
used by some mills to bring the rolled shapes within the permissible tolerances under ASTM A6. The
straightening process results in local cold working of the sections, which strain hardens the material.
The amount of cold working that occurs depends on the initial straightness of the section and
consequently, the extent that mechanical properties are effected is likely to vary along the length of a
member. The actual process used to straighten the section can also affect the amount of local cold
working that occurs.

Metallurgy & Welding


8-10

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

Engineers can reduce the potential for weld-induced fracture in the k-area by avoiding welding
within the k-area region. This can be accomplished by detailing doubler plates and continuity plates
such that they do not contact the section in this region. The use of large corner clips on beam flange
continuity plates can permit this. Selection of column sections with thicker webs, to eliminate the need
for doubler plates; the use of fillet welds rather than full penetration groove welds to attach doubler
plates to columns, when acceptable for stress transfer; and detailing of column web doubler plates such
that they are offset from the face of the column web can also help to avoid these fabrication-induced
fracture problems.
Commentary: It appears that detailing and fabrication practice can be adjusted
to reduce the potential for k-area fracture during fabrication. However, the
acceptability of having low-toughness material in the k-area region for service is
a question that remains. It is not clear at this time what percentage of the
material incorporated in projects is adversely affected, or even if a problem with
regard to serviceability exists. SAC recently placed a public call, asking for
reports of fabrication-induced fractures at the k-area, but only received limited
response. However, in one of the projects that did report this problem, a
significant number of columns were affected. This may have been contributed to
by the detailing and fabrication practices applied on that project.
Other than detailing structures to minimize the use of doubler plates, and to
avoid large weldments in the potentially sensitive k-area of the shape, it is not
clear at this time, what approach, if any, engineers should take with regard to this
issue. There are several methods available to identify possible low notch
toughness in structural carbon steels, including Charpy V-Notch testing and
hardness testing of samples extracted from the members. However, both of these
approaches are quite costly for application as a routine measure on projects and
the need for such measures has not yet been established.
Following publication of advisories on the k-line problem by AISC, and the
publication of similar advisory information in FEMA-267a,reports on this
problem diminished. It is not clear whether this is due to revised detailing
practice on the part of engineers and fabricators, revised mill rolling practice, or
a combination of both. SAC, AISC and SSPC are continuing to research this
issue in order to identify if a significant problem exists, and if it does, to
determine its basic causes, and to develop appropriate recommendations for mill,
design, detailing, and fabrication practices to mitigate the problem.
8.2 Welding
8.2.1 Welding Process

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 8.2.1 at this time.

Metallurgy & Welding


8-11

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

8.2.2 Welding Procedures

Welding should be performed within the parameters established by the electrode manufacturer and
the Welding Procedure Specification (WPS), required under AWS D1.1.
Commentary: A welding procedure specification identifies all the important
parameters for making a welded joint including the material specifications of the
base and filler metals, joint geometry, welding process, requirements for pre- and
post-weld heat treatment, welding position, electrical characteristics, voltage,
amperage, and travel speed. Two types of welding procedure specifications are
recognized by AWS D1.1. These are prequalified procedures and qualified-bytest procedures. Prequalified procedures are those for which the important
parameters are specified within the D1.1 specification. If a prequalified
procedure is to be used for a joint, all of the variables for the joint must fall
within the limits indicated in the D1.1 specification for the specific procedure. If
one or more variables are outside the limits specified for the prequalified
procedures, then the fabricator must demonstrate the adequacy of the proposed
procedure through a series of tests and submit documentation (procedure
qualification records) demonstrating that acceptable properties were obtained.
Regardless of whether or not a prequalified or qualified-by-test procedure is
employed, the fabricator should prepare a welding procedure specification, which
should be submitted to the engineer of record for review and be maintained at the
work location for reference by the welders and inspectors. The following
information is presented to help the engineer understand some of the issues
surrounding the parameters controlled by the welding procedure specification.
For example, the position (if applicable), electrode diameter, amperage or
wire feed speed range, voltage range, travel speed range and electrode stickout
(e.g. all passes, 0.072 in. diameter, 248 to 302 amps, 19 to 23 volts, 6 to 10
inches/minute travel speed, 170 to 245 inches/minute wire feed speed, 1/2" to 1"
electrode stickout) should be established. This information is generally submitted
by the fabricator as part of the Welding Procedure Specification. Its importance
in producing a high quality weld is essential. The following information is
presented to help the engineer understand some of the issues surrounding these
parameters.
The amperage, voltage, travel speed, electrical stickout and wire feed speed
are functions of each electrode. If prequalified WPSs are utilized, these
parameters must be in compliance with the AWS D1.1 requirements. For FCAW
and SMAW, the parameters required for an individual electrode vary from
manufacturer to manufacturer. Therefore, for these processes, it is essential that
the fabricator/erector utilize parameters that are within the range of
recommended operation published by the filler metal manufacturer. Alternately,
the fabricator/erector could qualify the welding procedure by test in accordance

Metallurgy & Welding


8-12

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

with the provisions of AWS D1.1 and base the WPS parameters on the test results.
For submerged arc welding, the AWS D1.1 code provides specific amperage
limitations since the solid steel electrodes used by this process operate essentially
the same regardless of manufacture. The filler metal manufacturers guideline
should supply data on amperage or wire feed speed, voltage, polarity, and
electrical stickout. The guidelines will not, however, include information on
travel speed which is a function of the joint detail. The contractor should select a
balanced combination of parameters, including travel speed, that will ensure that
the code mandated weld-bead sizes (width and height) are not exceeded.
Recently, ASTM approved a new material specification for structural steel
shape, ASTM A992. This specification is very similar to the ASTM A572, Grade
50 specification except that it includes additional limitations on yield and tensile
strengths and chemical composition. Although material conforming to A992 is
expected to have very similar welding characteristics to A572 material, it was
adopted too late to be included as a prequalified base material in AWS D1.1-98.
Although the D1 committee has evaluated A992 and has taken measures to
incorporate it as a prequalified material in AWS D1.1-2000, technically, under
AWS D1.1-98, welded joints made with this material should follow qualified-bytest procedures.
In reality, structural steel conforming to ASTM A992 may actually have
somewhat better weldability than material conforming to the A572 specification.
This is because A992 includes limits on carbon equivalent, precluding the
delivery of steels where all alloys simultaneously approach the maximum
specified limits. Therefore, it should be permissible to utilize prequalified
procedures for joint with base metal conforming to this specification.
8.2.3 Welding Filler Metals

There are no modifications to the Guidelines of Section 8.2.3 at this time.


Commentary: Currently, there are no notch toughness requirements for weld
metal used in welding ASTM A 36 or A 572, Grade 50, steel in AWS D1.1. This
topic has been extensively discussed by the Welding Group at the Joint
SAC/AISC/AISI/NIST Invitational Workshop on September 8 and 9, 1994, and by
all participants of the SAC Invitational Workshop on October 28 and 29, 1994.
The topic was also considered by the AWS Presidential Task Group, which
decided that additional research was required to determine the need for
toughness in weld metal. There is general agreement that adding a toughness
requirement for filler metal would be desirable and easily achievable. Most filler
metals are fairly tough, but some will not achieve even a modest requirement such
as 5 ft-lb. at + 70? F. What is not in unanimous agreement is what level of
toughness should be required. The recommendation from the Joint Workshop was
Metallurgy & Welding
8-13

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

20 ft-lb. at -20? F per Charpy V-Notch [CVN] testing. The recommendation


from the SAC Workshop was 20 ft-lb. at 30? F lower than the Lowest Ambient
Service Temperature (LAST) and not above 0? F. The AWS Presidential Task
Group provided an interim recommendation for different toughness values
depending on the climatic zone, referenced to ASTM A709. Specifically, the
recommendation was for 20 ft-lb. at temperatures of 70 degrees F for Zone 1, 40
degrees F for Zone 2, and 10 degrees F for Zone 3. The AWS also suggested
toughness values for base metals used in these applications.
Some fractured surfaces in the Northridge and Kobe Earthquakes revealed
evidence of improper use of electrodes and welding procedures. Prominent
among the misuses were high production deposition rates. Pass widths of up to 11/2 inches and pass heights of 1/2 inch were common. The kind of heat input
associated with such large passes promotes grain growth in the HAZ and
attendant low notch toughness. In evaluation of welds in buildings affected by the
Northridge earthquake, the parameters found to be most likely to result in
damage-susceptible welds included root gap, access capability, electrode
diameter, stick-out, pass thickness, pass width, travel speed, wire feed rate,
current and voltage were found to be the significant problems in evaluation of
welds in buildings affected by the Northridge earthquake.
Welding electrodes for common welding processes include:
AWS A5.20:
AWS A5.29:
AWS A5.1:
AWS A5.5:
AWS A5.17:
AWS A5.23:
AWS A5.25:

Carbon Steel Electrodes for FCAW


Low Alloy Steel Electrodes for FCAW
Carbon Steel Electrodes for SMAW
Low Alloy Steel Covered Arc Welding Electrodes (for SMAW)
Carbon Steel Electrodes and Fluxes for SAW
Low Alloy Steel Electrodes and Fluxes for SAW
Carbon and Low Alloy Steel Electrodes and Fluxes for Electroslag
Welding

In flux cored arc welding, one would expect the use of electrodes that meet
either AWS A5.20 or AWS A5.29 provided they meet the toughness requirements
specified below.
Except to the extent that one requires Charpy V-Notch toughness and
minimum yield strength, the filler metal classification is typically selected by the
Fabricator. Compatibility between different filler metals must be confirmed by
the Fabricator, particularly when SMAW and FCAW-SS processes are mixed.
Generally speaking, SMAW-type filler metals may not be applied to FCAW-SS
type filler metals (e.g. when a weld has been partially removed) while FCAW-type
filler metals may be applied to SMAW-type filler metals. This recommendation
considers the use of aluminum as a killing agent in FCAW-SS electrodes that can

Metallurgy & Welding


8-14

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

be incorporated into the SMAW filler metal with a reduction in impact toughness
properties.
As an aid to the engineer, the following interpretation of filler metal
classifications is provided below:
E1X2X3T4X5
For electrodes specified under AWS A5.20 (e.g. E71T1)
1 2 3 4 5 6
E X X T X X For electrodes specified under AWS A5.29 (e.g. E70TGK2)
E1XX7X8X9X10 For electrodes specified under AWS A5.1 or AWS A5.5. (e.g. E7018)
NOTES:
1.

Indicates an electrode.

2.

Indicates minimum tensile strength of deposited weld metal (in tens of ksi, e.g., 7 = 70
ksi).

3.

Indicates primary welding position for which the electrode is designed (0 = flat and
horizontal and 1 = all positions).

4.

Indicates a flux cored electrode. Absence of a letter indicates a "stick" electrode for
SMAW.

5.

Describes usability and performance capabilities. For our purposes, it conveys whether
or not Charpy V-Notch toughness is required (1, 5, 6 and 8 have impact strength
requirements while 2, 4, 7, 10 and 11 do not). A "G" signifies that the properties are not
defined by AWS and are to be agreed upon between the manufacturer and the specifier.
Impact strength is specified in terms of the number of foot-pounds at a given temperature
(e.g., 20 ft-lb. at 0 degrees F). Note that for electrodes specified under AWS A5.20, the
format for usage is "T-X".

6.

Designates the chemical composition of deposited metal for electrodes specified under
AWS A5.29. Note that there is no equivalent format for chemical composition for
electrodes specified under AWS A5.20.

7.

The first two digits (or three digits in a five digit number) designate the minimum tensile
strength in ksi.

8.

The third digit (or fourth digit in a five digit number) indicates the primary welding
position for which the electrode is designed (1 = all positions, 2 = flat position and fillet
welds in the horizontal position, 4 = vertical welding with downward progression and for
other positions.)

9.

The last two digits, taken together, indicate the type of current with which the electrode
can be used and the type of covering on the electrode.
Metallurgy & Welding
8-15

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

10.

SAC 99-01

Indicates a suffix (e.g., A1, A2, B1, etc.) designating the chemical composition of the
deposited metal.

Electrode Diameter: (See AWS D1.1 Section 4.14.1.2) The issue of maximum
electrode diameter has not been studied sufficiently to determine whether or not
electrode diameter is a critical variable. Recent tests have produced modified
frame joints with acceptable test results using the previous standard-of-practice
0.120 in. diameter wire. The use of smaller diameter electrodes will slow the rate
of deposition (as measured by volume) but will not, in and of itself, produce an
acceptable weld. The following lists the maximum allowable electrode diameters
for prequalified FCAW WPSs according to D1.1:

Horizontal, complete or partial penetration welds: 1/8 inch (0.125")*


Vertical, complete or partial penetration welds: 5/64 inch (0.078")
Horizontal, fillet welds: 1/8 inch (0.125")
Vertical, fillet welds: 5/64 inch (0.078")
Overhead, reinforcing fillet welds: 5/64 inch (0.078")
*
This value is not part of D1.1-94, but will be part of D1.1-96.

For a given electrode diameter, there is an optimum range of weld bead sizes
that may be deposited. Weld bead sizes that are outside the acceptable size range
(either too large or too small) may result in unacceptable weld quality. The D1.1
code controls both maximum electrode diameters and maximum bead sizes (width
and thickness). Prequalified WPSs are required to meet these code
requirements. Further restrictions on suitable electrode diameters are not
recommended.
Low-hydrogen electrodes. Low hydrogen electrodes should be used to minimize
the risk of hydrogen assisted cracking (HAC) when conditions of high restraint
and the potential for high hardness microstructures exist. Hydrogen assisted
cracking can occur in the heat affected zone or weld metal whenever sufficient
concentrations of diffusible hydrogen and sufficient stresses are present along
with a hard microstructure at a temperature between 100 C and 100 C.
Hydrogen is soluble in steel at high temperatures and is introduced into the weld
pool from a variety of sources including but not limited to: moisture from coating
or core ingredients, drawing lubricants, hydrogenous compounds on the base
material, and moisture from the atmosphere.
At the present time, the term low hydrogen is not well defined by AWS. The
degree of hydrogen control required to reduce the risk of hydrogen assisted
cracking will depend on the material being welded, level of restraint,
preheat/interpass temperature, and heat input level. When a controlled level of
diffusible hydrogen is required, electrodes can be purchased with a supplemental
designator that indicates a diffusible hydrogen concentration below 16, 8, or 4 ml

Metallurgy & Welding


8-16

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

H2/100g in the weld metal can be maintained (H16, H8, and H4 respectively)
under most welding conditions .
The diffusible hydrogen potential (measured in ml/100g deposited weld metal)
will depend on the type of consumable, welding process, plate/joint cleanliness,
and atmospheric conditions in the area of welding. Some consumables may
absorb moisture after exposure to the atmosphere. Depending on the type of
consumable, this may result in a significant increase in the weld metal diffusible
hydrogen concentration. In situations where control of diffusible hydrogen
concentrations is important, the manufacturer should be consulted for advice on
proper storage and handling conditions required to limit moisture absorption.
Hydrogen assisted cracking may be avoided through the selection and
maintenance of an adequate preheat /interpass temperature and/or minimum heat
input. Depending on the type of steel and restraint level, a trade-off between an
economic preheat/interpass temperature and the diffusible hydrogen potential of
a given process exists. There have been several empirical approaches developed
to determine safe preheat levels for a given application that include consideration
of carbon equivalent, restraint level, electrode type, and preheat. When followed,
the guidelines for preheat that have been established in AWS D1.1 and D1.5 are
generally sufficient to reduce the risk of hydrogen assisted cracking in most mild
steel weldments.
Hydrogen assisted cracking will typically occur up to 72 hours after completion
of welding. For the strength of materials currently used in moment frame
construction, inspection of completed welds should be conducted no sooner than
24 hours following weld completion.
8.2.4 Preheat and Interpass Temperatures

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 8.2.4 at this time.
8.2.5 Postheat

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 8.2.5 at this time.
8.2.6 Controlled Cooling

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 8.2.6 at this time.
8.2.7 Metallurgical Stress Risers

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 8.2.7 at this time.

Metallurgy & Welding


8-17

Interim Guidelines Advisory No. 2

SAC 99-01

8.2.8 Welding Preparation & Fit-up

There are no modifications to the Guidelines or Commentary of Section 8.2.8 at this time.

Metallurgy & Welding


8-18