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PROCEEDINGS OF THE ELEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CIVIL, STRUCTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING COMPUTING
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Parametric Analysis of Rectangular Hollow Section "T" Joints under Static Loading
L.R.O. de Lima1, L.F. Costa Neves3, J.G.S. da Silva2, P.C.G. da S. Vellasco1 and S.A.L. de Andrade1
1Structural Engineering Department, 2Mechanical Engineering Department,
L.R.O. de Lima, L.F. Costa Neves, J.G.S. da Silva, P.C.G. da S. Vellasco, S.A.L. de Andrade, "Parametric Analysis of Rectangular Hollow Section "T" Joints under Static Loading", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 27, 2007. doi:10.4203/ccp.86.27
Keywords: steel structures, welded joints, finite element analysis, plastic analysis, non-linear analysis.
The intensive worldwide use of rectangular hollow sections (RHS) as structural elements, mainly due to their associated aesthetical and structural advantages, led designers to focus on the technological and design aspects of these structures. As a consequence, the accuracy of their design methods is of major importance both from the economical and safety points of view.
In this paper a numerical based parametric study is presented, for the analysis of a "T" joint configuration where both the chord and brace are made of RHS sections. Starting from test results available in the literature  and from previous numerical models and studies, a model has been derived, taking into account the weld geometry, material and geometric nonlinearities, and was validated by comparison to published experiments.
It is common practice to analyse this type of connections without any consideration of the weld, just by simply modelling the mid-surfaces of the member walls by shell elements . Although it is referenced by some authors that this effect may be of importance since the weld does not have a negligible size compared to the size of the gap , it will be shown in this paper there is some difference resulting from the fact of considering the weld effect in this "T" joint. The weld was modelled firstly by using a ring of shell elements and after with solid elements in order to properly assess its influence. In fact, modelling the welds led to a strength increase of up to 13%, independently of the fact of using shell or solid elements for the welds.
The numerical results were compared to the analytical results from the Eurocode 3  and to the classic deformation limits proposed in the literature. A parametric analysis in terms of the parameter beta (the ratio of the brace width to the chord width) was performed to evaluate the joint behaviour, using five different joint geometries.
Through the observation of the analytical curves, it may be concluded that the numerical results have in general a good agreement with the Eurocode 3  provisions for the resistance combined with a 3% deformation limit criterion for the deformation of the chord face. However, for larger values of beta the Eurocode apparently does not properly account for punching shear, since unsatisfactory and unsafe results were found.
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