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Top: Kobe Quake, Japan, Jan. 17, 1995. Lower left : San Salvador Quake, EI Salvador, Oct. 10, 1986. Lower right: Michoacan Quake, Mexi co, Sept. 19,1985
Pin-Fuse Joint
us Patent No. 6,681,538 81
Date of Patent: January 27, 2004
Ensuring life safety in structures during and after a seis-
mic event is an architect's and engineer's primary goal.
However, the economic viability of structures following
the event is crucial to initial business investment deci-
sions and long-term business successes. If structures
were capable of resisting potentially destructive earth-
quake forces while altering their characteristics without
permanent deformation, the structure would not only be
safe but also economically superior.
Structures designed and built in regions of high seismic-
ity are conceived with juxtaposing criteria. They must be
designed for strength, providing enough resistance to
protect life safety and avoid collapse. However, they
must be designed economically, using inherent ductility
to dissipate energy by means of reasonably sized struc-
tural members. Traditionally, structural steel building
frames have utilized beam-to-column moment connec-
tions that are welded with the frame beams perpendicu-
lar to the columns. Beams connected to the face of
columns rotate when subjected to racking of the building
frame. These beams are designed to protect the column
integrity and prevent potential collapse by plastically
deforming during frame motion. This deformation, how-
ever, likely decreases post-earthquake integrity and eco-
nomic viability in the process.
Foll owing the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California,
designers, academicians, and building owners found the
conventionally designed steel beam-to-columns moment
connections protected life safety but in many cases
resulted in unsuccessful investment because of failed
joints (cracked welds, cracked steel sections, etc.) and
permanent building deformations. With future perform-
ance questionable and repairs difficult, the design and
construction industry searched for more reliable solu-
tions. Many solutions were proposed and developed.
Some patents were awarded. These solutions varied
from strongly reinforcing the beam-to-column joint with
welded plates to creating slots in the moment-resisting
beam webs to reducing the flange sections of the beams
at the joint (The "Dogbane"). However, none of these
solutions addressed the fundamental behavior issue of
eliminating plastic (permanent yielding) deformations. In
addition, none addressed the natural rotation require-
ments of the joints that must provide resistance as well
as must provide a controlled release of energy when
forces are excessive.
The Pin-Fuse JoinPM allows building movement caused
by a seismic event while maintaining structural elasticity
after strong ground motion. The joint introduces a circl!-
lar-plated end connection for the steel beams framing
into the steel or composite columns within a moment-
resisting frame. Slip-critical friction-type bolts connect
the curved steel end plates. A steel pin or hollow steel
pipe in the center of the moment-frame beam provides a
well-defined rotation point. Under typical service condi-
tions including wind and moderate seismic events, the
joint remains fixed where applied forces do not over-
come the friction resistance provided between the
curved end plates. However, during an extreme event,
the joint is designed to rotate around the pin joint, with
the slip-critical bolts sliding in long-slotted holes in the
curved end plates. With this slip, rotation is allowed,
energy dissipated, and "fusing" occurs.
The rotation of the Pin-Fuse Joint during extreme
seismic events occurs sequentially in designated loca-
tions within the frame. As the slip occurs, the building
frame is softened. The dynamic characteristics of the
frame are altered with a lengthening of the building
period, less forces are attracted by the frame; however, no
inelastic deformation is realized. After the seismic event,
the elastic frame finds its pre-earthquake, natural-cen-
tered position. The brass shim located between the
curved steel plates provides a predictable coefficient of
friction required to determine the onset of slip and enables
the bolts to maintain their tension and consequently
the clamping force after the earthquake has subsided.
69
Conventional structural steel moment-
resisting frame
Conventional Beam-to-Column Joint
(Pre-Northridge Connection)
- Beam flanges fully welded and beam web bolted
to column at joint;
- limited ductility;
- plastic (permanent) deformations expected
after medium-level earthquake.
70
Dogbone or Reduced Beam Section
( Post - Northridge Connection)
- Beam fully welded to column at joint with
partial removal of beam flanges;
- good ductility;
- plastic (permanent) deformations expected
after medium-level earthquake.

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Structural steel moment-resisting frame
illustrating locations of the Pin-Fuse Joint '"
Pin-Fuse Join!'"
- Curved structural steel end plates bolted together
with friction connection;
- pin placed in beam web to created center of rotation;
- no plastic (permanent) deformations even after
extreme seismic event.
First concept sketch, Feb. 12,2002
71
---,J
L

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Conventional structural steel frame subjected to an earthquake
............... -J I ;;:..:o---iiiiiiiiiiiiiii_JI I ;;-- _. _
--=&j] [S::=--' __
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--=
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Pin-Fuse Joint'" frame subjected to an earthquake
72
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t-
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Steel frame compromised after earthquake
Steel frame intact without permanent deformations after earthquake
73
74
rb.
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END
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BOLTS Movr \
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400 ------..--..1--..--
300
200
'2 100
"6.
g
E 0

-100
-200
-300
lie::. V
Moment vs. Rotation
........... --.......-... j
..--.-r.-.". . .. _j
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1
3
_--; __ ._ ....._ ....-_- _.-+i_--_ _ ..l--:
-------:::= ___ ; ____________ .j.-----------i--------- I:_ I -400

-{).03 -0.02 -0.01 0 0.Q1 0.02 0.03
Rolation (in)
4
Stuctural concept for Pin-Fuse Joint'"
2 Specimen testing at Stanford Uni versi ty
3 Frame force diagrams
4 Moment-rotation relati onship graph
75
5
b
76
c
.. ..
.. ..
.. ..
.. ..
6a
5 The Pin-Fuse Joint"' elastically designed for
a 3% rotation at a 475-year seismic event
6 Assembly and construction of the Pin-Fuse Joint
n
., System
a) Pre-fabricated column and beam units
b) Fit-up unit and install brass shims
c) Install f l a n g ~ , friction bolts and web pin
\ ,
d) Install mid-span beam spli ce in erected building frame
7 Upwardly rotated position
8 At-rest position
9 Downwardly rotated position
10 The Pin-Fuse Joint " 'model
d
7
8 9
77
78
(12) United States Patent
Sarkisian
(54) SEISMIC STRUCTURAL DEVICE
(75) Invenlor: Mark I'. Sarkisian, San Anselmo, CA
(US)
(73) Assignee: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP,
New York, NY (US)
(.) NOlice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.c. 154(b) by 1 day.
(21) App!. No.: 10/200,679
(22)
(51)
(52)
(58)
(56)
Filed: Jul . 22, 2002
Int. CI.
7
U.S. Cl.
E04B 7/00
.... 52/289; 521702; 52/167.1;
52/283; 403/335; 403/337
Field of Scarch ......................... 52/ 167.1,283,
52/289,702,736.2; 403/335,336,337,
338,257,258,83,84,87; 248/250
References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,938,294 A 2/1976
3,974,614 A 8/ 1976
4,041,659 A 8/ 1977
4,054,392 A 10/ 1977
4,091,594 A 5/1978
4,344,716 A 8/1982
4,348,129 A 9/ 1982
4,615,157 A 10/ 1986
4,658,556 A 411987
4,779,484 A 1011988
4,781,003 A 1111988
4,922,667 A 511990
4,928,930 A 511990
5,319,907 A 6/ 1994
5,408,798 A 411995
5,491,941 A 2/1996
5,537,790 A 711996
32
12
Gaburri
Strong.
McElhoc.
52/743
521573
52/93.1
...... 403/175
..... 52/737.2
.................... 403/13
............ .. . 403/218
Oppenheim
Yamashita
Sigal ..
Confort i
Murray.
Jenkins.
Poe.
Rizza
.. 52/ 167.4
52/317
74/608
52/396
Kobori et al. ................ 52/167
Chung. 256/67
Nicholas et al. ......... 52/396.05
Hohmann
L,ncelot, III .
Jackson.
Ii.
I
52/562
....... 52/223.9
52/393
26- -11=21
32
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US006681538Bl
(10) Patent No.: US 6,681,538 Bl
Jan. 27, 2004 (45) Date of Patent:
,I.
\ ,
5,797,227 A 811998 ' Garla-Tamez ............. 521167. 1
5,875,598 A 311999 Balten el al. 52/396.Ql
6, 101,780 A 8/2000 Kreidl ....................... '52/712
6, 102,627 A 8/2000 Veda el al. ................. 4051255
6, 115,972 A 9/2000 Tamez ....................... 52/167.4
6,185,897 Hl 2/2001 Jollllson el al. ......... 52/583.1
6,237,292 III 5/2001 Ilegcmier el al. .. 521273
6,289,640 Bl 912001 Veda el al. ................ 521167.9
6,324,795 Bl 12/2001 Sliles el al. ................ 52/ 167.4
200110045069 Al 1112001 Conslanlinou ............. 521167.3
2002/ 0184836 Al 1212002 '[;,kclichi el al.
* ci ted by examiner
Prhnmy Examiner-Carl D. rricdman
Assislallf Examhler---Nahid Amiri
(74) AgellfJ or Firm-Sonnenschcin, Nalb &
Rosenlhal LLP
(57) ABSTRACT
The present invention is a pin-fuse joint generally utili zed in
a beam-to-columnjoint assembly subject to extreme seismic
loading. The pin-fuse joint resists bending moments and
shears generated by these loads. The joint is comprised of
standard structural steel building materials, but may be
applied to structures comprised of s tructural steel, reinforced
concrete, and or composite materials, e.g., a combination of
s tructural steel and reinforced concrete. The bcam-to-
column assembly is comprised of a column and a beam and
a plate assembly that extends betwcen the column and the
beam. TIle platc assembly is we lded to the column and is
attached to the beam via the pio-fuse joint. The pin fuse joint
is created by a pin connection througb the beam and the
connection plates of the plale as.o;;ernbly at the web of the
beam. Addilionally, bOlh Ihe plale assembly and Ihe beam
have curved flange end connectors that sit flush against one
another separated only by a brass shim when the beam and
plate assembly arc joined. The curved flange end connectors
of the beam and plate assembly arc then secured against one
anolher by torqued high-slrenglh bolts.
13 Claims, 7 DJ'3wing Sheets
24
------Ii.
FIG.
26
FIG. 8
/ '0
32
36

FIG. 10

24



2


\6 16 14
I: I ;V I ;V I I;V
14
30
I
28 _
:1
I!
22 'i 25
-=- 1!!t -
36 =
I
FIG, 4
FIG. 5
i

12
32
FIG,
FIG. 1 Perspective view of one
embodiment of a beam-to-column
joint assembly
FIG. 2 Exploded front view of
beam-to-column joint assembly
FIG. 2a Front view of a pipe/pin
assembly and web stiffener used
to connect the moment-resisting
beam to the plate assembly
FIG. 3 Exploded top view of
beam-to-column joint assembly
FIG. 4 Cross sectional view of
plate assembly (Fig. 2) taken
along line A-A
FIG. 5 Cross sectional view of
plate assembly (Fig. 2) taken
along line B-B
66
FIG. 6
FIG.
Ii.
I
26

9
FIG. 6 Cross sectional view of
moment-resisting beam (Fig. 2)
taken along line C-C
FIG. 7 Cross sectional view of
moment-resisting beam (Fig. 2)
taken along line 0-0
"
7
FIG. 8 Front view of one
embodiment of beam-to-column
joint assembly
FIG. 9 Top view of one embodi-
ment of beam-to-column joint
assembly
FIG. 10 Perspective view of
beam-to-column joint assembly as
it would appear with pin-fuse joint
rotated when subject to extreme
loading conditions