Simplified structural behaviours of post-tensioned inter-module connection for modular buildings

Andrew William Lacey, Wensu Chen, Hong Hao, Kaiming Bi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


When designing modular buildings, the structural behaviour of the inter-module connections (IMCs) must be simplified so they can be incorporated in the structural model. However, the existing models for the shear, axial and moment-rotation behaviour are limited, and further study is required to develop improved models. In this study, the shear, axial and moment-rotation behaviours of a post-tensioned IMC are investigated. A numerical model is developed and calibrated based on the shear behaviour obtained from experiments. Following the experiments, a simplified empirical model is proposed for the shear behaviour. The numerical model is then extended to determine the axial and moment-rotation behaviour. Simplified analytical models are derived and compared with the numerical results. Further, the numerical results are compared with the behaviour of other existing IMCs, for which experimental data are available in the literature. In this way, simplified models which can predict the shear, axial and moment-rotation behaviour of the post-tensioned IMC are developed. The developed simplified models can be used to predict the behaviour of modular structures with the newly proposed post-tensioned IMC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106347
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytical model
  • Inter-module connection
  • Modular building
  • Post-tensioned bolted connection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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