Finite Element Simulations on the Tensile Resistance of Bolted End-Plate Connections with Tubular Members

Maël Couchaux2, Mario D’Aniello1, *, Lucia Falciano1, Beatrice Faggiano1, Mohammed Hjiaj2, Raffaele Landolfo1
1 Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Italy
2 Laboratoire de Génie Civil et Génie Mécanique, Institut national des sciences appliquées de Rennes, Rennes, France

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 4218
Abstract HTML Views: 2230
PDF Downloads: 1332
ePub Downloads: 1125
Total Views/Downloads: 8905
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1883
Abstract HTML Views: 1067
PDF Downloads: 751
ePub Downloads: 540
Total Views/Downloads: 4241

Creative Commons License
© 2018 Couchaux et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, D’Aniello Mario, via forno vecchio 36, 80134 Napoli, Italy; Tel: +390812538917 ; E-mail:



Bolted end-plate connections represent the simplest and cheapest way to connect tubular members. EN1993:1-8 provides the general rules based on component method. However, in the case of splices with tubular members the proper definition of the effective length around corner bolts is not clearly addressed.


The objective of the study is to investigate the accuracy and the effectiveness of the existing analytical predictions to estimate the tensile resistance of end-plate connections with tubular members where corner bolts are adopted.


Parametric finite element analyses were carried out to investigate the tensile strength of connections of both square and rectangular hollow sections.


The tension resistance is largely influenced by the corner bolts. Indeed, the connections with corner bolts exhibit larger resistance that increases when the bolts are closer to the corner of the tubular member. However, reducing the distance between the bolt and the wall of the tubular section can affect the splice ductility.


• The method proposed Steige and Weynand to calculate the tension resistance of connections with bolts distributed on all sides of the splice is consistent with EN 1993-1-8.

• The finite element simulations showed that the corner bolts can increase the resistance of the connection. In addition, the bolt layout can be optimised by placing the bolts as close to the hollow section as possible.

Keywords: Bolted connection, Steel joints, Tubular member, Eurocode 3, Component method, Finite element analysis.