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STRUCTURALSTEELEDUCATIONALCOUNCIL

TECHNICALINFORMATION& PRODUCTSERVICE
APRIL 1997

Seismic Design of
Steel Column-Tree
Moment-Resisting Frames

by

Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Ph.D., P.E.


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Berkeley

Copyright Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, 1997

Seismic Design of Steel Column-tree Moment-Resisting Frames


by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl
This report presents information and tips on seismic behavior and design of steel columntree moment-resisting frames used in building structures. In column-tree moment-resisting
frames, short stubs of girders are welded to the column in the shop and then the middle
portion of the girder spans are bolted to the column trees in the field. Thus, the system is a
field bolted-shop welded structural system. The emphasis of the report is on the seismic
behavior and design of special ductile steel column-tree moment-resisting frames. A
summary of relevant research and applicable code provisions is provided followed by
design procedures that can be used to design steel column-tree moment-resisting frames.
The appendix to the report provides a numerical example on seismic design of a typical
connection of a steel column-tree moment-resisting frame. The example utilizes the
concepts and recommendations presented in the report.
First Printing, April 15, 1997
Figures by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl unless otherwise indicated.
COPYRIGHT 1997 by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl
209 Vernal Drive, Alamo, California 94507, Fax and Phone: (510) 946-0903
All Rights Reserved

Neither this document nor any part of it may be reproduced, translated or transmitted in
any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying, scanning, or
by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission of the author
and copyright owner: Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl. The Structural Steel Educational Council
is hereby granted the right to print or reproduce this document in any number in its as-is
form prior to January 1, 2003.

The information presented in this publication is for general information only. The
information should not be used or relied upon for any specific application without
competent professional examination and verification of its accuracy, suitability, and
applicability by a licensed professional engineer or architect. The publication of the material
contained herein is not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of the
Structural Steel Educational Council, or of any other person or agency named herein, that
this information is suitable for any general or particular use or of freedom from
infringement of any patent or patents. Anyone making use of this information assumes all
liability arising from such use. The information provided in this report on seismic design of
column-tree systems is based on data available on behavior of components of the system.
At this writing no test data on the behavior of column tree system as a whole system could
be located.

ACOWIEOCMETS
The publication of this report was made possible in part by the support of the Structural
Steel Educational Council (SSEC). The author wishes to thank all Council members for
their support and comments. Particularly, written comments provided by Council members
David Berrens, Patrick Hasset, Rudy Hofer, James J. Putkey, and Jamie Winans were
very valuable and are sincerely appreciated.
The support provided by a number of agencies to the author's research on the subject of
this report at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of
California, Berkeley has been essential in collecting and developing many technologies
presented and used in this report. In particular, the support of the Kajima Corporation of
Japan and the California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE),
in the form of a CUREE/Kajima Research grant to the author, was essential to initiate the
research on this subject and gather information on it over the last five years.
The author, at present, is a member of the Structural Steel Educational Council of
California, Research Council on Structural Connections, Earthquake Engineering
Research Institute, American Society of Civil Engineering, Structural Stability Research
Council and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The opinions expressed in
this report are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of California, Berkeley where the author is a professor of civil and
environmental engineering, the Structural Steel Educational Council or other agencies and
individuals whose names appear in this report.

SEISMICDESIGNOF
STEELCOLUMN-TREE
MOMENT-RESISTING FRAMES

by Dr. ABOLHASSAN ASTANEH-ASL, P.E.


Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Berkeley

CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS / Page ii
TABLE OF CONTENTS / Page iii
NOTATIONS / Page iv
1. INTRODUCTION / Page1
2. SEISMIC BEHAVIOR OF BOLTED STEEL MOMENT CONNECTIONS/ Page 11
3.

CODE PROVISIONS ON BOLTED STEEL MOMENT-RESISTING FRAMES / Page 13

4.

SEISMICDESIGN OFBOLTED MOMENT-RESISTING FRAMES / Page 15

REFERENCES/Page 25
APPENDIX/Page 27

111

NOTATIONS
A
Ab
Ag

= area of cross section


= area of one bolt
= gross area

Agfp
Agt

=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=

Agv

Ag,q,
Ant
Anp
Anv

^np

gross area of one flange plate


gross area subject to tension
gross area subject to shear
gross area of web plate subjected to shear
net area subject to tension
net area of plate
net area subject to shear
net area of one flange plate

An qo = net area of web plate


a
= distance from center of column to center of girder splice
= width ofunstiffened element in calculating b/t ratios
b
= width of the column flange
bcf
= width of flange
bf
= overall depth of girder
d
= diameter of bolt
db
= depth of the column
dc
dh
ds
dl
d2
E
Fb

= diameter of bolt hole


= depth of panel zone
= arm for calculatingplastic section modulus
= arm for calculatingplastic section modulus
= modulus of elasticity
= shear strength of bolt

Fvfp
Fv
Fvp
Fup
Fyg

= minimum specified yield stress of the plates


= nominal slip critical shear resistance (Table J3.6 of the AISC Spec., 1994)
= minimum specified yield stress of plate
= minimum specified tensile strength of the plates
= realistic minimum specified yield stress of the material. For dual yield
point A36, the higher yield value should be used in this context.
= minimum specified ultimate strength of the material
= minimum specified yield stress of the material
= length of plate

Fu
Fy

iv

= moment of inertia of girder


= initial rotational stiffness of splice
Ks
= rotational stiffness of splice including bolt slippage (for drift analysis)
Ks2
L
= length of span; center-to-center of columns
Lp
= actual length of splice plate
= eft. length of splice plate= Lp/2 for bolted-bolted and Lp/4 for welded-bolted splices
Lsp
= moment in the splice due to factored load
Mbs
Mb = moment capacity of bolts
Mng = net section ultimate moment capacity
Mns = plastic moment capacity of the net section of the plates = Fy d Anp
Mpb = moment capacity causing bearing yielding = 2.4FupdbNt
Mpg = plastic moment capacity of the girder= ZxFy
Mps = plastic moment capacity of the splice plates= Agfp dFy
= factored moment in the girder splice
Ms
Mslip = moment that can cause slippage in the connection FvAb N d
M(service, corm) moment in the connection due to application of service ioads
M(service, splice) moment in the splice due to application of service loads
= plastic moment capacity of the web plates= Ag,n,d,,, Fy/4
Mpp
= ultimate moment capacity of the web plates --- Anw d,,, Fu/4
Mun,p
= stiffness ratio =Kc/(EI/L)
m
n
= number of bolts
N
= number of bolts
Pn
= nominal resistance of flange plate in block shear failure as given below:
Pu
= axial tension or compression force in the column panel zone
Py
= axial tension yield capacity of column
q
= uniformly distributed gravity load on the girder
t
= thickness of the plate or flange.
= thickness of the coIumn flange
tcf
tp
= total thickness of the panel zone
= thickness of flange
tf
= thickness of web
tw
V
= shear in the splice due to factored load combinations
= shear acting on the bolts
Vb
= nominal shear capacity of panel zone
Vn
= shear capacity of panel zone
Vpz
= factored shear in the girder splice
Vs
Vuxp = ultimate shear capacity of net area of web Plate = 0.6AnwFu
= shear capacity of weld line
Vw
Vy
= shear yield capacity of web plates
Vyx = shear yield capacity of web Plate = 0.6 AgwFy
= plastic section modulus of the girder cross section
Zx
fl
= ratio of plastic moment of splice to plastic moment of girder
= elongation of splice plate
IX

asp

b
n
Os

= resistance reduction factor for yielding =0.90


= resistance reduction factor for fracture of bolts = 0.75
= resistance reduction factor for fracture =0.75
= limit ofb/t ratio for elastic local buckling given in the AISC-LRFD Spec., 1994)
= rotation of splice
= stiffness ratio =KsV(EI/L)

vi

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. Introduction
One of the most common types of steel structural system is the moment resisting framing
system shown in Figure 1.1. Depending on their ductility, steel moment resisting frames
are divided into two categories of "Special" and "Ordinary". Figure 1.2 shows typical
behavior of Special and Ordinary moment-resisting frames under lateral load. Special
moment-resisting frames are designed to have higher ductility and be able to deform
inelasticly during earthquakes. Such inelastic ductile deformations increases damping and
reduces stiffness of the structure resulting in smaller seismic forces generated in the
structure. As a result, current codes allow special moment resisting frames to be designed
for smaller seismic forces than similar but ordinary moment frames.

t
/
/
I

/
/

/
I

/
/

FORCE

Elastic
E

Ordina MomentFmn

*A

Special

Frame

I
DISPLACEMENT

Figure 1.1. A Typical Steel


Moment Frame

Figure 1.2. Behavior of Special and


Ordinary Moment-resisting Frames

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Aprfl 1997

Prior to the 1994 Northridge earthquake, field-welded moment frames were very popular
with structural engineers and steel fabricators in California. This was due to their
economy and relative ease of design. Frequently, in seismic areas, a standard field-welded
moment connection shown in Figure 1.3 was specified and built. However, the 1994
Northridge caused damage to a number of field-welded steel moment frames using the
detail shown in Figure 1.3. Other recent earthquakes such as the 1995 Kobe-Japan and the
1992 Landers-California have also caused similar damage although in only a few
structures. More information on the damage to field-welded steel moment frames can be
found in References, (Youssefet al, 1995), (SAC, 1995) and (AIJ, 1995).
Since the 1994 Northridge earthquake, a number of studies have been completed or are
underway to understand the causes of the damage, to establish consequences of the
damage (Astaneh-Asl, 1995a), (Astaneh-Asl, 1996) and to develop remedies for the
damaged as well as undamaged field-welded moment frames (SAC, 1995). Many factors
have been identified as possible cause of Northridge damage to steel field welded
connections. The main culprits at this writing appear to be the type of moment frame,
configuration of field-welded connections, stress concentrations due to back-up bars and
access holes, material properties of steel produced in the past two decades, quality control
and inspection of field welds and characteristics of the ground motion.
i

i
i
;

Figure 1.3. The Pre-Northridge Moment Frame Connection


The research efforts undertaken after the 1994 Northridge earthquake so far have not
yielded a single standard and economical detail that eliminates the problem of fieldwelded moment connections. In the meantime, design and construction of safe and
economical steel structures in seismic areas had to continue. Some structural engineers
have chosen other material or other structural systems such as braced frames or shear wall
systems. Others have used improved versions of field-welded moment frame connections
that have been developed and tested after the Northridge earthquake (SAC, 1995). Yet a
number of structural engineers have used shop-welded andfield-bolted moment frames
successfully (Astaneh-Asl, 1995b).

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Ap#11997

One of the very efficient shop-welded and field bolted systems is the column-tree system.
In a column-tree system short segments of the girders or a built-up short girder, usually
two to four feet long, are welded to the columns in the shop. Then, after the columntrees are erected in the field, the middle segment of the girder is bolted to the ends of the
short girder stubs. Figure 1.4 shows examples of special ductile column-tree momentresisting frames.

cotumEE
*,UOEB / _? I OMENT

E
,
L

O
e
O
L
T
E
O1

FIELD BOLTED
SPLICES

BRACED
FRAME

m
I

'

COLUMNT
' REE
MOMENT
FRAME

Figure 1.4. Typical Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames


(a) Perimeter Frame and; (b) Planar Frame
The column-tree system discussed in this report is a shop-welded, field-bolted steel
structure. The shop welding of the girder stubs to the columns provides for high quality
and economical welding as well as easy inspection. The field bolting of girder splices
results in the economy, ease of field erection, possibility of year-round construction almost
independent of the weather conditions. In addition, quality control and inspection of
shop-welded and field bolted connections are easier than the field-welded connections.
In construction projects where field-welding and field inspection are too costly or cannot
be done easily, the use of column-tree system can be more economical than the other
structural systems that require field-welding. In Japan, perhaps due to the high cost of
labor, and the fact that shop-welding is mostly automated, column-tree frames were
almost the only steel moment-resisting systems until in recent years the detail shown in
Figure 1.3 started appearing in Japan (Takanashi, 1994).
1.2. Types of Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames Based on Configuration
Various forms of column tree framing system have been used in the past in the United
States and elsewhere. Column-tree systems can be used in planar frames, perimeter
frames or as a space moment-resisting frame as shown in Figure 1.4.

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Ap/fl 1997

1.3. Types of Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames Based on Splice Details


The splice connection of the column-trees to girders can be fully bolted, welded and
bolted or fully welded as shown Figure 1.5.

Location of Details

_.TC (Full Penetration Shop Weld)


- -/ " / Girder Stub
/
/ / -H.S. Field Bolts
/
/ //-Flange Splice Plate
/
/ J

op Welds (Fillet Welt

Shims '

(Full Penetration Shop Weld)

F""'raertub

// /

ii: /-One or Two Web Plates

.-,
m B m

SHOP-WELDED AND FIELD-BOLTED

'

m j

,4/- FieldWelds(Fill;:o:elwd;ds (Fillet Weld)

//! ,w>
'

-;

(e

SHOP- AND FIELD-WELDED

Fiadwe,ds -,
. _

.--

/ ': s;;oTG,e,s

'

(Full Penetration Shop Weld)

S
j-

SHOP-WELDED AND FIELD-BOLTED

Erection Clip " i

[h

(Full Penetration Shop Weld)


Short Girder Stub

.,

[[
i i

Shim is Required
tO Adiust Elvet 'in

(Jj

toAdjust Elevetaion

.!!- /

ii::l:-=i

; ::

Shims i ! /- Web Splice Plate


: :: ** '- H.S. Bolts

ii** /,. One or Two Rows of


ii /High Strength Bolts

ShopWelds J

/ ' Flange Splice Plate

.".

:: ' - FlangeSplice Plate

:: ; n e or TwoWebSplice Plate(s

::.:

::e
:: /'One orTwoRowsof
High Strength Bolts
:: I "--Field Welds(Fillet Weld)

ShopWelds (Fillet Weld)

I1

(d)

SHOP- AND FIELD-WELDED

Figure 1.5. Example Connections of Column-Tree Moment Frames


Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Ap/fl 1997

1.4. Types of Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames Based on Ductility


Similar to any steel moment frame, depending on their ductility the column-tree moment
resisting frames can be divided into two categories of "special" and "ordinary" as
discussed in the following sections.

1.4.a Special Ductile Moment Resisting Frames


The connections and the members of Special Column-tree Moment-resisting Frames are
designed such that premature brittle local buckling and fracture of the structural members
and the connections are prevented. As a result, the special MRFs behave in a ductile
manner. Figure 1.2 shows behavior of special and ordinary moment frame under lateral
load. In general, ordinary moment frames tend to be stiffer and stronger but less ductile
than the special moment-resisting frames for the same application.
In special MRFs, to achieve high ductility, the damage should be in the form of slippage,
yielding of steel, delayed and limited inelastic local buckling within the girder connections
or plastic hinges. Fracture in any part that can impair the gravity-load carrying system
should be avoided. This type of behavior categorizes the system as a ductile system.
Nader and Astaneh-Asl (1992) based on their studies of seismic behavior of steel
structures, recommended that in special moment-resisting frames the connections should
have a rotational ductility of at least 0.03 radian. This limit appears to be accepted by the
profession in the aftermath of the Northridge earthquake (SAC, 1995). In addition, the
author (Astaneh-Asl, 1995) has suggested that the cumulative inelastic cyclic rotation
capacity of a ductile moment connection should be at least 0.15 radian. This latter
criterion is suggested to ensure sufficient low-cycle fatigue life for the connection.
When a framing system can be categorized as special moment-resisting frame, the
reduction factor Rw used in seismic design is given as 12 by the current seismic design
codes (UBC-94).

1.4.b. Ordinary Moment-Resisting Frames


If a steel moment-resisting frame does not meet the requirements of the special moment
resisting frame (SMRF), then the frame is not expected to behave in a ductile manner and
it is categorized in the seismic design codes as an ordinary moment resisting frame
(OMRF). Ordinary MltYs still need to have sufficient rotational ductility to make them
eligible to be designed using a reduction factor of Rw equal to 6. Again there is no wellestablished value of the required ductility supplied for Ordinary MRF's. It is suggested
(Astaneh-Asl, 1995) that, in the absence of more reliable value, the connections of

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, April 1997

Ordinary MRF's should have a rotational ductility of at least 0.02 radian. The cumulative
cyclic rotational capacity is suggested to be at least 0.10 radian.
When a framing system cannot be categorized as special moment-resisting frame and
therefore is categorized as ordinary moment resisting frame, the reduction factor R,, used
in seismic design is given as 6 by the seismic design codes (UBC-94). The reduction
factor for ordinary moment-resisting frames is half of the reduction factor for special
moment-resisting frames. As a result, the design seismic forces for the same building using
ordinary moment frames will be twice the design seismic forces if special moment frames
are used. Therefore, it is economically sensible and safer to use special ductile moment
frames instead of ordinary moment frames.
1.5. Types of Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames Based on Stiffness

Based on stiffness, steel MRFs are divided into the three categories of Rigid (Fully
Restrained, FR), Semi-rigid (Partially Restrained, PR) and Flexible (Simple) (AISC,
1994), (Astaneh-Asl, 1995). The parameter frequently used to define the relative
rotational stiffness of a girder and its connections is the stiffness parameter m
defined as:
Kc
(1.1)

(_)

m
=

where Kc is the rotational stiffness of the connection, and (El/L) is bending stiffness of
the girder. L is the span. For column-tree systems where the length of the beam stub
welded to the column is less than 15% of the span length, the flexibility of the rigid splice
does not have significant effects on the overall stiffness of the span. Therefore, during the
design phase, to ensure that the column-tree is a rigid frame, the length of the girder stubs
should be less than 15% of span and the rotational stiffness of the splice satisfies the
following equations for each category of the frames.
Rigid:
Semi-rigid:
Flexible:

y z 18

(1.2a)

0.5 > y z 18

(1.2b)

7 < 0.5

(1.2c)

where; 7 represents relative rotational stiffness of the splice and the girder. is given by:
Ks

(1.3)

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Apn? 1997

Therefore, if length of girder stub is less than 15% of the span, the parameters and m in
above equations are very close and approximately can be assumed to be the same.
Therefore,
(1.4)
Ks
my= E(_)
In the above equation, Ks is the rotational stiffness of the girder splice.
Figure 1.6 shows the above three regions of the moment-rotation behavior based on the
relative rotational stiffness of the connection and the girder in the frame. The above
categorization is solely based on the elastic rotational stiffness of the connections and the
girders in a single span. In seismic design, however, the plastic moment capacity of the
connections and the girders should also be considered in categorizing the span. To
categorize a column-tree moment resisting frame as rigid or semi-rigid, one should include
the relative bending strengths of the girders and splices defined by ct:
ct= Mps
Mpg

(1.4)

where, MPs and Mpg are plastic moment capacities of the splice and girder, respectively.
, =Mpc/Mpg

1.o
Semi-rigid

0.2
It

m=Ks/(EI/L)

Figure 1.6. Regions of

Semi-rigid and Flexible Behavior

In traditional moment frame where connection of girder to column is at the face of


column, incorporation the effects of stiffness of the girder and the splice connections, the
definitions of rigid and semi-rigid column-tree frames can be refined to include the effects
of the enhanced and given as follows:
Rigid:

m >__ 18

and cz > 1.0

1.5a)

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tres Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Apt# 1997

Semi-rigid:

either 0.5 > m > 18 or tx < 1.0

(1.5b)

Flexible:

m < 0.5

(1.5c)

The definitions of terms in the above equations are shown in Figure 1.7. Notice that m
and tx are defined for each span. Usually, in moment resisting frames there are various
span lengths, L, and moment capacities Mps and Mpg throughout the frame. It is
suggested that in design, the values of m and cz be the average value of m and tx for the
spans of the mid-height story of the frame.

Splice

.__..I

Moment /

Y
L

Typical Moment Frame

17-

Column-Tree Frame

Figure 1.7. Behavior of Typical Moment Frame and Column-Tree Moment-Resisting


Frame
Traditionally,
column-tree systems were rigid frames. In these frames the splice
connection of the girder is designed to be stronger than the connected beams. As a result,
after erection, the splice does not play a major role in seismic performance of the frame.
To utilize the splice to control and improve seismic performance, semi-rigid versions of
the column-tree moment resisting frame system was proposed by A. Astaneh-Asl (1988,
1991). In the proposed semi-rigid column-tree the bolted connection of the girder,
located away from the column, is made semi-rigid. By using semi-rigid connections,
stiffness, strength, ductility and energy dissipation capacity can be easily manipulated and
adjusted to reduce seismic forces, to limit displacements to acceptable levels and to
improve seismic performance.
A recent study of standard rigid and the proposed semi-rigid column-tree systems
(McMullin et al, 1993) has shown that the semi-rigid column-tree system is a potentially
reliable and economical seismic resisting structural system.
One of the main advantages of a semi-rigid column-tree system over the standard rigid
system is that the bolted semi-rigid connection, located at the girder splice, can act as a

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Ap/fl 1997

fuse and protect the welded connections at the face of columns from being subjected to
large moments. In addition, the use of semi-rigid connections can increase damping,
elongate the period of vibration, reduce stiffness to a desirable level and can result in a
reduction of seismic forces and displacements.
1.7. Categories Based on the Moment Capacity of the Connected Members
Depending on the relative bending moment capacities of columns and girders, a momentresisting frame is categorized as Strong-Column/WeakBeam or Strong-Beam / Weak
Column.
The strong column-weak beam frames are used very frequently and many structural
engineers believe that these systems have superior seismic behavior to that of the weak
column-strong beam frames. Most current codes (UBC, 1994) also promote the use of the
strong column-weak beam philosophy. Recent studies have shown that the steel MRFs
that develop hinges in the girders (strong column-weak beam design) can be more stable
than the frames that have column hinges (strong beam-weak column).
In the strong column-weak beam frame, the moment capacity of the beams in a joint is less
than the moment capacity of the columns. Therefore under combinations of gravity and
lateral loads, plastic hinges are expected to form in the beams. In the strong beam-weak
column design, plastic hinges are expected to form in the columns.
One of the advantages of the column-tree system is that by selecting an appropriate
moment capacity for the splice of the girder, the splice will act as a moment fuse and
prevent large moments from developing at the face of the colum.

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Reeisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, April 1997

2.

SEISMIC BEHAVIOR
OFSTEELCOLUMNTREE MOMENTRESISTING FRAMES

2.1. Introduction
Seismic behavior of a column-tree special moment-resisting frame is expected to be ductile
and satisfy code expectations of ductility. Unlike pre-Northridge field-welded moment
frames, in column-trees, the designer has a very strong tool to control and reduce seismic
behavior of the frame. This tool is the girder splice. The girder splices can be designed to
be sufficiently ductile and have a prescribed bending moment capacity. In such design,
during the earthquakes, the girder splices will act as ductile "fuses" and limit the
magnitude of forces including bending moment that can be developed in the frame.
Depending on bending strength and rotational stiffness of the girder splice, the columntree frame will behave as a rigid or a semi-rigid moment resisting system.
In the
following some information on expected seismic behavior of rigid and semi-rigid columntree systems is provided.
2.2. Expected Seismic Behavior of RIGID Column-Tree Moment Frames

As discussed in Chapter One, in order for a column-tree moment frame to be categorized


as rigid, the following two conditions should be satisfied:
m>18
_ ].o

and;

(2.1)
(2.2)

The first condition depends on relative rotational stiffness of the girder and the splice
while the second condition depends on relative bending strength of girder and the splice.

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Ap#11997

l l

If the above conditions are met, then the column-tree splices are stiffer and stronger than
the girders. This means that the resulting column-tree moment resisting system will
behave as a traditional ductile frame. The plastic hinges are expected to form at the face of
columns while girder splices are expected to remain elastic. Therefore, in this case, the
splices do not act as fuses, but, they are merely erection splices enabling the frame to be
fabricated as a shop welded-fieM bolted steel frame.
In bolted splices, it is expected that some small amount of slippage will occur during major
earthquakes. The slippage is beneficial and acts as a friction device and isolator to
dissipate the energy and to reduce seismic forces. Laboratory shaking table tests and
analytical studies (Nader and Astaneh-Asl, 1992, and 1996) have indicated that these
limited connection slippage do not result in noticeable increase in drift during the
earthquakes.
2.3. Expected Seismic Behavior of SEMI-RIGID Column-Tree Moment Frames

If in a column tree either one of Equations 2.1 and 2.2 above is not satisfied, the frame can
be categorized as semi-rigid (partially restrained). Technically, for a column-tree moment
frame to be considered semi-rigid, one of the following conditions need to be met:
m >18 and 0.2<(<1.0
18 > m >0.5 and ct>0.2

(2.3)
(2.4)

Seismic behavior of steel rigid and semi-rigid column-tree moment frames have been
studied in recent years (Astaneh-Asl, 1991), (McMullin et al.), (McMullin and AstanehAsl, 1996). The studies indicate that in general semi-rigid column-tree moment frames
are expected to perform as good or better than rigid frames. To obtain a ductile and
efficient semi-rigid frame that will not be too flexible for non-seismic loads, it is suggested
that the rigidity and strength of semi-rigid frame splice connections be at least 70% of the
corresponding values for a rigid connection. This can be expressed in the form of
satisfying the following criteria:
18> m >(0.7)18 and 0.7<(z<l.0

(2.5)

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Ap#11997

]2

3. CODE PROVISIONS
RELEVANTTOSTEEL
COLUMN-TREE
MOMENTFRAMES

3.1. Introduction
Seismic design codes have a number of provisions applicable to moment frames. These
provisions were discussed in a Steel Tip report (Astaneh-Asl, 1995). In this chapter, a
summary of applicable provisions in the Uniform Building Code (ICBO, 1994) to design
of special column-tree moment-resisting frames is provided.
The information is
applicable to rigid frames.
3.1. Provisions in UBC on Bolted Special Steel Moment Frames
The Uniform Building Code, UBC-94, has the following provision regarding strength of
girder-to-column connections in special moment-resisting frames (SMRF), including
column-tree special moment-resisting frames.
Sec. 2211.7.1.1 Required strength. The girder-to-column connection shall be
adequate to develop the lesser of the following:

1. The strength of the girder in flexure.


2. The moment corresponding to development of the panel zone shear strength as
determined from Formula (11-1).
EXCEPTION: Where a connection is not designed to contribute flexural resistance at the joint, it
need not develop the required strength if it can be shown to meet the deformation compatibility
requirements of Section 1631.2.4.
(Reproduced from the 1994 Uniform Building Code, copyright1994 with the permission of the
publisher, the International Conference of Building Officials.)

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Aprf11997

13

The Formula (11-1) in Part 2 above is given as the following in UBC-94:


3bet2_
V--- 0.S5Fydctp [1+ d bdct ]

(Formula 11-1 of UBC-94)

(3.1)

The EXCEPTION in the above UBC provision is primarily for shear and semi-rigid
connections that are not considered in design as part of the lateral- load resisting system.
Section 1631.2.4 of the UBC-94 (ICBO, 1994) has the following provisions on the issue:
Sec. 1631.2.4 Deformation compatibility. All framing elements not required by design
to be part of the lateral-force-resisting system shall be investigated and shown to be
adequate for vertical load-carrying capacity when displaced 3(Rw/8) times the
displacement resulting from the required lateral forces. P A effects on such elements
shall be accounted for. For design using working stress methods,. ..... "
(Reproduced from the 1994 Uniform Building Code, copyright 1994 with the permission of the
ublisher, the International Conference of Building Officials.)

The first and second printing of the Uniform Building Code (ICBO, 1994) in its Section
2211.7.1.3 has provisions permitting the use of "Alternate" connections which includes
bolted special moment-resisting frame connections. In the aftermath of the 1994
Northridge earthquake and damage to welded special moment frame connections, the
ICBO Board of Directors on September 14, 1994 approved the following emergency
code change.
Reference (Building Standards, 1994) made modifications to the 1994 Uniform Building
Code and stated that:" Connection configurations utilizing welds or high-strength bolts
shall demonstrate, by approved cyclic test results or calculation, the ability to sustain
inelastic rotation and develop the strength criteria in Section 2211.7.1.1 (of UBC-94)
considering the effects of steel overstrength and strain hardening."

Seismic Design o! Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhaesan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, April 1997

14

4. SEISMIC DESIGNOF
STEELCOLUMN-TREE
MOMENT-RESISTING
FRAMES

4.1. Introduction
Seismic design of rigid column-tree MRFs is similar to seismic design of welded MRFs.
First, seismic lateral loads need to be established following the governing code. Second,
seismic forces in combination with gravity loads are applied to a realistic model of the
structure and by analyzing the structure component forces and nodal displacements are
calculated. Finally, the components (i.e. girders, column, girder-to-column connections
and girder splices) are designed to carry the applied loads. In addition, like any frame the
lateral drifts are calculated and checked to ensure that the drift is less than allowable
values.

4.2. Design Considerations


The first step in design of a column-tree system is to decide the location of girder splices.
The girder splices can be placed at the location of point of inflection of the girder under
gravity load only. This point is at a distance of span/10 to span/8 from the centerline of the
column. In addition, with current transportation limitations, it is suggested that the splices
be placed such that the total width of the column trees does not exceed 8 feet.
To take advantage of column-tree systems, the connection of the girder splice is suggested
to be entirely bolted, Figure 1.5(a), or shop-welded and field-bolted, Figure 1.5(b). There
are many advantages to having bolted splices. Slippage of bolts is a very reliable source of
inelasticity and energy dissipation in steel structures. If slippage occurs under service load,
it may create problems with serviceability of the structure and cause cracking of the brittle
non-structural elements. However, if slippage occurs under controlled conditions during
earthquakes, in many cases, the slippage of bolts can improve seismic performance.
The main components of a column-tree moment flame are: (a) girder splices, (b) girders,
(c) welded connection of girders to columns, (d) columns, (e) panel zones and; (f) base

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, April 1997 15

plates. In the following issues related to seismic design of these components


discussed.

are

4.3. Criteria for Design of Components of Column-tree Frames


The girder splices are suggested to be designed to satisfy the following:
1. The plastic moment capacity of the girder splice does not need to be greater than the
plastic moment capacity of the girder.
. The plastic moment capacity of the splice, Mp, should be equal or greater than the
larger of: (a) the calculated applied moment at the location of the splice or 1-(2a/L)
times the plastic moment capacity of the girder.
3. The girder splices should be designed to have a ductile rotational capacity of 0.03
radians.
. The girder splice should be designed such that the yield capacity of the gross area of
the plates in the splice govern. Other failure modes such as net section failure or bolt
failure should have larger capacity than the yield capacity.
5. The connection of girder stub to column should have the strength equal or greater than
the girder.
6. The panel zone in the column should have a shear strength of 1.2 times the shear due
to Mp of the girders connected to the panel zone.
7. The girders and columns should have b/t ratios satisfying the requirements of the
governing code for special ductile moment-resisting frames.
The fixed base plates should be designed to develop 1.2 Mp of the column. The pinned
base plates should be designed to develop a rotation of at least 0.03 radians.
4.4. Design of Girder Splice
The first step in seismic design of any connection is to identify failure modes (or limit
states). Then, to arrange the failure modes such that ductile and more desirable failure
modes govern.
The possible failure modes of the typical girder splice connections shown in Figure 4.1
arel

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Ap#l 1997

16

Ductile
Slippage
Mode

Ductile
Failure
Modes

-)

Ductile/brittle
Failure
Modes

;L

hr'

"

.J

Brittle
Failure
Modes

Figure 4.1. Failure Modes of Top and Bottom Flange Plate Connections
Ductile Failure Modes:
a. Slippage of the flange bolts
b. Yielding of the gross area of the top and bottom flange plates
c. Bearing yielding of the bolt holes in the girder flanges and the flange plates
d. Yielding of the gross area of the girder
Failure Modes with Limited Ductility:
e. Local buckling of the top and bottom flange plates
f. Local buckling of the girder flanges
g. Shear yielding of the column panel zone
Relatively Brittle Failure Modes:
h. Fracture of edge distance or bolt spacing in flange splice plates
i. Block shear failure of flange splice plates
J. Shear fracture of flange bolts
k. Fracture of flange plate welds (in bolted-welded splices)
1. Fracture of net areas of the flange splice plates
m. Block shear failure of girder flanges
n. Fracture of edge distance or bolt spacing in flanges of the girder
o. Yielding of the gross area of the web splice plate due to combined shear and
bending
p. Shear fracture of web bolts
q. Fracture of net area of web splice plate or girder web
r. Fracture of net area of girder.

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, April 1997

]7

The failure modes in the above list are given in the order of their desirability. Slippage of
flange bolts followed by yielding of the flange plates are the most desirable failure modes
(first two failure modes in the above list). The fracture of net area of the girder ( the last
item in the above list) is the least desirable failure mode.

4.4.a. Slippage of Flange Bolts


In incorporating slippage into seismic design, the question is when is the appropriate time
for a moment connection to slip? In establishing appropriate slip moment capacity, Mslip,
the following items need to be considered:
. The bolted connection should not slip under the service loads. To be conservative, the
slip moment greater than 1.25 times the moment in the connection due to service (not
factored) loads is suggested.
2. The bolted connection should slip during moderate and strong earthquakes to reduce
the stiffness, to increase ductility and to dissipate energy. On the basis of experience
and intuition, it is suggested here that the slip moment be smaller than 0.8 times the
plastic moment capacity of the splice.
Combining the above two suggestions, the equation to establish slip moment is:
1.2SM(service ' splice) -<

(4.])

Mslip < 0.8 Mps

4.4.b. Yielding of Gross Area of Top and Bottom Flange Splice Plates
To increase ductility of the connection, yielding of flange splice plates should be the
governing failure mode. To achieve this, moment capacity of splice can be limited such
that when splice plate moment reaches plastic moment value, the moment in the girder
connection to the column does not exceed plastic moment of the girder. In doing so,
yielding of the splice plates acts as a fuse to protect the welded connection of the girder to
column. Figure 4.2 shows the relationship between the plastic moments of the splice and
the girder.
Mpg

I-

Mpg=Mps+Va
V=2Mps/(L-2a) + q(L-2a)/2

Figure 4.2. Free-Body Diagram of Span

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Apt# 1997

18

To have desirable behavior of splice acting as a fuse, the following criterion is suggested:
Mps < Mpg-Va

(4.2)

Which with reference to Figure 4.2, can be written as:


2a
Mps < (1---) Mpg

(4.3)

In addition to above criterion, it is suggested that the moment capacity of splice plates be
greater than 1.25 times the bending moment calculated by the analysis. This means:
Mps > 1.25 Ms

(4.4)

4.4.c. Bearing Yielding of Bolt Holes in Girder Flange and Splice Plates
Bearing yielding of the bolt holes is beneficial in reducing seismic response during extreme
events. It is suggested that in seismic design the following criterion be used:
Mpb > 1.25 Mps

(4.5)

4.4.d. Yielding of Gross Area of Girder


This failure mode occurs when a plastic hinge forms in the girder. The equation to
establish plastic moment capacity of the girder is:
Mpg =FyZx

(4.6)

4.4.e. Local Buckling of the Flange Splice Plates


Buckling of splice plates occurring late during the earthquake can be tolerated. To avoid
early buckling of flange splice plates, it is suggested that the slenderness of the plate, the
KL/r ratio, not exceed 20. This means that the free length of splice plate divided by its
thickness should not exceed 11. The free length of splice plate is the distance between the
first rows of bolt on each side of splice as shown in Figure 4.3.
I

- r

' " '

Free Length of PI

= = = = ;I
,,

o',',.

,,

,o

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, April 1997 19

Figure 4.3. Free Length of Splice Plate


4.4.f. Local Buckling of the Girder Flanges
Local buckling can be categorized as ductile or brittle depending on how rapidly the
locally buckled area deteriorates during cyclic loading. Available cyclic test results indicate
that steel members wlth high b/t ratios, say higher than 3,r given in the AISC Specifications
(AISC, 1994), tend to form local buckling in a very sharp configuration, develop relatively
large lateral displacements and fracture through the sharp tip of the locally buckled areas
alter a few inelastic cycles. Cyclic local buckling in this manner should be considered
brittle. The value of Xr suggested for the flanges of the girders in special momentresisting frames is 95 /
On the other hand, members with a b/t ratio less than those
specified by the AISC Seismic Provisions (AISC, 1993) tend to develop local buckling
ater a relatively large number of inelastic cyclic deformations (usually more than 10 to 15
cycles of inelastic behavior before local buckling). The limit for the b/t ratio for the
flanges of the girders currently given in the AISC Seismic Provisions (AISC, 1993), is
52 /
.

4.4.g. Shear Yielding of the Column Panel Zone


The Uniform Building Code permits limited yielding of the panel zones in special moment
frames (UBC, 1994). The provisions of UBC state that the panel zone shear may be
calculated by using 80 percent of the moment capacity of the connected girders. Since
some cracks have been observed in the panel zone in the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge
earthquake, it is suggested that to protect the panel zone against extensive yielding, it is
suggested that the panel zone shear capacity be at least equal to the shear that can be
delivered to the panel zone by plastic moments of the girders:

VPz >

(4.7)

where d is the depth of girder


The Uniform Building Code (UBC, 1994) provides the following equation for design of
panel zone:
2

r. = 0.ssJ*y a, t [

3bf t
1 + - -]

dbd t

(4.8)

As an alternative, until the cause of panel zone fractures is established and a realistic
design equation is developed (or the above equation is validated), the author suggests the
use of equations that are given in the AISC-LRFD Specification (AISC, 1994). The
equations are given for panel zone design when the effect of panel zone deformation on

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Apd11997 20

frame stability is not considered in the analysis.


Specifications (AISC, 1994) are:

The equations from AISC-LRFD

For Pu < 0.4 P y ; Vn-(0.60Fydctp)

(4.9a)

F o r P u > 0 . 4 P y ; Vn-b (0.60Fydctp)(1.4- P u / P y )

(4.9b)

4.4.h. Fracture of Edge Distance or Bolt Spacing in Flange Splice Plates

Fracture of edge distance by itself may not be catastrophic, but during cyclic loading a
crack within the edge distance can jump the bolt hole and fracture the entire width of the
plate or girder flange. On the basis of the limited information currently available on the
cyclic behavior of bolt edge distances, it is suggested that in special moment frames bolt
edge distances should not be less than 1.5 times the diameter of the bolt and preferably 2.0
times the diameter. In most bolted connections, there is sufficient width of plate or flange
to accommodate easily an edge distance equal to twice the bolt diameter. The bolt
spacing, due to automation of drilling or punching is usually specified as 3 inches. In the
absence of any report of failure of bolt spacing during earthquakes or in laboratory tests,
it appears that 3 inch spacing is satisfactory.
4.4.i. Block Shear Failure of Flange Splice Plates

To ensure that this relatively brittle failure mode does not occur before the plates yield, the
following condition is suggested:
Pn > 1.25 4) Mp (pi)

(4.10)

/d

When FuAnt > 0.6FuAnv;

Pn =

0-6FyAgv + FuAnt

(4.11 a)

When FuAnt < 0.6FuAnv;

Pn =

0.6FuAnv + FyAgt

(4.1 lb)

4.4.j. Shear Fracture of Flange Bolts

This failure mode can occur when after slippage of the bolts and some beating yielding, the
applied moment is totally carded by the shear strength of the bolts. To encourage yielding
of steel before bolt shear failure, the following criterion is suggested:
*bFbAb N d >-dMps

(4.12)

4.4.k. Fracture of the Welds Connecting the Splice Plates to Girder Flanges

The welds on splice plates are usually fillet welds and should be designed to develop 1.25
times axial yield capacity of the plates.

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames O by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, April 1997

21

4.4.1. Fracture of Net Area of the Flange Splice Plates


The splice plates should be designed such that the fracture of plates does not occur before
yielding of the girder. The following criterion is suggested:
> q>Mps

(4.13)

4.4.m. Block Shear Failure of Girder Flanges


Earlier in Section 4.4.i the issue of block shear failure of flange plates was discussed. For
block shear failure of the flange itself the same discussion and equations as in Section 4.4.i
apply.
4.4.n. Fracture of Edge Distance or Bolt Spacing in Flanges of the Girder
Earlier in Section 4.4.h this issue was discussed for plates. The same discussion and
recommendations apply to the girder flanges.
4.4.0. Yielding of Gross Area of Web Splice Plate
Failure modes of shear connections have been studied in recent years and reliable design
procedures are available (AISC, 1994; Astaneh-Asl et al., 1989). The philosophy used in
developing design procedure for shear plate connections has been to force yielding of steel
to occur before fracture of the net area, bolts or welds (Astaneh-Asl et al., 1989).
The web plates in the splice of a column-tree are subjected to a combination of shear and
bending. To check this failure mode, the following interaction equation is suggested:
_<1.o

qVywp

(4.14)

4.4.p. Fracture of Web Bolts


Web bolts are subjected to a combination of shear and bending moment. It is suggested
that for a ductile behavior the strength of the bolts be greater than the strength of the
plates. To achieve this, the bolts should be designed for an eccentric shear as shown in
Figure 4.3. For the design of bolt groups subjected to eccentric shear, the procedures and
tables given in Volume II of the AISC-LRFD Manual (AISC, 1994) can be used.
4.4.q. Fracture of Net Area of Web Plate

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Apn? 1997

22

This failure mode if occurs can have catastrophic consequences due to the fact that the
span can collapse. To prevent this failure mode from occurring before the yield failure
occurs, the following criterion can be used.
V

)2+(

Ve

)2 < 1.0

(4.15)

(*nVun ' --*nMu% 4.4.r. Fracture of Net Area of the Girder


This failure mode is not acceptable. It is suggested that the ultimate bending capacity of
the net section of the girder be more than 1.25Mps, where Mps is the plastic moment
capacity of the girder splice plates.
qbn Mng > qbMps

(4.16)

where Mng, the ultimate moment capacity of the net area of the girder can be
calculated as:
Mng = (Zx-N d htf) Fu
(4.17)
4.4.s Check Welds Connecting the Girder to Column:
The full penetration welds connecting the girder flanges to column face should be done
using material and complying with the procedures that result in ductile welds. More
information on this can be found in Reference (SAC, 1995).
The fillet welds connecting the web of the girder to the column flange are suggested to be
designed for a force equal to 1.25 times shear capacity of the web of the girder:
qbnVw > 1.25 qb (0.6Fy)(tw d)

(4.18)

4.5. Establishing Stiffness of the Girder splice Connection


To establish rotational behavior of a typical column-tree splice connection, the splice
connection can be modeled as a rotational spring in the elastic analysis of the column-tree
frame. The rotational stiffness of the spring can be established as:
Ks = Ms=
Ms
= Ms E d
0s Aw / (d/2) 2Lsp Fy

(4.19)

The above rotational stiffness represents initial elastic stiffness of the splice and can be
used in elastic analysis of the column-tree frames to obtain design forces. Also, the above
Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames O by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Aprg 1997

23

value of rotational stiffness may be used in establishing m values in categorizing the frame.
However, if more accurate calculation of displacements, particularly drift values under
factored loads, is desired, the flexibility of the connection due to slippage of bolts should
be included. The following equation is suggested for establishing rotational stiffness of
connection including slippage:

Ms

Ms

Ms

(4.20)

Ks2 = Os = (Asp + 1/16")/(d/2) = (Lsp Fy/E + 1/16")/(d/2)


It should be added that throughout this report the emphasis was placed on seismic design.
However, the final design of connection will be governed by load combinations including
the wind load. Following the design philosophy and concepts presented in this report, the
designer should ensure that bolted connections are designed as slip-critical to resist the
service loads without slip. Such approach will ensure that the connections will not slip
during the service wind and small to moderate earthquakes. However, the bolt slip during
the major earthquakes can be ben'eficial in dissipating energy in the form of friction,
elongating the period of the structure as well as isolating the connections and cutting off
the flow of seismic energy into the structure.

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Apd11997

24

AH, (1995), "Reconnaissance Report on Damage to Steel Building Structures Observed


from the 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu (Hanshin/Awaji) Earthquake", Report, Architectural
Institute of Japan, (in Japanese with English summary), May.
AISC (1994), Manual of Steel Construction- Load and Resistance Factor Design, 2nd
Edition., 2 Volumes, American Institute of Steel Construction, Chicago
Astaneh-Asl, A., (1989), "Demand and Supply of Ductility in Steel Shear Connections,"
Journal of Constructional Steel Research., Vol. 14, No. 1.
Astaneh-Asl, A., (1993), "The Innovative Concept of Semi-rigid Composite Beam",
Proceedings, Structures Congress, ASCE, Irvine, April.
Astaneh-Asl, A., (1994), "Seismic Behavior and Design of Steel Semi-rigid Structures",
Proceedings, Fkst Int. Workshop and Seminar on Behavior of Steel Structures in Seismic
Areas, 26 June-1 July, Romania.
Astaneh-Asl, A., (1995), "Seismic Design of Bolted Steel Moment-Resisting Frames",
Steel Tips Report, Structural Steel Educational Council, Moraga, CA, July.
Astaneh-Asl, A., Call, S.M., and McMullin, K. M. (1989), "Design of Single Plate Shear
Connections," Engineering Journal Am. Institute of Steel Construction, Vol. 26, No. 1.
Astaneh-Asl, A., and Nader, M. N., (1990),"Experimental Studies and Design of Steel Tee
Shear Connections," J. of Structural Engineering ASCE, Vol. 116, No. 10, October.
Astaneh-Asl, A. and Nader M., (1991), "Cyclic Behavior of Frames with Semi-rigid
Connections, in Connections in Steel Structures II, Elsevier Applied Science.
Astaneh-Asl, A., Nader, M.N. and Harriott, J. D., (1991) "Seismic Behavior and Design
Considerations in Semi-Rigid Frames", Proceedings, AISC, 1991 National Steel
Construction Conference, Washington, D. C., June.
Astaneh-Asl, A., Nader, M. N. and Malik, L., (1989),"Cyclic Behavior of Double Angle
Connections," J. of Structural Engineering ASCE, Vol. 115, No. 5.
Becker, R., Naeim, F. and Teal, E., (1993), "Seismic Design Practice for Steel Buildings",
Steel Tips Report, Stmctural Steel Educational Council, Moraga, CA, July.
Building Standards, (1994), "ICBO Board Approves Emergency Structural Design
Provision", Journal, September- October Issue.
Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tres Moment-Resisting Frames O by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, April 1997

25

Englekirk, R., (1994), 'Steel Structures, Controlling Behavior Through Design",, John
Wiley and Sons Inc..
Guh, T. J., Astaneh, A., Harriott, J. and Youssef, N. (1991) "A Comparative Study of the
Seismic Performance of Steel Structures with Semi-Rigid Joints", Proceedings, ASCEStructures Congress, 91, Indianapolis, April 29-May 1, pp. 271-274.
ICBO, (1994), "The Uniform Building Code", Volume 2, The International Conference of
Building Officials, Whittier, CA.
Kulak, G. L., Fisher, J. W., and Struik, J. H. A., (1987) "Guide to Design Criteria for
Bolted and Riveted Joints", Second Edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York.
McMullin, K., Astaneh-Asl, A., Fenves, G. and Fukuzawa, E., "Innovative Semi-Rigid
Steel Frames for Control of the Seismic Response of Buildings", Report No. UCB/CESteel-93/02., Dept. of Civil and Env. Engineering, University of California, Berkeley.
Nader M. N. and Astaneh-Asl, A., (1991) "Dynamic Behavior of Flexible, Semi-Rigid and
Rigid Steel Frames", Journal of Constructional Steel Research Vol. 18, PP 179-192.
Nader, M. N. and Astaneh-Asl , A., (1996)" Seismic Behavior of Semi-rigid Steel
Frames", J. of Structural Engineering ASCE, No. ST7, July.
Porter K. A. and A. Astaneh-Asl, (1990), "Design of Single Plate Shear Connections with
Snug-tight Bolts in Short Slotted Holes," Report No. UCB/SEMM-90/23, Department of
Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, December.
SAC Joint Venture, (1995), "Interim Guidelines: Evaluation, Repair, Modification and
Design of Welded Steel Moment Frame Structures", Report FEMA 267, Federal
Emergency Management Agency, Washington D.C. August.
Youssef, N. F. G., Bonowitz, D. and Gross John L., " A Survey of Steel MomentResisting Frame Buildings Affected by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake", Report No.
NISTIR 5625 National Institute of Standards and Technology, Washington D.C., April.

Index of Steel Tips Publications


The following is a list of available Steel Tips. Copies will be sent upon request. Some are in
very limited quantity.

Seismic Design of Special Concentrically Braced Frames


Seismic Design of Bolted Steel Moment Resisting Frames
Structural Details to Increase Ductility of Connections
Slotted Bolted Connection Energy Dissipaters
Use of Steel in the Seismic Retrofit of Historic Oakland City Hall
Heavy Structural Shapes in Tension
Economical Use of Cambered Steel Beams
Value Engineering & Steel Economy
What Design Engineers Can Do to Reduce Fabrication Costs
Charts for Strong Column Weak Girder Design of Steel Frames
Seismic Strengthening with Steel Slotted Bolt Connections
Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, April 1997

26

APPENDIX
A NUMERICALEXAMPLE

A.1. A Numerical Example


Design a rigid moment connection of a column-tree flame. The connection is for two
W24x68 girders connected to the flange side of a W14x132 column. The steel used in
girders and column is A572 Gr. 50. The bolts are 7/8' diameter ASTM A325-N and
welds are E70xx. The connection in this example is assumed to be for the 4th. floor of a 7story moment frame that was used by Roy Becker in his Steel Tips issue (Becker et al.,
1993).
Given:
A 7-story steel column-tree frame. Assumed service loads are as follows:
Roof: Dead Load = 67 psf, Live Load =20 psf.
Typical Floor: Dead Load = 85 psf, Live Load =50 psf.
Partition Load: 15 psfon all floors.
--

--

el:;

c:C

rn

c:

=E

tn

ri:

[=

- -

C
D
I

cie

-.

ca

?-E-

car' __

__
b
nar

OI

i_

3@30'-0'

Figure A. 1. The Structure

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames

by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Ap#l 1997

27

;!'

i,
.

FlangeSplicePlate

/
.

'

.
.

.
.

/ H.S.FieldBolts
.
.

.
.

. "
. .

.
.
i . . . 11
. . . . . . . .

,.s. ,o,,
.....................

W24x6

. i
W24x6
. . . . . . ._ i! . . . . . . .

,'

,
;

: ': .

. ....................

W24x6
'!!"
W24x6
. . . . . . . !i . . . . . . .

W14x13

i
J

a=3'-7"

i
i

Figure A.2. Column-Tree Joint


-422k-ft

-636k-ff

M, Moment

I' +2o4 k-tt

V, Shear

Figure A. 3. Assumed Bending and Shear Diagram for 4th Floor Girders
The factored shear and bending moment in the connection are shown in the above figure.
The lefi side connection of the joint, which has the largest forces, is designed in this
example. The same connection will be used for the right side of the joint.
Maximum factored shear in the connection: Ru= 64 kips
Maximum factored bending moment in the connection: Mu = 636 kips
No significant axial load exists in the girder.
Factored axial load in the column: Nu= 300 kips (needed for panel zone check).
The bending moment acting on the connection due to service loads (un-factored) obtained
from analysis:
M(service ' conn.)= 242 fi-kips (due to combination of gravity and seismic loads)
The bending moments and shear forces acting on the splice, at a distance of 43 inches ("a"
distance in Figure A. 2) from the centerline of the column are:

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Aptfl 1997

28

Maximum factored shear in the girder splice: Vs= 55.4 kips


Maximum factored bending moment in the girder splice: Ms = 422 ft-kips
No significant axial load exists in the girder splice.
The bending moment acting on the girder splice due to service loads (un-factored)
obtained from analysis:
M(service' splice)= 161.5 f-kips (due to combined service gravity
and service seismic loads)
The above service moment will be used in the design of girder splice bolts to ensure that
the splice does not slip under the service loads.
The properties of the girders and the column in the joint are:
Girder: W24x68, Fy=50, Fu=65 ksi, Span=30 f, d= 23.73 in., A=20.1 in2
tw= 0.415 in. bf = 8.965 in., tf = 0.585 in, Ix-- 1830 in4, Zx = I77 in. 3
Column: W14x132, Fy =50, Fu=65 ksi, Height=l 1'-6", d=14.66 in., A=38.8 in2
tw= 0.645 in., bf = 14.725 in., tf =1.030 in, Ix= 1530 in4, Zx = 234 in. 3
Solution:

1. Establish plastic moment capacity of the girder:


Mp =ZxFy = 177x50= 8,850 k-in.

2. Check local buckling of the girder flanges:


?
b/t= 8.965/(2x0.585)=7.66'__<52=7.35

qFy

Say O.K.

3. Strong column-weak beam concept checked and is satisfied


4. Establish size of the flange plates of the girder splice:
2a
Mps _< (1 - --) Mpg
Mps < (1-2x43"/360)(8,850) = 6,735 in-kips
Mps > 1.25 Ms
Mps > 1.25x 422x12= 6,330
Use A36 steel (with minimum Fy of 36 ksi and design plates for a moment
of 6,330 in-kips. Try 3/4' plate:
Ag = Mps/(Fyd)= 6,330/[36(23.73+0.75)]--7.2 inch
Try: PL 10"x3/4" A36 for flange splices of the girder

5. Check net section failure of the splice plates


qnMns > {Mps
0.75(10-2)(3/4)(58)(23.73)> (0.9)(10x0.75)(36)(23.73+.75)

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tres Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Aprf11997

29

6,194 > 5,949 O.K.

6. Check net-section fracture of the girder:


qbn Mng > qbMps
qbn (Z h - N d htf) Fu > qbMps
0.75[177in3-2xlx0.585 (23.73-.585)](65)> (0.9)(10x0.75)(36)(23.73+.75)
7308 > 0.9x6,609 O.K.
7.

Establish number of the flange bolts:


qbb(VbAbN)(d) > 1.25qbMp
0.75(48)(0.601)(N)(23.73) > 1.25(5,949)
N > 14.6;

Try_: 14 7/8"dia A325N flange bolts

St,ms
.

. . . . . . . [I
nc
o
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

;i

: : . 7'215 ?/8'a,a A325tBoh


.

. ;.

ft : : : : : . , ,

r
W14x32.
J
i

e=3'-

: : :

W24x68

a=3..7,'

-._-_-:-_.1_-,

. J[_ s'

, _ L I

W24x68

'l:l.s'

. . . . . . .i

i ' L . ; . i i . . ,

'

!
i

'

14.s'l
I5 . ' T '

6@3---';

1.5"

Figure A.4. Girder Splice

8. Check bearing capacity of the bolts:


MPb > 1.25 Mps
2.4(58ksi)(0.75")(7/8")(14)(23.73) > 1.25 (6,609)
30,348 k-in > 8,271 O.K.

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Ap/fl 1997 3 0

9 Check buckling offiangeplate:

11.5 < 20 O.K.


10. Check to ensure that the bolts do not slip under the service loads:

1.25M(service ' splice) < Mslip < 0.8Mps


1.25 (161.5x12) < (14 bolts)(10.2 kipsPoolt)(23.73") < 0.8(6,609)
2,423 _<3,388 < 5,287

O.K.

11. Check edge distances:

Using a bolt gage of 4.5 inches c/c on the flanges, Figure A.4, provides 2.75 inches of
edge distance for splice plates and girder, large enough to satisfy AISC(1994)
requirements.
12. Check panel zone yielding:

VPz >_ Mpg


d
where
Vn = 0.55Fydctp[ 1-

dbdctp ]

Vn = 0.55x50x14.66x0.645[ 14

3x14.725xl.032

23.73x14.66x0.645
Vn= 314 kips < 2(8,550)/23.73= 721.

] =314 kips

Therefore, doubler plates are needed:


t=__ 0.645(721/314)-0.645 = 0.88" Use 7/8" doubler plate.
Or, change the colum size or use stronger colum material if it results in more
economical design.
If instead of above UBC-94 equation, the equation given in the AISC-LRFD
Specifications (AISC, 1994) are used, the following will result:
Pu= column axial = 300 kips
1940
Since Pu <_0.4 P y ; then Vn---( 0.60Fydct ).
Vn = qb
p =0.9(0.6)(50)(14.66)(0.645)=255 kips < 721 kips
t_= 0.645(721/255)-0.645 = 1.17" Use 1-1/4" doubler plate.
Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Apr# 1997 31

Or, change the column size or use stronger column material if it


economical design

results in more

13. Design web shear connection

The loads acting on the web plate are shown in the following figure:
J

IJ
Figure A. 5. Loads Acting on the Web Connection
The web plate are subjected to a combination of shear V and bending moment Ve. To
check this failure mode, the following interaction equation is used:

< 1.o
4)Vywp

V=2Mps/(L-2a)+q(L-2a)/2 (see Figure 4.2)


V=2x6,609/(360-2x43)+ (2.4 k/fiJ12)(360-2x43)/2= 76 kips
Try PL 7"x3/8"xl'-3"
]2+[
76x2
76
. )2 =0.53_< 1.0
[ 0.9(3/8)(15)(0.6x36)
0.9(3/8)(152)(36)/4
14. Fracture of web bolts

The web splice bolt group is subjected to an eccentric shear. The shear is equal to 76 kips
and eccentricity is 2 inches, see Figure A. 5. To design the bolts, the tables in Volume II of
the AISC-LRFD Manual (AISC, 1994) are used. The results:
Use 5 7/8' dia A325N bolts
15. Fracture of net area of web plate

To check this failure mode the following equation is used:


( V -2- Ve )2
4-, 1 +1' M..,
< 1.0

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Apf11997

32

V
( (t)(h- Ndh)(O.6F.))2+(ep (O(h2/4-ndh 4 -ndh d2)(Fy))2 < 1.0.
76
2
76x2"
2 0.66 < 1.0 O.K.
(0.75(3/8)(15 - 5xl")(O.6x58)) +(0.75(3/8)(15/4 - l"x2x3 - 1"x2x6 )(58)) =

16. Check welds connecting the girder to column:


The full penetration welds connecting the girder flanges to column face should be done
using material and complying with the procedures that result in ductile welds. More
information on this can be found in Reference (SAC, 1995).
The fillet welds connecting the web of the girder to the column flange are designed
following the criterion. The length of fillet welds is 20 inches.
q)nVw 2 1.25 4) (0.6Fy) tw d
0.75 (0.6x70ksi)(2)(20")(0.707D) _>1.25x 0.9(0.6x50)x 0.415x23.73
D&0.37"

Use 3/8' fillet welds E70xx

1 7. Establish rotational stiffness of the connection:


Ms
Ms
Ms E d
Ks =O s - Asp 7 (d/2) = 2Lsp Fy
KS "-

5948x29,000x23.73
2x20x36

= 2,842,500 kip-inch/radians

m=Ks / (EI/L) = 2,842,500/(29,000X1830/360)=19.2 > 18 O.K.


Therefore, the flame can be categorized as rigid since m is greater than 18.
To calculate rotational stiffness that includes the effects of bolt slippage:
Ks2 = M-'-'s =
Ms
=
Ms
Os (Asp + 1/16")/(d/2) (Lsp Fy/E + 1/16")/(d/2)
Ks2 =

5,948(23.73/2)
- 808,000 kip-inch/radians
20x36/29,000 + 1/16"

The above value of rotational stiffness can be modeled into computer analysis program as
stiffness of a rotational spring. Such analysis can result in better calculation of drifts.

Seismic Design of Steel Column-Tree Moment-Resisting Frames by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Steel Tips, Apn11997

33

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