Elastic buckling strength of gusset plate connections

J. J.Roger Cheng, Chi Ho Michael Yam, S. Z. Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the elastic compressive behavior of gusset plate connections, eight tests are performed with gusset plate thickness, gusset plate size, and out-of-plane restraint of the diagonal bracing member as test parameters. The effects of the framing members on the gusset plate are neglected in the testing program. It is found that the primary failure mode of gusset plate connections loaded in compression is gusset plate buckling. The buckling can be classified as sway buckling and local buckling depending on the out-of-plane restraint of the diagonal bracing member. The elastic buckling strength of the specimens is affected significantly by the gusset plate thickness and the out-of-plane restraint of the bracing member. The finite-element analysis by the program ANSYS gives reasonable predictions of the buckling strength of the gusset plate connection. A parametric study was performed using ANSYS. It is found from the parametric study that splicing member should always be extended toward the beam and column boundary as close as possible in order to improve the buckling strength of the connection. The parametric study also indicates that increasing the thickness of the splice plate the buckling strength of the gusset plate increases significantly. Therefore, the use of tee-sections or back to back angles as the splicing member are recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-559
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering (United States)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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