Shallow embedded steel column connections are widely used in steel buildings; however, there is insufficient research about this connection type to understand the actual rotational stiffness that the connection provides. Shallow embedded steel columns are when a steel column is anchored to the foundation slab and then unreinforced concrete is poured around the base plate and the base of the column. This thesis seeks to further quantify the rotational stiffness available in this type of connection due to the added concrete and improve an existing model in order to represent the rotational stiffness. Existing data from two series of experiments on shallow embedded columns were used to validate and improve an existing rotational stiffness model. These two data sets were reduced in the same manner so that they could be compared to one another. In addition, the rotational stiffness for each test column was determined so they could be evaluated against the outputs of the model. The existing model was improved by evaluating each parameter in the model: the modulus of subgrade reaction, exposed column length, modulus of concrete for the blockout and the foundation slab, flange effective width, embedment depth, and effective column depth. It was determined that the model was sensitive to the subgrade reaction, modulus of concrete, embedment depth and effective column depth. The exposed length was not a highly sensitive parameter to the model. Flange effective width was determined to not be needed, especially when the other parameters were altered.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





steel columns, shallowly embedded connections, rotational stiffness, blockout