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Lecture 38 Lateral Force Resisting Systems Braced Frames

Building and other structures subjected to lateral loads must have some method of being stabilized or collapse will occur. This is particularly obvious for very tall structures where the lateral forces are the most important design consideration. There are many methods available for stabilizing structures, some will be discussed below. 1. Moment-Resisting Connections: This method involves constructing very rigid beam-to-column connections that permit moment transfer across the joint. Monolithically-poured reinforced concrete structures inherently have moment-resisting joints, but steel and timber frames do not. A typical moment-resisting beam-tocolumn steel-framed connection involves transferring horizontal loads through the beam flanges directly to the column flanges by using angles and column web stiffener plates as shown below. The analysis of the connection is fairly complex. It is very labor-intensive and expensive to construct and is not as good as other methods of stabilization.

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An elevation view of a frame analysis using moment-resisting connections might look like the following:

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2. Braced Frame: In general, a braced frame consists of diagonal members used to resist lateral loads. A braced frame may come in many varieties. Some examples of braced frames are as follows:

X Brace Least available space, greatest bending in floor beams

K Brace Openings possible, least bending in floor beams

Full Story Knee Brace Larger openings, more bending in floor beams

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Example GIVEN: The one-story steel-framed building below is subject to wind loading as shown below. Diagonal steel rods (shown in RED) are used to resist the lateral loads from the North-South winds and act in TENSION ONLY. REQUIRED: 1) Determine the tensile load on the tension rod, Fdiag 2) Determine the smallest diameter rod that can be used if the steel is A36 (Fy = 36 KSI).


Leeward wall pressure = 21 PSF

Windward wall pressure = 29 PSF


20-0 70-0

Step 1 Determine TOTAL wind pressure in North-South direction: Total wind pressure = Trib. Area x Pressure = (70 x 13) x (29 PSF + 21 PSF) = 45,500 lbs.

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Step 2 Determine wind pressure P acting at elbow:


P P = Pressure on shaded area acting on elbow = (Total wind pressure) = (45,500 lbs.) = 11,375 lbs. = 11.4 kips Step 3 Determine axial tensile load on diagonal brace, Fdiag: 20-0 11.4 kips 13-0

Figure 1

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20-0 11.4 kips This member is in compression and is assumed to be inactive Figure 2 20-0 11.4 kips 13-0 13-0

Figure 3

Ldiag = 23.9 ft.

The force in the diagonal member, Fdiag, can be determined by similar triangles:

Fdiag Ldiag
Fdiag 23.9 ft

Fhorz Lhorz

11.4 Kips 20 ft

Fdiag = 13.6 kips

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Step 4 Determine minimum diameter of tension rod (considering yield on gross area only): Recalling from steel design, the allowable tensile load on gross area, Pallow: Pallow = 0.60(Fy)(Ag) Rearranging to solve for gross area Ag and substituting Pallow = 13.6 kips: Ag =
13.6 Kips 0.60( Fy )

Ag =

13.6 Kips 0.60(36 KSI )

Ag = 0.63 in2 Solving for diameter: Acircle =

( Dia ) 2 Ag

Diameter =

Diameter =

0.63in 2

Diameter = 0.896 inch Use 1 diameter A36 steel rod 1 > 0.896

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Multi-Story Brace Analysis: The frame of a multi-story building using diagonal lateral bracing is analyzed as a vertically-oriented truss as shown below. Forces in the vertical, horizontal and diagonal members are added to forces in those members obtained from a gravity load analysis for the design of the member.

Lateral load analysis

Gravity load analysis

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