Adhesively bonded tubular steel joints: Numerical modelling and capacity prediction
Tubular structures, owing to their constructive and architectonical advantages, are largelyused in many different areas of structural steel construction. Usually, connections of steeltubes are realized by means of welding. When subjected to fatigue loads, cracks start from theweld seams located inside the tubes, where they are difficult to detect. In the framework ofthis project, it was aimed to investigate to which extend welding can be substituted byadhesive bonding, thus overcoming the fatigue issues.The study presented herein developed the concept of bonded connections between steel tubesand cast-steel nodes, and their experimental assessment. The emphasis was set onto theconditions prevalent on the building site, as well as on the requirements that result on theadherents, the surfaces and the adhesives. Experiments were conducted on a large variety ofdifferent geometries (diameters ranging from 40 mm to 300 mm), with two differentadhesives, under static, creep and fatigue loads , .Besides the investigations on the joint level, effort has been put into an accuratecharacterization of the mechanical behavior at the bonded interface, with the aim to predictjoint capacity of glued tubular connections.In conclusion, the research allows for an insight to the topic of adhesively bonded connectionsapplied to structural steel engineering, particularly to procedures to be followed whendimensioning such joints.