Eccentrically braced frames (EBFs) constitute a good structural solution located between Moment Resisting Frames (MRFs) and Concentrically Braced Frames (CBFs) because they exhibit an adequate lateral stiffness joined with a high ductility capacity, especially for what concerns short and very short links. Link design plays an important role in the effective dissipation capacity of the structure that is well designed only if the link members are involved in plastic range while the other members remain elastic. A proper design of the non-dissipative members needs to account for the link overstrength that results to be very high, especially for very short links. In this paper, the influence of the axial restraints on the evaluation of the link overstrength and ultimate rotation is investigated. A wide parametric analysis is carried out based on a set of shapes selected in the European Standards. FEM simulations are used to develop the parametric analysis after a calibration carried out on experimental tests selected from a literature review. Empirical formulations are also proposed with the scope of providing a more accurate evaluation of the overstrength factor for short and very short links in the framework of EU “I shaped” standard profiles.
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