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Abstract

Cold-formed structure connections utilizing gusset plates are usually semi-rigid. This paper investigates the behaviours of rectangular gusset plates in cold-formed connections of elements whose columns and beams are made with lipped back-to-back C-sections. Methods of calculating strength and stiffness are necessary for such semi-rigid joints. The main task of this paper is to determine a method capable of calculating these characteristics. The proposed analytical method could then be easily adapted to the component method that is described in part 1993-1-8 of the Eurocode. This method allows us to calculate both the strength and stiffness of rectangular gusset plates, assuming that the joint deforms only in plane. This method of design moment resistance calculation was presented taking into account that an entire cross-section shall reach its yield stress. A technique of stiffness calculation was presented investigating the sum of deformations acquired at the bending moment and from shear forces which are transmitted from each beam bolt group. Calculation results according to the suggested method show good agreement of laboratory experimental results of specimens with numerical simulations. Two specimens of beam-to-column connections were tested in the laboratory. Lateral supports were used on the specimens to prevent lateral displacements in order to better investigate the behaviour of the rectangular gusset plate in plane. Experiments were simulated by modelling rectangular gusset plates using standard finite element software ANSYS Workbench 14.0. Three-dimensional solid elements were used for modelling and both geometric and material nonlinear analysis was performed.
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