Modeling and behavior of steel plate connections subject to various fire scenarios

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64 Scopus citations


Shear connections are common connection types and they are designed to resist only shear loads. In a fire event, the axial restraint provided by adjacent structure creates unanticipated compressive and tensile forces in the beam and thus the connection. Using finite-element models, this study examines single-plate shear connections that are bolted to the beam and welded to the supporting girder. A floor subassembly, which includes the beam, girder, slab, and connection, is modeled so that appropriate forces are applied to the connection. The model is validated with the experiments of bolted lap splice plates at elevated temperatures, as well as full-scale experiments. This paper (1) illustrates efficient modeling methods for these floor subassemblies; (2) evaluates the importance of the slab in the connection response; and (3) examines the effects of the rate of heating and cooling on the connection. The results show that care needs to be taken as to how the concrete slab is represented in the model. The heating and cooling rates affect the beam stress distribution, peak temperatures, and peak displacements, but not the peak beam axial force. Also, the cooling phase creates large tensile forces in the connection which can lead to failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-906
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Connection
  • Connections
  • Contact
  • Contacts
  • Finite element
  • Finite element method
  • Fire
  • Fires
  • Steel


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