Experimental investigation of wire arc additively manufactured steel single-lap shear bolted connections

Publication Name

Thin-Walled Structures


An experimental investigation into the structural performance of wire arc additively manufactured (WAAM) steel single-lap shear bolted connections is presented in this paper. The steel wire had a nominal yield stress of 420 MPa. Sixty specimens of different thicknesses, printing strategies and geometric features including end distances and plate widths were tested and analysed. The shear-out, net section tension fracture, localised tearing and curl-bearing failure modes were observed and discussed, while end-splitting was also evident. Digital image correlation (DIC) was used for detailed monitoring and visualisation of the surface strain fields that developed during testing, providing valuable insight into the developed failure mechanisms. The experimental results, which generally followed the anticipated trends, were used to assess the applicability of current design specifications developed for conventional steel bolted connections to WAAM steel bolted connections. It was found that both the cold-formed steel specifications (AISI S100 and AS/NZS 4600) and the structural steel specifications (AISC 360 and EN 1993-1) devised for conventionally manufactured steel elements, could yield considerable overestimations and underestimations of the test capacities, depending on the geometry. The overestimations are caused by shortcomings in the existing design provisions for out-of-plane failure modes, which are particularly prevalent among WAAM steel connections due to their material ductility and surface undulations, which promote curling. The underestimations relate primarily to the conservatism of the shear-out provisions. Further research is underway to underpin the development of improved design provisions.

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Funding Sponsor

Horizon 2020 Framework Programme



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