The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 63 (1985) > Issues > Issue 12 > Joint Actions and the Design of Steel Frames
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Joint Actions and the Design of Steel Frames

The importance of connection stiffness in influencing the behaviour of steel frames is discussed. Experimental data on connection performance are cited which show that all practical forms of beam-to-column connection operate as semi-rigid joints. Against this background the assumptions of the ‘simple design’ method for non-sway frames are reviewed and a more rigorous behavioural study is presented. Potential benefits and disbenefits of allowing for semi-rigid action in design are discussed. For sway frames the philosophy of the ‘wind connection method’ is explained and conditions under which its use should result in reasonable frames are identified. Some attention is also given to the assessment of effective length factors that properly reflect the restraint available to columns in non-sway frames. D.A. Nethercot