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Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239

Post-buckling behaviour of prestressed steel stayed columns

Daisuke Saito ∗ , M. Ahmer Wadee
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, London SW7 2AZ, UK

Received 14 May 2007; received in revised form 2 July 2007; accepted 3 July 2007
Available online 31 August 2007


A steel column that is reinforced by prestressed stays generally has an increased strength in axial compression. A geometrically nonlinear
model accounting for the post-buckling behaviour of the stayed column is formulated using the Rayleigh–Ritz method and then validated using
the finite element method. It is found that the post-buckling behaviour is strongly linked to the level of the initial prestress. As the prestress is
increased, the following different levels of the responses can be observed in sequence: initial Euler buckling that subsequently restabilizes strongly,
the critical load increasing with a post-buckling path that is either stable or unstable, an upper limit for the critical load where the post-buckling
is unstable after an initially rather flat response. These findings are important for designers aiming to achieve safer and more efficient designs for
this structural component.
c 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Cable-supported structure; Nonlinear buckling; Rayleigh–Ritz method; Analytical modelling

1. Introduction completion could be achieved within a limited time constraint.

Conventionally, supporting the large roof structure at this
A prestressed steel stayed column (Fig. 1) is a structural height would have required a massive and complicated shoring
component that is reinforced by either cable stays or rods such system with a commensurate time penalty. To counter this the
that its strength is increased in axial compression. Ordinary engineers decided to adopt the stayed column as the shoring
columns have a propensity to buckle under axial compression system. Owing to its structural simplicity and superiority in
primarily due to their characteristic of being slender. To counter resisting axial loads, this choice allowed the engineers to save
this, prestressed steel stayed columns are equipped with pre- significant time in the construction process.
tensioned stay systems; these restrain the column buckling In addition to these practical uses, a number of research
displacement through the horizontal crossarm placed at some works on stayed columns have existed since the 1960s,
intermediate distance from the column ends. Consequently, such as those evaluating critical buckling loads [3–8],
this additional system prevents the principal movement during imperfection sensitivity studies [9,10], and examining the
conventional buckling and potentially provides a considerable column’s maximum axial strength [11,12].
increase in axial strength. Despite this, as far as we are aware, the post-buckling
An application of this column type can be found where response has not been investigated satisfactorily. This
slender supports or towers are required, for example, it was information is crucial to make the design safer and more
used as a temporary support during the erection phase of the efficient; stability in the post-buckling range implies that the
main stage of the “Rock in Rio III” stadium in Rio de Janeiro, design load could potentially be set higher than the critical
buckling load; conversely instability in the post-buckling range
Brazil [1,2], (see Fig. 2).
means the design load should be reduced in order to ensure
In this project, it was required to support the large roof
safety and the potentiality of the structure being sensitive
structures as high as 36 m above ground level so that
to imperfections [13]. In the current study, the post-buckling
response was investigated by developing analytical models
∗ Corresponding author. using energy methods, the results of which were validated by
E-mail address: (D. Saito). the finite element method (FEM).

c 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

0141-0296/$ - see front matter
D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239 1225

(MDOF) system. A set of algebraic equilibrium equations was

derived from minimizing V using the symbolic computation
software M APLE [14]. The structural response was revealed by
this process, and was subsequently validated by the FEM using
the well-established code ABAQUS [15]. For the analytical
modelling, the following assumptions were made.
(1) The column is simply supported.
(2) The connections between the stays and the column, and
between the stays and the crossarms, are ideal hinges. The
connections between the crossarm and the column are rigid.
(3) The column is centrally loaded and perfectly straight,
i.e. imperfections are not taken into account in the analysis.
(4) The axial deformation of the crossarm and the bending
deformation of the stays are both ignored.
(5) The stay goes slack the instant it goes into compression;
hence it does not carry any stresses in compression.
(6) The analysis is purely elastic; hence, the stress–strain
relationship is completely linear apart from the stay
(7) Changes in geometries from applying the prestress are
ignored, i.e. the initial configuration is kept after the
introduction of the initial prestress.
Fig. 1. Principle of the prestress steel stayed column: stays are pre-tensioned
to provide lateral restraint against overall buckling.
Changes in geometries from the prestress do not yield
significant effects unless the initial prestress has the same level
1.1. Methodology as the Euler load of the column. As this level of prestress leads
to a considerable amount of compressive force in the column,
In the current work, a single-crossarm stayed column, which which significantly diminishes the axial buckling resistance,
is the simplest type, shown in Fig. 3, was modelled. It is known this situation is considered to be impractical.
from previous work that investigating the stayed column with
2. Model formulation
an analytical procedure inevitably involves mathematically
sophisticated formulations, therefore modelling the simplest In this section, the MDOF system is developed by
structure is definitely a suitable first step to revealing its post- considering, in turn, the displacements of each component and
buckling response. Moreover, the majority of the literature the geometrical changes after applying the prestress. This leads
deals with this single-crossarm type; hence validation and to the total potential energy function.
comparisons with previous research is possible.
In order to formulate the model, the total potential energy 2.1. Displacement functions for the column
principle was applied in conjunction with the Rayleigh–Ritz
method [13]. The total potential energy V for the prestressed Two different buckling mode shapes for the column are
stayed column was developed as a multiple-degree-of-freedom considered: a symmetric shape (Mode 1, W1 (x)) and an

(a) Stayed column as a temporary shoring. (b) Crossarm in detail.

Fig. 2. Construction phase of Rock in Rio III main stage.

1226 D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239

(a) Profile. (b) Structural model.

Fig. 3. Structural model of the stayed column: column length L, crossarm length a, axial load P, angle between the stay and the vertical α and stay length L s . The
quantity ∆i X represents the end-shortening of the column, where subscripts i and X represent a buckling mode number (1 or 2), and a buckling type (A, B or C)
respectively. Subscripts 1, 2, 3 and 4 after X represent the number of the individual stays. The quantities A, As and Aa are defined as the cross-sectional areas with
E, E s and E a being the Young’s moduli of the column, the stays and the crossarm respectively. The quantities I and Ia refer to the cross-sectional second moments
of area of the column and the crossarm respectively.

shapes for buckling in the single-crossarm stayed column. In

Mode 1, the maximum curvature can be found at the column
mid-span and zero curvature at both ends; in Mode 2, zero
curvature can be found at the column mid-span and both ends.
Each mode can be expressed as a summation of sinusoidal
waves. Defining the column length as L (see Fig. 3) and
the generalized coordinates as qm , where the subscript m is
an integer representing a degree of freedom for a sinusoidal
wave that has a wavelength of 2L/m, the displacement
functions for the column W1 and W2 can be assumed to be as
πx 3π x
W1 (x) = q1 L sin + q3 L sin + ···
X (2m − 1)π x
= q2m−1 L sin , (1)
2π x 4π x
W2 (x) = q2 L sin + q4 L sin + ···
X 2mπ x
= q2m L sin , (2)
where n represents the number of degrees of freedom in the
Fig. 4. Buckling Modes 1 (symmetric) and 2 (antisymmetric).
model. As the individual components of the stayed column tend
to be long and thin, Euler–Bernoulli bending theory can be
antisymmetric shape (Mode 2, W2 (x)) about the column mid- applied; the angles of the members to the vertical Θ1 (x) and
span, as shown in Fig. 4; these are the basic possible deflection Θ2 (x) are therefore approximated as the first derivative of the
D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239 1227

Fig. 5. Buckling types in Mode 2.

displacement with respect to x:

πx 3π x
Θ1 (x) = q1 π cos + 3πq3 cos + ···
X (2m − 1)π x
= (2m − 1)q2m−1 π cos , (3)
2π x 4π x
Θ2 (x) = 2q2 π cos + 4πq4 cos + ···
X 2mπ x
= 2mq2m π cos . (4)
L Fig. 6. Free body diagram to determine the bending moment at an arbitrary
cross section (y > 0) of the crossarm. Note that the subscript X represents the
buckling type classification which can be either B or C.
2.2. Displacement functions for the crossarm
2.2.2. Shape functions
2.2.1. Buckling type distinction First, the bending moment for y > 0 in the crossarm (see
The deflected shape of the crossarm and the function for Fig. 6) Ma B is given by
the end-shortening of the column depend on the stress state of
the stays (see Fig. 5). To take these effects into account in the Ma X = −Rh X [h X − w2X (y)] + Rv X (a − y), (5)
current model, the following four states are considered:
where Rh X and Rv X are horizontal and vertical reaction forces
(1) Type A: all of the stays are slack. respectively at the tip of the crossarm; h X is the displacement at
(2) Type B: all of the stays are active. the tip of the crossarm; y is the horizontal axis; and w2X (y) is
(3) Type C: two stays are active. the deflection of the crossarm perpendicular to the coordinate.
Note that Type A occurs with a small value of the initial Ignoring higher-order terms and the effect of the end-
prestress; Type B occurs with a sufficient amount of the shortening of the crossarm, the basic differential equation for
initial prestress which allows the stays not to slacken until the bending of the crossarm takes the form:
buckling; Type C buckling can occur either after Type A, B
Ma X = −E a Ia w2X
(y), (6)
or the fundamental (pre-buckling) state. Shape functions for
the crossarm for each type can be obtained by solving the where primes represent differentiation with respect to the
differential equations reflecting each type of stress state in the indicated independent variable, in this case y, and E a and Ia are
stays and the reaction forces developed in the crossarm. the Young’s modulus and the cross-sectional second moment of
1228 D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239

area of the crossarm respectively. Substituting Eq. (6) into (5)

leads to
Rv X
(y) + k 2X w2X (y) = − (a − y) + hk 2X , (7)
E a Ia
Rh X
kX = . (8)
E a Ia
The general solution of Eq. (7) is
w2X (y) = H X sin k X y + K X cos k X y
Rv X
− 2 (a − y) + h X , (9)
k X E a Ia
where H X and K X are constants of integration that are
determined from the boundary conditions, thus:

w2X (0) = 0, w2X

(0) = γ , w2X (a) = h X , (10)
where γ is the angle between the horizontal and the crossarm Fig. 7. Elongation of the stays and reaction forces at the tip of the crossarm.
at the mid-point, defined as
As only one stay is active on each side in Type C, RvC and
γ = −Θ2 (L/2) = 2q2 π − 4q4 π + · · ·
RhC , can thus be obtained from δ FX 3 . However, including the
X h C term in the RhC equation causes a computation problem
= (−1)m−1 2mq2m π. (11)
that leaves the governing equation intractable. To rectify this we
apply the approximation h C = 0 in RhC , which applies when
The second condition comes from the assumption that W2 (x) the stays first slacken, thereby enabling us to obtain RhC :
intersects the crossarm at right angles. Applying this condition   
yields the following expressions: 2h C
RvC = (T + δ FC3 ) cos α2C3 = 1 − ∆2C −
! L
1 Rv X Rv X a
HX = − 2 +γ , KX = 2 − hX, × sin2 α +
s s
cos2 α T cos α, (17)
kX k X E a Ia k X E a Ia T
(γ E a Ia k 2X − Rv X ) sin k X a + k X Rv X a cos k X a RhC = (T + δ FC3 ) sin α2C3
hX = . (12)  
2h C

E s As
k 3X E a Ia cos k X a = 1 + ∆2C − 1− cos α T sin α
In order to find the actual shape of the crossarm with Eq. (9),
h i
≈ 1 + ∆2C cos2 α T − E s As ∆2C cos2 α sin α. (18)
it is also necessary to establish equations for Rv X and Rh X .
With reference to Fig. 7 and then by taking the leading terms of
∆2X and h X , the changes in the axial force in Stay 3 and Stay 2.3. Stress and geometrical changes in the structure
4, δ FX 3 and δ FX 4 respectively, resulting from the structural
displacement can be expressed as follows: Stress and geometrical changes in the structure are
  investigated prior to the energy formulation presented in the
L s2X 3 − L s 2h X
δ FX 3 = E s A s ≈ −∆2X + cos2 α, (13) following section. The investigation includes such items as the
Ls L stress changes by the prestress, the elongation of the stays and
L s2X 4 − L s 2h X the end-shortening of the column.
δ FX 4 = E s A s ≈ − ∆2X + cos2 α. (14)
Ls L
2.3.1. Initial stress of the column with prestress
From the expression for δ FX 3 and δ FX 4 , the vertical and the
With reference to Fig. 8, the initial prestresses that are
horizontal reaction forces for Type B, Rv B and Rh B , can be
introduced to the column Tc and the crossarm Ta are
obtained thus:
Tc = 2T cos α, Ta = 2T sin α. (19)
Rv B = (T + δ FB3 ) cos α2B3 − (T + δ FB4 ) cos α2B4
4h B Therefore, the strains in the stay εst , the column εct , and the
= (T sin2 α + E s As cos2 α) cos α, (15) crossarm εat are respectively:
Rh B = (T + δ FB3 ) sin α2B3 + (T + δ FB4 ) sin α2B4 T 2T cos α 2T sin α
εst = , εct = , εat = . (20)
= 2[T + (T − E s As )∆2B cos α] sin α. 2
(16) E s As EA E a Aa
D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239 1229

a 2 T cos α
cC0 = − , (27)
ζ = (3E a Ia + E s As a 2 sin α cos2 α), (28)
and R is
vh   i
u E s As
u 1+ 1−
T ∆2C cos2 α T sin α
RC = a (29)
E a Ia
Note that this simplification becomes less accurate when the
initial prestress T is large.

2.3.3. Elongation of the stays

The post-buckling shapes are sketched in Fig. 9; these
geometries allow the new stay length L si X j , where the subscript
j refers to the stay number as indicated in Fig. 8, to be evaluated
Fig. 8. Effect of the initial prestress.
through Pythagoras’s theorem, which leads to the strain in
the stays purely arising from the applied load P in the stays.
2.3.2. Tip displacement coefficient
Subsequently, this equation is expanded as a Taylor series up to
The tip displacement of the crossarm is necessary to find the
second order with respect to qm and ∆i X . In this process, the
elongation of the stays. The tip displacement for Type B can
cross and quadratic terms of ∆i X such as ∆i X qm and ∆i2X are
also be obtained from h B , which is given in Eq. (10). Expanding
dropped, as these terms are considered to be small.
h B to the fifth order with respect to R B and then taking the
By combining the expanded strain ϕi X j with the initial
leading order with respect to ∆2B and γ yield
prestress T , the total strains in the stays εsi X j can be obtained,
h B = c B aγ , (21) giving the following:

where c B is a factor expressing the magnitude of the tip εsi X j = ϕi X j + εst . (30)
displacement of the crossarm for Type B:
 −1 2.3.4. End-shortening of the column
2E s As 2
cB = 1 + a sin α cos α
. (22) In order to find the end-shortening expression of the column
3E a Ia
∆i X , equilibrium is considered at the end of the column where
and R B is the external load P is applied with the free body diagram
s  approach shown in Fig. 10.
2 1 + ∆2B cos2 α T − E s As ∆2B cos2 α sin α
RB = a . Vertical force equilibrium and moment equilibrium around
E a Ia the point O give the following equations:
Ti X 1 cos αi X 1 + Ti X 4 cos αi X 4 + P − Ci X cos βi
The same expression for the tip displacement can be obtained − Si X cos βi = 0, (31)
using the work of Smith et al. [5]. The tip displacement for Type
Mi X − dx Si X cos βi X − Wi (dx)Si X sin βi
C can also be obtained from h C , which is given in Eq. (10).
However, as the direct expression that can be obtained from h C − Wi (dx)Ci X cos βi + dxCi X sin βi = 0, (32)
is too complicated for the analytical model, this is simplified by
where Ti X j is the axial force in stay j; with Ci X , Si X and
using the Taylor expansion to the fifth order with respect to RC .
Mi being an axial force, a shear force and a bending moment
Then taking the leading order with respect to ∆2C and γ gives
respectively in the column at a point which is a small distance
h C as
dx away from O; βi is the angle between the column and the
h C = cC aγ + cC ∆ a∆2C + cC0 a, (24) vertical; αi X 1 and αi X 4 are the angles between each stay and
the vertical. These angles, internal forces and moments need
where cC , cC ∆ and cC0 are factors expressing the magnitude of to be defined in order to solve the equilibrium equations and
the tip displacement of the crossarm in Type C: to obtain an expression for ∆i X . Firstly, βi can be obtained by
substituting x = 0 into Θi (x) defined in Eqs. (3) and (4):
15E a Ia −E s As a 2 sin α a 2 T sin α cos2 α+15ζ E a Ia

cC = 5ζ 2
β1 = Θ1 (0) = q1 π + 3q1 π + · · ·
cC ∆ n
3E a Ia +2E s As a 2 sin α cos2 α T sin2 α+ζ E s As cos2 α a 2 cos α = (2m − 1)q2m−1 π, (33)
= ζ2
1230 D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239

(a) Mode 1. (b) Mode 2 Type A. (c) Mode 2 Type B–C.

Fig. 9. Geometry of the stayed column in buckling Modes 1 and 2.

As all of the required angles are defined, the forces and

moments Ti X , Ci X , Si X , and Mi X in the free body diagram
need to be investigated. Firstly, with the strain expressions of
the stays shown in the previous section and the assumption that
the stays do not resist compression, the axial forces in the stays
Ti X 1 and Ti X 4 are defined as follows:

Ti A1 = Ti A4 = TiC4 = 0,
Ti B1 = εi B1 E s As , Ti B4 = εi B4 E s As , (36)
TiC1 = εiC1 E s As .

The axial strain in the column εc1X is expressed as a summation

of the components ∆i X and εct minus the effect of the
relaxation from the buckling displacement. Therefore, the axial
strain for each mode is expressed as follows:

1 L 1 02
Fig. 10. Equilibrium free body diagram for the column. Note that R H i X is the
horizontal reaction force at the end of the column. εc1X = ∆1X + εct − W (x)dx
L 0 2 1
n (2m − 1)2 π 2 q 2
n 2T cos α X 2m−1
β2 = Θ2 (0) = 2q2 π + 4q1 π + · · · = 2mq2m π. (34) = ∆1X + − (37)
EA m=1

With reference to Fig. 9(a)–(c), cos αi X 1 and cos αi X 4 1 L 1 02

εc2X = ∆2X + εct − W (x)dx
are obtained through trigonometry; subsequently, those L 0 2 2
relationships are expressed to the leading order with respect to 2T cos α X
qm and ∆i X . For example, cos α1X 1 is given as = ∆2X + − m 2 π 2 q2m
. (38)
EA m=1
cos α1X 1
Thus, the axial force Ci X is expressed as
2 L(1 − ∆1X )
Ci X = E Aεci X .
n (39)
h i2 
2 L(1 − ∆1X )
1 P
+ L(−1)m−1 q2m−1 + a
With linear bending theory, the bending moments Mi are
≈ (1 − ∆1X sin2 α) cos α. (35) expressed as the following equations:
D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239 1231

M1 = −E I W100 (dx)
n Ucb2 = EI W2002 (x)dx − Ucb0
X (2m − 1)2 π 2 E I q2m−1 (2m − 1)π dx 2 0
= sin , (40)
L L Xn
(2m)4 E I q2m
2 π4
m=1 = − Ucb0 , (45)
n 4L
X (2m)2 π 2 E I q2m 2mπ dx m=1
M2 = −E I W200 (dx) = sin . (41)
L L where Ucb0 is the existing column bending energy at the
beginning of each buckling type.
The shear force Si X can be defined by substituting Eq. (39) and In a similar way, the bending energy in the crossarm for
either Eq. (40) for Mode 1 or Eq. (41) for Mode 2 into Eq. (32) Mode 2 Types B and C can be obtained. Note that crossarm
and then by taking the limit dx → 0. symmetry accounts for the doubling of the standard bending
By substituting Eqs. (36), (39) and an expression for the energy expression:
shear force, either (40) for Mode 1 or (41) for Mode 2, into Z a
Eq. (31), expressions for ∆i X can be obtained. Subsequently, Uab2X = E a Ia w2X
(y)dy − Uab0
the solution is expressed as a Taylor series with respect to T , P
and qm up to second order, which gives the following simplified = E a Ia k 3B {2H X K X − H X2 cos k X a sin k X a
expressions: + H X2 k X a − 2H X K X cos2 k X a

∆1X = b p X P + bt X T + b1X q1 + b3X q3 + · · · + K X2 cos k X a sin k X a + K X2 k X a}/2 − Uab0 , (46)

+ b11X q12 + b13X q1 q3 + b33X
q32 + · · · where Uab0 is the existing crossarm bending energy at the
X beginning of each buckling type. Note that Ucb0 and Uab0 have
= b p X P + bt X T + b2m−1X q2m−1
independent values from qm , therefore they do not affect the
X critical load nor the post-buckling path as they simply vanish
+ b2m−12l−1X q2m−12l−1 q2m−12l−1 , (42) on differentiation.
m=1,l=1,m 6l
2.4.2. Axial energy
∆2X = b p X P + bt X T + b2X q2 + b4X q4 + · · · The axial energy Ucai X in the column accounts for the
+ b22X q22 + b24X q2 q4 + b44X
q42 + · · · energy gained through the axial compression from the load
X P together with the effect of the relaxation from the buckling
= b p X P + bt X T + b2m X q2m displacement; using Eqs. (37) and (38) as the ending points of
X integration for each mode, the axial energy is obtained as
+ b2m2l X q2m2l q2m2l (43) Z εci X
X − εcX 0 ),
2 2
m=1,l=1,m 6l Ucai X = E ALεdε = E AL(εci (47)
εcX 0 2
where b p X , bt X , bm X and bml X are coefficients for P, T , qm ,
and qm ql respectively. where εcX 0 is the existing strain at the beginning of each type.
The axial energy in the stays is obtained by integrating the
stress–strain relationship over the stay volume—written as the
2.4. Energy formulation product of the cross-sectional area As and the length L s :
4 4 Z εsi X j
The total potential energy Vi X comprises components of the Usi X =
Usi X j =
As L s σ (εsi X j )dε, (48)
strain energy and the work done by the load. In a general state j=1 j=1 εs X 0
of deflection, there are four components of strain energy: from
bending in the column (Ucbi ) and the crossarm (Uabi X ) with where Usi X j is the strain energy stored in stay j for Mode i
axial strains in the column (Ucai X ) and stays (Usi X ). Note that Type X ; εs X 0 is the existing strain at the commencement of
the bending energy in the crossarm (Uabi X ) only exists in Mode each type. The stress–strain curve of the stays is assumed to be
2 in buckling Types B and C as the crossarm does not bend in piecewise linear thus:
the other cases. 
E s εsi X j for εsi X j > 0,
σs (εsi X j ) = (49)
0 for εsi X j 6 0.
2.4.1. Bending energy
From Eqs. (49) and (48), the total stay energy for Mode i Type
The bending energy components in the column arise X in stay j is described as follows:
from a linear curvature expression; thus, Wi give following
expressions for Ucbi :
E A L (ε2 − εs2X 0 ) for εsi X j > 0,
Usi X j = 2 s s s si X j (50)
for εsi X j 6 0.
1 0
Ucb1 = EI W1002 (x)dx − Ucb0
2 0 Note that εcX 0 and εs X 0 affect neither the critical load nor the
n (2m − 1)4 E I q 2
2m−1 π
post-buckling path, because they are independent of qm and
= − Ucb0 , (44)
4L vanish on differentiation.
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2.4.3. Work done by the load analysis, i.e. finding when the Hessian matrix for Vi X becomes
singular, yields the critical load for Zone 3 PZone3 directly. The
The work done by the load PEi X is defined as the external
axial load P multiplied by the corresponding end-shortening details on the process and equations obtained can be seen in
∆i X L: Appendix.
For Zones 1 and 2, it is necessary to consider geometrically
PEi X = P∆i X L − PE0X , (51)
nonlinear effects in order to find the critical load, because in
where PE0X is the work done by the load before the these zones, the end-shortening of the column releases the axial
commencement of each buckling type. Note that, again, this energy in the stays during the fundamental stage, which does
value affects neither the critical load nor the post-buckling path not allow linear eigenvalue analysis to yield the critical load.
for the same reason as stated in the previous section. Moreover, linear buckling analysis in the FEM does not detect
the critical load for Zones 1 and 2 either, the analytical method
2.4.4. Total potential energy function being therefore essential to find the critical load in this range
The total potential energy is a summation of Ucbi , Uabi X , of T .
Ucai X , Usi X minus PEi X : In Zone 1, where the axial energy in the stays is already
Vi X = Ucbi + Uabi X + Ucai X + Usi X − PEi X . (52) lost before buckling, this problem can be simply resolved by
adopting the Type A buckling energy formulation and then
In the Mode 2 Type C analysis, higher terms of P are then following the same process as for Zone 3. Because in Zone 1
truncated as they are not dominant terms in the function and (Type A buckling) all of the stays are slack at the instant of
leave the governing equation intractable. For equilibrium, the buckling, no substantial changes in the way of determining the
total potential energy Vi X must be stationary with respect to the critical load are necessary. This analysis yields the critical loads
generalized coordinates qm . Therefore, the equilibrium paths for Zone 1 for Mode i being:
can be computed from the condition:
i 2π 2 E I
∂ Vi X Ci
PZone1 = . (54)
= 0. (53) L2
As can be seen from this equation, the critical load for Zone 1
is the exactly same as the Euler buckling load PE .
3. Critical buckling
For Zone 2, the critical load can be found from utilizing
the condition that the strain in the stays becomes zero at the
Having formulated the total potential energy, the critical
instant of buckling. As all of the stays are active during the pre-
buckling load of the stayed column is investigated using linear
buckling stage, substituting qm = 0 and h B = 0 into Eq. (30)
eigenvalue analysis. From the earlier work of Hafez et al. [8],
with the adoption of subscript B and solving the equation for P
it is known that the critical load is divided into three zones in
relation to the magnitude of the initial pretension in the stays. gives the following critical load for Zone 2 for Mode i:

Zone 1 The tension in the stays disappears completely before T

PZone2 = , (55)
the external load reaches the buckling load. Therefore, b p B E s As cos2 α
the critical load is exactly the Euler load (Type A
Zone 2 The strain in the stays becomes zero when the applied b p B = [2E s As cos3 α + E A]−1 . (56)
load reaches the critical load, i.e. the structure resists
buckling until the tension in the stays becomes zero. Note that Modes 1 and 2 have the same expression for the
Thus, all the stays remain effective until buckling, Zone 2 critical load. In fact, the instability behaviour in Zone 2
which sends the critical load potentially to a level that is not a classic bifurcation response: at the point of “buckling”
is significantly higher than the Euler load (Type C there is a sudden release of the axial energy of the column,
buckling). forcing the column to buckle, which is immediately followed by
Zone 3 The tension in the stays is nonzero at the instant of the reactivation of the convex side stays as the column displaces
buckling. As a large amount of the pretension has been laterally.
introduced, all the stays remain effective for some By plotting the critical loads against T , the relationship
while after buckling. The value of the critical load falls between the buckling load and the initial prestress, which
somewhat as the initial prestress increases because the was discovered by Hafez et al. [8], can be reproduced. This
initial compressive stress in the column diminishes its
relationship is shown in Fig. 11, where Tmin represents the
axial load capacity (Type B buckling).
initial prestress at the boundary between Zones 1 and 2 – the
As the formulation of the model ensures that the profile minimum effective pretension required to raise the buckling
of the structure maintains perfect symmetry during the load above the Euler load – and Pmax represents the theoretical
fundamental state, a bifurcation point can be observed when maximum buckling load that is observed at the boundary
qm = 0. For Type B buckling conventional linear eigenvalue between Zones 2 and 3.
D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239 1233

Fig. 11. Critical buckling load P C versus initial prestress T .

(a) Crossarm length.
3.1. Numerical results

In this section the aim is to compare theoretical Pmax values

obtained from the previous section with those from the Hafez
model as a benchmark for validation. In the Hafez model,
Pmax was obtained by the FEM, so that the accuracy of the
current model in terms of the critical load can be evaluated.
In the Hafez model, Pmax was sought with a variation in three
parameters: crossarm length, stay diameter and stay Young’s
modulus; for the current model, the same parameters are varied.
The dimensions of the structure used in the Hafez model were
as follows:
Column Young’s modulus: E = 201 kN/mm2
Crossarm Young’s modulus: E a = 201 kN/mm2
Stay Young’s modulus: E s = 202 kN/mm2 (b) Stay diameter.
Column length: L = 3.05 m
Crossarm length: a = 0.305 m
Outside diameter of the column: φco = 38.1 mm
Inside diameter of the column: φci = 25.4 mm
Outside diameter of the crossarm: φao = 38.1 mm
Inside diameter of the crossarm: φai = 25.4 mm
Stay diameter: φs = 3.2 mm or
φs = 4.8 mm.

While the crossarm length a is varied from 0.305 to 3.05 m,

the stay diameter is fixed to φs = 3.2 mm; when the
stay Young’s modulus E s is varied from 64.8 kN/mm2 to
204 kN/mm2 , the stay diameter is fixed to φs = 4.8 mm.
Fig. 12(a), (b) and (c) respectively show Pmax varying with each
parameter along with that of the Hafez model.
In the case of the single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) model
for Mode 1, there is a certain degree of error shown in Fig. 12 (c) Stay Young’s modulus.
between the Hafez and the current model. However, with the Fig. 12. Comparison of Pmax values with those of the Hafez model: (a) varying
two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) model, this error between the crossarm length, (b) varying stay diameter, (c) varying Young’s modulus.
two becomes almost negligible. In Mode 2, however, gaps Symbols (), (◦) and () represent the cases of n = 1, n = 2 and n = 3
between the Hafez model and the current model can be seen to respectively.

be more significant. With the three-degree-of-freedom (3DOF)

model, which is the most sophisticated model presented and that increasing the number of freedoms increases the accuracy
therefore is expected to have the least error, some differences but with computational expense and analytical complexity.
are still evident. Although these figures show relatively less Considering that the difference between the 2DOF and the
good agreement compared with those of Mode 1, the trend is 3DOF models is not significant, and that the solutions from the
1234 D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239

Table 1 of the axial energy can be stored in the fundamental state due
Selected points for the post-buckling investigation to the presence of effective axial forces in the stays, which
Point Initial prestress T prevents the release of axial energy from the column. Therefore,
Criterion expression Mode 1 (kN) Mode 2 (kN) this excessive amount of the energy is suddenly released at the
1 0 0.00 0.00 instant of buckling, which is conjectured to cause the unstable
2 Tmin /2 0.23 0.93 responses. By contrast, with a relatively small value of the
3 Tmin 0.46 1.86 prestress, although the axial energy has been able to be stored
4 (Topt − Tmin )/3 + Tmin 1.47 2.50 in the fundamental state, more than in the case of Zone 1,
5 2(Topt − Tmin )/3 + Tmin 2.48 3.14
this additional energy can completely be absorbed into the
6 Topt 3.48 3.78
7 2Topt 6.97 7.55 stays after buckling; therefore, stable paths are seen. Despite
8 4Topt 13.93 15.10 this difference within the zone, for any case in Zone 2 post-
buckling, the convex side of the stays are active throughout the
post-buckling range, with the stays on the concave side being
2DOF model are relatively close to the benchmark solutions, slack, which implies that in Zone 2 the post-buckling response
the 2DOF model will be used in order to obtain reasonably has Type C characteristics.
accurate solutions for the post-buckling behaviour without it As shown in the graphs in (d) of Figs. 14 and 15, there
being excessively demanding computationally. is also a discontinuity in the post-buckling response in Zone
3. The load P remains nearly at the critical load in Type B
4. Post-buckling response buckling for a while, and this initial stage is followed by Type
C buckling with a sudden loss of the stability; unstable paths
Eq. (53) expresses the equilibrium states after buckling, are then observed when the concave side stays go slack. The
which can be solved using M APLE. In Mode 1, the same discontinuity of Zone 3 is basically a mirror image of the
dimensions and properties as in Section 3.1 were also applied response in Zone 1, where slackening of stays occurs rather than
for the post-buckling analysis, with the stay diameter, φs = their reactivation.
4.8 mm being chosen. The critical buckling loads obtained For all zones, the only difference between Modes 1 and 2
with those dimensions against the initial prestress are shown is the activating stays in the Type C buckling response: the
in Fig. 13. activating stays are 1 and 2 for Mode 1, and 1 and 3 for Mode 2.
As illustrated, eight points are picked up from each diagram
to investigate changes in the post-buckling response as T 4.2. Validation
changes, the selection criteria being expressed in Table 1.
Using the FEM program ABAQUS, a purely numerical
4.1. Zones of behaviour model was developed and the post-buckling response was
revealed by a nonlinear Riks analysis to validate the results
The post-buckling responses for Modes 1 and 2 in each zone presented in the previous section. In this procedure, the column
are represented in Figs. 14 and 15. For Mode 1 the relationship and the crossarm were modelled as beam elements and the
between P and q1 − q3 is shown. The latter quantity being the stays were modelled as truss elements. The “No compression
normalized horizontal displacement at the column mid-span, option”, which prevents any compression force entering the
obtained by evaluating W1 (L/2)/L. truss elements, was also adopted to simulate any slackening
For Mode 2 the relationship between P and q2 − 2q4 is in the stays. Furthermore, it is essential in this type of
shown. The latter quantity being the normalized rotation at the nonlinear analysis to introduce an imperfection. In the current
column mid-span, obtained by evaluating Θ2 (L/2)/2π. study, this was achieved through using the Euler buckling
For both modes the post-buckling path in Zone 1 has two displacement generated by eigenvalue analysis. The magnitude
distinct stages, as shown in (a) and (b) in Figs. 14 and 15 of the imperfection was intended to be deliberately small such
respectively; P remains practically at the critical load in Type A that the perfect response would be approximated. To trigger
buckling (all stays slack) for a while, then the equilibrium path Mode 1, an out of straightness of L/10 000 was imposed at the
stabilizes with Type C buckling (convex side stays reactivated). middle of the column. To trigger Mode 2, an out of straightness
Note that, as shown in (b) in Figs. 14 and 15, the initial flat of L/14 142 was imposed at the quarter and the three-quarter
range becomes shorter as the prestress T is increased. points along the column such that the horizontal displacement
As shown in the graphs in (c) of Figs. 14 and 15, in Zone at those points would be the same as that in Mode 1.
2, stable paths can be observed in the initial post-buckling
range with relatively low values of the prestress, such as for 4.2.1. Comparisons
Points 3, 4 and 5, whereas unstable paths can be observed with Figs. 16 and 17 show the post-buckling responses from the
relatively high values of the prestress, such as for Point 6. The FEM along with those from the analytical models at Points
initial prestress at the transition from stability to instability can 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8. As can be seen in Fig. 16, for Mode 1, the
be found when T = 2.79 kN for Mode 1. The reason for post-buckling paths of the FEM model almost coincide with
this transition in Zone 2 can be considered as follows: with a those of the analytical model. However, Fig. 17 shows less
relatively large value of the prestress in Zone 2, a large amount good agreement between the FEM and the analytical models
D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239 1235

(a) Mode 1. (b) Mode 2.

Fig. 13. Critical buckling load P C versus the initial prestress T showing the selected points for the post-buckling investigation.

(a) Zone 1. (b) Initial part of zone 1.

(c) Zone 2. (d) Zone 3.

Fig. 14. Post-buckling responses for Mode 1 represented by axial load P versus mid-span buckling displacement q1 − q3 .

in Mode 2. Regardless of the less good agreement in Mode therefore, the analytical models for Mode 2 are still useful for
2, the same trend can still be detected from these two models; predicting the qualitative buckling behaviour.
1236 D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239

(a) Zone 1. (b) Initial part of zone 1.

(c) Zone 2. (d) Zone 3.

Fig. 15. Post-buckling responses for Mode 2 represented by axial load P versus mid-span buckling rotation q2 − 2q4 .

From this comparison, it can be said that the Mode 1 load should be much less than the critical load because with
buckling of the stayed column can be modelled as the current imperfections, the maximum strength of the structure usually
2DOF analytical model with great accuracy. Also, it can be said becomes significantly lower than the critical load and elastic
that with the current analytical 2DOF model for Mode 2, the failure ensues. The margin between the maximum strength and
approximated post-buckling response can be obtained; however the design load should be decided by imperfection sensitivity
it has to be admitted that the analytical model involves a certain studies, which the authors are currently undertaking.
discrepancy with the numerical model. This inaccuracy can be Also, with a very large amount of prestressing, much higher
reduced by increasing the number of degrees of freedom, but than Topt , the critical load may become relatively reliable for the
this process is computationally demanding as discussed earlier. collapse load because large amounts of buckling displacement
are necessary before unstable post-buckling occurs. Hence,
5. Design implications and further work
it can be said that, when greater stability is required for a
Some implications for design can be deduced from the structure, introducing a large value of the prestress is strongly
responses that have been presented. Firstly, when the prestress recommended. However, it should be noted that a large amount
is relatively low, such as in Zone 1 and in an initial part of of prestressing would require a significant increase in the
Zone 2 in which stable post-buckling paths can be seen, the cross-sectional area of the structural components to counteract
design load can be set on the basis of the maximum strength, potential plasticity effects, which may lead this component to
which can be larger than the critical load as long as plasticity being less cost-effective.
and excessive deflection can be avoided. However, when the The current studies do not account for geometric imperfec-
prestress is relatively high, such as in Zone 3 and the rest tions nor plasticity of steel. Hence, it does not necessarily reflect
of Zone 2 in which unstable paths can be seen, the design the actual response of the stayed column, although the model
D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239 1237

(a) Zone 1. (a) Zone 1.

(b) Zone 2.
(b) Zone 2.

(c) Zone 3.

Fig. 16. Equilibrium paths for Mode 1 comparing the FEM and the analytical (c) Zone 3.
Fig. 17. Equilibrium paths for Mode 2 comparing the FEM and the analytical
has revealed the principles behind the post-buckling response models.
in relation to the initial response in the ideal situation. The im-
portance of geometric imperfections was already discussed in Another aspect that is currently neglected is the effect of
earlier works [9–12]. To predict the more realistic response of stress relaxation that may occur due to creep and changes in the
the structure, it is necessary to incorporate imperfections and ambient temperature with the stays and the column changing
the plastic behaviour of each component into the current model, their lengths, and thereby their internal forces, causing a change
and the authors are currently working on this. in their stress state. This may manifest itself in stay relaxation;
1238 D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239

in Zone 3, where the optimal prestress is now considered to is followed by a rather stable path thanks to the reactivation
be located, relaxation may change the response of the column of the stays. In Zone 2, the critical load is increased to more
by reducing the prestress from where the column has relatively than the Euler load and either a stable or an unstable path
stable initial post-buckling responses (points 7 and 8) to emerges after buckling, depending on values of the prestress
purely unstable post-buckling responses (towards point 6). This and other structural properties. In Zone 3, the critical load
adverse effect from stress changes would be a key sensitivity to reaches its theoretical maximum, and the post-buckling path
focus on in future work. If this sensitivity is significant, it would becomes unstable, after an initially flat but slightly stable
also be suggested that designers should take into account both response, due to some of the stays slackening. These results
the initial prestress and the effective value of prestress after a have been validated using the FEM. It has been shown that the
long time period. Of course, the situation would become more current analytical model for Mode 1 has excellent agreement
complicated if materials of different coefficients of thermal with the FEM model; however it is less accurate for Mode 2
expansion are used in the column and the stays respectively, when compared to Mode 1, even though the model is still useful
or if the temperature changes are non-uniform within the whole to find approximate post-buckling responses for that mode.
component. Design implications have also been deduced from those results;
Interactive buckling is another issue to be tackled. This is it has been stated that any design loads should be carefully
a phenomenon in which different types of buckling modes determined with consideration for the post-buckling response
occur simultaneously. Fig. 12 shows that there is a boundary in order to achieve safe and efficient designs because the results
between Modes 1 and 2; it is one of the places where interactive have shown that the maximum strength depends primarily on
buckling possibly occurs [13]. From work on other structural the prestress rather than the classically evaluated buckling load.
components [16], it has been known that interactive buckling
is also triggered by the interaction between local and global Appendix. Hessian matrix for Zone 3
instabilities. Catastrophic failure can often be observed with When m = 2 and in Mode 1, the critical load for Zone 3
this type of instability, and therefore, interactive buckling needs can be obtained through calculating the following determinant
further investigation. of the Hessian Matrix:
Experimental studies focusing on the post-buckling response
∂ V1B ∂ 2 V1B
are also necessary in order to validate the analytical and the
numerical models. This process becomes vital, especially when ∂q 2 ∂q1 ∂q3
2 1 = 0. (57)

the structure is more complicated than the current structure ∂ V1B ∂ 2V
and therefore it becomes more difficult to formulate analytical
∂q3 ∂q1

models. Moreover, the current modelling is limited to two- ∂q 2 3
dimensional (2D) behaviour, it may become important to Each component of the matrix can be expressed as
develop three-dimensional (3D) models. Recent work [17,18]
has used 3D modelling to address 3D collapse responses with ∂ 2 V1B
= χ p11 P + χt11 T + χ11 , (58)
a variety of structural configurations and boundary conditions, ∂q12
and with different levels of the prestress, but certain other
∂ 2 V1B ∂ 2 V1B
stability issues need to be investigated in 3D such as local = = χ p13 P + χt13 T + χ13 , (59)
buckling mentioned above and torsional buckling if, for ∂q1 ∂q3 ∂q3 ∂q1
example, open sections are used instead of closed sections for ∂ 2 V1B
the main column component. = χ p33 P + χt33 T + χ33 . (60)
The work outlined above could be used as a basis to produce
design guidance. Currently, codes of practice, such as the The coefficients of the above equations are as follows:
European design code for steel structures [19], are lacking in χ p11
the design procedures for such potentially efficient and cost-
a 8b p B E s As b11B −2 cos2 α cos3 α+b p B E A 4b11B −π 2 −4b11B
effective structures; consequently, case and sensitivity studies = tan α ,
in conjunction with engineering judgement are necessary to (61)
design stayed columns in practice. Establishing such guidance
8 cos2 α − π2 cos α

for stayed columns would facilitate designers to adopt this 2a
χt11 = , (62)
structural component more effectively. tan α
64a 2 E s As cos3 α + E I π 4 tan α

6. Concluding remarks χ11 = (63)
χ p13
The post-buckling behaviour of the prestressed steel stayed
2a 2b p B E s As 4 cos2 α+b13B cos3 α+b13B (b p B E A−1)
column has been investigated using the Rayleigh–Ritz method. = tan α , (64)
It has been shown that the post-buckling response is strongly
−16a cos3 α
linked to the zone distinction of the critical loads that was found χt13 = , (65)
by Hafez et al. [8] for the first two buckling modes. In Zone 1, tan α
the response is initially similar to that of Euler buckling, which χ13 = −16a E s As sin α cos2 α, (66)
D. Saito, M.A. Wadee / Engineering Structures 30 (2008) 1224–1239 1239

χ p33 = [2] de Andrade SAL, Vellasco PCGdaS, da Silva JGS. Sistema construtivo e
montagem estrutural do palco principal do Rock in Rio III. Constr Mag
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tan α , (67) 2003;7:30–5 [in Portuguese].

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2a 8 cos2 α − 9π 2 cos α

J Struct Div ASCE 1963;89(ST 1):127–63.
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Div ASCE 1967;93(3):201–20.
64a 2 E s As cos3 α + 81E I π 4 tan α

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4a column. J Struct Div ASCE 1975;101(1):249–68.
[6] Temple MC. Buckling of stayed columns. J Struct Div ASCE 1977;
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