The material reduction factor of rectangular hollow section (RHS) joints in a new version of Eurocode 3 part 1–8 is validate for steel with the nominal yield strength up to 700 MPa. In this paper, finite element simulations of gap K-joints are conducted to investigate effects of material properties, gap size of the joint, the brace to chord width ratio and welds type on the secondary bending stresses and the resistance. The governing failure mode considered for all the FE models is the chord face failure followed by brace sidewall failure. The ratio of axial stresses to the nominal stress was lower in the compressive brace made of higher strength steel grades compared to the mild strength grades. The maximum secondary bending stresses is 0.12–0.32 yield strength. The secondary bending stresses are increasing with the increase of the steel grade and the brace to chord width ratio and with reducing the gap size. The level of secondary bending stresses varied between 38% and 56% of the average normal axial stress. The secondary bending stresses of fillet-welded joints are larger than the butt-welded joints. The yield line model is used to predict the ultimate load and good agreement is obtained compared with FE results.
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- High-strength steels
- Material reduction factor
- Rectangular hollow section joints
- Ultimate capacity