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

3 Scopus citations


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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by National Science Foundation (NSF) through the grant CMMI-1563115, by Science Foundation Ireland through grant SFI/15/US/B3234, by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and Invest Northern Ireland (InvestNI) through grant USI-096, and by Enterprise Ireland through grant CF20160454.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


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


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural mechanics characterization of steel intermeshed connection using nonlinear finite element analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this