Created on Thursday, January 15, 2009 This material is copyright  all rights reserved. Use of this document is subject to the terms and conditions of the Access Steel Licence Agreement
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
SN008aENEU
This NCCI gives information concerning the calculation of the buckling length for columns, to be used for the buckling verification (slenderness approach). Simple aids (e.g. diagrams, tables) are presented.

2 

2 
Page 1 
Created on Thursday, January 15, 2009 This material is copyright  all rights reserved. Use of this document is subject to the terms and conditions of the Access Steel Licence Agreement
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
SN008aENEU
The buckling length L _{c}_{r} of a compression member is the length of an otherwise similar member with “pinned ends” (ends restrained against lateral movement but free to rotate in the plane of buckling) which has the same elastic critical buckling load.
In the absence of more accurate information, the theoretical buckling length for elastic critical buckling may conservatively be adopted.
An equivalent buckling length may be used to relate the critical load of a member subject to nonuniform loading to that of an otherwise similar member subject to uniform loading.
An equivalent buckling length may also be used to relate the critical load of a nonuniform member to that of a uniform member under similar conditions of loading and restraint.
The buckling length L _{c}_{r} of a column in a nonsway mode may be obtained from Figure 2.1.
Figure 2.1
Buckling length ratio L _{c}_{r} / L for a column in a nonsway mode
Page 2
Created on Thursday, January 15, 2009 This material is copyright  all rights reserved. Use of this document is subject to the terms and conditions of the Access Steel Licence Agreement
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
SN008aENEU
The buckling length L _{c}_{r} of a column in a sway mode may be obtained from Figure 2.2.
Figure 2.2
Buckling length ratio L _{c}_{r} / L for a column in a sway mode
The following empirical expressions may be used as conservative approximations instead of reading values from Figure 2.1 and Figure 2.2:
a) nonsway mode (Figure 2.1)
L ^{c}^{r}
= 0,5
L
+ 0,14 η + η
+ 0,055 η + η
1
2
1 
2 

1 − 0, 2 (η η 1 2 + )=
1 − 0,8 (η η 1 2 + 
b) sway mode (Figure 2.2)
2
(2.1)
(2.2)
Page 3
Created on Thursday, January 15, 2009 This material is copyright  all rights reserved. Use of this document is subject to the terms and conditions of the Access Steel Licence Agreement
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
SN008aENEU
For the theoretical models shown in Figure 2.3 the distribution factors η _{1} and η _{2} are obtained from:
η
1
=
K
c
K
c
+
K
11
+
K
12
η
2
=
K
c
K
c
+
K
21
+
K
22
where
K _{c}
and
K _{i}_{j}
is the column stiffness coefficient I/L
is the effective beam stiffness coefficient
(2.3)
(2.4)
(a) Nonsway mode
(b) Sway mode
Figure 2.3
Distribution factors for columns
These models may be adapted to the design of continuous column, by assuming that each length of column is loaded to the same value ratio (N/N _{c}_{r} ). In the general case where (N/N _{c}_{r} ) varies, this leads to a conservative value of L _{c}_{r} /L for the most critical length of column.
For each length of a continuous column the assumption made above may be introduced by using the model shown in Figure 2.4 and obtaining the distribution factors η _{1} and η _{2} from:
η
1
=
K
c
+
K
1
K
c
+
K
1
+
K
11
+
K
12
η
2
=
K
c
+
K
2
K
c
+
K
2
+
K
21
+
K
22
where
K _{1} and K _{2} are the stiffness coefficients for the adjacent lengths of column.
(2.5)
(2.6)
Page 4
Created on Thursday, January 15, 2009 This material is copyright  all rights reserved. Use of this document is subject to the terms and conditions of the Access Steel Licence Agreement
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
SN008aENEU
Figure 2.4
Distribution factors for continuous column
Where the beams are not subject to significant axial forces, their effective stiffness
coefficients may be determined by reference to Table 2.1, provided that they remain elastic
under the design moments.
Table 2.1
Effective stiffness coefficient for a beam
Conditions of rotational restraint at far end of beam 
Effective beam stiffness coefficient K (provided that beam remains elastic) 

I 

Fixed at far end 
1,0 

L 

I 

Pinned at far end 
0,75 

L 

Rotation as at near end 
I 

(double curvature) 
1,5 
L 

Rotation equal and opposite to that at near end 
I 

(single curvature) 
0,5 
L 

General case 
⎛ ⎜ ⎜ ⎝ 
1 + 
0,5 
θ b θ a ⎞ ⎟ ⎟ I ⎠ 
L 

Rotation θ _{a} at near end and θ _{b} at far end 
Page 5
Created on Thursday, January 15, 2009 This material is copyright  all rights reserved. Use of this document is subject to the terms and conditions of the Access Steel Licence Agreement
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
SN008aENEU
For building frames with concrete floor slabs, provided that the frame is of regular layout and
the loading is uniform, it is normally sufficiently accurate to assume that the effective
stiffness coefficients of the beams are as shown in Table 2.2.
Table 2.2
Effective stiffness coefficient for a beam in a building frame with concrete floor slabs
Loading conditions for the beam 
Nonsway mode 
Sway mode 

I 
I 

Beams directly supporting concrete floor slabs 
1,0 
L 
1,0 
L 

I 
I 

Other beams with direct loads 
0,75 
1,0 

L 
L 

I 
I 

Beams with end moments only 
0,5 
L 
1,5 
L 
Where, for the same load case, the design moment in any of the beams exceeds W _{e}_{l} f _{y} /γ _{M}_{0} , as a
conservative assumption the beam may be assumed to be pinned at the point or points
concerned.
Where a beam has semirigid joints, its effective stiffness coefficient should be reduced
accordingly.
Where the beams are subject to significant axial forces, their effective stiffness coefficients
should be adjusted accordingly. Stability functions may be used. As a simple alternative, the
increased stiffness coefficient due to axial tension may be neglected and the effects of axial
compression (when N/N _{E} > 0,1) may be allowed for by multiplying the second moment of
area of the beams I by the factor
1
−
0, 4
N N ⎞ ⎟ ⎟ ⎠
E
Where
N =
^{E}
π
2
EI
2
L
or by using the conservative approximations given in Table 2.3.
Page 6
Created on Thursday, January 15, 2009 This material is copyright  all rights reserved. Use of this document is subject to the terms and conditions of the Access Steel Licence Agreement
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
SN008aENEU
Table 2.3
Approximate formulae for reduced beam stiffness coefficients due to axial compression
Conditions of rotational restraint at far end of beam 
Effective beam stiffness coefficient K (provided that beam remains elastic) 

I 
⎛ ⎜ ⎜ 
N N ⎞ ⎟ ⎟ ⎠ 
N ⎞ 

Fixed 
1,0 
1 
− 

0, 4 

L 
⎝ I 
⎛ 
E 

Pinned 
0,75 
⎜ ⎜ 
1 − 1,0 N − 0, 2 N ⎞ 
⎟ ⎟ 

1,5 
I 
L ⎛ ⎜ ⎜ 1 
⎝ 
E ⎠ ⎟ ⎟ ⎠ 

Rotation as at near end (double curvature) 
L 
⎝ 
N E 

0,5 
I 
⎛ ⎜ ⎜ ⎝ 
1 
− N ⎞ 
⎟ ⎟ ⎠ 

Rotation equal and opposite to that at near end (single curvature) 
L 
1,0 N E 
Page 7
Created on Thursday, January 15, 2009 This material is copyright  all rights reserved. Use of this document is subject to the terms and conditions of the Access Steel Licence Agreement
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach
SN008aENEU
RESOURCE TITLE 
NCCI: Buckling lengths of columns: rigorous approach 

Reference(s) 
EN 199311 

ORIGINAL DOCUMENT 

Name 
Company 
Date 

Created by 
Matthias Oppe 
RWTH 
06.06.05 

Technical content checked by 
Christian Müller 
RWTH 
10.06.05 

Editorial content checked by 
D 
C Iles 
SCI 
15/7/05 
Technical content endorsed by the following STEEL Partners: 

UK 
SCI 
30/6/05 

France

CTICM 
30/6/05 

Sweden

SBI 
30/6/05 


C 
Müller 
RWTH 
30/6/05 
Spain

Labein 
30/6/05 

Resource approved by Technical Coordinator 
G W Owens 
SCI 
08/6/06 

TRANSLATED DOCUMENT 

This Translation made and checked by: 

Translated resource approved by: 

Page 8