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Mechanical Engineering

HAND IN REPORT
FE individual project: Model development and analysis of a
mezzanine structure in the Thermal Engineering lab.
Subject: Advanced Structural Analysis
Date: January the 14th, 2016

1. Description of structure under study

Mezzanine structure made by steel beams and columns.
It was designed for holding some laboratory objects, but there are big machines, and a lot of
time there are also students having lessons there in the top. That is making it hold too much
weight and the beams are having an excessive bending.
In the central beam (3), bending is visible on first thought. Measuring the distances, we can
observe that in the middle of the beam, there is a 2 cm bending.
For having an idea of how the structure is and which are its parts, here is the simplified model,
where we can see the restraints, and the beams and columns are numbered.

List of parts:
-

10 columns
Double square pipe: 2 X (45x80 mm)
Height: 2.53m
5 beams
Connecting every pair of columns
3 X IPN160 (1, 3, 5)
2 X IPN200 (2, 4). Both of this were a substitution to the originals IPN160 in order to
make the structure a bit stronger.
Length: 6.18m
22 joists
Perpendicular to the beams
11 from beam 1 to 3; 11 from 3 to 5
IPN100
Length (1 to 3): 4.3m
Length (3 to 5): 4.24m
Stairs
Made by 4 steel beams, and sheet steel steps (not considered in the analysis)
2 horizontal beams connected by a rigid joint to the IPN100 joists
Length: 0.85m
2 angle beams welded the horizontal beams and fixed to the floor
Length: 3.91m
UPN100 in all the beams
Distance between every pair of beams: 90cm (width of the steps)
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-

Stairs, columns 4 and 5, beams and joists

Columns 3 and 8, and the beam between them (3), are in the office space. This beam is
the one which have more bending problems in the structure.

2. Description of the FE model

-

Minimal model drawn with special joints, putting them into every necessary
coordinate (every joint of the beams and columns to another, or to the floor).

After drawing the points, columns and beams were made with the option Draw
frame/cable, joining with lines every point.

Wooden slab considered as a group of areas inside of every intersection.

In order to assign the profiles, there were no IPN profiles available in the library EURO.PRO, so
I used the corresponding IPE for every different IPN in the structure, because they have
approximately the same properties in order to simplify the procedure.
This profiles were IPN100, IPN160 and IPN200, substituted by IPE100, IPE160 and IPE200 in the
FE model.
For the stairs I used directly UPN100, which I could find in the EURO library.
Columns were a bit more complicated because they are composed by two welded rectangular
pipes. This section was made with the section designer, as we can see in the capture below.

Section of the wooden slab

I considered a slab made from GL24h plywood. The thickness is 21 mm, and its physical
properties are in the table below, extracted from the CTE.

3. Loads and boundary conditions

I performed three different models in order to analyse the real model, and also 2 options to
improve it.
In all models, all the beams are fixed to the floor by rigid restraints, and beams 5 and 10 have
also a rigid fixation to the wall on their top.

For every model, I performed 3 analysis with different surface loads:

1st analysis: 3 kN/m2
This load is fixed by DB-SE-AE, and we can find it in the table below, I took the C1 value, for
zones with chairs and tables.

2nd analysis: 5.68 kN/m2

To the previous load, I added the load of the heavier machine that is on the structure. This is
not real because we suppose that this overload is in all the slab, but actually is only in some
little part of it. This would be the supposed worst case.

In this analysis, I tried some different values for the surface load to find an approximated
maximum one that doesnt make the beams bend more than 20.6 mm. I calculated this value
using an equation from the edification code for steel beams.

6180
=
= 20.6
300
300

In the next image we can see the structure with some machines in the top:

4. Analysis performed
For every case, I made an analysis of deformations, axial and shear forces, bending moment
and Von Misses stress in the slab.
In all the analysis has been considered the self-weight of the steel structure and the wooden
slab.
The three cases are:

1st Model (current structure): The current structure (columns in both sides, beans
between them and perpendicular joists).
Deformed shape:

Von Misses stress in the slab:

2nd model: 3 Columns added in the middle of beams 1, 3 and 5. This columns are the
same than the originals (double square pipe).
Deformed shape:

10

Von Misses stress in the slab:

11

3rd model: 2 Columns added in the middle of beams 2 and 4. This columns are the
same than the originals (double square pipe).
Deformed shape:

12

Von Misses stress in the slab:

13

5. Analysis results
In the following tables, there is all the data collected from the analysis in SAP2000.
In the location column, there is the shorted names of beams and columns:
-

Beams are named B1, B2, B3, B4 and B5

Columns are C, from 1 to 10
Supposed columns for improved models are Cn (C1, C2)

Displacement (mm)
Axial Force (kN)
Shear Force (kN)
B. Moment (kNm)
VM Stress (Mpa)

Case 1
Chairs and
tables zone
3 kN/m2
-36.98
-25.3
-22.476
34.489
1.46

Case 2 (worst)
machine
5,68 kN/m2
Max values
-67.077
-45.313
-40.629
57.024
2.658

Case 3
Maximum
1,5 kN/m2
-20.13
-14.067
-12.315
17.198
0.795

Location
B3
C2, C7
B2
B2
B3

Model 2 (Columns in the middle of B1, B3 and B5)

Case 1
Case 2 (worst)
Case 3
Chairs and tables Previous, adding heaviest
Maximum
zone
machine
3 kN/m2
5,68 kN/m2
7 kN/m2
Max values
Displacement (mm)
-9.117
-16.479
-20.105
Axial Force (kN)
-48.38
-87.398
-106.612
Shear Force (kN)
-18.337
-33.223
-40.455
B. Moment (kNm)
-12.157
-22.048
-26.919
VM Stress (Mpa)
1.717
3.109
3.795

Location
B2
C3'
B3
B3
C3'-B3

Model 3 (Columns in the middle of B2 and B4)

Case 1
Case 2 (worst)
Case 3
Chairs and tables Previous, adding heaviest
Maximum
zone
machine
3 kN/m2
5,68 kN/m2
5 kN/m2
Max values
Displacement (mm)
-12.613
-22.728
-20.162
Axial Force (kN)
-45.627
-82.728
-72.949
Shear Force (kN)
-17.994
-32.515
-28.83
B. Moment (kNm)
-12.003
-21.716
-19.251
VM Stress (Mpa)
1.282
2.322
2.058

Location
B1
C2'
B2
B2
B2-C2'

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Model 1:
As we can observe, the displacement in the beam 3, is more than the admissible only
considering chairs and tables zone. If we add the machine which have a bigger surface load
(recirculating chiller) in the worst place, it bends more than 3 times the maximum admissible
displacement (67mm, compared to 20.6 max).
The maximum surface load that we can have in this structure for having less than 20.6 mm is
approximately 1.5 kN/m2. With this load we have a 20.13 mm displacement, which is
acceptable.

Model 2:
This is the first possibility that I considered to improve the structure, with columns at the
center of beams 1, 3 and 5.
The analysis results show that in the worst case, it would have less displacement than the
admissible, and for having the maximum admissible, it needs a surface load of 7 kN/m2.
This could be a good option, it would resist perfectly all the loads that it have.

Model 3:
The second possibility considered for improving the structure, with columns at the center of
beams 2 and 4.
We can observe that in this case, the beam that is suffering the most is the beam 1, at one side
of the slab.
In case 1, this beam is deflecting 12.61 mm, which is acceptable.
In case 2, the beam is deflecting 22,73 mm, this is a little bit more than the maximum
For having less than 20.6, we can load it with a maximum of 5 kN/m2.

Annotation: In the stairs I considered a 75 kg load in every UPN beam, in the middle, but it is
not relevant for the results, this beams can hold this loads without any problem.

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6. Conclusions
After analysing the three models, we can extract some conclusions of it:
-

The current structure is non viable, it has too much load in the center of the beams
and its bending in a level that is visible at naked eye.
The second structure is a good option, the maximum moments are on the beams 2 and
4, but they are below the limit and the structure can resist more than its actual loads.
The third model is also viable, the maximum deflection can happen in the beam 1, and
in the worst case, it would bend a little bit more than Vmax.

To sum up, the 3rd structure model is the best option, because in the beam 1 there are only
some tables and computers, but there is not too much surface load in this zone. The heaviest
machines are near to the columns, and the chairs for having lessons are more or less in the
center of the structure, but this model will be for far enough to resist the loads that are making
this structure bend.
Another advantage of this model is that the beams are placed where they dont interfere in
the normal activity of the lab (in the beam 3 would be in the middle of the office, and in the
beam 5 would be in the middle a whiteboard). This two columns will be placed at the side of
two walls, without needing to make any change to the distribution of the lab.

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