Cyclic flexural analysis and behavior of beam-column connections with gusset plates

Christopher D. Stoakes, Larry A. Fahnestock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research investigates the cyclic flexural behavior of double-angle concentrically braced frame beam-column connections using three-dimensional nonlinear finite element analysis. Prior experimental research demonstrated that such connections possess appreciable flexural stiffness, strength, and ductility. The reserve capacity provided by these connections plays a significant role in the seismic behavior of low-ductility concentrically braced frames, so knowledge about the impact of connection parameters on local limit states and global connection performance is needed for employing reserve capacity to design and assess concentrically braced frames. Finite element models were developed and validated against prior experiments with focus on the limit states of failure of the fillet weld between the gusset plate and beam, low-cycle fatigue fracture of the steel angles joining the beam and gusset plate to the column, and bolt fracture. The models were used to evaluate the flexural stiffness, strength, and ductility of braced frame connections with primary attention on the effects of beam depth, angle thickness, and a supplemental seat angle. The finite element analysis demonstrated that increasing beam depth and angle thickness and adding a supplemental seat angle all increased the stiffness and strength of the connection while maintaining deformation capacity. A procedure to estimate the flexural behavior of beam-column connections with gusset plates was developed based on the results of the numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-239
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Braced frames
  • Connections
  • Earthquake resistant structures
  • Moment rotation behavior
  • Reserve capacity
  • Steel framed buildings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


Dive into the research topics of 'Cyclic flexural analysis and behavior of beam-column connections with gusset plates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this