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Self-centering connections for traffic sign supporting structures.
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    Steel structures supporting traffic sign panels are designed as intended to dissipate energy by yielding structural members during severe wind loading (ex. strong hurricanes). Yielding results in inelastic deformations, which are permanent damage to structural members. Structures with permanent deformations present the out-of-plumb appearance. Damage might be repairable; however, deconstruction and replacement of an off-centered structure with a new structure is usually more economical. If a new design approach that controls damage and avoids replacement can be developed, the direct and indirect costs of post-extreme-wind repair for traffic sign supporting structures can be saved enormously. At present, the design approach mitigating damage for traffic sign supporting structures under extreme wind loads are undeveloped. This research conducts an exploratory study on the new design method of “self-centering connections,” termed “SC connections.” The scopes of this research project are: (1) design equations and criteria development; and (2) validation through numerical analyses.
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