Behavior and design of posttensioned steel frame systems

Maria Eugenia Moreyra Garlock, Richard Sause, James M. Ricles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations


A posttensioned (PT) steel moment resisting frame is a self-centering earthquake resistant steel frame that uses posttensioning steel to compress the beam flanges against the column flanges at the connections. The posttensioning contributes to the moment capacity of the connections and provides an elastic restoring force that returns the frame to its pre-earthquake position. This paper describes the behavior and design of PT frames and PT frame systems, where a PT frame system is a PT frame with the collector elements that connect it to the floor system. The interaction of the floor system with the PT frame produces axial forces in the beams that add to those from the posttensioning. This paper outlines a performance-based seismic design approach for PT steel frame systems. Seismic performance levels, seismic input levels, structural limit states and capacities, and structural demands for PT frame systems are defined. The design objectives are outlined, design criteria are given, and a step-by-step design procedure is given. The design approach is evaluated via comparisons with time-history analysis results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


  • Earthquake resistant structures
  • Flanges
  • Seismic design
  • Steel frames


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