A simplified analytical method for unbraced composite frames with semi-rigid connections
The original Muto's method for the lateral force analysis of conventional unbraced bare steel frames is first modified to incorporate the effects of semi-rigid beam-to-column connections. From which, equations for the calculation of the inter-storey drifts of these frames are formulated using first principles. By comparing the frame analytical results calculated from a rigorous finite element programme, it is shown that the proposed method gives reasonably accurate internal forces and inter-storey drifts estimations of a sway bare steel frame with semi-rigid connections. The proposed modified Muto's method is then further developed for the manual analysis of unbraced composite frame systems by introducing an improved equivalent beam stiffness to account for the variation of the beam stiffness in the hogging and sagging moment regions. The accuracy of this simplified analytical method is verified by the rigorous finite element analysis of an unbraced composite frame with semi-rigid connections. Last, a parametric study is conducted to quantify the effects of semi-rigid connections on the inter-storey drifts of unbraced composite frames under lateral loads.