Strength upgrading of steel storage rack frames in the down-aisle direction
El Kadi, Bassel
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El Kadi, Bassel; Cosgun, Cumhur; Mangir, Atakan; Kiymaz, Guven. 2017. Strength upgrading of steel storage rack frames in the down-aisle direction. Steel & Composite Structures, vol. 23:no. 2:pp 143-152
This paper focuses on the seismic performance of pallet-type steel storage rack structures in their down aisle direction. As evidenced by experimental research, the seismic response of storage racks in the down-aisle direction is strongly affected by the nonlinear moment-rotation response of the beam-to-column connections. In their down-aisle direction, rack structures are designed to resist lateral seismic loads with typical moment frames utilizing proprietary beam-to-column momentresisting connections. These connections are mostly boltless hooked type connections and they exhibit significantly large rotations resulting in large lateral frame displacements when subjected to strong ground motions. In this paper, typical hooked boltless beam-to-column connections are studied experimentally to obtain their non-linear reversed cyclic moment-rotation response. Additionally, a compound type connection involving the standard hooks and additional bolts were also tested under similar conditions. The simple introduction of the additional bolts within the hooked connection is considered to be a practical way of structural upgrade in the connection. The experimentally evaluated characteristics of the connections are compared in terms of some important performance indicators such as maximum moment and rotation capacity, change in stiffness and accumulated energy levels within the cyclic loading protocol. Finally, the obtained characteristics were used to carry out seismic performance assessment of rack frames incorporating the tested beam-to-column connections. The assessment involves a displacement based approach that utilizes a simple analytical model that captures the seismic behavior of racks in their downaisle direction. The results of the study indicate that the proposed method of upgrading appears to be a very practical and effective way of increasing the seismic performance of hooked connections and hence the rack frames in their down-aisle direction.
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