Project Title Practical Design Considerations for Steel Slit Panel Frames
Principal Investigator Judy Liu
Research Institution Purdue University
Project Period 2011 - 2012

Overview and Objectives: This is an extension project originating from the 2004 Milek Fellowship project titled Steel Slit Panel Frames. The Steel Slit Panel Frame (SSPF) has shown promise as a lateral force resisting system, with good energy dissipation and ductile behavior to 5% to 7% lateral drift. Further benefits of the SSPF include relative ease of fabrication and erection, architectural flexibility, potential as a seismic retrofit option, and use of Steel Slit Panels (SSPs) as replaceable fuse elements. The goal of this research project is to provide fundamental steps forward in our understanding of residual drift and cumulative story stiffness reduction of SSPFs. Specific objectives are:

  1. To estimate residual drift for prototype SSPFs and recommend construction sequences to take advantage of the SSP as a replaceable fuse
  2. To refine design guidelines for calculation of SSPF story stiffness

Work Description:

  1. Analysis of experimental results for 1/3-scale tests on SSPs and SSPFs with regards to strength and stiffness degradation
  2. Review of literature on moment-rotation characteristics of shear tab connections
  3. Development of simple models to represent SSPFs with consideration for strength and stiffness degradation of the SSPs, as well as the behavior of the shear tab (beam-to-column) connections
  4. Development of possible construction sequences for replacing SSPs after a seismic event (based on analysis of the simple models)
  5. Use of simple models (without strength and stiffness degradation) and analysis of additional SSPF configurations, comparisons with experimental results, and basic structural mechanics principles, to establish trends and/or equations for panel-frame interaction and cumulative story stiffness reduction


  1. Possible construction sequences to take advantage of the SSP as a replaceable fuse
  2. Refined design guidelines for calculation of SSPF story stiffness

Benefit: The project will produce design guidelines for a new type of lateral force resisting system that has been shown to exhibit good ductile behavior and offers a seismic retrofit option.

Milestones: The precursor investigation to this project, Steel Slit Panel Frames, has been completed 


(image courtesy of Dr. Liu)