Impact of Connection Type on Performance of Non-Seismic Concentrically Braced Frames
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Concentrically braced frame (CBF) structural systems resist lateral loads using braces framed diagonally between frame work points defined at the intersection of beam, column, and brace centerlines. In the past few decades, research on CBFs has primarily focused on improving seismic detailing requirements for new construction. Braced frames designed prior to 1988, termed non-seismic concentrically braced frames (NCBFs), had much less stringent design requirements the consequences of which include high variability in the beam-to-connection detail, an inability to develop the yield capacity of the brace, and unknown controlling failure modes. Evaluation and retrofit of existing NCBF systems can be challenging in part due to the lack of experimental research evaluating the variety of connection details and deficiencies present in existing NCBF infrastructure. As part of a large NSF supported effort to provide guidance on the seismic evaluation and retrofit of NCBFs, five NCBF frames focusing on bolted beam-to-column connections were designed and tested at the University of Washington Structural Research Laboratory. The results are compared to the results of nine previous NCBF tests using measured response parameters and observed performance. It was found that the brace type along with the continuity, flexibility, and deficiencies of the connection could dramatically impact the deformation capacity, failure mode, and yielding hierarchy observed in an NCBF. Backbone curves developed for all fourteen experiments provide modeling parameters to be used in the development of modified procedures for evaluation and retrofit of braced frames.
- Civil engineering