Damage avoidance design steel beam-column moment connection using high-force-to-volume dissipators
Existing welded steel moment frames are designed to tolerate substantial yielding and plastic rotation under earthquake loads. This sacrificial design approach can lead to permanent, and often irreparable damage when interstory drifts exceed 2%. The experimental seismic performance of a 50% full-scale damage avoidance designed structural steel beam-column connection is presented. The beam-column joint region consists of a top flange-hung beam connected to the column by an angle bracket. High-force-to-volume (HF2V) devices are attached from the column to the beam to provide joint rigidity and energy dissipation as the joint opens and closes. The HF2V devices are connected either below the beam flange or concealed above the beam's lower flange. Reversed cyclic lateral load tests are conducted with drift amplitudes up to 4%. No damage is observed in the principal beam and column structural elements. The need for stiff device connections to achieve optimal device performance is demonstrated, and potential design solutions presented. Stable hysteresis and repeatable energy dissipation for a large number of cycles up to the 4% drift level is observed. It is concluded that superior and repeatable energy dissipation without damage can be achieved for every dynamic motion cycle, in contrast to conventional sacrificially designed welded moment frame connections.