Finite element analyses of flush end-plate connections between steel beams and columns at elevated temperatures

Ali Shrih*, Adeeb Rahman, Khalifa S. Al-Jabri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a finite element analysis procedure developed to study the behaviour of a flush end-plate connection between steel beams and a column at elevated temperatures and generates temperature-rotation diagrams that describe the behaviour of the connection. The analysis uses a highly detailed three dimensional finite element model that is created using the commercial ANSYS software. The steel connection properties are selected in a way that reflects commonly used connections in steel framed buildings. The results of the finite element model are calibrated and compared to the results of experimental fire tests conducted on similar connections. This comparison shows a deviation of about 12% which is reasonable considering the complexity and the nonlinear nature of the analysis. Furthermore, the same methodology used to create the finite element model of isolated steel connections is then used to create a sub-frame constructed with similar connections. Both the applied loads and the dimensions of the model represent a part of a typical steel framed building that is subjected to a fire outbreak in one of its bays. The results indicate that at low temperatures, the main beam is snugly fixed and the joints at both sides provide full rigidity whereas at elevated temperatures the central deflection is rapidly increased because of plastic hinge formation. Although this frame has not been tested in reality, the finite element model gives a prediction of the failure mechanism of such a frame under fire loads without the use of expensive full scale testing facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-324
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Structural Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Bare steel
  • Elevated temperature
  • Finite element modelling
  • Fire modelling
  • Flush end-plate connection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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