Since the construction of the distinct cable net roof structure of the 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium, there has been a renaissance in the use of structural cast steel connections in buildings and bridges in Europe. More recently, the movement has crossed the ocean to North America. Although castings have been employed primarily in architecturally exposed structures, where the cast elements and the structural members to which they are connected are designed to remain elastic under all loading conditions, researchers have recently demonstrated that the freedom to control geometry and material properties makes steel castings an attractive solution for more severe loading conditions, such as seismic-resistant connections for steel structures.
This paper presents a new cast steel connector that acts as the energy-dissipating element in a concentrically braced frame. Seismic energy is dissipated through inelastic flexural yielding of specially designed yielding elements of the cast connector. The cast connector concept is first introduced, the cast steel material used for a device prototype is then discussed, and finally, full-scale proof-of-concept laboratory test results are presented.