Engineering Journal Article Downloads → A Flexibility-Based Formulation for the Design of Continuity Plates in Steel Special Moment Frames

A Flexibility-Based Formulation for the Design of Continuity Plates in Steel Special Moment Frames
Author: Andy T. Tran, Patrick M. Hassett and Chia-Ming Uang

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This paper introduces a rational approach for the design of continuity plates and associated welds in steel special moment frame (SMF) connections. The current AISC Seismic Provisions require welds attaching continuity plates to develop the full strength of the plate, resulting in the need to use complete-joint-penetration (CJP) groove welds. The combination of continuity plate thickness requirements, welding process and weld inspection often leads to costly detailing that may be overly conservative. The proposed design procedure, which is based on the relative flexibility between the column flange and continuity plate, aims to quantify the seismic force demand on continuity plates, thus allowing designers to efficiently size both the continuity plate thickness and the associated welded joints. In addition, the design procedure may allow the use of fillet welds or partial-joint-penetration groove welds as opposed to CJP welds, leading to a more economical design and fabrication. Formulation of the design procedure through analytical studies, including finite element analysis, is outlined.