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Improving Performance and Simplifying the Design of EBFs with Cast Steel Modular Links

Michael Gray, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Executive Vice President, Castconnex

Type D eccentrically braced frames (EBFs) are a popular steel frame due to their relatively high seismic force modification factors, Rd and Ro. However, difficulty in optimizing link beams for both gravity and seismic forces has led to a shift in popularity from traditional EBFs to modular EBFs. Modular EBFs are designed using a bolt-in fabricated link element for the inelastic segment between the braces of the EBF. The modular EBF offers additional benefits including simplified field-bolting of the steel frame during construction, and ease of repair/replacement post earthquake.

A challenge in using modular EBFs is that the link elements are complex fabrications that require demand critical complete joint penetration welds to the end plates and complex full-depth stiffener plates. A new research project at the University of Toronto has focused on testing full scale cast steel modular link elements., which would eliminate the need for the labour-intensive manufacturing of fabricated modular links.
This presentation will introduce the concept of the replaceable cast steel links. Test results from component testing and full-scale frame testing will be presented. Observed ductility will be compared to a cyclic ductile low-cycle fatigue fracture model for cast steel. Sample design of full-scale building seismic force resisting systems will be presented with focus on how a practicing engineer may adapt current code provisions for the cast steel modular links.

January 26, 2023 @ 12:00 pm EST

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