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Anda di halaman 1dari 13

www.elsevier.com/locate/jcsr

Buckling strength of multi-story sway, non-sway and partially-sway frames

with semi-rigid connections

Georgios E. Mageirou

, Charis J. Gantes

1

Laboratory of Metal Structures, Department of Structural Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Heroon Polytechniou, GR-15780, Zografou,

Athens, Greece

Received 2 August 2005; accepted 30 November 2005

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to propose a simplied approach to the evaluation of the critical buckling load of multi-story frames with semi-

rigid connections. To that effect, analytical expressions and corresponding graphs accounting for the boundary conditions of the column under

investigation are proposed for the calculation of the effective buckling length coefcient for different levels of frame sway ability. In addition, a

complete set of rotational stiffness coefcients is derived, which is then used for the replacement of members converging at the bottom and top

ends of the column in question by equivalent springs. All possible rotational and translational boundary conditions at the far end of these members,

featuring semi-rigid connection at their near end as well as the eventual presence of axial force, are considered. Examples of sway, non-sway and

partially-sway frames with semi-rigid connections are presented, where the proposed approach is found to be in excellent agreement with the

nite element results, while the application of codes such as Eurocode 3 and LRFD leads to signicant inaccuracies.

c 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Buckling; Effective length; Stiffness coefcients; Multi-story sway; Non-sway and partially-sway frames; Semi-rigid connections

1. Introduction

Nowadays, the buckling strength of a member can be

evaluated using engineering software based on linear or also

non-linear (in terms of large displacements and/or material

yielding) procedures with analytical or numerical methods [15].

Nonetheless, the large majority of structural engineers still

prefer analytical techniques such as the effective length and

notional load methods [26]. These two methodologies are

included in most modern structural design codes (for example,

Eurocode 3 [9], LRFD [23]).

The objective of this work is to propose a simplied

approach for the evaluation of critical buckling loads of multi-

story frames with semi-rigid connections, for different levels

of frame sway ability. To that effect, a model of a column in a

multi-story frame is considered as individual. The contribution

of members converging at the bottom and top ends of the

Corresponding author. Tel.: +30 210 9707444; fax: +30 210 9707444.

E-mail addresses: mageirou@central.ntua.gr (G.E. Mageirou),

chgantes@central.ntua.gr (C.J. Gantes).

1

Tel.: +30 210 7723440; fax: +30 210 7723442.

column is taken into account by equivalent springs. Namely,

the restriction provided by the other members of the frame

to the rotations of the bottom and top nodes is modeled

via rotational springs with constants c

b

and c

t

, respectively,

while the resistance provided by the bracing system to the

relative transverse translation of the end nodes is modeled

via a translational spring with constant c

br

. This is shown

schematically in Fig. 1. The rotational stiffness of the springs

must be evaluated considering the inuence of the connection

non-linearity. This model has been used by several investigators

(for example, Wood [27], Aristizabal-Ochoa [1], and Cheong-

Siat-Moy [6]) for the evaluation of the critical buckling load of

the member, and is adopted by most codes.

The stiffness of the bottom and top rotational springs

is estimated by summing up the contributions of members

converging at the bottom and top ends, respectively:

c

b

=

i

c

b,i

, c

t

=

j

c

t , j

. (1)

A frame is characterized as non-sway if the stiffness c

br

of

the bracing system is very large, as sway if this stiffness is

negligible, and as partially-sway for intermediate values of this

0143-974X/$ - see front matter c 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.jcsr.2005.11.019

894 G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905

Notations

A, B, C, D integration constants

E modulus of elasticity

G distribution factor at the end nodes of the column,

according to LRFD

I moment of inertia

K effective buckling length coefcient

L span length of adjoining members

M bending moment

N axial force of adjoining members

P compressive load

factor of slope deection method

a factor of slope deection method, factor for the

effect of the boundary condition at the far end

nodes of the member

c stiffness coefcient

c ratio of exural stiffness to span

c

#

dimensionless rotational stiffness

d factor for the effect of the axial force

h column height

k non-dimensional compressive load

effective buckling length coefcient, according to

EC3

n ratio of members compressive force to Eulers

buckling load

x longitudinal coordinate

z dimensionless distribution factor at the end nodes

of the column

w transverse deection

relative transverse deection between the end

nodes of the member

distribution factor at the end nodes of the column,

according to EC3

rotation at the end nodes of the member

Subscripts:

A bottom end node of the column

B top end node of the column

E Euler

EC3 Eurocode 3

FEM Finite Element Method

LRFD Load Resistance Factor Design

c column

cr critical

b bottom

bm beam

br bracing system

i member i

n node

r rigid connection

t top

stiffness. Eurocode 3 and LRFD provide the effective length

Kh of columns in sway and non-sway frames via graphs or

Fig. 1. (a) Multi-story steel frame; (b) proposed model of column under

investigation.

analytical relations as functions of the rotational boundary

conditions without considering the connection non-linearity

and the partially-sway behaviour of the frame. The critical

buckling load is then dened as:

P

cr

=

2

EI

c

(Kh)

2

(2)

where EI

c

is the exural resistance.

The main source of inaccuracy in the above process lies

in the estimation of the rotational boundary conditions. LRFD

makes no mention to the dependence of the rotational stiffness

of members converging at the ends of the column under

consideration on their boundary conditions at their far end or

their axial load. Annex E of EC3 is more detailed in accounting

for the contribution of converging beams and lower/upper

columns, but ignores several cases that are encountered in

practice, and are often decisive for the buckling strength. Both

codes ignore the partially-sway behaviour of the frames as well

as the connection non-linearity.

This problem has been investigated by several researchers.

The work of Wood [27] constituted the theoretical basis of

EC3. Cheong-Siat-Moy [5] examined the k-factor paradox

for leaning columns and drew attention to the dependence

of buckling strength not only on the rotational boundary

conditions of the member in question but also on the overall

structural system behavior. Bridge and Fraser [4] proposed

an iterative procedure for the evaluation of the effective

length, which accounts for the presence of axial forces in

the restraining members and thus also considers the negative

values of rotational stiffness. Hellesland and Bjorhovde [11]

proposed a new restraint demand factor considering the vertical

and horizontal interaction in member stability terms. Kishi

et al. [14] proposed an analytical relation for the evaluation of

the effective length of columns with semi-rigid joints in sway

frames. Essa [8] proposed a design method for the evaluation

of the effective length for columns in unbraced multi-story

frames considering different story drift angles. Aristizabal-

Ochoa examined the inuence of uniformly distributed axial

load on the evaluation of the effective length of columns in

sway and partially-sway frames [2]. He then examined the

behavior of columns with semi-rigid connections under loads

G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905 895

Fig. 2. Model of column in (a) non-sway frame, (b) sway frame, and (c) partially-sway frame, and (d) the sign convention used.

such as those produced by tension cables that always pass

through xed points or loads applied by rigid links [3]. What

is more, Kounadis [16] investigated the inelastic buckling of

rigid-jointed frames.

Christopher and Bjorhovde [7] conducted analyses of a

series of semi-rigid frames, each with the same dimensions,

applied loads and member sizes, but with different connection

properties, explaining how connection properties affect

member forces, frame stability, and inter-story drift. Jaspart

and Maquoi [12] described the mode of application of the

elastic and plastic design philosophies to braced frames

with semi-rigid connections. The buckling collapse of steel

reticulated domes with semi-rigid joints was investigated by

Kato et al. [13] on the basis of a nonlinear elasticplastic hinge

analysis formulated for three-dimensional beamcolumns with

elastic, perfectly plastic hinges located at both ends and

mid-span for each member. Lau et al. [17] performed an

analytical study to investigate the behavior of subassemblages

with a range of semi-rigid connections under different test

conditions and loading arrangements. They showed that

signicant variations in the M response had a negligible

effect on the load carrying capacity of the column and the

behavior of the subassemblage. A method for column design

in non-sway bare steel structures which takes into account

the semi-rigid action of the beam to column connections

was proposed by Lau et al. [18]. In [19], closed-form

solutions of the second order differential equation of non-

uniform bars with rotational and translational springs were

derived for eleven important cases. A simplied method

for estimating the maximum load of semi-rigid frames was

proposed by Li and Mativo [20]. The method was in the

form of a multiple linear regression relationship between the

maximum load and various parameters (frame and section

properties), obtained from numerous analyses of frames. Liew

et al. [21] proposed a comprehensive set of moment-rotation

data, in terms of stiffness and moment capacity, so that a

comparative assessment of the frame performance due to

different connection types could be undertaken. Reyes-Salazar

and Haldar [24], using a nonlinear time domain seismic

analysis algorithm developed by themselves, excited three steel

frames with semi-rigid connections by thirteen earthquake time

histories. They proposed a parameter called the T ratio in

order to dene the rigidity of the connections. This parameter

is the ratio of the moment the connection would have to

carry according to the beam line theory and the xed end

moment of the girder. In [25], the equilibrium path was traced

for braced and unbraced steel plane frames with semi-rigid

connections with the aid of a hybrid algorithm that combines

the convergence properties of the iterative-incremental tangent

method, calculating the unbalancing forces by considering the

element rigid body motion. Yu et al. [28] described the details of

a test programof three test specimens loaded to collapse and the

test observations for sway frames under the combined actions

of gravity and lateral loads.

However, all these studies mention nothing about the

dependence of the rotational stiffness of the members

converging on the column under consideration, from the

boundary conditions at their far ends and from their axial loads.

This dependence is investigated in the present work for multi-

story frames with semi-rigid connections for different levels

of lateral stiffness c

br

. Easy to use analytical relations and

corresponding graphs are proposed for the estimation of the

columns effective length for sway, non-sway and partially-

sway frame behaviour. Furthermore, analytical expressions are

derived for the evaluation of the rotational springs stiffness

coefcients for different member boundary conditions and

axial loads accounting for the connection non-linearity. Results

obtained via the proposed approach for sway, non-sway and

partially-sway frames with semi-rigid connections are found to

be in excellent agreement with nite element results, while the

application of design codes such as Eurocode 3 and LRFDleads

to signicant inaccuracies.

2. Buckling strength of columns in multi-story frames

2.1. Non-sway frames

Consider the model of a column in a non-sway frame, shown

in Fig. 2(a), resulting from the model of Fig. 1(b) by replacing

the translational spring with a roller support. Denoting by w

the transverse displacement and by

the differentiation with

respect to the longitudinal coordinate x, and using the sign

convention of Fig. 2(d), the equilibrium of this column in its

buckled condition is described by the well-known differential

equation:

w

(x) + k

2

w

(x) = 0 (3)

where:

k =

_

P

cr

EI

c

=

Kh

. (4)

896 G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905

Fig. 3. Effective buckling length factor K for different levels of frame-sway ability.

The general solution of this differential equation is given by:

w (x) = A sin (kx) + B cos (kx) + Cx + D. (5)

The integration constants A, B, C, and D can be obtained by

applying the boundary conditions at the two column ends:

Transverse displacement at the bottom:

w(0) = 0. (6)

Moment equilibrium at the bottom:

EI

c

w

(0) = c

b

w

(0) . (7)

Moment equilibrium at the top:

EI

c

w

(h) = c

t

w

(h) . (8)

Transverse displacement at the top:

w (h) = 0. (9)

The four simultaneous equations (6)(9) have a non-trivial

solution for the four unknowns A, B, C, and D if the

determinant of the coefcients is equal to zero. This criterion

yields the buckling equation for the effective length factor K:

32K

3

(z

t

1) (z

b

1) 4K

_

8K

2

(z

t

1) (z

b

1)

+ (z

t

+ z

b

2z

t

z

b

)

2

_

cos

_

K

_

+

_

16K

2

+20K

2

(z

t

+ z

b

) + z

t

z

b

_

2

24K

2

__

sin

_

K

_

= 0 (10)

where z

b

and z

t

are distribution factors obtained by the non-

dimensionalization of the end rotational stiffnesses c

b

and c

t

with respect to the columns exural stiffness c

c

:

z

b

=

c

c

c

c

+ c

b

, z

t

=

c

c

c

c

+ c

t

(11)

where:

c

c

=

4EI

c

h

. (12)

Eq. (10) can be solved numerically for the effective length

factor K, which is then substituted into Eq. (2) to provide the

critical buckling load. Alternatively, the upper left graph of

Fig. 3, obtained from Eq. (10), can be used.

2.2. Sway frames

The simplied model of a column in a sway frame, shown in

Fig. 2(b), is considered, resulting from the model of Fig. 1(b)

by omitting the translational spring. Three boundary conditions

G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905 897

are described by Eqs. (6)(8), while a fourth condition

expresses horizontal force equilibrium at the top:

EI

c

w

(h) Pw

(h) = 0. (13)

Thus the buckling equation for the effective length factor K

is derived, following the same procedure as above:

4 [z

t

(2z

b

1) z

b

]

K

cos

_

K

_

+

_

z

t

z

b

_

K

_

2

16 (z

t

1) (z

b

1)

_

sin

_

K

_

= 0. (14)

Alternatively, the bottomright graph of Fig. 3, obtained from

Eq. (14), can be used.

2.3. Partially-sway frames

Finally, consider the simplied model of a column in

a partially-sway frame, shown in Fig. 2(c). Similarly, the

boundary conditions are described by Eqs. (6)(8) and the

following equation, representing horizontal force equilibrium

at the top:

EI

C

w

(h) Pw

(h) = c

br

w (h) . (15)

The effective length factor K of a column in a partially-sway

frame is then obtained from the following equation:

32K

5

c

br

(z

t

1) (z

b

1) + 4K

_

8K

4

c

br

(z

t

1) (z

b

1)

+ K

2

c

br

(z

t

+ z

b

2z

t

z

b

)

2

+ (z

t

z

b

+ 2z

t

z

b

)

4

_

cos

_

K

_

+

_

4K

4

c

br

(4 5z

t

5z

b

+ 6z

t

z

b

)

16K

2

2

(1 z

t

z

b

+ z

t

z

b

)

K

2

c

br

2

z

t

z

b

+

4

z

t

z

b

_

sin

_

K

_

= 0 (16)

where:

c

br

=

c

br

h

3

EI

. (17)

Easy to use graphs such as those presented in Fig. 3 are

obtained from the above equation for several values of c

br

.

3. Stiffness distribution factors

The rotational stiffness of each member converging at the

top or bottom node of the column in question is derived using

the slope-deection method [22]. The moments M

AB

and M

BA

at the two ends of a member AB with span L and exural

stiffness EI , without axial force or transverse load (Fig. 4), can

be obtained as a function of the end rotations

A

and

B

and the

relative transverse deection of the end nodes from:

M

AB

=

2EI

L

_

2

A

+

B

+

3

L

_

,

M

BA

=

2EI

L

_

2

B

+

A

+

3

L

_

. (18)

Fig. 4. Undeformed (dotted line) and deformed (continuous line) state of a

member AB, and the sign convention of the slope-deection method.

If, in addition, the member is subjected to a compressive

axial force P, then Eq. (18) becomes:

M

AB

=

2EI

L

_

a

n

A

+ a

f

B

+

_

a

n

+ a

f

_

L

_

M

BA

=

2EI

L

_

a

n

B

+ a

f

A

+

_

a

n

+ a

f

_

L

_

(19)

where:

a

n

=

n

2

_

2

n

2

f

_, a

f

=

f

2

_

2

n

2

f

_ (20)

n

=

1 kL cot kL

k

2

L

2

,

f

=

1

k

2

L

2

_

kL

sin kL

1

_

. (21)

Using the above equations, the rotational stiffness expres-

sions have been derived for members with all possible boundary

conditions at the far end and a semi-rigid connection at the close

end, with or without axial force, and are shown in Table 1. The

derivation of the rotational stiffness factors is described next for

two characteristic cases: one for a member without and one for

a member with axial force.

3.1. Member with a xed support at the far end and a semi-

rigid connection at the near end, without axial force

Consider the member AB of Fig. 5(a), with span L

i

and

exural stiffness E

i

I

i

, where A refers to the bottom or top

node of the column under investigation, while B is the far

node, attached to a xed support. The connection at node A

is considered as semi-rigid with a rotational stiffness c

n

.

The slope-deection equations are given by (18), with

indices i referring to the specic member. Firstly, the

connection at node A is considered as rigid. The rotational

stiffness c

r,i

of the member AB with a rigid connection was

evaluated in previous work by the authors [10].

The moment at node A of the member with rigid connections

is given by the equation:

M

AB

=

2E

i

I

i

L

i

(2

A

+

B

) . (22)

Furthermore, there is no rotation at node B:

B

= 0. (23)

898 G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905

Table 1

Converging members rotational stiffness expressions for different boundary conditions at the far end and for a semi-rigid connection at the near end, with or without

axial force

Rotational boundary conditions of far end Without axial force With axial force

Fixed support c

i

=

4 c

i

cn

4 c

i

+cn

c

i

=

4 c

i

cn(10.33n

i

)

cn+4 c

i

1.32 c

i

n

i

Roller xed support c

i

=

c

i

cn

c

i

+cn

c

i

=

c

i

cn(10.82n

i

)

cn+ c

i

0.82 c

i

n

i

Pinned support c

i

=

3 c

i

cn

3 c

i

+cn

c

i

=

3 c

i

cn(10.66n

i

)

cn+3 c

i

1.98 c

i

n

i

Simple curvature c

i

=

2 c

i

cn

2 c

i

+cn

c

i

=

2 c

i

cn(10.82n

i

)

cn+2 c

i

1.64 c

i

n

i

Double curvature c

i

=

6 c

i

cn

6 c

i

+cn

c

i

=

6 c

i

cn(10.16n

i

)

cn+6 c

i

0.96 c

i

n

i

Roller support c

i

=

0 c

i

cn

0 c

i

+cn

c

i

=

c

i

cn(00.97n

i

)

cn+0 c

i

0.97 c

i

n

i

Rotational spring support c

i

=

c

i

cnc

#

( c

i

+cn)c

#

+cn

c

i

=

c

i

cn[c

#

(1.047n

i

+1.773)n

i

]

cn(0.591n

i

c

#

+c

#

+1)+ c

i

[c

#

(1.047n

i

+1.773)n

i

]

Pinned and rotational spring support c

i

=

4 c

i

cn(c

#

+3)

4 c

i

(c

#

+3)+cn(c

#

+4)

c

i

=

2 c

i

cn[(c

#

(c

#

+9)+24)n

i

2

30(c

#

+3)(c

#

+4)]

2 c

i

(c

#

(c

#

+9)+24)n

i

2

15(c

#

+4)[4 c

i

(c

#

+3)+cn(c

#

+4)]

G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905 899

Fig. 5. Model of a member with a xed support at the far end B and a semi-

rigid connection at the near end A: (a) without axial force, (b) with axial force.

Then, by virtue of (23), Eq. (22) becomes:

M

AB

=

4E

i

I

i

L

i

A

. (24)

Thus, the rotational stiffness representing the resistance of

member AB to the rotation of node A is given by:

c

r,i

=

4E

i

I

i

L

i

(25)

which can be written as

c

r,i

= 4 c

i

(26)

where:

c

i

=

E

i

I

i

L

i

. (27)

Two rotational springs with rotational stiffness c

r,i

and c

n

in series are considered, in order to evaluate the rotational

stiffness c

i

of the member AB with a semi-rigid connection.

The total rotation is the sum of the rotations of the two springs.

Therefore:

i

=

r,i

+

n

. (28)

Considering that the springs have the same moment, Eq. (29)

is written:

1

c

i

=

1

c

r,i

+

1

c

n

. (29)

Thus, the rotational stiffness c

i

of member AB with a semi-

rigid connection is evaluated from Eq. (29):

c

i

=

c

r,i

c

n

c

r,i

+ c

n

. (30)

By substituting (26) into (30), the rotational stiffness c

i

of

the member AB with a semi-rigid connection is evaluated:

c

i

=

4 c

i

c

n

4 c

i

+ c

n

. (31)

3.2. Member with a xed support at the far end and a semi-

rigid connection at the close end, with axial force

Now consider the member of Fig. 5(b), with span L

i

and

exural stiffness E

i

I

i

, where A again refers to the bottom or

top node of the column under investigation, while B is the

far node, rotationally xed. The member AB is subjected to

a compressive axial force N

i

. The rotational stiffness c

i

of the

member AB with a semi-rigid connection is evaluated in the

same manner as above.

Firstly, the member AB is considered having rigid

connections. The slope-deection equations are given by (19),

with indices i referring to the specic member. The moment at

node A of the member with rigid connections is given by the

equation:

M

AB

=

2E

i

I

i

L

i

_

n,i

A

+

f,i

B

_

. (32)

As there is no rotation at node B (

B

= 0), the previous

equation is rewritten:

M

AB

=

2E

i

I

i

L

i

n,i

A

. (33)

Therefore, the rotational stiffness representing the resistance

of member AB to the rotation of node A is given by:

c

r,i

=

2E

i

I

i

L

i

n,i

(34)

which, by means of (20) and (21) and k

2

i

= N/E

i

I

i

, N

E,i

=

2

E

i

I

i

/L

2

i

, becomes:

c

r,i

=

4E

i

I

i

L

i

n

i

_

_

n

i

cot

_

n

i

_

1

4

n

i

8 tan

_

1

2

n

i

_

_

_

(35)

where n

i

is the ratio of the members compressive force to

Eulers buckling load N

E,i

:

n

i

=

N

i

N

E,i

. (36)

A Taylor series expansion of Eq. (35) gives:

c

r,i

=

4E

i

I

i

L

i

_

1

2

30

n

i

11

4

25 200

n

2

i

6

108 000

n

3

i

509

8

2328 480 000

n

4

i

. . .

_

. (37)

Keeping the rst two terms, Eq. (38) is obtained:

c

r,i

=

4E

i

I

i

L

i

_

1

2

30

n

i

_

(38)

which can be written as

c

r,i

= 4 c

i

(1 0.33n

i

) . (39)

By substituting (39) into (30), the rotational stiffness c

i

of the

member AB with a semi-rigid connection is evaluated:

c

i

=

4 c

i

c

n

(1 0.33n

i

)

c

n

+ 4 c

i

1.32 c

i

n

i

. (40)

900 G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905

Fig. 6. The frame of example 1.

4. Examples

This section gives four examples of a simple frame that

consists of a column and a beam with a variety of supports at

the far end namely, a three-story, single-bay sway frame; a

three-story, single-bay non-sway frame; and a one-story, single-

bay sway, non-sway and partially-sway frame for which the

proposed approach is demonstrated and its results are compared

to (i) buckling loads obtained via linearized buckling analysis

of nite element models, considered as exact, for verication

purposes, and (ii) buckling loads calculated by applying the

pertinent procedures of Eurocode 3 and LRFD.

4.1. Example 1

Consider the frame of Fig. 6 with a single span L = 20 m

and height h = 10 m, having a column with HEB360 cross-

section (I

c

= 43 190 cm

4

) and a beam with IPE400 cross-

section (I

bm

= 23 130 cm

4

). The column is considered to be

pinned at the base. A concentrated load P is imposed on the

beamcolumn joint. The beamcolumn joint is considered to be

semi-rigid, with a rotational stiffness of c

n

= 150 kN m/rad.

The beam has restricted translation and a rotational spring

support with a rotational stiffness of c = 500 kN m at the

far end. The frame is made of steel with Youngs modulus

E = 210 000 000 kN/m

2

.

Firstly, a linearized buckling analysis of the frame is

conducted using the commercial nite element software MSC-

NASTRAN. The critical buckling load obtained from this

analysis is P

cr,FEM

= 8981.02 kN. Secondly, the buckling

strength is evaluated by using the proposed methodology. In

order to do so, the frame is substituted by the equivalent model

of Fig. 2(b). The rotational stiffness of the beamconsidering the

semi-rigid connection is evaluated from the last row of Table 1:

c

BB

=

4 c

BB

c

n

(c

#

BB

+ 3)

4 c

BB

(c

#

BB

+ 3) + c

n

(c

#

BB

+ 4)

= 147.02 kN m (41)

where:

c

BB

=

EI

bm

L

= 2428.65 kN m (42)

c

#

BB

=

c

c

BB

= 0.206. (43)

Applying the proposed method, the distribution factor z

b

is

equal to 1 due to the pinned support, while z

t

is obtained from:

z

t

=

c

c

c

c

+ c

BB

= 0.996 (44)

where:

c

c

=

4EI

c

h

= 36 279.60 kN m. (45)

Then, the evaluation of the buckling length coefcient is

conducted by means of Eq. (10), giving K = 0.998. Thus, the

Euler buckling load is equal to:

P

cr,prop

=

2

EI

c

(Kh)

2

= 8981.01 kN. (46)

Therefore, the results of the proposed approach are in

excellent agreement with the results of the nite element

method. The previous procedure is followed for the same frame

with different supports at the far end of the beam as well as

for a single span, one-story sway and non-sway frame for the

verication of the rotational stiffness of Table 1. The results of

the proposed approach and the FEM analysis are presented in

Table 2 and are practically the same.

4.2. Example 2

Consider the three-story sway frame of Fig. 7 with a single

span L = 20 m and uniform story height h = 10 m,

having columns with HEB360 cross-section (I

c

= 43 190 cm

4

)

and beams with IPE400 cross-section (I

bm

= 23 130 cm

4

).

The columns are considered to be pinned at the base. Equal

concentrated loads P/3 are imposed on all beamcolumn

joints. The beamcolumn joints are considered to be semi-rigid

with a rotational stiffness of c

n

= 150 kN m. The frame is made

of steel with Youngs modulus E = 210 000 000 kN/m

2

.

At rst, a buckling analysis of the frame is conducted using

the same nite element software. The rst buckling mode

is obtained from this analysis, and the corresponding critical

buckling load is 22.02 kN. In order to verify the proposed

rotational stiffness coefcients, the frame is then substituted by

a series of equivalent models. The rst among them, denoted as

equivalent model 1a, is illustrated in Fig. 7(b). It is obtained by

substituting the beams at the three levels by rotational springs.

Assuming that, in the rst buckling mode, the beams deform

with a double curvature, the stiffness of the springs is obtained

from the corresponding row of Table 1:

c

bm

=

6 c

bm

c

n

6 c

bm

+ c

n

= 148.47 kN (47)

where:

c

bm

=

EI

bm

L

= 2428.65 kN m. (48)

The rst buckling mode of the equivalent model 1a is

obtained from FEM analysis, and the corresponding critical

buckling load is also 22.02 kN, thus verifying the correctness

of this substitution.

G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905 901

Table 2

Critical loads according to the proposed and nite element methods for a variety of structural systems with semi-rigid connections of example 1

Frame P

cr,FEM

(kN) P

cr,prop

(kN)

Pcr,propP

cr,FEM

P

cr,FEM

(%)

8981.58 8981.16 0.005

8979.83 8979.86 0.001

9027.06 9027.30 0.003

10.98 10.97 0.091

8981.02 8981.01 0.0001

902 G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905

Fig. 7. (a) The three-story sway frame of example 2, (b) equivalent model 1a, (c) equivalent model 1b, (d) equivalent model 1c.

The second equivalent model, denoted as 1b, is illustrated in

Fig. 7(c). It is obtained by substituting the top column CD by a

rotational spring with stiffness c

CD

calculated from the second

last row of Table 1:

c

CD

=

c

CD

c

n,CD

_

c

#

CD

(1.047n

CD

+ 1.773)n

CD

_

c

n,CD

_

0.591n

CD

c

#

CD

+ c

#

CD

+ 1

_

+ c

CD

_

c

#

CD

(1.047n

CD

+ 1.773)n

CD

_

= 70.18 kN m (49)

where:

c

CD

=

EI

c

h

= 9069.90 kN m (50)

c

#

CD

=

c

bm

c

CD

= 0.016 (51)

N

CD

=

1

3

22.02 kN = 7.34 kN. (52)

Alternatively, the axial design load can be used for the N

CD

,

without any signicant inuence on the results:

N

E,CD

=

2

EI

c

h

2

= 8942.56 kN (53)

n

CD

=

N

CD

N

E,CD

= 0.001. (54)

Then, the total rotational stiffness at node C of model 1b is:

c

CD

= c

CD

+ c

bm

= 218.65 kN m. (55)

The critical buckling load of the rst buckling mode of the

equivalent model 1b, obtained from Nastran, is 22.00 kN.

The third equivalent model, denoted as 1c, is illustrated in

Fig. 7(d). It is obtained by substituting column BC of model

1b by a rotational spring with stiffness c

BC

calculated similarly

from the second last row of Table 1:

c

BC

= 100.98 kN m. (56)

Table 3

Critical loads for model 1 and its equivalent models 1a, 1b, 1c of Example 2

P

cr

(kN)

Pcr P

cr,model1

P

cr,model1

(%)

Model 1 22.02428 0

Model 1a 22.01921 0.02

Model 1b 22.00429 0.09

Model 1c 21.96301 0.28

Then, the total rotational stiffness at node B of model 1c is:

c

BC

= c

BC

+ c

bm

= 249.45 kN m. (57)

The rst buckling mode of the equivalent model 1c is

obtained from Nastran, and the corresponding critical buckling

load is 21.96 kN. The critical loads of all models, as well as

their deviations from the critical load of the full model, are

summarized in Table 3, demonstrating excellent agreement.

In addition, the critical buckling load of column AB is

evaluated according to the provisions of EC3 and LRFD.

Following the procedure of Annex E of EC3, the distribution

factor

1

at node A is 1 due to the hinged support, while the

distribution factor

2

at node B has a contribution from beam

BB

BC, and is found to be equal to

2

= 0.833. Then, for the sway

buckling condition, the effective buckling length coefcient is

found to be

L

= 3.996.

Thus, the Euler buckling load is calculated as:

P

cr,EC3

=

2

EI

c

__

L

_

h

_

2

= 560.03 kN. (58)

In the same manner, following the provisions of LRFD,

the distribution factor G

A

at node A is 10 due to the pinned

support, and the distribution factor G

B

at node B is equal to

7.469. Assuming uninhibited side-sway behavior, the effective

buckling coefcient is calculated to be K = 1.820.

G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905 903

Table 4

Critical loads according to different methodologies of column AB of example 2

P

cr

(kN)

Pcr P

cr,FEM

P

cr,FEM

(%)

FEM 22.02428 0

EC3 560.60 2 445.37

LRFD 2702.46 12 170.40

Proposed 21.9399 0.38

Fig. 8. The three-story non-sway frame of example 3.

The Euler buckling load is equal to:

P

cr,LRFD

=

2

EI

c

(Kh)

2

= 2702.46 kN. (59)

Applying the proposed method, the distribution factor z

b

is

equal to 1 due to the pinned support, while z

t

is obtained from:

z

t

=

c

c

c

c

+ c

BC

= 0.994. (60)

Then, the evaluation of the buckling length coefcient is

conducted by means of Eq. (14) and gives K = 20.940. Thus,

the Euler buckling load is equal to:

P

cr,prop

=

2

EI

c

(Kh)

2

= 21.94 kN. (61)

The above results are summarized in Table 4, and compared

to the results of the linearized buckling analysis, which are

considered to be exact. The proposed method is in very good

agreement with the numerical results.

4.3. Example 3

Next, consider the same three-story frame of example 2, but

with inhibited side-sway at all stories, shown in Fig. 8.

The same procedure is followed for the verication of

the proposed approach. The critical buckling load of column

AB is evaluated according to the code provisions as above.

Table 5

Critical loads according to different methodologies of column AB of example 3

P

cr

(kN)

Pcr P

cr,FEM

P

cr,FEM

(%)

FEM 11 237.75 0

EC3 9 358.89 16.72

LRFD 11 745.60 4.52

Proposed 11 274.80 0.33

Fig. 9. The frames of example 4 with (a) partially-sway, (b) non-sway and (c)

sway behaviour.

The proposed method is in very good agreement with the

numerical results, while EC3 is overconservative and LRFD is

underconservative but with much smaller deviations than in the

sway-case (Table 5).

4.4. Example 4

Lastly, consider the one-story, partially-sway, non-sway and

sway frames of Fig. 9 (a), (b) and (c), respectively. The frames

have a single span L = 20 m and a story height h equal to 10 m,

904 G.E. Mageirou, C.J. Gantes / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 62 (2006) 893905

Table 6

Critical loads according to different methodologies of column AB of the partially-sway frame of example 4

P

cr

(kN)

Pcr P

cr,FEM

P

cr,FEM

(%)

FEM 5 000.636 0

EC3 (lower limit assuming sway behaviour) 898.78 82.03

EC3 (upper limit assuming non-sway behaviour) 9 980.74 99.59

LRFD (lower limit assuming sway behaviour) 3 441.23 31.18

LRFD (upper limit assuming non-sway behaviour) 11 821.70 136.40

Proposed 5 000.01 0.01

Table 7

Critical loads according to different methodologies of column AB of the non-

sway frame of example 4

P

cr

(kN)

Pcr P

cr,FEM

P

cr,FEM

(%)

FEM 8 980.67 0

EC3 9 980.74 11.14

LRFD 11 821.70 31.64

Proposed 8 980.67 0

Table 8

Critical loads according to different methodologies of column AB of the sway

frame of example 4

P

cr

(kN)

Pcr P

cr,FEM

P

cr,FEM

(%)

FEM 14.77 0

EC3 898.78 5 983.56

LRFD 3441.23 23 192.60

Proposed 14.77 0

having columns with HEB360 cross-section (I

c

= 43 190 cm

4

)

and beams with IPE400 cross-section (I

bm

= 23 130 cm

4

). The

columns are considered to be pinned at the base. A compressive

concentrated load P is imposed on the beamcolumn joints.

The beamcolumn joints are considered to be semi-rigid with

a rotational stiffness of c

n

= 150 kN m. A translation spring

with a stiffness of c

br

= 1000 kN/m simulates the partially-

sway behaviour of the rst frame. The frame is made of steel

with Youngs modulus E = 210 000 000 kN/m

2

.

The same procedure is followed for the verication of the

proposed approach. Moreover, the critical buckling load of

column AB is evaluated according to the code provisions,

considering the rst frame rstly to be sway and secondly to

be non-sway. The proposed method is in excellent agreement

with the numerical results, while EC3 and LRFD with the sway

behaviour consideration give overconservative results while the

non-sway behaviour consideration leads to underconservative

results (Table 6). The results of the proposed methodology and

the design codes are presented in Tables 68 for the frames of

Fig. 9 (a), (b) and (c), respectively.

5. Summary and conclusions

A simplied method for the evaluation of the critical

buckling load of multi-story sway, non-sway and partially-

sway frames with semi-rigid connections has been presented.

Firstly, three analytical expressions for the effective buckling

length coefcient as a function of the end nodes distribution

factors, as well as accompanying graphs, have been proposed

for different levels of sway ability. The rotational stiffness of

the members (columns and beams) converging at the bottom

and top ends of the column with semi-rigid connections

depend heavily on the boundary conditions at their far end

and on the existence of axial force in them. Thus, analytical

expressions of the stiffness distribution factors accounting

for these issues have been derived. Examples of sway, non-

sway and partially-sway structures with semi-rigid connections

and comparisons to nite element results have been used

to establish the improved accuracy of the above mentioned

procedure compared to the pertinent code provisions. It is

believed that the proposed approach maintains the inherent

simplicity of the effective length method by not signicantly

increasing the required workload, but at the same time improves

its accuracy a lot and could thus be considered to be a

competitive alternative for practical applications.

Acknowledgments

Financial support for this work is provided by the

Pythagoras: Support of Research Groups in Universities. The

project is co-funded by the European Social Fund (75%) and

National Resources (25%) (EPEAEK II)PYTHAGORAS.

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