American Society of Civil Engineers

Seismic-Resistant Weld-Free Steel Frame Buildings with Mechanical Joints and Hysteretic Dampers

by Kazuo Inoue, (Prof., Dept. of Arch. and Architectural Systems, Kyoto Univ., Katsura, Kyoto 615-8504, Japan. E-mail:, Keiichiro Suita, (corresponding author), (Assoc. Prof., Disaster Prevention Res. Inst., Kyoto Univ., Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan E-mail:, Ichiro Takeuchi, (Sr. Researcher, Steel Structure Res. and Development Ctr., Nippon Steel Corp., Futtsu, Chiba 293-0011, Japan. E-mail:, Praween Chusilp, (Postdoctoral Fellow, Disaster Prevention Res. Inst., Kyoto Univ., Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan. E-mail:, Masayoshi Nakashima, M.ASCE, (Prof., Disaster Prevention Res. Inst., Kyoto Univ., Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan. E-mail:, and Feng Zhou, (Grad. Student, Dept. of Arch., Kyoto Univ., Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan. E-mail:

Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 132, No. 6, June 2006, pp. 864-872, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper presents an innovative structural system, named weld-free system, developed to overcome the difficulty in the quality assurance encountered in construction of steel moment resisting frames with conventional welded connections. The proposed structural system adopts a mechanical joint equipped with metallic-yielding damper as beam-to-column connection, wherein slip-critical joints are made by recently developed super high-strength bolts. The structural configuration and load-carrying mechanism of weld-free steel structures are described herein. Key features of the super high-strength bolts are also introduced. Furthermore, an experimental verification is presented. Cyclic tests were conducted on full-scale models of weld-free beam–column subassemblies and one base-line specimen with conventional welded connection. The test results clearly reveal the efficiency of the weld-free system in enhancing large and stable hysteresis loops while maintaining the beams and columns virtually in the elastic range until the ultimate state of the structure. It is also verified that the load-carrying mechanism of weld-free systems can be predicted very well by the presented theoretical solutions.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Steel frames
Earthquake resistant structures
Cyclic loads
Seismic effects