Moment Transfer at Column-Foundation Connections: Analytical Studies

Benjamin L. Worsfold, Jack P. Moehle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Steel and precast columns are commonly designed to transfer moments to foundations through cast-in-place headed anchors. The concrete breakout failure mode is not routinely checked, even though recent tests have shown it can limit the connection's strength. This paper describes how physical test data are used to calibrate finite element models of column-foundation connections to investigate critical variables. When designing column-foundation connections with cast-in-place anchors, both beam-column joint shear strength and concrete breakout failure strength should be calculated, with the connection strength taken as the smaller of the two values. Results suggest that properly detailed distributed shear reinforcement in the foundation can increase connection strength and displacement capacity if the connection is controlled by the concrete breakout failure mode. This effect is ignored by current building codes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalACI Structural Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors express their gratitude to the ACI Foundation Concrete Research Council, the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), and the Hilti Corporation for financing this and other ongoing research projects at UC Berkeley relating to concrete anchorage. Special thanks to R. Klemencic, chairman and CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Level 10 Constructions, Cascade Steel, and PJ's Rebar Inc. for donations of materials and manual labor. This study was greatly improved through discussions with the following individuals: R. Sabelli (director of seismic design at Walter P. Moore), J. Malley (senior principal of Degenkolb Engineers), J. Silva (senior director of codes and standards for Hilti North America), R. Piccinin (VP for code development and research for Hilti), and V. Červenka and J. Červenka (director and executive director respectively of Červenka Consulting).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023, American Concrete Institute.


  • anchoring to concrete
  • breakout
  • column-foundation connections
  • finite element method
  • headed anchor
  • shear reinforcement
  • supplementary reinforcement


Dive into the research topics of 'Moment Transfer at Column-Foundation Connections: Analytical Studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this