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Principles of Limit State Design

# Principles of Limit State Design

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For the ULS design of steel-plated structures, the basic variables which characterize load
effects, material properties and geometric parameters should be identiﬁed ﬁrst. Methodolo-
gies or simpliﬁed models for computing the load effects and the load-carrying capacities

42

ULS DESIGN OF STEEL-PLATED STRUCTURES

must be established. Once the two models, i.e., for calculating both load effects and
ultimate strength, are obtained, the ULS function, G, can be given from Equation (1.1)
as a function of the basic variables x1,x2,...,xn, as follows:

G(x1,x2,...,xn)=0

(1.23)

When G≥0, the structure is considered to be the desired state. The models always
have uncertainties due to many reasons. The computation model is in fact a function of
random variables, namely

Ym =Y(x1,x2,...,xn)

(1.24)

where Ym =value computed by the model, Y =function of the model, xi =random
variables.

As long as the random variables are uncertain, the modeling function is not exact so
that Ym may always have some errors. This is typically due to lack of knowledge or
simpliﬁcation in developing the model. The exact solution, Y0, of the problem may be
expressed by

Y0 =Y∗(x1,x2,...,xn,δ1,δ2,...,δm)

(1.25)

where δi =random variables related to the model uncertainties, Y∗ =exact function.
In Equation (1.25), the statistical properties of δi may normally be determined from
experiments or observations. For the ultimate strength model, the mean of δi can be
determined as the average value which correctly predicts the test results.
It is necessary to ensure that the structure has an adequate degree of reliability against
the ULS. Two types of design format are normally used, namely (ISO 2394 1998)

• the direct probabilistic design format
• the partial safety factor format.
While the latter format is typically used for normal design purposes, the former is
sometimes more relevant for speciﬁc design problems or for calibration of the partial
safety factors. The design condition of a structure in the partial safety factor format is
expressed as follows:

Cd−Dd = Ck

γmγc

−γ0

Dki(Fki,γfi)≥0

(1.26)

The actions are normally dynamic and varying in nature and may have the following
representative values (ISO 2394 1998):

• characteristic value;
• frequent value; and
• quasi-permanent value.
The characteristic value of load effects is determined so that it may have a speciﬁed
probability being exceeded toward unfavorable values during the reference period. The
combination value is determined so that the probability that the load effects arising from
the load combination will be exceeded is approximately the same as that for a single

PRINCIPLES OF LIMIT STATE DESIGN

43

action. The frequent value is determined so that the total time which it will be exceeded
during the reference period is limited to a speciﬁed short period or the frequency of its
exceedance is limited to a speciﬁed small value. The quasi-permanent value is determined
so that the total time which it will be exceeded during the reference period is of the
magnitude of perhaps half the reference period.
The partial factors may depend on the design situation and the types of the limit states.
In most cases, while Dk is deﬁned as the characteristic value noted above, γf is deﬁned
taking into account the possibility of unfavorable deviations of the action values from the
representative values and the uncertainties in the model of load effects.
Similarly, while the characteristic value of Ck against the limit state is calculated using
more sophisticated models as presented in this book, γm is deﬁned taking into account
the possibility of unfavorable deviations of material properties from the characteristic
(speciﬁed) values and the uncertainties in the conversion factors. γc may be determined
taking into account the possibility of unfavorable deviations of geometric parameters from
the characteristic (speciﬁed) values including the severity (importance) of variations, the
tolerance speciﬁcations and the control of the deviations, and the cumulative effect of a
simultaneous occurrence of several geometric deviations, the possibility of unfavorable
consequences of progressive collapse, and the uncertainties of the models as quantiﬁed
by deviations from measurements or benchmark calculations.

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