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Behaviour of Steel Shear Connections for Assessing Structural Vulnerability to Disproportionate Collapse Open Access


Other title
component model
mechanical model
disproportionate collapse
progressive collapse
steel shear connections
combined moment, shear, and tension
design recommendations
column removal scenario
experimental tests
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Oosterhof, Steven A
Supervisor and department
Driver, Robert (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Jar, Ben (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta)
Williamson, Eric (Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas at Austin)
Driver, Robert (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta)
Adeeb, Samer (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta)
AbouRizk, Simaan (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta)
Cheng, Roger (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Structural Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The performance of structures under the effects of extreme loads can be a critical consideration in their design. The potential for disproportionate collapse following localized damage to a column can be mitigated by the provision of sufficient strength and ductility throughout a structural system to allow for the establishment of a stable alternative load path. An understanding of the behaviour of shear connections in steel gravity frames under the unique combinations of moment, shear, and axial force relevant to column removal scenarios is necessary to assess the vulnerability of a structure to disproportionate collapse. However, such an understanding is currently limited by a deficiency of physical test data. In order to investigate the inherent robustness of commonly used steel shear connections, an experimental program consisting of 45 full scale physical tests was completed. Specimens included shear tab, welded–bolted single angle, bolted–bolted single angle, bolted–bolted double angle, and seat and top angle connections combined with different types of shear connections at the beam web. A testing procedure was developed that imposes upon a connection the force and deformation demands that are expected following removal of the central column in a symmetric two bay frame. Various geometric arrangements of each connection type were tested, and each arrangement was subjected to a range of loading histories representing different column removal scenarios. The physical test results characterize the load development history, deformation mechanisms, and failure modes expected following column removal for each type of connection. Connection stiffness, strength, and ductility limits under the effects of combined loading are quantified. An approach to mechanical modelling that predicts connection response following column removal is presented and validated using the test results. The models are used to expand the database of results and study the effects of critical parameters on performance. Design recommendations based on the physical tests and mechanical modelling are presented, including connection detailing considerations and a simplified connection modelling technique that is suitable for whole-building column removal analysis.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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