Research on analysis and design philosophy of the connections in steel structures
Ioana Cristina Muresan
Connections are a key part of a steel structure and carrying them out properly is critical to achieve a safe and economical structure. Thus, establishing a solution requires knowledge of structural mechanics, ability to trace the flow of load in the beam and through the connection, experience and rational analysis of the design engineer. This paper presents a very brief history of connections, then types of connections usually used in design practice are described: angle connections, end plate connections and welded connections. In conventional analysis and design of steel framed structures joints are usually carried out under the assumption that they are either ideally pinned or fully rigid. However, experimental research shows that most connections used in current practice are semi-rigid type and their behaviour lies between these two idealized situations. Structural analysis models allow the joint representation with semi-rigid behaviour (ASRO, 2006). Eurocode 3 establishes three new categories of joints, according with both stiffness and strength criteria, required in structural modeling (ASRO, 2006; CEMSIG, 2010) namely: continuous, semi-continuous and simple joints. There are also presented the possibilities of modeling joints depending on the method of analysis.