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PEER Research Project Highlight: “Dissipative Base Connections for Moment Frame Structures in Airports and other Transportation Systems”

The impact of a PEER funded research project “Dissipative Base Connections for Moment Frame Structures in Airports and other Transportation Systems” is highlighted below. The project Principal Investigator is Amit M. Kanvinde, Professor, UC Davis. The research team includes Vincente Pericoli, Post-doctoral Researcher, UC Davis; Yazhi Zhu, Post-doctoral Researcher, UC Davis; Mason Walters, Forell Elsesser, PEER BIP; Geoff Bomba, Forell Elsesser, PEER BIP; and Ali Roufegarinejad, Forell Elsesser, PEER BIP.

Download the Research Project Highlight which includes the abstract. (PDF)

Research Impact:

Column base connections are an essential component of a huge number of transportation structures. Moreover, they are possibly the most important connections in these structures because they carry the largest forces, and also interact with the frame affecting its response. Current design/construction practices for base connections as well as the structures that utilize them have major conservatisms in material requirements (e.g., deeper embedment or large anchor rods) and inefficiencies (e.g., multiple concrete pours, coordination between steel and concrete trades) that may be eliminated by more research on embedded base connections. These outcomes (mitigation of conservatisms and inefficiencies) will be particularly impactful for two reasons:

  • They will affect all structures that employ steel-concrete footing connections. These impacts are not limited to one connection detail or issue and have a broad impact affecting possibly thousands of transportation structures.
  • Research on base connections is much less developed compared to other connections (beam-column connections). As a result, we are on the steep part of the learning curve, such that major (rather than incremental) advances in our understanding of these connections are expected.

These impacts will be pursued through early and sustained engagement with key code/standard committees, including at the American Institute of Steel Construction.