The design criteria and the corresponding performance levels characterize the response of extended stiffened end-plate beam-to-column joints. In order to guarantee a ductile behavior, hierarchy criteria should be adopted to enforce the plastic deformations in the ductile components of the joint. However, the effectiveness of thesecriteria can be impaired if the actual resistance of the end-plate material largely differs from the design value due to the potential activation of brittle failure modes of the bolt rows (e.g., occurrence of failure mode 3 in the place of mode 1 per bolt row). Also the number and the position of bolt rows directly affect the joint response. The presence of a bolt row in the center of the connection does not improve the strength of the joint under both gravity, wind and seismic loading, but it can modify the damage pattern of ductile connections, reducing the gap opening between the end-plate and the column face. On the other hand, the presence of a central bolt row can influence the capacity of the joint to resist the catenary actions developing under a column loss scenario, thus improving the joint robustness. Aiming at investigating the influence of these features on both the cyclic behavior and the response under column loss, a wide range of finite element analyses (FEAs) were performed and the main results are described and discussed in this paper.
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