Cracks are commonly observed at the hot spot stress location of tubular joints and it can be due to fatigue, accidental damage or corrosion. As a consequence, the plastic collapse load (Pc) of the tubular joints is reduced, and hence it is necessary to produce design guidance which can safely be used to estimate the static residual strength of cracked tubular structures in practice. This paper proposes a new expression for determining the reduction factor (FAR) of cracked square hollow section (SHS) K-joints. A completely new and robust finite element mesh generator which is validated using the full scale experimental test results is used for the parametric study to propose the new FAR expressions for cracked SHS K-joints. The crack area and the brace to chord width ratio (β) are shown to have the most profound effect on the Pc load of cracked SHS K-joints. For a given value of crack area, the variation of the FAR values is up to 3.6% for different values of β. Furthermore, the FAR values calculated using the existing equation given in the latest BS 7910:2013 + A1:2015 for circular hollow section (CHS) joints are revealed to be conservative up to 23.5%.
- finite element analysis
- plastic collapse loads
- reduction factor
- square hollow section K-joint