Refined 3D finite element modeling of partially-restrained connections including slip

A. M. Citipitioglu, R. M. Haj-Ali, D. W. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study presents an approach for refined parametric three-dimensional (3D) analysis of partially-restrained (PR) bolted steel beam-column connections. The models include the effects of slip by utilizing a general contact scheme. Non-linear 3D continuum elements are used for all parts of the connection and the contact conditions between all the components are explicity recognized. A method for applying pretension in the bolts is introduced and verified. The effect of several geometrical and material parameters on the overall moment-rotation response of two connection configurations subject to static loading is studied. Models with parameters drawn from a previous experimental study of top and bottom seat angle connections are generated in order to compare the analyses with test results, with good prediction shown by the 3D refined models. The proposed 3D modeling approach is general and can be applied for accurate modeling of a wide range of other types of PR connections. A pronounced effect of slip and friction, between the connection components is shown with connections having thicker (stiffer) seat angles. This study demonstrates the effects of clamping through the bolts and contact between the components on the overall non-linear moment-rotation response. Equivalent moment-rotation responses of pull-test simulations are compared to FE model responses of full connections without web angles. The moment-rotation from the pull test is shown to be equivalent to that of the full FE model for small rotations. As the rotation increases a softer response is shown by the pull tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1013
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Issue number5-8
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Beam-column
  • Bolt slip
  • Bolted connection
  • Connection
  • Finite element
  • Non-linear
  • Partially-restrained
  • Pretention
  • Semi-rigid
  • Steel
  • Three-dimensional


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