Numerical study and practical design of beam-to-column connections with shape memory alloys

Chi Ho Michael Yam, Cheng Fang, Angus C.C. Lam, Yanyang Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports a comprehensive numerical study on end-plate beam-to-column connections equipped with NiTi shape memory alloys (SMAs). The numerical modelling strategy is first validated through comparisons with seven full scale tests conducted by the authors. The FE predictions correlate well with the test results, especially in terms of the deformation mode, strain reading, moment-rotation response, residual deformation, and equivalent viscous damping. Following the validation study, a parametric study is performed considering the effects of bolt layout, bolt length/diameter, beam-to-connection strength ratio, end-plate thickness, column web panel deformation, and shear resisting mechanism. In order to overcome a major issue identified from the parametric study, i.e. shear slippage, an improved HS-SMA hybrid solution is proposed. One of the novel concepts is the employment of HS bolts in collaboration with SMA Belleville washers, where the latter are used to absorb the bolt row deformation, to enable connection recentring, and to offer supplementary energy dissipation. A detailed FE model is established to confirm the feasibility of the HS-SMA hybrid connection, and an analytical model is also developed for normal design of such connections. A set of design rules for practical use are also proposed, and the required future studies are finally identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Extended end-plate connection
  • Numerical study
  • Recentring
  • Shape memory alloy (SMA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical study and practical design of beam-to-column connections with shape memory alloys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this