Experimental and numerical investigation of mechanical properties on novel modular connections with superimposed beams
AuthorMa, R; Xia, J; Chang, H; Xu, B; Zhang, L
Source TitleEngineering Structures
University of Melbourne Author/sZhang, Lihai
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMa, R., Xia, J., Chang, H., Xu, B. & Zhang, L. (2021). Experimental and numerical investigation of mechanical properties on novel modular connections with superimposed beams. Engineering Structures, 232, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2021.111858.
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The use of lightweight modular construction becomes increasing popular all around the world today. The benefits of off-site prefabrication include consistent quality, shorter construction time, eco-friendly function which are being realized in both residential and commercial building construction. The connection of modular building plays a critical role in ensuring the stability, robustness and seismic resistance of buildings. However, conventional connection design for modular buildings (e.g. blind flange gaskets, on-site welding or open large access holes) ignores the potentiation of composite effect on the stability of the modular buildings. This study presents a novel modular connection configuration (i.e. Type A modular connection) for connecting modular units to columns in both vertical and horizontal directions by an in-build component. The proposed connection can bring the floor beam of upper units and ceiling beam of bottom units into an integrated system with the advantages of easy installation without on-site welding. The mechanical behavior of modular connection was firstly experimentally investigated. An experimentally validated numerical model was then developed to further investigate the mechanical and deformation behavior of the joint. The results show that the proposed novel connection could allow the twins beam to rotate identically. In addition, they demonstrate that the twin beams’ flexural stiffness ratio and gap between in-build component and column are two critical factors that govern the continuity of the overall joint.
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