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I like to get response from members of this listserver (not limited to CA engineers please) on how the favorite frame analysis program of yours consider the rigidity of frame connections.  For the moment, let's focus on steel connections only.

I like to point to the AISC Manual of Steel Construction, Volume II Connections, 1st Edition.  On the Forward section, it stated,

"The behavior of a steel (my note, or R/C) frame depends on the behavior of the connection which, in turn, depends on teh connection design..........Connection behavior is usually defined by its moment-rotation relationship, Fig 1.  AISC classifies connection ...

Rigid ----- Type 1 ------- Fully Rigid(FR)
Simple --- Type 2 ------- Partially Rigid (PR)
Semi-rigid - Type 3 ------ Partially Rigid (PR)

.......However, experience with certain connection design has demonstrated that a connection can be safely defined as rigid or pinned.  The analysis of the strength and behavior of structural steel connections is very complex and, considering the many simplifying assumptions made, the designer should avoid placing undue emphasis on an anlysis based on elastic theory in designing these connections........".  Then refernce were made to Section A2.2, B9 and J1.2, where the term "inelastic" appears.

Note that this handbook is not intended for Seismic Design.

Please comment on:
How you "design" connections?
How does the program you use handle the rigidity issue?

Y. Henry Huang

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