Investigation on Ultimate Strength of STS304L Stainless Steel Welded Connection with Base Metal Fracture Using Finite Element Analysis
Many studies on the application of stainless steels as structural materials in buildings and infra-structures have been performed thanks to superior characteristics of corrosion resistance, fire resistance and aesthetic appeal. Experimental investigation to estimate the ultimate strength and fracture mode of the fillet-welded connections of cold-formed austenitic stainless steel (STS304L) with better intergranular corrosion resistance than that of austenitic stainless steel, STS304 commonly used has carried out by authors. Specimens were fabricated to fail by base metal fracture not weld metal fracture with main variables of weld lengths according to loading direction. All specimens showed a block shear fracture mode. In this paper, finite element analysis model was developed to predict the ultimate behaviors of welded connection and its validity was verified through the comparison with test results. Since the block shear behavior of welded connection due to stress triaxiality and shear-lag effects is different from that of bolted connection, stress and strain distributions in the critical path of tensile and shear fracture section were investigated. Test and analysis strengths were compared with those by current design specifications such as AISC, EC3 and existing researcher's proposed equations. In addition, through parametric analysis with extended variables, the conditions of end distance and longitudinal weld length for block shear fracture and tensile fracture were suggested.
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