Masonry and steel components used in constructing buildings are in a constant state of motion. Volumetric changes are produced by temperature variation and deformation resulting from static or dynamic loading and in some materials, such as masonry, due to moisture content. This article addresses means of determining when expansion and seismic joints are required and how to proportion and design appropriate joints, specifically in steel buildings. It does not cover the study of expansion joints in concrete structures, in masonry construction or in non-structural (architectural) elements.
steel building; expansion joint; seismic joint; earthquake; temperature change; coefficients of expansion