Modeling of cyclic joint shear deformation contributions in RC beam-column connections to overall frame behavior

Myoungsu Shin, James M. Lafave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In seismic analysis of moment-resisting frames, beam-column connections are often modeled with rigid joint zones. However, it has been demonstrated that, in ductile reinforced concrete (RC) moment-resisting frames designed based on current codes (to say nothing of older non-ductile frames), the joint zones are in fact not rigid, but rather undergo significant shear deformations that contribute greatly to global drift. Therefore, the "rigid joint" assumption may result in misinterpretation of the global performance characteristics of frames and could consequently lead to miscalculation of strength and ductility demands on constituent frame members. The primary objective of this paper is to propose a rational method for estimating the hysteretic joint shear behavior of RC connections and for incorporating this behavior into frame analysis. The authors tested four RC edge beam-column-slab connection subassemblies subjected to earthquake-type lateral loading; hysteretic joint shear behavior is investigated based on these tests and other laboratory tests reported in the literature. An analytical scheme employing the modified compression field theory (MCFT) is developed to approximate joint shear stress vs. joint shear strain response. A connection model capable of explicitly considering hysteretic joint shear behavior is then formulated for nonlinear structural analysis. In the model, a joint is represented by rigid elements located along the joint edges and nonlinear rotational springs embedded in one of the four hinges linking adjacent rigid elements. The connection model is able to well represent the experimental hysteretic joint shear behavior and overall load-displacement response of connection subassemblies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-669
Number of pages25
JournalStructural Engineering and Mechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Beam-column connection
  • Bond slip
  • Frame analysis
  • Joint shear deformation
  • Numerical modeling
  • Reinforced concrete

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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