AbstractSix full-scale specimens were tested to examine the cyclic-loading performance of steel moment connections between an I-section beam and I-section column. The specimens represented the current practice in Japan in materials, dimensions, detailing, and fabrication. Three of the specimens had the beam welded to the web of the column; the other three had the beam welded to the flange of the column. Some of the specimens had doubler plates welded to the column web. Regardless of the framing orientation, the specimens displayed similar strength and stiffness. All specimens met the performance requirement for special moment frames according to US seismic provisions except for one specimen, which had the beam welded to the column web, and which failed prematurely by fracture of the continuity plate. Yielding of the continuity plate was found to be an important factor that can lead to such failure. Therefore, by making the continuity plates stronger than the beam flanges, either by adopting a sufficiently strong steel or thicker plate, moment connections to the column web, fabricated according to the current Japanese practice, may behave very similarly to moment connections to the column flange.

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