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C.T.A.

Collegio dei Tecnici dell’Acciaio


GIORNATE ITALIANE DELLA COSTRUZIONE IN ACCIAIO
Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore – Venezia: 26 – 27 – 28 Settembre 2001

MODELING OF THE CYCLIC BEHAVIOUR OF BOLTED T-STUBS


SUBJECTED TO VARIABLE AMPLITUDE LOADING

MODELLAZIONE DEL COMPORTAMENTO CICLICO DI T-STUB


BULLONATI SOGGETTI A STORIE DI CARICO AD AMPIEZZA VARIABILE

O.S. Bursi1, V. Piluso2, G. Rizzano2 e R. Zandonini1


1
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica Strutturale, Università degli Studi di Trento
2
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Università di Salerno

ABSTRACT
The present work deals with the analysis of the low-cycle fracture behaviour of semi-rigid steel connections. In order to investigate
the failure mechanism of connections, the material was characterised from a mechanical and microstructural standpoint. A procedure
for predicting the cycle behaviour of bolted T-stubs starting from the knowledge of their geometrical and mechanical properties has
been proposed. Hence, 3-D non-linear finite element analyses were carried out in order to tune model material parameters and
additional analyses were performed to examine details able to reduce loading-induced toughness demands. Analyses have shown
that fracture driving force demands quantified in terms of crack tip opening displacement, are reduced by using fillet welds matching
the end plate material by increasing the yield-to-ultimate strength ratio and finally, by reducing welding-induced residual
stresses.

SOMMARIO
Nel seguente lavoro si presentano le analisi condotte sul comportamento a frattura oligociclica di connessioni semirigide in acciaio.
Al fine di investigare il meccanismo di frattura delle connessioni, il materiale è stato caratterizzato sia da un punto di vista meccanico
sia microstrutturale. E’ stata quindi proposta una procedura semianalitica capace di predire il comportamento ciclico di elementi T-
stub partendo dalla conoscenza delle loro caratteristiche geometriche e meccaniche. Successivamente, sono state effettuate analisi 3-
D ad elementi finiti in campo non-lineare al fine di calibrare i parametri meccanici del materiale da impiegare nei modelli ad elementi
finiti. Quindi, sono state condotte ulteriori analisi per determinare i dettagli costruttivi capaci di ridurre la richiesta di resistenza alla
frattura indotta dai carichi. Si è riscontrato come la richiesta di resistenza alla frattura, espressa in termini di crack tip opening
displacement, è ridotta impiegando metallo di saldatura con proprietà meccaniche simili a quelle del metallo base, aumentando il
rapporto tra la resistenza allo snervamento e quella ultima ed infine, riducendo le tensioni residue indotte dal processo
di saldatura.

1. INTRODUCTION
In high seismic risk areas like California and Japan, steel-framed buildings have been employed
frequently because of their excellent performances in terms of strength and ductility. Nonetheless, a
large number of severe brittle cracks of welded beam-to-column connections entirely unexpected
occurred in the recent Northridge (1994) and Kobe (1995) earthquakes [Bertero & al. (1994);
Kuwamura (1998)]. The majority of the thoroughly investigations have established that premature
cracking in welded steel connections resulted from a combination of factors, such as high strain
demands coupled with large inherent flaws and stress concentrations, overreliance on low-
toughness materials, deficient field welding and insufficient quality control.
In the framework of a research programme devoted to the analysis of semi-rigid beam-to-column
connections, a series of tests on substructures, subassemblages, full-scale connections and
connection components subjected both to monotonic and cyclic displacement regime has been
carried out [Deng et al. (2000); Faella et al. (1998, 1999, 2000)]. The study has been limited to one
basic connection typology representative of the common European design practice, viz. bolted
extended end plate connections with overmatching fillet welds. However, different design
parameters, among which the end plate thickness and the bolt diameter were addressed.
In the following section, the main experimental results regarding connection components (ITS:
isolated Tee stubs) subjected to variable amplitude loading are presented. They have been
performed both to investigate the deterioration mechanism exhibited by the specimens and to obtain
parameters relevant to the their modelling, both semi-analytical and numerical.
The satisfactory results obtained through the component method in predicting the rotational
behaviour of bolted connections have suggested the possibility of extending this approach to the
case of connections under cyclic loads. With reference to this topic, the existing mechanical models
aimed at the prediction of the cyclic behaviour of beam-to-column joints are limited by the gap of
knowledge regarding the degradation of stiffness, strength and energy dissipation capacity of each
joint component as the number of cycles increases. For this reason, a preliminary experimental and
theoretical analysis has been developed aiming at the modelling of the most important component
(bolted T-stubs) of bolted connections under cyclic loads including the degradation laws due to low
cycle fatigue. On the basis of this analysis, a procedure for predicting the cycle behaviour of bolted
T-stubs starting from the knowledge of their geometrical and mechanical properties has been
proposed [Faella et al. (1999,2000)] and is herein applied to model specimens subjected to variable
amplitude cyclic loading.
Finally, inelastic finite element (FE) analyses, carried out by means of the ABAQUS 5.8 code
[Hibbit, et al (1998)] are discussed.

2. EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS
The joints under investigation are isolated bolted T-stubs [Deng et al. (2000)]. In detail, an exterior
joint connecting an IPE beam with an HE external column within a plane frame is considered. The
experimental programme is based on a reduction method, viz. an approach that relies upon the
assembling of the overall joint response from component part contributions. Along this line, ITS
connections (Figure 1a) and CJ (complete joint) connections (Figure 1b) have been tested.
Dimension in mm
180
90

75
1350
75
300

IPE 300
220

105 180

(a) (b)

Figure 1: Specimen: (a) isolated T-stub; (b) complete Figure 2: Fracture of an end plate in an
joint isolated T-stub

Both monotonic and variable amplitude alternate displacement tests have been carried out in
accordance with the ECCS recommendations (1986). ITS specimens subjected to monotonic
displacements are characterized with a four plastic hinges (Mode 1) failure according to Eurocode 3
[CEN, (2000)]. Conversely in the cyclic displacement regime, besides to stiffness degradation,
strength deterioration and pinching effects, low-cycle fatigue failure happened. In detail, owing to
unavoidable imperfections and defects, a phase encompassing the initiation and the stable growth of
microcracks at the weld toe took place. Then, a sudden propagation of the crack in a brittle fracture
mode followed, characterized with a low-cycle fatigue collapse as illustrated in Figure 2. A series of
laboratory tests has been carried out to characterize the end plate material in its different
microstructural states. Indeed, owing to the filler metal and the uneven temperature distribution, a
welded joint is a compound of three different metallurgical regions: the fusion zone, the heat-
affected zone (HAZ), and the unaffected base metal. The HAZ is the area adjacent to the fusion
zone where the material has undergone a thermal cycle that alters the microstructure of the base
material, though it is too low to determine fusion. In addition, uniaxial tension tests have been
conducted on samples extracted from end plates and welds. The relevant results are collected in
Table 1. From this table one may observe that fillet weld joints exploit by design an overstrength
condition that assures elastic behaviour for the weld metal and plastic deformation for the base
metal.
Table 1: Mechanical properties of isolated T-stubs and complete joints
t, φ εy εu εu ε y fy fu fu/fy
Component Material
(mm) (%) (%) (MPa) (Mpa)
TC-2 End Plate 12 0.15 28.60 191 293 448 1.53
Weld 5.4 0.20 8.08 40 521 640 1.23
TC-3 End Plate 18 0.15 22.22 148 316 450 1.42
Weld 5.4 0.21 7.20 34 542 646 1.19
Bolt - 20 0.43 4.5 10 888 947 1.07

Successively, cyclic tests have been carried out to characterize material properties under cyclic
loading. To this scope, the parameters exploited in the evolution law of the non-linear
isotropic/kinematic hardening model proposed in Lemaitre & Chaboche (1990) and adopted in the
ABAQUS 5.8 code [Hibbit, et al (1998)] have been evaluated. The identification of the
characteristic coefficients is obtained from stabilized hysteresis loops. More specifically, three tests
were carried out relevant to three total deformation levels on coupon specimens extracted from
connections.

3. PREDICTION BY MEANS OF THE SEMI-ANALYTICAL MODEL


A semi-analytical model for predicting the cyclic behaviour of bolted T-stubs starting from the
knowledge of their geometrical and mechanical properties has been recently proposed [Faella et. al,
(1999, 2000)]. In this Section, a brief description of the model is provided and, successively, the
degree of accuracy of the model is investigated by comparing the results coming from its
application to the specimens previously described with the experimental evidence.
The model is based on a preliminary prediction of the monotonic force-displacement curve. Such
prediction can be developed by means of a theoretical approach [Piluso et al., (2001a, 2001b)]. As
soon as the monotonic behaviour has been predicted, the cyclic behaviour of bolted T-stubs can be
modelled provided that the rules for strength and stiffness degradation and for the pinching of the
hysteresis loops are available. In addition, a conventional criterion for identifying the collapse
condition is required. The model can be considered semi-analytical, because the monotonic
envelope is theoretically predicted; conversely, degradation rules have been directly derived from
experimental tests concerning the cyclic behaviour of bolted T-stubs under constant amplitude
loading. Such degradation rules are extended to the case of variable amplitude loading.
With reference to constant amplitude tests, regarding the collapse criterion, it is conventionally
assumed that failure occurs in any cycle when the energy dissipated by the cycle is less than or
equal to 50% of the energy dissipated by the first cycle. The energy cumulated up to failure can be
related to the plastic displacement amplitude. On the basis of the results coming from an
experimental program devoted to the analysis of the ultimate behaviour of bolted T-stubs under
constant amplitude cyclic loading, the following relationship has been proposed:
 tfδp  (1)
b
E cc
= a 
2 
E0  2Cm 
where Ecc is the energy cumulated up to conventional failure, E 0 is the energy absorbed under
monotonic loading conditions up to a plastic displacement amplitude δ p , t f is the flange thickness
of the T-stub, C is a constant depending on material properties and m is the distance between the
bolt axis and the section corresponding to the flange-to-web connection where plastic hinge
develops. The coefficients a and b have been derived by means of a regression analysis providing,
for welded T-elements, the values 0.4848 and 1.1173, respectively, with a correlation coefficient
equal to 0.73. The term in bracket represents the ratio between the plastic displacement amplitude
of the cycles and the theoretical value of the ultimate plastic displacement for type-1 mechanism
(flange yielding) of Eurocode 3 [CEN, (2000)].
Eq. (1) allows to estimate the energy cumulated up to conventional failure provide that the
monotonic force versus displacement curve has been properly predicted.
It has been observed from experimental results [Faella et al., (1999)] that, under constant amplitude
loading, the point corresponding to the load inversion remains practically unchanged during the
loading process. These points (A and D in Fig. 3) can be identified starting from the maximum load
achieved in the first cycle and by the initial stiffness. Therefore, the unloading branch is strictly
identified for all the cycles, provided that the strength degradation law is known.
F
F max B
Fy
C
Kο Kο
1 K1 1
δy 1 α
A
α D δ max
δ

Fy

Fmax
Figure 3: Model for constant amplitude cyclic loading
On the basis of a regression analysis of the experimental results, for each cycle the load degradation
has been related to the corresponding cumulated energy and displacement amplitude. The following
relationship has been obtained:
a2
 δ max   E ci  3
a (2)
Fi  
= 1 − a1  
 2δ   E 
Fmax  y   cc 
where E ci is the energy cumulated up to the i-th cycle and δ max is the displacement amplitude (Fig.
3). The coefficients a1, a2 and a3 are given in Table 2 for bolted T-stubs made of both rolled T-
elements and T-elements composed by welding.

Table 2: Coefficient for strength and stiffness degradation rules


Rolled T-elements Welded T-elements Rolled T-elements Welded T-elements
a1 0.086 0.345 b1 0.693 0.849
a2 0.716 0.158 b2 0.126 0.053
a3 3.029 3.595 b3 0.099 0.137
The displacement δ y corresponds to the limit of the elastic range and it is equal to the ratio Fy K 0
between the force corresponding to first yielding and the initial stiffness without bolt preloading
which is exhibited in the experimental curve during unloading. Eq.(1) is characterised by a
coefficient of correlation equal to 0.86 for rolled specimens and 0.96 for welded specimens.
The stiffness degradation and the pinching phenomenon are promoted by the detachment of the
flanges at the bolt axis due to the plastic flexural and extensional deformation of the bolts. The
reloading branch can be approximated by means of two straight lines with a different slope (Fig. 3).
The point C, corresponding to the intersection of the two straight lines, is approximately lined up
with the point A which corresponds to the inversion of the load sign and with the point B (Fig. 3).
Therefore, the slope of the straight line connecting the above mentioned points (A, B and C) can be
assumed equal to:
Fmax (3)
tgα =
F
δ max − 2 max
K0
In addition, in order to completely describe the pinching phenomenon, the knowledge of the
stiffness K i of the first part of the reloading branch is necessary (Fig. 3). On the basis of a
regression analysis of the experimental results, the following relationship has been derived [Faella
et al. (2000)]:
b2
 δ max   Eic  3
b (4)
Ki  
= 1 − b1  
 2δ   E 
K0  y   cc 
where the coefficients b 1, b2 and b3 are given in Table 2.
It is useful to observe that 2δ y is the threshold amplitude of δ beyond which degradation
phenomena begin (Fig. 3). Eq.(4) is characterised by a coefficient of correlation equal to 0.86 for
rolled specimens and 0.81 for we lded specimens.
As a conclusion, the modelling of the cyclic behaviour of bolted T-stubs under constant amplitude
loading requires the following steps:
• prediction of the monotonic force-displacement curve [Piluso et al. (2001a; 2001b)];
• computation of the energy E 0 dissipated under monotonic conditions up to the displacement
δ max ;
• estimation, through Eq. (1), of the energy dissipation capacity under cyclic action for the
imposed displacement amplitude δ max ;
• computation of the force Fmax corresponding on the monotonic F − δ curve to the
displacement amplitude δ max of the imposed cyclic action;
• definition of the strength degradation rule by means of Eq. (2);
• definition of the stiffness degradation rule and of the pinching phenomenon by means of
Eq.(4) and of the parameter α given by Eq.(3).
Regarding the application of the semi-analytical model to variable amplitude tests, the following
rules have to be applied:
• for each displacement amplitude δ i the load level Fmax to be adopted in Eq. (2) is assumed
to be coincident with the load level corresponding to δ i in the predicted monotonic F − δ
curve;
• the load level Fi corresponding to the first cycle with amplitude δ i and to the following
ones, having the same amplitude, is computed considering in Eq. (2) the energy dissipated
by all the cycles up to the i-th cycle E ci and by assuming Ecc equal to the cumulated energy
to conventional failure (for constant amplitude cyclic loading) corresponding to the
displacement amplitude δ i ;
• the value of the parameter α , required for simulating the pinching of the group of hysteresis
loops having amplitude δ i , is still computed by means of Eq. (3) where Fmax is computed
according to the first step above and δ max = δ i ;
• the initial stiffness of the reloading branch K i is still computed by means of Eq. (4) where
δ max = δ i is assumed; in addition, E ci is the energy dissipated by all the cycles up to the i-th
cycle and Ecc is equal to the cumulated energy to conventional failure (for constant
amplitude cyclic loading) corresponding to the displacement amplitude δ i .
In order to verify the reliability of the proposed model, the comparison with the experimental
results has been performed. From the qualitative point of view, Figures 4 and 5 show for TC2 and
TC3 specimens, respectively, the degree of accuracy of the model in predicting the cyclic
behaviour.

ITS Specimen TC2

400

300

200

100
Force (kN)

0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
-100

-200

-300 Experimental Semi-analytical model

-400
Displacement (mm)

Figure 4: Comparison between model and experimental results for specimen TC2

ITS Specimen TC3


600

400

200
Force (kN)

0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
-200

-400 Experimental semi-analytical model

-600
Displacement (mm)

Figure 5: Comparison between model and experimental results for specimen TC3

However, the reliability of the model can be better verified by means of a comparison in terms of
energy dissipation. In Fig. 6, the results of this comparison are shown. It can be observed that, for
the two specimens, the scatters between the experimental values of the energy dissipation and the
ones predicted by means of the proposed model, are not particularly significant and always on the
safe side.
1 Specimen ITS TC2 1 Specimen ITS TC3
E ci Eci
0.9 Semi-analytical model 0.9 Semi-analytical model
E cc Experimental Ecc Experimental
0.8 0.8
0.7 0.7
0.6 0.6
0.5 0.5
0.4 0.4
0.3 0.3
0.2 0.2
0.1 0.1
0 0
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
cycle number cycle number

Figure 6: Comparison between experimental results and predictions based on the model

4. NUMERICAL AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS


First of all, a validation of the C and γ values  
   
   
performed. Thereby, a three-dimensional (3D) FE model of coupon specimens (Figure 7a) has been
analysed. One of the three uniaxial cyclic tests carried out with different strain ranges is illustrated
in Figure 7b with numerical simulation using C = 49500 MPa and γ= 350.
The analyses account for material non-linearities through classical metal plasticity based on the Von
Mises yield criterion. Isotropic hardening is assumed for monotonic analyses, whereas to describe
the hysteretic behaviour of steel subjected to cyclic loading the non-linear kinematic hardening
model is exploited. Geometric non-linearities are accounted for through a small strain, large
displacement formulation (NLGEOM option of the ABAQUS code). The elastic modulus and the
Poisson’s ratio were assumed as E=210.000 and ν=0.3, respectively. As far as welding-induced
residual stresses are concerned, an idealised stress magnitude/distribution has been introduced in the
models.
600
(a)
(c)
450

BOLT WELD
300
T R U E S TR E S S (M P a)

150

-150
INTERFACE
-300
(b)
-450
Exp erim ent
Simu latio n
-600
-0.02 5 -0.02 -0.01 5 -0.01 -0.00 5 0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025
N A T U R A L S T R A IN

(a) (b)
Figure 7: (a) 3D FE model of a coupon; (b) Experimental Figure 8: (a) 2D FE model of isolated
and simulated loops at a total deformation of ± 2% T-stub; (b) details of the shank-hole
contact zone

2D models endowed with plane stress elements were adopted to reduce the computational expense.
2D models exploited FE layers to reproduce the end plate and an additional FE layers to simulate
the bolt shank. The prestressing condition was introduced in the model imposing a stretching of the
shank, which ensued a final average shank stretch equal to 0.065 mm, like the one detected during
testing. A crack endowed with an initial depth of 0.26 mm (small-to-moderate root defect) was
modelled at the weld toe to investigate its effect on the response. The finite element model relevant
to the ITS joints is represented in Figure 8a. Specimen symmetry permits that only one half of the
specimen is modelled. The initial crack faces and crack propagation path lie parallel to the
symmetry axis. Moreover, different mechanical properties are assigned to the base metal, the weld
metal and the HAZ. Two-noded gap contact elements are located below the end plate surface to
satisfy the unilateral contact condition imposed by the rigid counter beam. Thereby, the contact
between the shank and the end plate is modelled by using contact surfaces whilst the contact
between the end plate and the nut is reproduced with gap elements as highlighted in Figure 8b.
For the sake of brevity hereinafter, only ITS endowed with an end plate thickness of 18 mm, see
Table 1, are analysed. The numerical simulation of the TC-3 isolated joint relevant to the cyclic
regime with and without the presence of the crack are reported in Figure 9. In detail, the prediction
of the model that embodies the crack is able to reproduce the strength deterioration with respect to
the response without the crack. Moreover, the model can simulate the severe strain-softening
phenomenon owing to the crack propagation through the end plate thickness.
In order to reduce the computational effort, parametric analyses of ITS connections were performed
through the onset of cracking method. Thereby, focused meshes are set to induce the singularity at
the crack tip (Figure 10a) and the crack propagation is not traced. A detail of the mesh with a
“spider web” configuration is reported in Figure 10b where the inner-most ring of elements are
degenerated to triangles.
800
(b)
600
(a)
400
R EAC TIO N FO R C E (kN )

BOLT
200 WELD BEAD
CRACK
0

-2 0 0

-4 0 0 INTERFACE

-6 0 0 S im ulation w /o cra ck
S im ulation w ith crack
(b)
-8 0 0
0 1 2 3 4
D ISPLAC EM EN T (m m )
Figure 9: Predicted force versus displacement of TC- Figure 10: (a) 2D FE model of isolated T-
3 specimen stub; (b) details of the “spider web” mesh

FE analyses are relevant to monotonic loading conditions only. It is assumed indeed, that
conclusions drawn from these results are qualitatively applicable to cyclic condition. The
parametric analyses conducted hereinafter regard some design parameters which influence the
fracture resistance of steel bolted extended plate connections. In detail, the effects of the weld-to-
base metal yield strength ratio, the end plate yield-to-ultimate strength ratio and the residual stress
influence are determined. Toughness demands are quantified in the analyses by means of the CTOD
index, that represents the tearing at the crack tip. Another index adopted in this study to evaluate the
performances of different analysis configurations is the equivalent plastic strain (PEEQ) index,
defined as the equivalent plastic strain and can be considered as a measure of the local strain
demand.
Analyses with different weld matching conditions were carried out to investigate the joint response
in term of toughness demand. In detail, two models have been analysed: the first one with
overmatching welds which corresponds to the use of the mechanical properties reported in Table 1;
the second one with matching welds in which the mechanical properties of the welds are rendered
equal to those of the end plate material. The above-mentioned conditions are designated ITS3-1 and
ITS3-2, respectively. The reaction force vs. the applied displacement is reported in Figure 11a
where one may notice that the overall response is virtually identical in both conditions. However,
differently from the overall behaviour, the corresponding CTOD demands are similar till a total
displacement of 0.4 mm but quite dissimilar for larger displacements (Figure 11b). For the joint
configuration under exam, the matching weld condition, viz. ITS3-2, is the most beneficial in terms
of fracture toughness demand. This behaviour can be explained through Figure 12, where the
equivalent plastic strains (PEEQ) are shown. During the loading process, the yielded material in the
weld metal corresponding to the ITS3-2 condition shields the crack tip from a stress increase. The
aforementioned effect is less marked in the overmatching weld condition.
The plastic hinge region in a steel structure decreases as the yield-to-ultimate strength ratio
η, defined as f y f u , increases. Indeed, a smaller yielded region imposes greater inelastic strain
demands to achieve a specified plastic deformation. Since the production of American structural
steel has resulted in steel with much higher ratios, recently published specifications from AISC
(1997) recognized this effect limiting the yield-to-ultimate strength ratio to 0.85. To study the yield-
to-ultimate strength ratio effect on the joint configuration under exam, two strength ratios 
 he
end plate material have been considered. In detail, η has been chosen to be 0.60 and 0.90 and the
corresponding specimens are designated ITS3-60 and ITS3-90, respectively. The condition in which
η tends to one, viz. ITS3-90, is the most favourable for this connection.
7 00 0.6
(a ) (b)
6 00
R E A C T IO N F O R C E ( kN )

5 00
0.4
C TO D (m m )

4 00

3 00

0.2
2 00

1 00
IT S 3 -1 IT S 3 -1
IT S 3 -2 IT S 3 -2
0 0
0 0 .5 1 1 .5 2 2 .5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
D IS P L A C E M E N T (m m ) D IS P L A C E M E N T (m m )
Figure 11: Predicted force and CTOD versus displacement of TM-3 specimens with overmatching
(ITS3-1) and matching (ITS3-2) welds

Figure 12: Equivalent plastic strain (PEEQ) distribution of TM-3: (a) overmatching weld (ITS3-1);
(b) matching weld (ITS3-2)
Rapid uneven heat removal in welded connections creates large welding-induced residual stresses
that can influence the behaviour in several ways. The impact of residual stresses on fracture
toughness demand has been computed considering an overmatching weld. Results show clearly that
the presence of residual stresses increases the toughness demand.

5. CONCLUSIONS
Test results on isolated T-stubs have shown that the global behaviour of the specimens under
investigation is governed by the material endowed with the lowest strength, viz. the base metal, in
which yielding occurs, effectively. Indeed, the weld metal persists in the elastic regime whilst the
contiguous zones are weakened owing to the sharp thermal treatments and to structural as well as
shape discontinuities.
The modelling of the cyclic response of isolated T-stubs by means of a semi-analytical approach
has been presented and the corresponding degree of accuracy has been investigated in terms of
energy dissipation capacity.
Two-dimensional finite element models endowed with a debonding algorithm for mode I crack
growth permit both the state of stress and strain in a monotonic and in a cyclic loading regime to be
determined, including stiffness degradation, strength deterioration and pinching phenomena.
Finally, a number of parametric analyses has been performed by considering fractures initiating
from weld-root defects. Conclusions drawn from these analyses indicate that fracture driving force
demands are reduced by: i) using fillet welds matching the end plate material; ii) increasing the
yield-to-ultimate strength ratio, which however limits the plastic regions; and finally, reducing
welding-induced residual stresses.

6. REFERENCES
AISC (1997). Shape Material – ASTM A572 Gr. 50 with Special Requirements. Tech. Bull. 3. Chicago.
Bertero V.V., Anderson J.C., and Krawinkler H. (1994). Performance of Steel Building Structures During the
Northridge Earthquake. Rep. No. UCB/EERC-94/04. University of California, Berkeley, California.
CEN (2000). prEN 1993-1-8: Design of Steel Structures. Part 1-8: Design of Joints, European Committee for
Standardisation.
Deng, C-G., Bursi, O.S. and Zandonini, R."A Hysteretic Connection Element and Its Applications", Computers &
Structures, 78(1-3), 2000, 93-110.
ECCS (1986). Recommended Testing Procedure for Assessing the Behaviour of Structural Steel Elements under Cyclic
Loads. ECCS Publication 45.
Faella, C., Piluso, V. and Rizzano, G. (1998). Cyclic Behaviour of Bolted Joint Components, Journal of Constructional
Steel Research, Vol. 46, No. 1-3, paper number 129, Elsevier.
Faella, C., Piluso, V. and Rizzano, G. (1999). Modelling of the Cyclic Behaviour of Bolted Tee-Stubs, Fourth
International Conference on Steel and Aluminium Structures, Espoo, Finland.
Faella, C., Piluso, V. and Rizzano, G. (2000). Cyclic Behaviour of Bolted T-stubs: Experimental Analysis and
Modelling, Third International Conference on Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas, STESSA 2000,
Montreal, Canada, 21-24 August.
Hibbitt, Karlsson & Sorensen Inc (1998). ABAQUS - User’s Manual, Version 5.8. Vol. 1-3.
Kuwamura H. (1998). Fracture of Steel During an Earthquake: State of the Art in Japan. Engineering Structures 20:4-6,
310-322.
Lemaitre J. and Chaboche J.-L. (1990). Mechanics of Solid Materials, Cambridge, U. Press.
Piluso, V., Faella, C. and Rizzano G. (2001). Ultimate Behaviour of Bolted T-stubs – I. Theoretical Model, Journal of
Structural Engineering, ASCE, Vol.127, No.6, June, pp.686-693.
Piluso, V., Faella, C. and Rizzano G. (2001). Ultimate Behaviour of Bolted T-stubs – II. Experimental Analysis,
Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, Vol.127, No.6, June, pp.694-704.