Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Hsiao, J. Kent

Abstract

Inelastic behavior in steel special moment frames occurs through the development of plastic hinges at locations near the ends of the beam. The main objective of using a reduced beam connection is to force the formation of plastic hinges to be formed at the reduced beam section rather than at the ends of the beam which otherwise would lead to brittle failure of the beam-column connections. The beam has two reduced beam sections, each located at a certain distance from the face of the column, so that the plastic hinges are formed symmetrically at each of this section. When acted upon by lateral loads, the maximum moments occur at the ends of the beam. Therefore, the plastic hinges form at the reduced beam section. However, when a frame is subjected to a combination of gravity and lateral loads, the plastic hinge formation at one of the reduced beam section is not so clear and further analysis has to be done to study the effect. FEMA 350 indicates that the desired plastic hinge location is only valid for beams with gravity loads representing a small portion of the total flexural demand. If gravity demands significantly exceed 30% of the girder plastic capacity then further plastic analysis of the frame should be performed to determine the appropriate hinge locations. The scope of my thesis is mainly to study the combined effect of gravity and lateral loads on the formation of plastic hinges in steel moment frames with reduced beam section connections.

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