Finite element modeling of a beam-column connection in industrial storage racking structures

Publisher:
CRC press/Balkema
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
From materials to structures: Advancement through innovation - 22nd Australian Conference On The Mechanics Of Structures And Materials, 2013, pp. 813 - 818
Issue Date:
2013-01
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Industrial storage racking structures are typically constructed using cold-formed steel sections and contain moment resisting frames in which the columns have slots punched in at regular intervals to enable the beams to be clipped into position at any desired high. Hence unlike in conventional steel construction the beam to column connections are typically not bolted or welded but rely primarily on hooks and bearing contact between components to achieve the connection. As a consequence, such connections are semi-rigid and when loaded to failure they exhibit non-linear stiffness characteristics that are attributed to both geometric and material non-linearity. Due to the slenderness and flexibility of industrial racks, it is important therefore to consider the effect of connection flexibility when preparing structural models of such racking systems. A research project is currently underway at University of Technology, Sydney to investigate the behaviour of such connections and its effect on the dynamic response of industrial storage racking systems. An important part of this research, which is the focus of this paper, is devising suitable finite element models of the connections and verifying their accuracy against experimental moment-rotation curves. By considering the real conditions that govern the connection response, the FE models include different features such as 3D geometric details, non-linear material behavior, large displacements and the phenomena of contact non-linearity. This paper presents finite element models of a typical beam-column connection used in industrial storage racking structures and compares their accuracy against experimental results. The computational effort required in the analysis of different modeling options will also be compared and the adequacy in incorporating the model in a dynamic/Seismic finite element analysis will be discussed.
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