Structural Behaviour of Lapped Cold-Formed Steel Z-Shaped Purlin Connections with Vertical Slotted Holes
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Lapped joints of cold-formed steel (CFS) Z-shaped purlins are extensively used in metal building roof systems. The research that has been carried out so far for these lapped connections is primarily focused on connections with round holes. However, the lapped connections with vertical slotted holes are extensively used in current construction practice to simplify the erection of continuous Z-shaped roof purlins. There is no design guideline or recommendation available for CFS Z-purlin lapped connections with vertical slotted holes. Presented in this paper are the results of an experimental study and analysis of the structural behaviour of lapped CFS Z-shaped purlin connections with vertical slotted holes. 42 flexural tests were performed on lapped CFS Z-shaped purlins with vertical slotted connections with different lap lengths, purlin depths, thicknesses and spans. The flexural strength and deflection of each specimen were measured. The characteristics of moment resistance and flexure stiffness of the lapped purlins were computed. The test results show that the lapped purlins with vertical slotted holes may be more flexible than the lapped purlins with round holes or continuous purlins without lapped joint. Thus, the slotted connections may need greater lap lengths to achieve full stiffness of continuous purlins. The results also indicate that the characteristics of moment resistance and flexural stiffness in the slotted connections are dependent on the ratio of lap length to purlin depth, the ratio of lap length to purlin thickness, the ratio of purlin depth to purlin thickness, and the ratio of lap length to span. Based on the results, design recommendations for evaluating the moment resistance and flexural stiffness of lapped slotted connections were proposed.