Stainless steel is a corrosion resistant iron alloy with great potential in structural engineering due to its excellent mechanical features, durability and aesthetic properties. Since most of the existing research has concerned the behaviour of the material, the response of individual structural members, or the performance of simple structural systems under monotonic loading, one of the challenges that remains is the evaluation of the cyclic performance of members to promote its use in seismic design and exploit the excellent ductility and strain hardening properties of this material. For this reason, an experimental programme on austenitic stainless steel Rectangular Hollow Section (RHS) specimens was carried out at the Department of Civil Engineering of the Università degli Studi di Salerno in collaboration with the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. A total of eight RHS specimens were tested around the minor axis under both monotonic (three specimens) and cyclic (five specimens) loading, in an experimental set-up that followed a cantilever scheme. The main purpose of this study was to acquire information on the cyclic performance of austenitic steel structural members, focusing on the comparison between monotonic and cyclic behaviours. The outcomes of the tests included the load–displacement and the moment–rotation curves, the energy dissipation capacity, and the evaluation of the key rotation capacities of the members. The reported data are essential to enhance the still scarce research on the seismic behaviour of stainless steel structures.
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