Analytical investigation and the design of the compressive strength of steel gusset plate connections

N. Sheng, Chi Ho Michael Yam, V. P. Iu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


A parametric study of the inelastic compressive behaviour and strength of gusset plate connections is presented in this paper. The study is performed by the commercial finite element program ABAQUS. Based on the parametric study, general design guidelines are proposed. To increase the buckling strength of gusset plate connections efficiently and improve the energy absorption behaviour of the connections under cyclic loading, adding the centerline stiffener along the splice member as close to the beam and column boundaries as possible and/or adding free edge stiffeners are recommended. In addition, welded connection between the splice member and the gusset plate is recommended. The splice member with higher bending rigidity such as tee-sections and channel sections should always be used. Shaping the gusset plate according to 30° load dispersion angle may be recommended to reduce the size of the connection between the gusset plate and the beam and column boundaries provided that the splice member is sufficiently extended beyond the bending line. Finally, a design method accompanied by some design charts for rectangular type gusset plates subject to compression is proposed based on an inelastic plate buckling equation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1493
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2002


  • Design charts
  • General design guidelines
  • Gusset plate connection
  • Inelastic plate buckling equation
  • Parametric study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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