Performance of the PR connections under combined Axial-tension and moment loading
The inherent moment capacity of bolted top-seat angle connections with double web angles (TSDW), categorized as partially restrained (PR) connections according to AISC-LRFD specifications, can be considered in analyses of semi-rigid connections especially when an accurate analysis of such fames is desired. However, in some cases, developed internal forces in the frame elements may affect the connection behavior, considerably. Axial tension force is one of such internal forces that may be imposed on frame connections in some cases such as construction imperfections, seismic loading or under large deflections of the catenary action during the progressive collapse of the semi-rigid frames. This study aims at the effects of the axial tension force on the performance of the bolted TSDW angle connections using nonlinear finite element method (FEM). The obtained results show that the axial tension force reduces the connection moment capacity and stiffness, considerably. Based on the obtained moment-rotation curves, affected by this particular loading type, equations are proposed to estimate the reduction rate of the connection stiffness and moment capacity.
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