This paper presents a finite element (FE) model for predicting the behaviour of steel column-column connections under axial compression and tension. A robustness approach is utilised for the design of steel column-column connections. The FE models take into account for the effects of initial geometric imperfections, material nonlinearities and geometric nonlinearities. The accuracy of the FE models is examined by comparing the predicted results with independent experimental results. It is demonstrated that the FE models accurately predict the ultimate axial strengths and load-deflection curves for steel column-column connections. A parametric study is carried out to investigate the effects of slenderness ratio, contact surface imperfection, thickness of cover-plates, end-plate thickness and bolt position. The buckling strengths of steel column-column connections with contact surface imperfections are compared with design strengths obtained from Australian Standards AS4100 (1998) and Eurocode 3 (2005). It is found that the column connections with maximum allowable imperfections satisfy the design requirements. Furthermore, the steel column-column connections analysed in this paper can be dismantled and reused safely under typical service loads which are usually less than 40% of ultimate axial strengths. The results indicate that steel column-column connections can be demounted at 50% of the ultimate axial load which is greater than typical service load.