Non-linear refined finite element elastic analysis of steel frames with generalized transverse member loads

Iu, C.K. & Bradford, M.A. (2009) Non-linear refined finite element elastic analysis of steel frames with generalized transverse member loads. In Chan, S.L. (Ed.) Proceedings of Sixth International Conference on Advances in Steel Structures ICASS '09, Hong Kong, pp. 1186-1195.


In the finite element modelling of steel frames, external loads usually act along the members rather than at the nodes only. Conventionally, when a member is subjected to these transverse loads, they are converted to nodal forces which act at the ends of the elements into which the member is discretised by either lumping or consistent nodal load approaches. For a contemporary geometrically non-linear analysis in which the axial force in the member is large, accurate solutions are achieved by discretising the member into many elements, which can produce unfavourable consequences on the efficacy of the method for analysing large steel frames. Herein, a numerical technique to include the transverse loading in the non-linear stiffness formulation for a single element is proposed, and which is able to predict the structural responses of steel frames involving the effects of first-order member loads as well as the second-order coupling effect between the transverse load and the axial force in the member. This allows for a minimal discretisation of a frame for second-order analysis. For those conventional analyses which do include transverse member loading, prescribed stiffness matrices must be used for the plethora of specific loading patterns encountered. This paper shows, however, that the principle of superposition can be applied to the equilibrium condition, so that the form of the stiffness matrix remains unchanged with only the magnitude of the loading being needed to be changed in the stiffness formulation. This novelty allows for a very useful generalised stiffness formulation for a single higher-order element with arbitrary transverse loading patterns to be formulated. The results are verified using analytical stability function studies, as well as with numerical results reported by independent researchers on several simple structural frames.

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ID Code: 70950
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: finite element, member load effect, one element per member, transverse element load, steel frames
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Structural Engineering (090506)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 05 May 2014 01:29
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2014 16:23

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