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13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering

Vancouver, B.C., Canada


August 1-6, 2004
Paper No. 1581

EFFECTS OF HYSTERETIC DETERIORATION ON SEISMIC


RESPONSE OF STEEL MOMENT FRAMES
Janise E. RODGERS1 and Stephen A. MAHIN2

SUMMARY
Engineers have become increasingly concerned about the potential effect of various forms of deterioration
that may be experienced by moment-resisting frame structures during severe seismic excitations. For
instance, brittle connection fractures were experienced by many welded steel moment-resisting frame
structures during the 1994 Northridge, 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu and other recent earthquakes, and cyclic
testing into the inelastic range demonstrates that connections may suffer stiffness or strength degradation
or exhibit unusual hysteretic characteristics, such as pinching and negative post-yield tangent stiffness.
The effects of such connection deterioration on overall structural response have yet to be studied in a
comprehensive fashion, and very few experimental studies have been undertaken to validate the findings
based on analytical simulations.
This paper summarizes the results of an integrated experimental and analytical investigation of
the effect of various forms of hysteretic deterioration on the overall system behavior of moment resisting
steel frames. The experimental portion of this study consists of a series of thirty-two shaking table tests,
which were performed on a one-third scale, two-story, one bay, steel moment frame. Special mechanical
connections were devised which exhibit various types of deterioration in a predictable and repeatable
fashion. Forms of deterioration considered include: brittle and ductile fracture, negative post-yield
tangent stiffness, progressive strength deterioration under cycling, and pinched hysteresis. A highly
ductile connection that exhibited full hysteretic loops with positive post-yield tangent stiffness was
employed as a reference baseline case. Several different arrangements of deteriorating connections were
used to assess the dynamic redistribution of forces and deformations in a deteriorating structure.
Excitations included several recorded and simple pulse ground motion accelerograms. Results for selected
ductile baseline, fracturing, and negative post-yield stiffness hysteretic behavior cases are presented
herein.
These tests and subsequent analytical studies performed using an OpenSEES model of the test
specimen show that, in general, peak local and global forces and accelerations were not too sensitive to
the form of deterioration, but rather its severity. Similar behavior was observed for peak lateral
displacements, except for certain forms and distributions of deterioration. However, the details of
response time histories and residual displacements were very sensitive to the type of deterioration
1
2

Post-doctoral Researcher, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California, USA.


Professor, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

experienced and analytical modeling assumptions employed. Significant loss of connection strength
capacity from either fracture, local or lateral buckling, or a combination leads to large residual drifts and,
for large pulse excitations with durations longer than the fundamental period of the structure, to collapse.
In particular, connections exhibiting negative post-yield stiffness (with or without fracture) may have
substantially increased peak and residual displacements. More information on this investigation may be
found in Rodgers [1].
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, brittle fracture damage to the beam-column connections was
observed in a number of welded steel moment frame (WSMF) buildings in the Los Angeles area (Bertero
[2]). Prior to this earthquake, most engineers believed that steel special moment frames had very high
seismic resistance and excellent ductility. Designs were accordingly based on the assumption of ideally
ductile, essentially bilinear, connection behavior. Invalidation of these design assumptions by the fracture
damage observed in Northridge, Kobe and other recent earthquakes necessarily raised safety concerns
among engineers, researchers, owners, and building code officials, which in turn led to significant
research on steel moment frames structures on both sides of the Pacific.
In the United States, the focus of experimental research was connection behavior, and an
unprecedented number of beam-column subassemblage tests were performed. Tests by the SAC Joint
Venture [3] and others such as Englehardt [4] showed that the pre-Northridge connection detail was
extremely susceptible to brittle fracture, and that all fracture damage types observed in the field could be
reproduced in the lab. Some improved, post-Northridge connections (Lee [5], Ricles [6]) also
experienced fractures after a limited amount of plastic deformation. Additionally, cyclic testing revealed
several forms of strength and stiffness degradation in connections which did not fracture.
System-level experimental tests were not performed in the United States, but rather, such
behavior was investigated via analysis. Analytical studies of moment frames with various forms of
connection hysteretic deterioration, both ductile and brittle, were performed by the SAC Joint Venture
and other researchers (Astaneh-Asl [7], Bonowitz [8], Foutch [9], Gupta [10], Lee [11], Luco [12], Mahin
[13], Maison [14], Naeim [15], Nakashima [16], Rahnama [17], SAC [18], Uetani [19]). These studies
were performed on a variety of buildings of differing heights and ages, both damaged and undamaged.
Studies ranged from specific case studies of instrumented buildings in the Los Angeles area subjected to
Northridge ground motions (Astaneh-Asl [7], SAC [18]) to large Monte Carlo simulations using a variety
of buildings and earthquake records (Luco [12]).
Despite the variations in analytical methods, the conclusions drawn for WSMF structures of the
type used in the U.S. tend to be similar: for collapse to occur, connection fractures must be numerous and
lateral displacement demands for an ideally ductile structure must be very large. These conditions were
generally observed to occur only for very large near-field ground motions (Luco [12]). In the case of
ductile deterioration, severe negative post-yield stiffness must be widespread and ground motion demands
high for collapse to occur. For moderate ground motions, the effects of local fracture seem to be relatively
benign. These results corroborate well with the Northridge damage (Bertero [2]): there were no collapses
of steel moment-framed buildings, and many buildings with numerous connection fractures showed little
other damage (though there were certainly some exceptions). In most cases, the combination of severe
ground motions and numerous fractures did not occur, since the strongest motions occurred in the
sparsely populated mountains north of the San Fernando Valley (SAC [20]).

EXPERIMENTAL SETUP
Test Specimen
The test specimen employed is a one-third scale, two-story, one-bay moment frame with idealized,
mechanical connections placed at each beam-column joint. The specimen, shown in Figure 1, has beam
spans of 2.74 m (9 ft), column heights of 1.37 m (4.5 ft), and an initial first-mode period determined by
free vibration tests of about 0.65 seconds. Outrigger frames were placed on either side of the main frame
to provide out-of-plane stability and mass support. The idealized, mechanical connection shown in Figure
2 (van Dam 2000 [21]) was employed to obtain repeatable performance in the reduced scale model.

Figure 1. Drawing of test specimen main frame (left) and photo of specimen on shaking table (right)

Figure 2. Idealized mechanical connection

The mechanical connections resist moment with a force couple made up of material testing-like
coupons inserted in a clevis. Shear force is transferred by the clevis pin. Based on work by Kuwamura
[22], fracture is obtained by machining circumferential notches in the coupons. These connections were
designed to mimic the hysteretic behavior of real full-size connections, and Figure 3 shows several
hysteretic behaviors of interest. The hysteretic behavior of the idealized connection is governed by the
selection and arrangement of coupons in the clevis base. The hysteretic behaviors discussed herein were
achieved using the coupons and arrangement shown in Table 1.

Moment (kipinches)

Ductile Baseline

Brittle Fracture
150

150

100

100

100

50

50

50

50

50

50

100

100

100

150
0.1

150
0.1

0.05

0.05

0.1

Ductile Fracture Cyclic Loading


Moment (kipinches)

Deformation Softening

150

0.05

0.05

0.1

150
0.1

Ductile Fracture Initial Large Displ.


150

150

100

100

100

50

50

50

50

50

50

100

100

100

150
0.1

150
0.15 0.1 0.05

0.05

Rotation (radians)

0.1

0.05 0.1 0.15

Rotation (radians)

0.05

0.1

Strength Degradation

150

0.05

0.05

150
0.1

0.05

0.05

0.1

Rotation (radians)

Figure 3. Hysteretic behaviors possible with idealized, mechanical connection

Table 1. Coupon selection and arrangement


Hysteretic
Type

Coupon Type
Top

DB

Bottom
Same as top

BF

DF

Two of these coupons:


DFS

Same as top

Ductile baseline (DB) hysteretic behavior is the ideally ductile control case, with approximately
bilinear behavior. Brittle fracture (BF) is defined as that which occurs without any significant plastic
rotation beforehand. The ductile fracture (DF) coupon arrangement did not perform as anticipated
during dynamic loading, as only a very small amount of plastic rotation, if any, was observed prior to
fracture. The response of the DF cases is therefore not significantly different from that of the BF cases.
However, the DF label is retained in this paper due to the physical difference in the coupons used to
achieve fracture. Deformation softening (DFS) behavior is defined as negative post-yield tangent stiffness
in the connection hysteresis.
Excitations and tests performed
The tests presented herein are a subset of a larger group involving other types of connection deterioration
which lie outside the scope of this paper. The subset discussed in this paper includes only those tests in
which the mechanical connections are configured for fracturing, deformation softening, or ductile
baseline hysteretic behavior. These connection configuration patterns are shown in Figure 4, where circles
indicate deteriorating connections (connections without circles have ductile baseline behavior) and x
marks show the location of notched coupons (i.e., those capable of fracture).

Figure 4. Connection configuration patterns


Four earthquake excitations were used in the tests: two cosine acceleration pulses (representing
idealized fault-normal near-source ground motions) and two ground motion records from the SAC suites
(Somerville [23]). Prior to their use in the tests, the original SAC motions were filtered and scaled to
satisfy the constraints of the shaking table. The motions were a near-field record (SAC NF01 based on the
1978 Tabas, Iran record), hereafter referred to as NF01m, and a long-duration subduction zone record
(SAC SE17 based on the 1985 Llolleo, Chile record), hereafter referred to as SE17m. Two series of
repeated tests (one with two tests and one with four tests) were performed on nominally identical
specimens to assess the error in the experimental setup. Based on these two test series, error bounds were
estimated to be 5% for maximum displacement, 10% for residual displacement, base shear, and most
other quantities, and the maximum of 20% or 0.2g for accelerations.
ANALYTICAL MODEL
Several analytical models of the test specimen were developed using OpenSEES (McKenna [24]), an
open-source framework for structural analysis. These models were then evaluated using the experimental
data, and the model best able to reproduce the recorded response was chosen. The selected model is a 2D
model with clear span dimensions. The idealized connections were modeled as nonlinear zero-length

springs, with general hysteretic and steel material models used to model the moment-rotation relations for
fracture and ductile baseline behavior, respectively. The remainder of the frame was modeled with elastic
beam-column elements as the test data confirmed that nonlinearity was confined to the connections. The
nonlinear dynamic analysis was conducted using a standard Newmark average acceleration integration
method and a Newton-Raphson algorithm with Krylov subspace acceleration (Scott and Fenves 2003
[25]) to improve convergence in cases with severe or sudden hysteretic degradation. Geometric
nonlinearity was handled using the corotational formulation, which is exact for the large deformations
observed in the shaking table tests.
A parametric study focused on the effects of particular hysteretic and excitation characteristics
was conducted using the selected analytical model of the test specimen. Hysteretic characteristics
examined for the fracture cases are post-fracture residual moment capacity Mr, post-fracture tangent
stiffness Kpf, and pre-fracture plastic rotation p, which are defined in Figure 5. Also defined in Figure 5
is the hysteretic characteristic of interest for deformation softening systems, the post-yield tangent
stiffness Kpy. The simple hysteretic loops shown in Figure 5 are used for definition purposes only; actual
hysteretic models used in the analyses were more complex. Excitation characteristics examined include
amplitude and pulse duration.

Figure 5. Definition of hysteretic characteristics of interest for fracturing (left) and deformation
softening (right) connections
EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS
General observed effects of hysteretic deterioration
When fracture occurs, the moment capacity at the fractured connection decreases suddenly and
substantially. This causes a sudden discontinuity in the base shear response of the structure, as shown in
Figure 6. Higher frequency transient response overlies a post-fracture trend in base shear that either
initially increases and then plateaus or plateaus immediately before decreasing, depending on the number
of fracturing vs. ductile connections. Increase-then-plateau behavior occurs when ductile connections are
present (BP or CB patterns) and are still elastic and thus able to resist additional moment after fractures
occur. Immediate-plateau behavior occurs when all connections fracture (the CP pattern case). The postplateau decrease in base shear in both cases is caused by post-fracture softening due to buckling of the
compression coupons, and depends on the post-fracture tangent stiffness of the connections and number
of fractured connections. Naturally, the larger the number of fractured connections, the higher the
sensitivity of the behavior to post-fracture tangent stiffness.

In contrast to the base shear response, no sudden changes are observed in the displacement
response at the moment of fracture, as shown in Figure 6. Also, the maximum displacement response is
greater for cases with connection fractures than for cases with ductile connection behavior. Residual
displacements are larger for the pulse cases, but not necessarily for the ground motions (see the
subsequent section on number of deteriorating connections for more on this topic).
8

16

Fractures
occur

14

Ductile Baseline
Brittle Fracture BP
Ductile Fracture BP
Brittle Fracture CP
Brittle Fracture CB
Ductile Fracture CP

Catch cables
engage

12

Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

Base Shear (kips)

10
8

Fractures
occur

6
4
2

Ductile Baseline
Brittle Fracture BP
Ductile Fracture BP
Brittle Fracture CP
Brittle Fracture CB
Ductile Fracture CP

1 CB case
fracture

8
3.8

4.2

4.4
Time (sec)

4.6

1 CB case
fracture

4.8

7
Time (sec)

10

11

12

Figure 6. Effect of fracture on base shear (left) and interstory drift ratio (right), 1.2 sec pulse
A comparison of the effects of fracture and deformation softening are examined here using the B
patterns, which have deterioration capable connections only in the first story connections. Figure 7 shows
that deformation softening produces behavioral trends similar to those caused by fracture. However, the
high-frequency response that characterizes the occurrence of fracture in the base shear response was not
observed for the deformation softening case. The lower yield strength of the deformation softening
connections (necessitated by design constraints) is evident in the base shear response as the connections
yield during the first negative excursion, leading to more pronounced period elongation.
8

12

Ductile
fracture
occurs

Brittle
fracture
occurs

8
Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

Base Shear (kips)

Fractures
occur

0
Ductile Baseline
Deformation Softening
Brittle Fracture
Ductile Fracture

8
3.8

Ductile Baseline
Deformation Softening
Brittle Fracture
Ductile Fracture

10

4
4

4.2

4.4
Time (sec)

4.6

4.8

7
Time (sec)

10

11

12

Figure 7. Effect of deterioration on base shear (left) and interstory drift ratio (right), 1.2 sec pulse
Further insight into the effects of deterioration can be obtained by plotting the two previously
examined response quantities against one another to obtain a picture of the global hysteretic response.
This is done for the two cosine pulse cases in Figure 8. In the interest of space, only fracture behavior is
examined since the trends for deformation softening behavior are very similar. In both cases, the loss of

strength due to connection deterioration leads to increased displacement response. Also evident is the
negative slope of the global hysteresis, which is due to a combination of local negative post-fracture
tangent stiffness at the fracturing connections and global P- effects.
8

Catch cables
engage

5
10
Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

15

20

Catch
cables
engage

8
5

Fractures
occur

Base Shear (kips)

Base Shear (kips)

Ductile Baseline
Brittle Fracture BP
Ductile Fracture BP
Brittle Fracture CP
Brittle Fracture CB
Ductile Fracture CP

Fractures
occur

Ductile Baseline
Brittle Fracture BP, Run 1
Brittle Fracture BP, Run 2
Ductile Fracture BP
Brittle Fracture CP
Ductile Fracture CP

8
5

5
10
Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

15

20

Figure 8. Base shear - interstory drift ratio hysteresis, 1.2 sec pulse (left) and 0.6 sec pulse (right)
Number of deteriorating connections
In Figure 6, three cases are plotted for the 1.2 second pulse excitation: the DBC pattern (no fractures), the
BP and CB patterns (two fractures each), and the CP pattern (four fractures). Both maximum and residual
interstory drifts increase with the number of fractures. For the earthquake ground motions, the effects are
similar for maximum interstory drift, but not for residual drift which is actually less for the case with the
most fractures as shown in Figure 9. This suggests that residual drift is much more complicated and
influenced to a great degree by the excitation characteristics and the post-fracture hysteretic properties of
the fracturing connections.
6

Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

Ductile Baseline
Brittle Fracture BB
Brittle Fracture CB

Brittle
fractures
occur

3
2
1
0
1
2

Brittle
fractures
occur

3
4
0

10

15
Time (sec)

20

25

Figure 9. Effect of number of fractures, NF01m ground motion


Excitation amplitude
For the pulse excitation cases studied experimentally, an increase in excitation amplitude tends to increase
both maximum and residual interstory drifts, as shown in Figure 10. Since fractures occur in both cases,
the amplitude of the displacement response is governed by the interaction of post-fracture hysteretic
characteristics and the excitation. Incremental dynamic analyses performed (Rodgers [1]) with the model
of the specimen examined this interaction in greater detail, and found that increased response amplitude

with increasing excitation amplitude to generally be the case, with exceptions occurring when increasing
amplitude causes a change in the failure mode, which in turn may lead to locally reduced response. For
instance, as the amplitude of excitation increases, the time of fracture occurrence may change from the
first positive to the first negative excursion of motion, causing a reduction in the amplitude of the
response.
12
100% amplitude, Run 1
100% amplitude, Run 2
50% amplitude

10

Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

Fractures
occur

4
2

7
Time (sec)

10

11

12

Figure 10. Effect of excitation amplitude, BF BP pattern, 0.6 sec pulse


Excitation features and timing of fractures
The response of the specimen tends to be sensitive to the timing of fractures with respect to certain
excitation features such as pulses, as shown in Figure 9 and Figure 11. The NF01m record contains a
pulse of approximately 1.2 seconds duration, so the expectation of similar behavior to the 1.2 second
pulse case (see Figure 6) seems reasonable. However, as shown in Figure 9, the response is much
different due to the timing of fractures with respect to the pulse fractures do not occur at an opportune
time to cause large permanent drifts. For the SE17m motion, on the other hand, the fractures occur in a
such a way that most of the permanent drift is accumulated in one large cycle of motion, as shown in
Figure 11.
8
Ductile Baseline
Brittle Fracture CB

Fracture
occurs

Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

4
2
0
2
4

Fractures
occur

6
8
10
5

10

15

20

25

30
Time (sec)

35

40

45

50

55

Figure 11. Effect of fracture timing with respect to excitation features, SE17m ground motion
ANALYTICAL RESULTS
The previously described analytical model was calibrated using the experimental results, and various
aspects of the experimental results were examined using results of numerical simulations. The model was
then used to examine parametrically the effects the structures position on the excitation response

spectrum, several parameters characterizing hysteretic behavior, and the spatial distribution of fractures
within the structure.
Response spectrum position
The position of the specimen on the response spectrum, as expressed by the ratio Tstructure/Tpulse, influences
the severity of the effects of strength loss due to fracture, as shown in Figure 8. The figure on the left has
Tstructure/Tpulse = 0.5, while the figure on the right has Tstructure/Tpulse = 1.0. The lower ratio clearly leads to
greater increases in drift over the ductile baseline case for the same amount of initial strength loss due to
fracture. This effect was examined for a variety of Tstructure/Tpulse ratios for the elastic, ductile baseline, and
fracture CB pattern cases as shown in Figure 12. Strength loss in the short to intermediate period range
results in amplification of the response, while strength loss in the intermediate to long period range results
in little change or even deamplification of the response. This effect is somewhat shifted toward shorter
periods by an increase in excitation amplitude, as shown below.
25

14
Elastic
Ductile Baseline
Brittle Fracture CB
Ductile Fracture CB p=0.01
Ductile Fracture CB p=0.02

20

Maximum Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

Maximum Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

12

Elastic
Ductile Baseline
Brittle Fracture CB
Ductile Fracture CB p=0.01
Ductile Fracture CB p=0.02

10

15

10

5
2

0
1
10

10
Tstructure/Tpulse

10

0
1
10

10
Tstructure/Tpulse

10

Figure 12. Effect of Tstructure/Tpulse ratio, CB pattern, excitation multiplier = 1.0 (left) and 1.5 (right)
Particular hysteretic characteristics
Pre-fracture parameters
For the 1.2 second cosine pulse case, increased pre-fracture plastic rotation capacity leads to a reduction
in the maximum interstory drift ratio, as shown in Figure 13. However, for Tstructure/Tpulse ratios between
0.5 and 2.0, a small amount of pre-fracture plastic rotation capacity can increase interstory drifts, as
shown in Figure 12.
20
BP Pattern
CB Pattern
CP Pattern
CTB Pattern

18

Maximum Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
0

0.01

0.02
0.03
0.04
PreFracture Plastic Rotation (rad)

0.05

0.06

Figure 13. Effect of pre-fracture plastic rotation

Post-fracture and post-yield parameters


The effects of several parameters describing post fracture and post-yield hysteretic behavior were
examined. These parameters, which were defined in Figure 5, are post-fracture residual moment capacity,
post-fracture tangent stiffness, and post-yield tangent stiffness. As shown in Figure 14, the effects of postfracture residual moment capacity depend much more strongly on number of fractures than fracture
pattern. The BP and CB patterns show a very similar response with moderate dependence on post-fracture
residual moment capacity.
20

Collapse

18

Maximum Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

16
14
12
10
8
6
Brittle Fracture BP Kpf = 0
Brittle Fracture CB Kpf = 0
Brittle Fracture CP Kpf = 0
BFBP Test Data
BFCB Test Data
BFCP Test Data

4
2
0
0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5
0.6
0.7
Residual Moment (Mr/Mf)

0.8

0.9

Figure 14. Effect of post-fracture residual moment capacity


Similarly, the effects of post-fracture tangent stiffness are much more dependent on number of
fractures than on fracture pattern, as shown in Figure 15. Logically, the greater the number of fractures,
the greater the sensitivity to the amount of post-fracture tangent stiffness. Unlike the case of post-fracture
residual moment capacity, however, there is very little sensitivity to the severity of the degradation unless
all connections are experiencing the degradation. Effects of post-yield tangent stiffness are virtually
identical to those of post-fracture tangent stiffness.
20

Maximum Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

16

20

Brittle Fracture BP Mri = 70


Brittle Fracture CB Mri = 70
Brittle Fracture CP Mri = 70
BFBP Test Data
BFCB Test Data
BFCP Test Data

18

14
12
10
8
6

14
12
10
8
6

0
0.07

0.05

0.03
0.01
0.01
Postfracture Stiffness (Kpf/Ki)

0.03

Deformation Softening B
Deformation Softening C
DFS B Test Data
DFS C Test Data

Collapse

16

Maximum Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

Collapse
18

0.05

0
0.07

0.05

0.03
0.01
0.01
Postyield Stiffness (Kpy/Ki)

0.03

0.05

Figure 15. Effect of post-fracture (left) and post-yield (right) tangent stiffness
Spatial distribution of fractures
As shown by comparing the response of BP, CB, and CP patterns in Figure 8, the effects of the spatial
distribution of fractures within the frame are considerably smaller than the effects of number of fractures.

However, for larger structures or those with different aspect ratios the relative importance of spatial
distribution may become greater.
The effects of distribution of fractures within the connection were examined analytically rather
than experimentally. Figure 16 shows that the effects of within-connection fracture distribution are
dependent on period range and excitation amplitude. Differences between the BF CB pattern, with brittle
fractures in the bottom flanges only, and the BF CTB pattern, with brittle fractures in both top and bottom
flanges, are greatest in the short and intermediate period ranges and for the 100% and 150% amplitude
cases. This result is similar to the findings of Luco [12].
2

Maximum Interstory Drift Ratio (%)

10

BF CB, 100% amplitude


BF CTB, 100% amplitude
BF CB, 150% amplitude
BF CTB, 150% amplitude
BF CB, 200% amplitude
BF CTB, 200% amplitude

10

10
1
10

10
Tstructure/Tpulse

10

Figure 16. Effect of spatial distribution of fractures within the connection


CONCLUSIONS
The effects of connection deterioration on system response depend on a number of factors, including the
number of fractures or degrading connections, excitation amplitude and characteristics, severity of lost
capacity due to particular hysteretic behaviors (such as negative post-fracture or post-yield stiffness and
amount of residual moment capacity), response spectrum position, and spatial distribution of fractures
within the connection and the frame. These factors were observed to act both independently and
concurrently, and the interrelations between them can be quite complex. As such, the precise effect of
each variable is not easily identified. Concurrent action of several factors was observed to be necessary to
cause collapse in the cases tested.
The idealized fault-normal near-field pulses studied caused larger maximum and residual
displacements for deteriorating cases than for ductile baseline cases. However, for ground motions, the
effects of connection fractures were observed to be sensitive to fracture timing relative to pulse features.
In general, the maximum displacement response increases (and thus the quality of the system response
decreases) as the number of deteriorating connections and their impact on the system strength in the
direction of loading increases. Residual displacements do not necessarily follow this trend for the ground
motion excitations due to the aforementioned sensitivity of fracture timing with respect to excitation
features. Also, period elongation due to the loss of connection stiffness caused by fracture and/or local
buckling is evident in the time histories. However, the sudden change in connection properties caused by
fracture does not translate into sudden changes in the displacement response, which remains smooth while
fractures occur.
Fractures cause substantial reductions in connection strength, and consequently reduce the base
shear capacity by a substantial amount compared to ductile baseline behavior. In contrast to the smooth
displacement response, fracture causes immediate discontinuities in the base shear response. The amount

of plastic rotation prior to fracture was found to have beneficial effects on the response for cases where
top flanges could fracture, but mixed effects on response when only the bottom flanges could fracture. In
cases of bottom flange-only fractures, effects depended on the specimens response spectrum position and
the amplitude of the excitation as well as the amount of plastic rotation. Post-fracture hysteretic
characteristics, namely residual moment capacity and tangent stiffness, also play an important role in the
system behavior. Low residual moment capacity and negative post-fracture tangent stiffness exacerbate
the effects of a larger number of fractures and lead to increased maximum and residual drifts. Negative
post-fracture tangent stiffness was found to be a key ingredient in the observed collapses of the
experimental specimen.
The position of the structure on the response spectrum of the excitation also affects the degree to
which the strength loss due to fracture affects the system response. In the cases presented, the specimen is
not in the displacement preserved range for either pulse excitation, so (as predicted by Newmark [26]) the
reduction in strength caused by fracture results in larger drifts. This is the case particularly in the tests
involving the 1.2 second cosine pulse, where the specimen has Tstructure/Tpulse = 0.5.
In summary, effects of connection deterioration on system response depend significantly on the
severity of the deterioration both in terms of the number of deteriorating connections and withinconnection measures of deterioration, such as tangent stiffness. The excitation amplitude is also key, as
the specimen was not driven to large drifts or collapse by relatively moderate excitations. The interactions
between excitation features and deterioration timing and severity are complex, and are a topic for future
investigation. As a whole, the area of steel moment frame system behavior has just begun to be examined
experimentally, and there are many opportunities for future research, particularly for full-scale structures.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (Grant CMS-9807069). The authors
gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Mauricio van Dam, Wesley Neighbor, Don Clyde, Chunho
Chang, Patxi Uriz, and David MacLam. The findings and conclusions in this work are those of the
authors alone.
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