Phase 2 Project Summary
    Topical Investigations in System Performance
    Task Number: 5.4.6 

    Investigation of the Effect of Connection Fractures on Safety and Reliability of Steel Moment Resisting Frame Systems 

    Principal Investigator: C. Allin Cornell 
    Stanford University 

        The specific objectives of this task are to identify the effect on seismic performance of fractures in the beam, column or connection regions of steel moment-resisting frames, and to develop a theoretically sound, yet practical conceptual method (consistent with the reliability-based framework established for the project) to account for the possibility of connection fractures in the evaluation and rehabilitation of existing steel frame buildings and in the design of new ones. This method and understanding will be used along with results of parametric analyses and other investigations to address the questions raised previously; that is: 

    1. How to assess the safety of existing typical steel frame structures used in various seismic hazard regions considering the possibility of connection fractures? 

    2. Under what circumstances can the integrity (safety) of a structure be compromised as a result of connection fractures? 

    3. How to assess the safety of damaged steel buildings following a potentially damaging earthquake so that appropriate recovery actions may be taken? 

    4. How to evaluate the need for repair, upgrading or partial upgrading of buildings following damaging earthquakes? 

    5. How to account for the possibility of connection fractures in the design of new steel frames as well as in the evaluation and rehabilitation of existing ones to achieve a desired performance level and reliability? 

    The detailed breakdown of the technical activities in this task are provided in the workstatement available here

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