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THEORETICAL AND NUMERICAL STUDY OF CIRCULAR FLANGE

CONNECTION IN HOLLOW STEEL STRUCTURES
Eng. Augusto Madrigali Fidalgo
augustomafi@gmail.com
State University of Campinas, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Brazil
Prof. Dr. João Alberto Venegas Requena
requena@fec.unicamp.br
State University of Campinas, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Brazil
Albert Einstein Avenue, 951, 13083-852, São Paulo, Campinas, Brazil
Abstract. This work is about a circular hollow flange connection, with full plate. Because of
the growing interest in tubular structures, demand for solid references has growing too, in
this sense, this paper is about a theoretical and numerical study of flange connection, initially
studying it subject to axial tensile load, whose behavior is well known, and after propose a
specific formulation for eccentric tensile load, because it wasn’t found on bibliography. First
part of this research, which consists in null eccentricity, seeks to understand this connection’s
mechanism, specially prying effect, considered the most critical failure mode. For this, the
connection was full modeled in software ANSYS, without symmetric simplifications and
considering contact, and it’s stress and strain results was compared with reference’s. As soon
as the model behave like predicted, it was considered calibrated and ready to have the
eccentricity applied. References say nothing about a specifically formulation for flange
subject to flexure – tensile, it deal with this problem in an approximately way, considering
superposition of effects, checking the joint conservatively, thus, the final objective is to
propose a specific formulation for eccentric load.

Keywords: Circular Flange Connection, ANSYS, Eccentric Load

CILAMCE 2013
Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering
Z.J.G.N Del Prado (Editor), ABMEC, Pirenópolis, GO, Brazil, November 10-13, 2013

The calculation is below. In this paper. blank flange connection is study. Due to these advantages. and requires empirical and numerical tests to check its behavior. completing the mechanism. 2009a). and them to the plate.G. Figure 1 – Joint Dimensions (Santos. causing a bending. for tensileflexure design. (Couchaux. which allows it happens up to 1/3 of bolt strength. and distributed uniformly on frame’s section. in view of tube’s yielding. 2003) 3 CONNECTION DESIGN The main design was the one proposed by CIDECT (CIDECT. using numerical analysis. However. and after that. 2009b) and (Santos. This stress go to fillet weld. the design is based on superposition effect. Brazil. because it can aggregate interesting structural features. it’s very common the presence of the circular section. this is the why there is just 2/3 of bolt's strength on formula (2). On the studied references. this study seeks to understand flange’s behavior subject to axial tensile load. using less material than other type of section. CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z. Thus. GO. The displaced flange transmits stress to washer. which is conservative. if the plate is flexible. using circular hollow section.N Del Prado (Editor). ABMEC.J. Implicit in this joint detail is a tolerance for prying effect. and the circular hollow section doesn’t warp. Pirenópolis. especially in the stems of plants and human bones. due to radial symmetry. As an example. that depends on the relative stiffness between plate and bolt (Couchaux. that are in contact with the plate. 2003). come up with an specifically formulation for eccentric tensile load. prying effect will happen. this bolts are in contact with other side washers. its compression resistance is very high.Theoretical and Numerical Study of Circular Flange Connection in Hollow Steel Structures 1 INTRODUCTION Observing nature. the treatment of the connections in this kind of frames is more complex. circular hollow section frame are widely used in truss structures. It happens due to the circular section is a very efficient one. 2 MECHANISM The axial tensile load is applied on tube. which transmits to bolts. 2008). November 10-13. despite the qualities. 2013 . increasing its torsional resistance. only axial load design calculation has been found.

For plate yielding. Requena. Figure 1.N Del Prado (Editor). V. Pirenópolis. 2010). 2010). Al. is used the expression (1). the dimension reduce prying effect. Outer tube’s diameter Tube thickness CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z. should be kept as low as possible. plate yielding and bolt failure. however. the factor is obtained analytically. for axial tensile load. Brazil. considering weld failure. João A. Augusto M. like proposed by (Packer et.Fidalgo. ABMEC. .. follows the previous reference and the AISC (Packer et. The proposed design.G. 2013 . the weld design proceed as the Brazilian code NBR8800/08. GO.J. nothing was said about weld design. Al. but using CIDECT’s graphic and a formulation proposed by the author. November 10-13. Flange thickness: Onde: : Tensile axial load : Safety factor : Plate yielding stress : Dimensionless factor As a recommendation. to Number of bolts: : Bolt's resistance : : : Outer tube diameter In this reference.

J. 2009b). This was the chosen option to show how prying effect happens. Equivalente axial load Tube’s area Bending moment Elastic or plastic resistance modulus 4 NUMERICAL MODELING Despite the studied references. this model is created using solid elements. it means that the safety coefficient is considered in bolt’s strength.N Del Prado (Editor). Using the software Ansys. 2010). 2009b). like (Couchaux et.Theoretical and Numerical Study of Circular Flange Connection in Hollow Steel Structures The number of bolts came from adapted expression (2). the difference is that no symmetry was considered and contact CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z. al. The first model is similar to (Couchaux. The basis for this model came from (Couchaux. Al. like (Rockey. In sequence. without symmetric considerations. Pirenópolis. (Wardenier et. the final numerical model is complete. tetrahedral on tube and hexahedral on others parts. it's just connected. using (ABNT. 2009b) Considering this reference. it was decided to model connection’s parts. or too much theoretical. an equivalent load is calculate. Others references suggest other formulations. TARGET170 and CONTA174. Between plates. to simulate the prying effect. Considering this. and model the joint as real as possible. ABMEC. November 10-13. 2008). but some are too empirical. using superposition effect. Figure 2 – Symmetric Finite element Model (Couchaux. it is the reference that proposed a flexure – tensile design. fillet weld and washers have been modeled too.. because of their practicality. 2010). the design chosen was proposed by CIDECT. Brazil. 2013 . contact elements were created..G. and between bolts and washer. GO. 1970). in this paper.

At Figure 3 is the Von-Mises stress distribution for this model. isn't taking into account.G. blue ones. because it doesn’t have symmetry and contact. 1985) CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z. November 10-13. Brazil.J.Fidalgo. is similar to that from yield line theory. This model does not represent joint’s behavior exactly. João A. However. while the edge regions. in Z direction. GO. 2013 . Figure 5. Augusto M. checking that prying effect can happen. Figure 3 – Von-Mises Stress on First Model [MPa] Figure 4 – Z Displacement on First Model [mm] Figure 5 – Yield Line Pattern (Kato & Hirose. 1985). V. moves in Z negative direction. in Figure 4. proposed by (Kato & Hirose.. Pirenópolis. it’s possible to see that Von-Mises distribution.N Del Prado (Editor). just half of the joint is modeled and the restriction is at bolt's end. it’s visible that there is a curvature at the plate. Requena. ABMEC. the red region moves in Z positive direction. Another important verification is the longitudinal displacement. Figure 3.

According to (Silva.Theoretical and Numerical Study of Circular Flange Connection in Hollow Steel Structures The second model assumes symmetry. Whereas there is no sliding between plates. Pirenópolis. no contact were considered. because it can be in contact or not. GO. Another reference about contact is (Silva. for bolts. For the contact simulation. washer and plates pairs. it is easier to deal with. Figure 6 – Contact penetration [mm] and pressure [MPa] Figure 7 – Displacement in Z direction. 2009). like it are always connected. 2013 . the contact consideration is frictionless. despite this method is more unstable. for the second model the penetration limit is fixed as 0. since it saids that a good spring stiffness is achieve when the penetration between bodies is low. 2006). or won’t converge. enlarged 10 times [mm] CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z.5mm. otherwise. which is a complex non-linear problem. November 10-13. and does not varies considerably. like on Figure 4 the plate edge deform -0. been also varied the spring stiffness. ABMEC. Brazil. Thus. and just ¼ of the joint is considered. Penalty Method is used.G. the model will have difficulties to converge. This model is useful to study contact consideration on the connection.J. 2009). An important parameter for convergence is the penetration limit. according to (Wriggers. 2006). and involves a variation of some parameters to converge (Wriggers. the penetration between bodies must be less than this limit. The contact is considered only between plates.N Del Prado (Editor).48mm.

Al. Figure 8 – Von-Mises stress [MPa] Figure 6 shows that penetration is very low.0036mm. showing to be consistent. it's clear to see the plate curvature and the contact happening near the bolts. considering these results.58mm and symmetric.. there is the displacement in z direction.Fidalgo. respectively[mm] CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z. it's symmetric. At Figure 11.. z displacement on Figure 7 is low. Figure 9 . GO. a full one is calculated.62mm. like predicted on (Couchaux et. because the maximum value is 1. which is concentrate on bolts and weld. next. At Figure 9. 0.G.N Del Prado (Editor).J. and the plate is in contact near the bolt. and contact pressure is located between bolt and edge. November 10-13. V. Requena. the conclusion is that the contact happened. So. João A. but there is a gap away from it. 2010). like was expected. 2013 . Augusto M. and Figure 8 shows Von-Mises strees distribution. it's possible to see the displacement in x and y directions.Displacement in X and Y directions. 1. Pirenópolis. Brazil. ABMEC. 5 RESULTS Using the same contact parameters of the last model.

enlarged 100 times [mm] CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z. without bolts. the proposed design is safe. but the main joint is subject to a stress lower than 250MPa. like the stress is lower than 250MPa in the most area of the joint. Brazil. follows the yield lines too.Theoretical and Numerical Study of Circular Flange Connection in Hollow Steel Structures Figure 10 .J. at Picture 13 there is the Von-Mises stress in plate. To confirm that.N Del Prado (Editor). 2013 . which is the yielding stress for this type of steel. Picture's scale is from 0 to 485MPa. November 10-13.G. ABMEC.Displacement in Z direction. Figure 11 .Displacement in Z direction [mm] Checking the Figure 12. Pirenópolis. it's possible to see the Von-Mises stress distribution on flange. and the gray areas is out of scale. it's clear that stress concentration happens near bolts and weld fillet. GO. in lower view. and it's possible to see that green lines.

Requena. GO. Pirenópolis.J. CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z. with scale [MPa] The picture below shows the Von-Mises stress distribution on bolts. there is no scale here. notices that main part of bolt is subjected to a stress value lower than 825MPa. Augusto M. so it is not representative. Figure 12 . 2013 . João A. proving that design is safe. upper and lower view. November 10-13.Fidalgo.. ABMEC. V. Looking Figure 14. Brazil.Von-Mises stress with scale [MPa] Figure 13 . and the maximum stress value is concentrate.G.N Del Prado (Editor). the limit for high strength bolts A325.Von-Mises stress on plates.

Dr. UNICAMP. the complexity of numerical modeling. which happens in other type of connections too.Stress strain relation for bolts [MPa] (Cubeiros.2mm. To complete this research. GO. Heigh of the weld is 8mm. Dr. Marco Lúcio Bittencourt and Prof. Vallourec & Mannesmann Tubes (V & M Brazil) and Setepla Tecnometal & Sener. and stress strain relationship for bolts is at Figure 15. shows to be safe.3mm.53mm and the tensile applied is 600kN. 2011) 7 CONCLUSION It became clear how flange connection behave when subject to tensile strength. gather analytically. November 10-13. plate weld and bolts is 200000MPa. and thickness of 7. Brazil. Pirenópolis.G. Alberto Luís Serpa.N Del Prado (Editor). flange thickness is 13. ABMEC. despite more tests should be done.J. Figure 15 . on author's master degree will have the design for eccentric tensile load. al. In these sense. prying mechanism. the connection is considered calibrated and ready for eccentricity. who helped with contact problem. specially contact considerations. CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors are grateful for Prof. et. 2013 .Von-Mises stress on bolts [MPa] 6 PARAMETERS Tube's diameter is 168. The proposed design for axial tensile. bolt's diameter is 22.1mm.Theoretical and Numerical Study of Circular Flange Connection in Hollow Steel Structures Figure 14 . Young's modulus for tube.

Gabriel Hattori da. 1985.G. Rodrigo Cubeiros. Couchaux. 2006. D. 2010. 2009b. Escolha de Parâmetros para Análise de Contato entre Corpos Elásticos Usando Elementos Finitos e Redes Neurais.Faculty of Applied Science. Computational Contact Mechanics. V.Fidalgo. et al. M. 2009. et al. Requena.UNICAMP. M. Wriggers. 2011. Stress Concentration Factors for the Fatigue Design of Tubular Flange Connections. Numerical Analysis of CHS Bolted Sleeve Connections. Hannover : Springer. Effect of Contact on the Elastic Behavior of Bolted Connections. ABMEC. Sherman. J.. K. Augusto M. CILAMCE 2013 Proceedings of the XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in Engineering Z. M. Hirose. e Lecce. Nordic Steel Construction Conference (NSCC).. Griffiths. November 10-13. M. Eurosteel Wardenier. D.J.. 2013 . 2006. M. 2010. J. Rockey.Projeto de Estruturas de Aço e de Estruturas Mistas de Aço e Concreto de Edifícios. M. Santos. 1970. Kato & R. M. Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas. 1 (CIDECT) Couchaux. Static Resistance of Bolted Circular Flange Joints Under Tensile Force. For Circular Hollow Section Joints Under Predominantly Static Load. C. e Ryan. W. Hjiaj. Hjiaj. University of Wales . e Ryan. Pirenópolis. João A. The Behavior of Bolted Flanged Joints in Tension . de Figueiredo. Design Guide n°24 . Peter. Packer. 2003.Hollow structural section connection. 2010.Ring Flanges.N Del Prado (Editor). Tubular Structures XIII Couchaux. Ligações de Barras Tubulares para Estruturas Metálicas Planas. V. Ana Laura E.. Dissertação de Mestrado FEC UNICAMP. 2009a. NBR8800 . Brazil. Construction with Hollow Section 2008. Bolted Tension Flanges Joining Circular Hollow Sections Members. Vieira. M. GO. et al. Silva.. Dissertação de Mestrado FEC . (AISC). B. Hollow Section in Structural Aplications. Nordic Steel Construction Conference (NSCC). REFERENCES (ABNT).. 2008.