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Development of detachable replaceable links for eccentrically braced frames

2019-08-01
Bozkurt, Mehmet Bakir
Azad, Sina Kazemzadeh
Topkaya, Cem
Eccentrically braced frames (EBFs) can be repaired after a major earthquake by replacing the links. The link replacement is not a straightforward process and is influenced by the type of the link and the amount of residual frame deformations. The past decade has witnessed the development of different types of replaceable links such as end-plated links, web connected links, bolted flange and web spliced links, and collector beam and brace spliced links. All of the developed replaceable link details, except the web connected links, are not suitable for link replacement under residual frame drift. In this paper, a detachable replaceable link detail which is based on splicing the link at its mid-length is proposed. The detail is well suited for installation under residual frame drifts. In addition, the weight and size of the members to be transported and erected are reduced significantly, thereby facilitating the replacement procedure. Performance of this proposed replaceable link is studied by conducting six nearly full scale EBF tests under quasi-static cyclic loading. The link length ratio, type of end-plated mid-splice connection, and the amount of residual drift are considered as test variables. The test results revealed that the inelastic rotation capacity of the detachable replaceable links exceeds the requirements of the AISC Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings. No failures are observed in the end-plated mid-splice connections demonstrating the potential of the proposed details. The detachable replaceable links are investigated by numerical analysis as well to further validate their applicability and to develop design recommendations.