Cyclic behavior and finite element modeling of wide flange steel bracing members

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Wide-flange (WF) bracing members are being used increasingly in concentrically braced frames (CBFs). The limited number of tests WF members performed to date highlights the need for a detailed finite element model with a reliable fracture rule to understand the hysteresis behavior and to predict the fracture of WF braces subjected to cyclic loading. Building a reliable finite element model is cost effective compared to the high expense of experiments, especially when brace sizes are large and thus require a high capacity test frame with powerful actuators. Nine WF quasi-static cyclic brace tests (Fell et al., 2006; Tremblay et al., 2008; Richard, 2009) are used to validate the finite element model presented here. Material variations on the cross-sectional level are considered. Results indicate that the current model is able to simulate the overall hysteresis behavior of the WF braces accurately. Fracture in the plastic hinge that developed at the mid-length of specimens tested by Tremblay and Richard is predicted through a calibrated cyclic void growth model (CVGM) for ultra-low cycle fatigue. In addition, the current model is able to simulate the shift in the location of mid-length plastic hinge. The effects of mesh density, number of integration points, boundary conditions, initial imperfection, initial yield strength, and loading protocol on the hysteresis behavior of WF bracing members are also investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Finite element model
  • Fracture life
  • Ultra-low cycle fatigue
  • Wide-flange bracing members
  • k-area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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