Advanced Steel Construction

Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 765-783 (2007)



Ana M. Girão Coelho 1,2,* and Frans S. K. Bijlaard 2

1 Department of Civil Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra

Rua Pedro Nunes, 3030-199 Coimbra, Portugal

2 Structural and Building Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Delft University of Technology

PO Box 5048, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands

* (Corresponding author: Phone: +351 239 790 312 / +351 964 837 943; Fax: +351 239 790 311;

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Received: 23 April 2007; Revised: 2 July 2007; Accepted: 23 July 2007




Recent developments in high performance construction materials have made them attractive for the design of buildings, as light weight and thin elements are desirable for architectural reasons and for the reduction of environmental impacts of construction. Steel framework is a typical structural system in modern buildings. Current analysis and design of steel-framed buildings are usually carried out under the semi-continuous/partially-restrained philosophy. This type of structural modelling is only feasible if the structural joints are designed for rotation capacity and ductility. Members and joints made up of high performance steel exhibit improved strength but limited deformation capacity compared to mild steel grades. Connections between members, in particular, are the regions where the material is exposed to higher deformations demands. The designer then has to ensure that they undergolarge inelastic deformations. To address this topic, an experimental investigation was undertaken on moment connections with end plates made from high strength steel grades S460, S690 and S960 (yield stress of 460 MPa, 690 MPa and 960 MPa, respectively) to provide insight into the nonlinear behaviour of this joint type. The major contributions of this study are (i) the validation of current Eurocode 3 specifications for the design of joints and (ii) the ductility analysis of high performance steel joints to verify whether they have large plastic deformations.


Keywords:Ductility; end plate connections; experimental testing; high-strength steel; resistance; rotation capacity; stiffness


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