Guidelines for preliminary design of beams in eccentrically braced frames
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Seismic-resistant steel eccentrically braced frames (EBFs) are designed so that that yielding during earthquake loading is restricted primarily to the ductile links. To achieve this behavior, all members other than the link are designed to be stronger than the link, i.e. to develop the capacity of the link. However, satisfying these capacity design requirements for the beam segment outside of the link can be difficult in the overall design process of an EBF. In some cases, it may be necessary to make significant changes to the configuration of the EBF in order to satisfy beam design requirements. If this discovery is made late in the design process, such changes can be costly. The overall goal of this research was to develop guidelines for preliminary design of EBFs that will result in configurations where the beam is likely to satisfy capacity design requirements. Simplified approximate equations were developed to predict the axial force and moment in the beam segment outside of the link when link ultimate strength is developed. These equations, although approximate, provided significant insight into variables that affect capacity design of the beam. These equations were then used to conduct an extensive series of parametric studies on a wide variety of EBF configurations. The results of these studies show that the most important variables affecting beam design are 1) the nondimensional link length, 2) the ratio of web area to total area for the wide flange section used for the beam and link, 3) the angle between the brace and the beam, and 4) the flexural stiffness of the brace relative to the beam. Recommendations are provided for selection of values for these variables in preliminary design.