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Plastic Behaviour

of Beams and
Frames
CIVL454 Structures 2 Laboratory Report

Tom Wilkinson 4264009

Table of Contents
1.

Introduction..................................................................................................... 2

2.

Test 1.1 Tension Coupon Test........................................................................2


2.1.

3.

4.

Discussion................................................................................................. 3

Test 1.2 Two-Span Continuous Beam............................................................3


3.1.

Aim............................................................................................................ 3

3.2.

Laboratory Test Set-Up..............................................................................3

3.3.

Test Results............................................................................................... 5

3.4.

Analytical Results...................................................................................... 6

3.5.

Comparisons between observations and theoretical predictions..............8

Test 1.3 Rigid Portal Frame............................................................................9


4.1.

Aim............................................................................................................ 9

4.2.

Laboratory Test Set-Up..............................................................................9

4.3.

Test Results............................................................................................. 11

4.4.

Analytical Results.................................................................................... 13

4.5.

Discussion............................................................................................... 17

5.

Conclusion..................................................................................................... 17

6.

References..................................................................................................... 17

1. Introduction
This purpose of this report is to examine the Plastic Behaviour of continuous
steel beams and rigid portal steel frames. Referring to the analysis of a
structures behaviour after the point at which a plastic hinge has formed, plastic
analysis looks at steel that has reached its initial yield stress and continuous to
deform plastically. Experimental analysis will be undertaken by using various
load ratios on a continuous beam and portal frame respectively. By comparing
the results of each load ratio as well as with respect to theoretical predictions, a
deeper understanding of the plastic behaviour of structure will be gained.

2. Test 1.1 Tension Coupon Test


In order to determine the yield stress y and plastic moment capacity Mp of the
metal rod used in Test 1.2 and Test 1.3, a simple tension coupon test was carried
out. This involves loading a portion of the rod in tension with a low loading rate
and was conducted prior to the laboratory by a lab staff member. The rod tested
was found to have a yield stress of 245MPa and a diameter of 3.2mm. The
following calculations outline how to determine the corresponding yield load P y
and plastic moment capacity Mp from this experimental information.
Yield Load

F
A

F=A
Where:
F

Force (N)

Area (mm2)

Stress (N/mm2)

In this case the force on the rod is the tensile force equal to the yield load Py, the
area is the cross-sectional area of the rod (circle) and the stress is the yield
stress y.
2

=
r
A

3.2

=
=8.04 mm2
2
A

( )

=245
MPa 8.04 mm2=1969.8 N=1.97 kN
P y = y A

Plastic Moment Capacity

M p= y S
Where:
S

Plastic section modulus (mm3)

The plastic section modulus for a circle can be determined using the equation:
3

S=

d
6

S=

3.2
=5.46 mm3
6

M p=245 MPa 5 .46 mm =1337.7 Nmm=1.34 Nm

2.1.

Discussion

This value for plastic moment capacity of the steel beam represents the point at
which the material reaches a fully plastic state and therefore is the maximum
bending moment it can resist. When the number of plastic hinges in the structure
is one greater than its redundancy, in general the structure will be observed to
collapse. This is demonstrated further in tests 1.2 and 1.3.

3. Test 1.2 Two-Span Continuous Beam


3.1.

Aim

The aim of this test is to determine the plastic collapse load of the metal road
examined in Test 1.1, in a two-span continuous beam setup. Observations of the

plastic collapse mechanism that develops under the rods failure is also to be
recorded.

3.2.

Laboratory Test Set-Up

The two-span continuous beam experimental arrangement is seen below in


Figure 3-1. Each span measures 300mm in length and supports a point load in
the middle of its span. These point loads are developed by hanging a spreader
bar from the two mid-point locations and then hanging a bucket from the bar
which was incrementally filled with pellets until plastic collapse occurred.

Figure 3-1: Test 1.2 Experimental Set-up

The experiment was carried out by different groups, only making adjustments to
the ratio of loading on the continuous beam by means of adjusting the position of
the bucket hanging from the spreader bar. Figure 3-2 shows the loading
components of the experimental setup, including the spreader bar, bucket,
pellets and the hangers. The reaction forces on the Hanger at A and Hanger at C
are equal in magnitude to the mid-span loadings on the continuous beam and
thus are used in determining the buckets positing for the different loading ratios.

Figure 3-2: Test 1.2 Loading Arrangements

*The mass of the hangers and spreader bar were also weighed experimentally to
a have a contribution to the collapse load and thus are added to this force. In
reality the resultant weight of the spreader bar would be central however for
ease of calculating the ratio of loads is assumed to be at the location of the
bucket.

The ratio of loads on the continuous beam for Group 9 was equal to 2.5. The
following calculations are used to determine distances a and b as per this ratio:

As the load ratio is

2.5=

300mm

a+b

a+b =

300mm

(300 b)mm

Rc
R A , therefore

RC =2.5 R A .

M B =0
-RAa + Rcb
Substituting

RC =2.5 R A .
-RAa + 2.5RAb

0.4a

0.4 (300 b)

120 0.4b

85.71mm = 86 mm

300 86 = 214 mm

As such, the bucket was positioned so that it was 214 mm from the left hanger
and 86 mm from the right hanger on the spreader bar. These distances would
vary for each group requiring an alternate load ratio however the procedure
would be the exact same.

3.3.

Test Results

The bucket was slowly loaded until a point that the beam section E-F collapsed
with the formation of a plastic hinge at the mid-span and support at E. Table 3-1
below shows the experimental test results for groups 7-12 conducting Test 1.2
with various load ratios.
Table 3-1: Test 1.2 Results

Group
Load Ratio
Distance from
bucket to hanger
(mm)
Total Load (g)

7
1.5
120

8
2.0
90

9
2.5
86

10
3.0
75

11
3.5
67

12
4.0
60

4711

4100

3557

3820

3806

3373

Group 9 calculations for collapse loads


Utilising the total load information from Table 3-1 the total force on the
continuous beam can be calculated and further the beams collapse loads.
W

Load (kg) x 9.81 m/s2

3.557 x 9.81

34.9N

F y =0(spreader FBD)

L1 + L 2 - w

L1 + 2.5 L1 - w
3.5 L1 =
L1
at point A)
L2

0
=

34.9

9.97N

9.97 x 2.5

24.9N

(Collapse Load

(Collapse Load

at point B)
Extrapolating this method across the remaining groups load information, the
calculated results are shown below in Table 3-2. Note that the collapse load of

the beam is taken to be the Point B collapse load whereas the load calculated at
point A is merely the load carried here when collapse occurred at point B.
Table 3-2: Test 1.2 Collapse Loads

Grou
p

Load
Ratio

Load (kg)

Force (N)

7
8
9
10
11
12

1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0

4.711
4.100
3.557
3.820
3.806
3.373

46.2
40.2
34.9
37.5
73.3
33.1

3.4.

Point A @
Collapse load
(N)
18.49
13.41
9.97
9.37
8.30
6.62

Point B
Collapse load
(N)
27.73
26.81
24.92
28.11
29.04
26.47

Analytical Results

In order to make a theoretical prediction of the collapse load of the continuous


beam scenario outlined above, the principle of virtual work will be used. As two
plastic hinges formed during the experiment, at supports E and F, this
component of the continuous beam will be analysed as shown in Figure 3-1.

Figure 3-3:Test 1.2 Virtual Work Diagram

Virtual Work Method

The virtual work method of analysis is simple method that can be used in the
plastic analysis of beams. The fundamental principle is that the work done
internally by the displacement of the loads must balance with the internal work
absorbed by rotation under fully plastic moments at plastic hinges. This can be
expressed by the equation:

(W )= ( M p )
Where:

= the vertical displacement of the load

Mp = plastic moment capacity

= the rotation of the hinge

Substituting experimental specific variables:

L1 =2 M p + M p

Figure 3-4: Angles for virtual work method of Test 1.2

From Figure 3-4, it can be seen that by symmetry = and thus:

Lc =2 M p + M p =3 M p
Additionally as the tan of a small angles is considered to equal to the angle itself:

=/ 0.15

=0.15
Substituting this into the previous equation gives:

0.15 Lc =3 M p
Lc =20 M p
Substituting the value for Mp calculated for Test 1.1:

Lc =20 1.34=26.8 N
Collapse Load for beam=26.8 N

3.5.
Comparisons between observations and theoretical
predictions
Figure 3-5 shows the collapse load values determined by each group against the
theoretical prediction for the continuous beams collapse load. From this graph we
can see clearly that the experimental collapse loads calculated by each groups
various arrangement are relatively close to the predicted collapse load for the
beam (maximum 7% difference). It should be noted however that the
experimental results found collapse loads both higher and lower than that
predicted for the beam. There are many reasons that could result in such
differences between the experimental and theoretical result, the key factors
being:

Error in measurement of load positon e.g. moving the bucket closer than
required to the right hand side for a given ratio would result in an actual
higher load ratio, causing it to fail at a lower total load than expected.
Inability to correctly detect when failure is occurring and thus continuing
to load the beam once failure has begun resulting an overly large value for
the load reading.
The moment contribution of the bars weight is not considered in the
loading ratio causing an incorrect actual loading ratio effecting collapse
load calculations.

Collapse Load - Experimental Vs Theoretical


30.00
28.00
Collapse Load (N) 26.00
24.00

Experimental Collapse
Load
Theoretical Collapse
Load

22.00
7 8 9 101112
Group Number

Figure 3-5: Collapse Load - Experimental Vs Theoretical

4. Test 1.3 Rigid Portal Frame


4.1.

Aim

The aim of this test is to determine the plastic collapse load of a rigid portal
frame made of the steel rod examined in Test 1.1. Observations of the plastic
collapse mechanism that develops under the frames failure is also to be
recorded.

4.2.

Laboratory Test Set-Up

The rigid portal frame experimental arrangement is seen below in Figure 4-6.
Each member of the frame measures 300mm in length and the top horizontal
member supports a vertical point load in the middle of its span while a horizontal
load is also applied at the top right hand corner of the frame. These point loads
are developed by hanging a spreader bar from the mid-point span of the vertical
point load and the horizontal point load translated into a vertical force by a
pulley system. Then a hanging a bucket was attached to the bar which was
incrementally filled with pellets until plastic collapse occurred.

Figure 4-6: Test 1.3 Experimental Set-up

The experiment was carried out by different groups, only making adjustments to
the ratio of loading (Vertical/Horizontal) on the rigid portal frame by means of
adjusting the position of the bucket hanging from the spreader bar. Figure 4-7
shows the loading components of the experimental setup, including the spreader
bar, bucket, pellets and hangers. The reaction forces on the Hanger at A and
Hanger at C are equal in magnitude to the mid-span loading and the horizontal

loading respectively and thus are used in determining the buckets positing for
the different loading ratios.

Figure 4-7: Test 1.3 Loading Arrangements

*The mass of the hangers and spreader bar were also weighed experimentally to
a have a contribution to the collapse load and thus are added to this force. In
reality the resultant weight of the spreader bar would be central however for
ease of calculating the ratio of loads is assumed to be at the location of the
bucket.
The ratio of vertical to horizontal load on the rigid portal frame for Group 9 was
equal to 2.5. The following calculations are used to determine distances a and b
as per this ratio:
L

490mm

a+b

a+b =

90mm

(490 b)mm

2.5=

As the vertical load to horizontal load ratio is

V RA
=
H RC

R A =2.5 RC .

M B =0
-RAa + Rcb
Substituting

RC =2.5 R A .
-2.5Rca + Rcb
b

=
2.5a

, therefore

2.5 (490 b)

1225 2.5b

350mm

490 350 = 140 mm

As such, the bucket was positioned so that it was 140 mm from the left hanger
and 350 mm from the right hanger on the spreader bar. These distances would
vary for each group requiring an alternate load ratio however the procedure
would be the exact same.

4.3.

Test Results

The bucket was slowly loaded until a point that the portal frame was observed to
fail with the formation of plastic hinges. Table 3 1 below shows the experimental
test results for groups 7-12 conducting Test 1.23 with various vertical to
horizontal load ratios.

Table 4.1: Test 1.3 Loading Arrangements

Group
V/H
Load (g)
Distance
between
hangers
(mm)
Distance
between
bucket to
hanger A
(mm)

7
1.5
3499
460

8
2.0
3400
495

9
2.5
3776
490

10
3.0
3687
563

11
3.5
3818
480

12
4.0
3592
530

184

165

140

125

106

106

Group 9 calculations for collapse loads


Utilising the total load information from Table 4.1 the total forces on the portal
frame can be
calculated

Load (kg) x 9.81 m/s2

3.776 x 9.81

37.0N

F y =0(spreadre FBD)

V+H-w

2.5H + H - w =

3.5 H =
H
=
Collapse Load)
V

=
Collapse Load)

37.0
10.6 N

(Horizontal

10.6 x 2.5
26.5 N

(Vertical

Table 4.2: Test 1.3 Loading Arrangements

Group
7
8
9
10
11
12

4.4.

Load
Ratio
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0

Load (kg)
3.499
3.400
3.776
3.687
3.818
3.592

Force
(N)
34.33
33.35
37.04
36.17
37.45
35.24

H(N)
13.73
11.12
10.58
9.04
8.32
7.05

V(N)
20.60
22.24
26.46
28.13
29.13
28.19

Analytical Results

In order to make theoretical predictions of the collapse load of the continuous


beam scenario outlined above, the principle of virtual work will be used,
combining the beam collapse mechanism with the sway collapse mechanism to
give a total collapse resultant. Figure 4-8: Test 1.3 - Beam Collapse Mechanism
below shows the beam collapse mechanism component of the rigid portal frame.

Figure 4-8: Test 1.3 - Beam Collapse Mechanism

(W )= ( M p )
V c =4 M p
V c 0.15 4 M p

V c=

4Mp
0.15

Substituting the value for Mp calculated for Test 1.1:

V c=

4 1.34
=35.7 N (Equation 1)
0.15

Figure 4-9 below shows the sway collapse mechanism component of the rigid
portal frame.

Figure 4-9: Test 1.3 - Sway Collapse Mechanism

(W )= ( M p )
H c =4 M p

Figure 4-10:Angles for virtual work method of Test 1.3

The tan of a small angles is considered to equal to the angle itself:

=/ 0.3

=0.3
H c 0.3 4 M p

H c=

4Mp
0.3

Substituting the value for Mp calculated for Test 1.1:

H c=

4 1.34
=17.9 N (Equation 2)
0.3

Figure 4-11 below shows the combined collapse mechanism of the rigid portal
frame.

Figure 4-11: Combined Collapse mechanism Test1.3

The combined collapse virtual work equation is simply the sum of external work
of the beam and sway mechanisms equated to the sum of internal work of the
beam and sway mechanisms minus the internal work of the hinge at the top left
hinge of the frame. As seen in Figure 4-11, the combined collapse mechanism
does not have a plastic hinge located at the top left hand corner of the frame so
both the internal work from the beam and sway are to be subtracted from
calculations.

(W )= ( M p )
V c 0.15 + H c 0.3=4 M p + 4 M p 2 M p
V c 0.15 + H c 0.3=6 M p
Substituting Mp=1.34Nm.

V c 0.15 + H c 0.3=6 M p

V c + 2 H c =53.6 ( Equation3)
Equations 1, 2 and 3 can now be used to draw the interaction diagram for
combined collapse mechanism as seen below in Figure 4-12.

Permissible Region

Figure 4-12: Theoretical Load Interaction Diagram

The results for each groups vertical and horizontal loading points (H, V) are then
plotted onto this Interaction diagram (Figure 4-13) to determine how close these
experimental points were to the theoretical solution and failure mechanism. The
V/H ratios used were also plotted to show its intersection with the theoretical
collapse mechanisms.
Vertical Beam Collapse Load
Horizontal Sway Collapse Load
Exp. data
on Theoretical Load Interaction
Diagram
Combined Collapse
Load Mechanism
40
Group 8

Group 7

35

Group 9

30

Group 10

25

Vertical Load (N)


Group 12

20

Group 11

15

Group 7 line

10
Group 8 Line
5

Group 9 line

Group 10 Line0
0
Group 12 line

Group 11 Line
10
12

14

16

18

Horizontal Load (N)

Figure 4-13: Experimental data on Theoretical Load Interaction Diagram

From this figure it is clear that all vertical and horizontal combined loadings were
within the theoretical permissible region of the load interaction diagram. By
calculating where the various V/H ratios should intersect with the theoretical
combined collapse load mechanism, a comparison can be made between the

theoretical and experimental horizontal and vertical values determined as seen


below in table

Table 4.3: Test 1.3 Loading Arrangements

H
experime
ntal
13.73
11.12
10.58
0.00
8.04
7.05

4.5.

H theory

% error

15.31
13.40
11.91
10.71
9.75
8.93

10.34
17.03
11.14
100.00
17.56
21.08

H
experime
ntal
20.60
22.24
26.46
0.00
28.13
28.19

H theory

% error

22.97
26.80
29.78
32.16
34.11
35.73

10.34
17.03
11.15
100.00
17.53
21.10

Discussion

From this Figure 12 and Table 4.3 we can see clearly that the experimental
collapse loads calculated by each groups various arrangement are all lower than
the predicted collapse loads with percentage errors ranging from approximately
10-20%. This shows that the loads under which the frame collapsed should have
been permissible in theory. This is concerning in terms of designing a structure
which in reality has a small but reasonably lower load capacity. There are many
reasons that could result in such differences between the experimental and
theoretical result, the key factors being:

Potential incorrect determination of moment capacity of steel.


Error in measurement of load positon e.g. moving the bucket closer than
required to the left hand side for a given ratio would result in an actual
higher load ratio, causing it to fail at a lower total load than expected.
Inability to correctly detect when failure is occurring and thus continuing
to load the beam once failure has begun resulting an overly large value for
the load reading.
The moment contribution of the bars weight is not considered in the
loading ratio causing an incorrect actual loading ratio effecting collapse
load calculations.

5. Conclusion
This report examined the Plastic Behaviour of continuous steel beams and rigid
portal steel frames. Experimental analysis was undertaken by using various load
ratios on a continuous beam and portal frame respectively with results relatively
close to the theoretical values obtained for the continuous beam, less so for the
portal frame.

6. References
Dr Lip Teh (2015), Laboratory Instructions, University of Wollongong
Dr Lip Teh (2015), CIVL454 Structures, Tutorial worked solutions week 4,
University of Wollongong
Dr Lip Teh (2015), CIVL454 Structures, Lecture Notes week 4, University of
Wollongong

RA =
Reaction
force on
Hanger at A

W= Weight
of bucket and
pellets*
B

RC =
Reaction
force on
Hanger at C

Spreader
Bar
a mm

b mm
L mm

300m
m

L1=RA =
Loading at
mid-span
RD

L2=RC =2.5 X RA
Loading at midspan

RE
D

300m
m

RF

L2

300m
m

RE

RF
E

150m
m

150m
m
Mp

Mp

Mp

300m
m

150m
m

V= RA

Pulley
300m
m

Wire
Rigid
portal
frame
H = RC

150m
m

150m
m
490m
m

V= RA
H = RC

Beam Collapse

Combined
Collapse

Beam load = 3.557kg total


X = 86mm

Frame load = 3.776kg total


X = 140mm