Force-based design method for force-limiting deformable connections


This project proposed a force-based design method for force-limiting deformable connections that are used to transfer seismic-induced horizontal forces from the floor-diaphragms in buildings to the vertical elements of lateral seismic force-resisting systems with base flexural mechanisms (e.g., reinforced concrete shear walls). The design method determines the limiting forces for the connections at each floor of the building. The limiting forces for the connections are the forces at which the force-limiting deformable connections transition from linear-elastic to post-elastic response. The proposed design method is a modified version of the ASCE/SEI 7-16 alternative seismic design force method for floor-diaphragms. Design examples are presented. Seismic responses from numerical simulations of twelve-story, eight-story, and four-story reinforced concrete shear wall example buildings show that the proposed method enables effective preliminary design of the force-limiting deformable connections. It is shown that the buildings with connections designed with the proposed method have relatively uniform distribution of connection deformation demands over the building height. It is also shown that their seismic force and acceleration responses have reduced magnitude and reduced variability compared to conventional buildings that exhibit large variability in their acceleration responses.

Relevant Publications

Tsampras, Georgios, Richard Sause (2022), “Force-Based Design Method for Force-Limiting Deformable Connections in Earthquake-Resistant Buildings.” Journal of Structural Engineering,

Tsampras, Georgios, and Richard Sause. “Design of Force-Limiting Deformable Connections in High-Performance Earthquake-Resilient Buildings.” In ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute, 2022.

Tsampras, Georgios. “Force-Limiting Floor Diaphragm Connection for Earthquake-Resistant Buildings.” PhD, Lehigh University, 2016.