Advanced analysis of steel frame structures comprising non-compact sections

Avery, P (1998) Advanced analysis of steel frame structures comprising non-compact sections. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


During the past decade, a significant amount of research has been conducted internationally with the aim of developing, implementing, and verifying "advanced analysis" methods suitable for non-linear analysis and design of steel frame structures.

Application of these methods permits comprehensive assessment of the actual failure modes and ultimate strengths of structural systems in practical design situations, without resort to simplified elastic methods of analysis and semi-empirical specification equations. Advanced analysis has the potential to extend the creativity of structural engineers and simplify the design process, while ensuring greater economy and more uniform safety with respect to the ultimate limit state.

The application of advanced analysis methods has previously been restricted to steel frames comprising only members with compact cross-sections that are not subject to the effects of local buckling. This precluded the use of advanced analysis from the design of steel frames comprising a significant proportion of the most commonly used Australian sections, which are non-compact and subject to the effects of local buckling. This thesis contains a detailed description of research conducted over the past three years in an attempt to extend the scope of advanced analysis by developing methods that include the effects of local buckling in a non-linear analysis formulation, suitable for practical design of steel frames comprising non-compact sections.

Two alternative concentrated plasticity formulations are presented in this thesis: the refined plastic hinge method and the pseudo plastic zone method. Both methods implicitly account for the effects of gradual cross-sectional yielding, longitudinal spread of plasticity, initial geometric imperfections, residual stresses, and local buckling. The accuracy and precision of the methods for the analysis of steel frames comprising non-compact sections has been established by comparison with a comprehensive range of analytical benchmark frame solutions. Both the refined plastic hinge and pseudo plastic zone methods are more accurate and precise than the conventional individual member design methods based on elastic analysis and specification equations. For example, the pseudo plastic zone method predicts the ultimate strength of the analytical benchmark frames with an average conservative error of less than one percent, and has an acceptable maximum unconservati_ve error of less than five percent. The pseudo plastic zone model can allow the design capacity to be increased by up to 30 percent for simple frames, mainly due to the consideration of inelastic redistribution. The benefits may be even more significant for complex frames with significant redundancy, which provides greater scope for inelastic redistribution.

The analytical benchmark frame solutions were obtained using a distributed plasticity shell finite element model. A detailed description of this model and the results of all the 120 benchmark analyses are provided. The model explicitly accounts for the effects of gradual cross-sectional yielding, longitudinal spread of plasticity, initial geometric imperfections, residual stresses, and local buckling. Its accuracy was verified by comparison with a variety of analytical solutions and the results of three large-scale experimental tests of steel frames comprising non-compact sections. A description of the experimental method and test results is also provided.

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ID Code: 36071
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Presented to the School of Civil Engineering, Queensland University of Technology.
Keywords: Strains and stresses Testing, Structural frames Testing, Steel, Structural Testing, Structural analysis (Engineering), thesis, doctoral
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright P Avery
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:04
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 00:14

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