Data for Hysteretic modelling of composite reduced web section (RWS) connections in support of steel moment frames under earthquake loading
Whilst there has been extensive research about reduced web section beams; RWS, their behaviour when excited by ground motion and they are overlaid by slabs is yet not well understood. This study fills this knowledge gap by assessing results of a high-definition finite element representation of non-seismically detailed RWS connections with slabs. The effect of the presence of composite action over the web opening is assessed, focusing on effects induced by size and location of the web openings. Simulations show that these connections can reach a 4% interstorey drift, thus allowing them to be part of special moment frames following AISC 341. Moreover, beam, column and joint tearing were avoided entirely, and at the most, brittle failure of bolts in the end plate was observed, a consequence of lack of capacity design. This study aims to increase understanding of the behaviour of joint slab-beam action of RWS connections. This is achieved by formulating parametric high-resolution finite element models in Abaqus©, to represent with detail the interaction of all structural elements in the beam-column connection, focusing on the protected zone. The Finite element model is benchmarked firstly by reproducing results of an experimental campaign performed in beams without perforations. After finding close agreement with laboratory results, 48 different models were analysed. These models studied different configurations with varying hole diameter (d), hole spacing from the column face and inclusion of shear studs to ensure effective coupling of the beam and the slab. Also, models without studs were assessed to explore the advantages of slab decoupling in the protected zone. After its benchmarking, the model was employed to study the effects of varying configurations of the RWS connection on response to cyclic actions. The focus was made on i) distance to the first perforation (S = 1.20h, 1.00h, 0.80h, 0.65h and 0.50h where h is the beam height), ii) perforation diameter (d0 = 0.80h, 0.65h and 0.50h) and iii) allocation of shear studs on the protected zone (either absent or present) leading to the provision of 9 to 7 stud rows over the whole length of the beam. The first case represents high beam-slab coupling while the second represents low beam-slab coupling.