The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 65 (1987) > Issues > Issue 11 > Influence of Connection Stiffness on Column Strength
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Influence of Connection Stiffness on Column Strength

The behaviour of steel columns provided with semi-rigid end restraint typical of that produced by any of the usual forms of beam to column connection is analysed by means of a computer program using the finite element method. The non-linear variation of connection stiffness with rotation is allowed for by an accurate representation of the connection momentr otation (M-Ö) characteristic. Results are presented for one particular combination of variables-termed the ‘basic problem ’-which demonstrates how reduced column lateral deflections lead to enhanced column strengths. A systematic variation of the main parameters has enabled the relative connection stiffness to be identified as the most important factor in determining the extent to which a particular connection type will be capable of increasing the strength of a given column. When cast in the form of effective length factors for use with traditional methods of column design, the results suggest significantly lower values than those customarily recommended at present. S.W. Jones, D.A. Nethercot and P.A. Kirby