In this paper a robust 2-noded connection element has been developed for modelling the bolted end-plate connection between a steel beam and column at elevated temperatures. The connection element allows the element nodes to be placed at the reference plane with offset and the non-uniform temperature distributions within the connection. In this model the connection failure due to bending, axial tension, compression and vertical shear are considered. The influence of the axial tensile force of the connected beam on the connection is also taken into account. This model has the advantages of both the previous simple and component-based models. A total of 23 fire tests were used to extensively validate the model. It can be seen that the current model is robust and has a capability to predict the behaviour of a bolted end-plate connection under fire attack with reasonable accuracy. Compared to the tested results the predictions of the current model were mainly on the conservative side. Hence, the model can be used for structural fire engineering design on steel-framed composite buildings. The idea described in this paper can also easily be applied to develop other kinds of connections, such as simple connections, column based connections or hollow section connections, and so on. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
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