Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Sreekanta Das


Cast-steel connector, Flow drilled connections, Flow tapped connections, HSS construction, Modular construction, VectorBloc connection




Steel modular buildings are on the rise to meet the growing infrastructure demand of big cities. VectorBloc modular construction involves a unique way of constructing steel modular buildings using steel modules made of hollow structural steel (HSS) members. This construction technique involves the use of a state-of-the-art cast-steel connector named VectorBloc connector for the beam-column connections of the steel modular buildings. The primary focus of this research is the VectorBloc beam-column connection. This beam-column connection is going to be used for constructing an assisted living facility in Ontario, Canada. Through full-scale tests and finite element analyses, this study shows that the VectorBloc connection has the ability to safely carry the design loads of the proposed assisted living facility. This study also proposes major design recommendations for the VectorBloc beam-column connection. The secondary focus of this research is the flow drilled connections made on the HSS members. This study discusses the influence of various connection parameters on the connection behavior and highlights the potential of the flow-drill system to increase the ultimate load capacity of the connections subjected to tension load. This study also presents analytical equations to predict the failure behavior of the flow drilled connections.