Structural mechanics characterization of steel intermeshed connection using nonlinear finite element analysis

Mohammad E. Shemshadian, Arturo E. Schultz, Jia Liang Le, Debra F. Laefer, Salam Al-Sabah, Patrick McGetrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study is to develop insights into the structural performance of a recently developed ‘intermeshed’ steel connection, which transfers loads mainly through direct contact rather than by welds or bolts. This investigation was conducted through a step-by-step state assessment of the intermeshed connection subjected to multiple scenarios of gravity loading and by use of a nonlinear finite element platform. Implementation of the intermeshed connection would cause a discontinuity in the beam, so this paper addresses concerns regarding the load-transfer mechanisms and failure modes for these connections. The finite element simulations were performed in Abaqus, which is capable of handling material and geometrical nonlinearity, as well as the contact between individual surfaces. In order to verify the accuracy of these simulations, the numerical results were compared with experimental data from four physical tests. Finally, some important factors of influence such as connection segments sizes, lateral constraint, support conditions, and failure modes were also investigated through numerical analysis. The results of finite element analysis on different prototypes of steel intermeshed connection showed that the specimens with this connection provided sufficient ductility and resistance to meet design requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112264
JournalEngineering Structures
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Failure mode
  • Finite element analysis
  • Intermeshed connection
  • Steel structures
  • Strain
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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