Mechanics-based computational simulation

Steel moment-resisting frames (MRFs) are expected to withstand sufficiently large inelastic deformations in the case of an earthquake. This necessitates the experimental and analytical evaluation of the hysteretic behavior of steel columns under combined lateral deformations coupled with axial load demands that interact with typical pre-qualified beam-to-column connections within an MRF. In RESSLab we conduct experimental work to characterize the hysteretic behavior of steel wide-flange columns and further understand the mechanisms that cause strength and stiffness deterioration of such components through advanced finite element modeling. The video below illustrates a comparison between a finite element simulation versus an experiment on a deep wide flange column that was tested under reversed cyclic loading.

We further utilize the developed finite element models to evaluate the dynamic stability of steel MRFs under earthquake loading and further refine the seismic provisions related to the design of such structural systems.