Monotonic and Cyclic Simulation of Screw-Fastened Connections for Cold-Formed Steel Framing
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This thesis introduces an approach for modeling the monotonic and cyclic response of cold-formed steel framing screw-fastened connections in commercial finite element programs. The model proposed and verified herein lays the groundwork for seismic modeling of cold-formed steel (CFS) framing including shear walls, gravity walls, floor and roof diaphragms, and eventually whole building seismic analysis considering individual fastener behavior and CFS structural components modeled with thin-shell elements. An ABAQUS user element (UEL) is written and verified for a nonlinear hysteretic model that can simulate pinching and strength and stiffness degradation consistent with CFS screw-fastened connections. The user element is verified at the connection level, including complex cyclic deformation paths, by comparing to OpenSees connection simulation results. The connection model is employed in ABAQUS shear wall simulations of recent monotonic and cyclic experiments where each screw-fastened connection is represented as a UEL. The experimental and simulation results are consistent for shear wall load-deformation response and cyclic strength and stiffness degradation, confirming the validity of the UEL element and demonstrating that light steel framing performance can be directly studied with simulations as an alternative to experiments.
- Masters Theses