SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

Finite-Element Fracture Analyses of Welded Beam-Column Connections


Unexpected brittle cracking of welded beam-column connections during the 1994 Northridge earthquake has raised serious concerns about standards and practice for the seismic design and construction of steel moment resisting frames. As part of a nationally coordinated program to investigate the connection damage, finite-element fracture analyses are used to quantify fracture toughness demands in welded beam-column connections as influenced by various detailing parameters. Toughness demands at weld root defects in the beam flange groove welds are quantified in terms of KI, CTOD, and CTOA. Summarized are insights concerning the role of finite-element fracture analyses to investigate fracture behavior and the influence of factors such as flaw sizes, weld strengths, inelastic crack growth, and other parameters affecting fracture toughness demands.

Author Information

Chi, W-M
Terman Engineering Center, Stanford, CA
Deierlein, GG
Terman Engineering Center, Stanford, CA
Ingraffea, AR
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hollister Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 439–455
DOI: 10.1520/STP13419S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5418-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2617-6