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Initial in-plane rotational stiffness of welded RHS T joints with axial force in main member

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-362
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In the frame analysis, the local analysis model of the joint must follow the behavior of the joint. When completing the elastic global analysis, the initial rotational stiffness of the joints should be known to obtain the reliable moment distribution between the members of the frame. This paper evaluates the existing calculation approach for the initial rotational stiffness of welded rectangular hollow section T joints. Validation with the experiments shows that the current calculation approach significantly underestimates their initial rotational stiffness. Based on the existing experimental data, the paper proposes the improvement for determining the initial stiffness. The second part of the article investigates the effect of the axial force in the main member on the initial rotational stiffness of the joint. The conducted numerical study on square hollow section T joints shows that the reduction of their initial stiffness can reach 50%, when the main member experiences the normal stresses close to yielding. Using the curve fitting approach, the paper proposes and validates a corresponding chord stress function, similar to the existing ones for the moment resistance.


  • Chord stress function, In-plane moment load, Rotational stiffness, Welded tubular T joint

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