Replaceable links with direct brace attachments for eccentrically braced frames

Bozkurt M. B., Topkaya C.

EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING & STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS, vol.46, pp.2121-2139, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/eqe.2896
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2121-2139
  • Keywords: eccentrically braced frame, steel, replaceable link, experimental testing, inelastic rotations, EXPERIMENTAL VALIDATION, SHEAR LINKS, OVERSTRENGTH, BEHAVIOR
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper reports findings of an experimental study conducted on replaceable links for steel eccentrically braced frames (EBFs). A replaceable link detail which is based on splicing the directly connected braces and the beam outside the link is proposed. This detail eliminates the need to use hydraulic jacks and flame cutting operations for replacement purposes. Performance of this proposed replaceable link was studied by conducting eight nearly full-scale EBF tests under quasi-static cyclic loading. The link length ratio, stiffening of the link, loading protocol, connection type, bolt pretension, gap size of splice connections, and demand-to-capacity ratios of members were considered as the prime variables. The specimens primarily showed two types of failure modes: link web fracture and fracture of the flange at the link-to-brace connection. No failures were observed at the splice connections indicating that the proposed replaceable link detail provides an excellent response. The inelastic rotation capacity provided by the replaceable links satisfied the requirements of the AISC Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (AISC341-10). The overstrength factor of the links exceeded 2.0, which is larger than the value assumed for EBF links by design provisions. The high level of overstrength resulted in brace buckling in one of the specimens demonstrating the importance of overstrength factor used for EBF links. Copyright (C) 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.