Finite Element Analysis and Design of Welded HSS Connections

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Title: Finite Element Analysis and Design of Welded HSS Connections
Author: Zhao, Gang
Advisors: Emmett A. Sumner, Committee Chair
Abstract: The design specifications used for the Hollow Structural Sections (HSS) truss connections used in North America has been criticized by many structural engineers. Because of the restrictive limitations on the range of applicability, the preferred HSS chord and branch members often have wall slenderness ratios larger than the limitation of a particular connection design method. In order to find the acceptable limits for the geometric parameters, both HSS chord and HSS web in the gap and overlap connections need to be investigated. The purpose of this study is to expand the wall slenderness ration limits of applicability used in HSS design. Due to the complicated geometrical factors and special welding and material features of the connections, an analytical method such as the finite element method will be used. Using the finite element method, the stress, strain and deformation response of the connections can be investigated. In addition, the critical failure mechanism within the connection region can be observed. To get accurate results for the joint behavior, detailed three dimensional finite element models of selected geometries were to simulate real configuration. Different material properties are assigned to the HSS member and the special welding area according to different welding processes. This study is the first part of an ongoing larger research project that will ultimately develop an experimental test suite on the HSS connection to build an acceptable parameter validity range.
Date: 2006-05-31
Degree: M
Discipline: Civil Engineering

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