Seismic design and experiment of single and coupled corner gusset connections in a full-scale two-story buckling-restrained braced frame

Pao Chun Lin, Keh Chyuan Tsai, An Chien Wu, Ming Chieh Chuang, Chao Hsien Li, Kung Juin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


A gusset plate is subjected to forces induced from a buckling-restrained brace (BRB) and frame action. In this study, a performance-based design method of the gusset connections incorporating a BRB and frame actions is investigated. The force demands resulting from the BRB axial force are computed from the generalized uniform force method. The force demands induced from the frame action effects primarily result from beam shear. A conservative method, which considers the beam axial force effect and the thereafter reduced beam flexural capacity possibly developed at the gusset tips, is adopted in estimating the maximum beam shear. An improved equivalent strut model is used to represent the gusset plate subjected to the frame action effect. The total force demands of the gusset connection are combined from the BRB force and the frame actions. For design purposes, the stress distributions on the gusset interfaces are linearized. The maximum von Mises stress combining the normal and shear stresses is considered as the demand for the gusset plate design. In order to verify the effectiveness of the proposed design method, experiments on a two-story full-scale buckling-restrained braced frame (BRBF) were performed. The chevron and single diagonal brace configurations were arranged in the second and the first stories, respectively. Two different corner gusset connection configurations including one single corner gusset and one coupled corner gusset connection, where two braces in adjacent stories joined at the same beam-to-column joint, were tested. The BRBF specimen was subjected to cyclically increasing lateral displacements with a maximum frame drift of 0.04rad. The maximum story drifts reached 0.035 and 0.061rad. in the first and the second stories, respectively. At the end of the tests, no fractures were observed on any of the gusset interfaces. Along the gusset interfaces, the normal and shear stress distributions computed from the proposed design procedures and the FEM analysis correlated well with the experimental results. This paper concludes with the procedure and recommendations for the performance-based design of gusset connections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2177-2198
Number of pages22
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 25

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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