Project Title Economic Seismic Structural Column Splices
Principal Investigator Amit Kanvinde
Research Institution University of California at Davis
Project Period 2010 - 2012

Overview and Objectives: While the post-Northridge research on beam-column connections in moment frames is extensive, similar exhaustive research is not available for all types of connections in moment frames. Specifically, the experimental research for column splice connections in high seismic regions is limited, and consequently, for these connections, the design practice typically adapts the recommendations of the SAC study. For example, CJP groove welds are required for column splices in special and intermediate moment resisting frames (AISC, 2005). However, these details are often expensive or inconvenient to fabricate especially on site (e.g. consider the expense and inconvenience of constructing full penetration CJP welds for column splices). Several recent studies (in the United States as well as overseas) suggest that if designed with adequate consideration of fracture issues, partial joint penetration welds may offer excellent seismic performance in column splices – comparable to or exceeding that of CJP welds.

Work Description: Research will consist of 5 full scale column splice tests. The splices will be tested in bending to achieve tension and compression in the flange splice connections. The load protocol will consist of cycling loads in both directions to Mp or failure if possible. Variables to be evaluated will be selected by Dr. Kanvinde and AISC. These are anticipated to include variations in the flange splice detail and variations in the web splice. Finite element simulations will be conducted to complement the experimental program. The finite element simulations will have two main objectives (1) To plan the experimental configurations, especially Tests 5 and 6, which will be the variations (2) To generalize findings from all the experiments, once they have been completed.

Deliverables: Dr. Kanvinde will provide test data, a report of the test and subsequent analytical review and design and detail strategies that will permit the use of economical splices. Dr. Kanvinde will provide at least one article suitable for a technical journal, AISC’s Engineering Journal if appropriate.

Benefit: The investigation and resulting experimental data will facilitate and justify the use of more economical column splices. 


(image courtesy of Dr. Kanvinde)