Brandon Price, Dr. Shih-Ho (Simon) Chao’s Master’s student, has been awarded the East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The competitive fellowship affords the student the opportunity to head a collaborative research project at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan with Dr. Taichiro Okazaki, a renowned expert in the area of steel structure beam-to-column connections, structural mechanics, and earthquake engineering. The research will focus on improving the seismic performance and economic viability of steel Special Moment Frames (SMFs). The first phase of this project will focus on the enhancement of beam-to-column connections between HSS columns and wide-flange beams. The second phase will be an investigation into the elimination of welding in beam-splices for wide-flange sections by utilization of a specialized adhesive. Beam-to-column sub-assemblage specimens will be tested using a quasi-static loading protocol, simulating the effects of seismic excitation on SMFs. Subsequent tests will be carried out to improve the performance of the connection and mitigate the effects of plastic flow restraint and low-cycle fatigue. Then, the results will be analyzed and used to develop a pre-qualified moment connection. In addition, wide-flange adhesive beam-splices will be tested under both three and four point bending. The results of the tests will be used to derive a design equation for the interaction of shear force and bending moment.
Brandon will work with Dr. Okazaki at Hokkaido University this summer (2014) and will also get involved in activities at E-Defense, the largest earthquake shake-table testing facility in the world (located in Miki City, Japan).