Experimental and Numerical Study on Shear Behaviour of Bolted Inter-Modular Connection

Heshachanaa Rajanayagam, Tharaka Gunawardena, Priyan Mendis, Keerthan Poologanathan, Gatheeshgar Perampalam, Brabha Nagaratnam, Marco Corradi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This study presents a comprehensive evaluation of the shear behaviour of bolted
intermodular connections under lateral load using theoretical, experimental, and
numerical approaches.
Three design configurations with varying bolt sizes and hole tolerances of the proposed bolted intermodular connection were established and tested under lateral load to study their shear slip resistance. 3D finite element models in ANSYS were then developed and validated against the load-deformation behaviour from the experiment.
The validated models were then used for the comprehensive analysis of the connection components’ response under lateral load. The study showed that the proposed connection has a tendency to fail by slippage even under extremely light lateral loads thereby identifying the connection as a slip-critical connection for the serviceability design. Moreover, it was also found that the main cause of connection failure under lateral load is the combined tension and shear effect, not pure shear.
This paper then presents the developed methodology for estimating the connection stiffness, such that the stiffness values can be used for the global modelling of modular buildings with connections as simplified link or spring elements. Finally, the study suggests recommendations and appropriate strategies to optimize the connection design to further enhance the strength and serviceability requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1375-1380
Number of pages6
Issue number3-4
Early online date12 Sep 2023
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes
EventEurosteel 2023 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 12 Sep 202314 Sep 2023

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