Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mr. John J. Murphy

Second Advisor

Mr. Martin P. Mannion


For commonly used moment connections, such as the various types of beam to column endplates, a large amount of information in relation to testing data and suggested design methods exist. Engineers can use this information to safely design such connections. When developing new and unique types of connections however, usually no prior testing information is available to engineers due to the unique design. At the present time, the most effective method of designing and developing any structural element or connection is through testing. Testing and detailed analysis of the results gives factual information on the behaviour of the structure, which will help to determine its suitability for a particular use.

Cold bridging has been a commonly occurring problem in traditionally constructed cantilevered balconies, where the balcony is tied directly into the building envelope. Vision Modular Structures are currently developing a new type of balcony connection to reduce/eliminate cold bridging. In this thesis, the newly developed balcony connection was subjected to extensive testing and analysis. The unique design of these new balcony connections aims to eliminate the effects of cold bridging while producing an effective and efficient means of connecting balconies to the main building envelope.

The research in this report was concerned with the main parameters and components that affect the performance of connections in general. A review of the way in which moment connections may be classified is presented. A detailed research of the behaviour of the bond between concrete and steel is included as the transfer of force from the balcony connections into the reinforcing bars of the concrete slabs is of critical importance to enable the balconies to support the desired load. An overview of the finite element method and the finite element software LUSAS is also presented.

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