Analysis of the structural behaviour of riveted connections in historical iron and steel structures in buildings

  • Wouters, Ine (Administrative Promotor)
  • Collette, Quentin, (Mandate)

Project Details


The riveted joining technique was the first major type of connector employed for the assembly of iron structures. This technique was mostly used during the decades around the transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. As a consequence, the built structures are more than 100 years old and the riveted elements need maintenance and strengthening.

This research project aims to determine the structural behaviour of riveted connections in order to predict the transfer of forces and the rigidity of the connection in iron and steel structures. The broader goal is the enrichment of the knowledge on riveted connections. After all, an accurate and detailed consideration of this type of fastener is essential for the determination of the bearing capacity and the structural safety of the joined components of a structure. This project will conceive a theoretical tool which aims to formulate safety factors and recalculation formulas according to the guidelines of the Eurocode. To reach this goal, we will analyse these riveted connections for two principal types of structural configurations:
1.Single loaded (shear and bending) section of the fastener (single lap joint)
2.Double loaded (shear and bending) section of the fastener (double lap joint)

In order to optimise the quality of the results, the research project uses a methodology based on three main steps interacting with each other:
STEP 1 - Historical analysis : architecture and structure
STEP 2 - Assessment of old calculation methods and Plastic analysis
STEP 3 - Numerical modeling by Finite Elements Analysis and development of "fitted" recalculation formulas

This way, the innovative character of this research project will contribute to improve the knowledge concerning the structural behaviour of riveted connections (stiffness, development of calculation formulas, collapse mechanism,...) in order to privilege renovation techniques (e.g. in case of structural damage) that maintain the original character of these structures (low intrusive and little visible renovation).

Effective start/end date1/10/1030/09/14


  • Engineering
  • patent research
  • Building technology
  • Architecture
  • renovation
  • construction history
  • rivet

Flemish discipline codes

  • Civil and building engineering
  • Materials engineering