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DISCUSSION Buckling of One-Story Frames

Paper by C.G. SCHILLING (2nd Quarter, 1983)

Discussion by Dan S. Correnti As pointed out by Schilling, practical methods are available for calculating a frame's magnification factor, elastic buckling load and thus, its secondary P-A moments and other forces. Also presented was a method to determine a frame's critical elastic/inelastic buckling load analogous to the column strength curve adopted by AISC.1 Three steps for frame column design were presented which include a check on the frame's buckling capacity, a check on yielding instability at the frame joints including factored P-A moments and a check on individual column buckling and bending capacities.

Of all three design steps outlined above, the latter two have been suggested by the Structural Stability Research Council2 (SSRC) and other authors. The first design step, a check on the frame's buckling capacity, is an additional requirement as presented in the subject paper. An elaboration of the SSRC's 2 suggested procedure for column design using factored P-A values follows: a. Check AISC stability Formula 1.6-la as for braced frame using K = 1, since the P-A effect has already been included. b. Check AISC strength Formula 1.6-lb using first order and P-A moments. Design Step A evaluates a column's resistance against lateral buckling between end joints in conjunction with the maximum moment at or near the buckling location. Design Step B evaluates a column's resistance against yielding at its end joint. The additional design step (overall frame buckling check) proposed by the subject paper evaluates the frame's

Dan S. Correnti, S.E., is President of DC Consulting Engineers, Elm hurst, Illinois.

resistance to sidesway buckling. This evaluation determines the overall frame strength for pure axial loading conditions, similiar to an axial loaded post free to translate at one end but with some resistance to rotation. The columns within the framework would not be subject to first order bending for this loading condition. As pointed out by SSRC, 2 actual column strength can be closely determined using interaction equations of the type specified in the AISC Code 1 when it is subjected to both axial compression and bending. The basis for the interaction equations is that the sum of the ratios of the applied axial load and moment to the failure causing axial load and moment, respectively, if each were acting separately, is less than unity. Since a column can fail under pure axial load by first order yielding or by instability due to bifurcation of lateral displacement, determination of column strength related to both types of axial failure is required. The former type of failure (pure yielding) can occur at locations of the column where buckling is prohibited. The latter type of failure (instability) will always occur at loads less than yield strength of the column, since real columns have initial geometric imperfections and residual stress. Therefore, actual column strength for instability type failure is related to both its elastic critical buckling load and yield load for stockier columns and to just the elastic critical buckling load for slender columns. Instability failures occur at locations where the column lateral displacements can bifurcate. Since two types of column failure can occur, two types of interaction equations are required for columns subject to both axial and bending forces. One interaction equation is a strength equation (AISC Formula 1.6-lb) and the other is a stability equation (AISC Formula 1.6-la). The strength equation compares actual column forces to yield strength and should be utilized at locations of the column where yielding could occur prior to instability failure. This type of failure is discussed in a subsequent paragraph. Since the stability equation compares actual column forces to its axial compressive strength (determined from considering instability due to bifurcation of



lateral displacements) and its moment strength, the equation should be utilized at locations of the column where lateral displacements can bifurcate. An unbraced frame can fail in one of two different modes of buckling. One mode of buckling results from bifurcation of lateral displacements of an individual column member between its ends, say mid-height. The other -mode of buckling results from bifurcation of sides way displacements of the upper ends of the frame columns relative to their lower ends. Since bifurcation of displacements (and thus, buckling) can occur at both these column locations (mid-height and end), the stability interaction equation should be utilized at both these points. Present recommended design procedure after performing a P-A analysis requires use of the stability interaction equation only for mid-height buckling for individual columns and not for sidesway buckling of frame columns where displacement bifurcation occurs at the frame joints. Present procedure requires use of the strength interaction equation at the joints. The thinking is that factored P-A moments are already included in the bending portion of the interaction equation. But, as a result, the actual axial load is compared to the column's yield strength and not its actual axial strength. The column's actual axial strength is determined from both its yield strength and its elastic sidesway buckling capacity when acting in conjunction with the other frame members. The frame axial strength and thus, related individual column axial strength, can be determined using Eq. 7 or 8 of the subject paper. Equation 7 is based on elastic buckling at loads less than Py /2, whereas Eq. 8 is based on buckling of weakened frame columns at loads greater than Py 12 due to the effects of residual stresses and geometric imperfections. Frame axial strength, therefore, would always be less than its yield strength value, Py.

stability interaction formula as a guide. AISC Formula 1.6-la all terms are defined in AISC Specification Sect. 1.6
, ^ mx Jbx , *-' my Jby ^


(1 " fJF'ex)


(1 - faIF'ey)

Fby ^

As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to utilize the stability interaction equation at points on the column where lateral displacements can bifurcate, since its actual axial strength will be less than its yield strength. Thus, for an unbraced frame where two different buckling modes are possible, two uses of the stability interaction equation are required for each column. One application would be a check on the Euler-type buckling between column ends in conjunction with the actual moment occurring at this location. The other application would be a check on the sidesway type buckling in conjunction with the actual moment occurring at the appropriate end of the columns. The former application of the stability interaction equation is presently recommended by SSRC 2 and is applied as for a braced frame using K = 1. The latter application of the stability interaction equation can be performed for each column, using the following AISC

1. The first term (fa/Fa) is replaced by the ratio of the total gravity load P acting on the story to the sidesway critical buckling value Pcr of the story as determined from the appropriate Eq. 7 or 8 of the subject paper. a. If the frame is braced in one orthogonal direction, then Pcr is calculated for the unbraced direction. b. If the frame is unbraced in both orthogonal directions, then Pcr is calculated for both directions, and the lowest value is used. 2. The second and third terms of the above equation are replaced by the ratio, fbIFb. All other values are omitted. a. fb is the maximum bending stress that occurs at the column ends and results from the first order moment plus the P-A moment due to sidesway caused by factored loads. Per SSRC, 2 P-A moments are calculated using ultimate displacements equal to the working load displacements multiplied by a displacement factor F. The approach for calculation of the P-A moments is also described in the subject paper under "Yielding Instability" except that initial sidesway due to construction misalignment need not be included since this effect is included in the safety factor used in the determination of Pcr of the first term. This can be considered rational since the Pcr value was developed as the allowable gravity load acting on an imperfect frame in the same manner that Fa was developed, the allowable axial stress on an imperfect column. b. Fb, allowable bending stress, is determined in the normal fashion, assuming bending only exists. In the above approach for symmetrical frames subjected to symmetrical gravity loads only, the P-A moments would be zero and only the first order column moments need be considered for the second and third terms of the interaction equation. The requirement to assume some initial misalignment is, thus, avoided for gravity loading only cases. A displacement factor F for use in determining the factored P-A values is not presently recommended by SSRC. 2 To avoid the use of displacement factors a different approach in the application of the above interaction equation may be used, which is consistent with present AISC requirements. 1. The first term, fa/Fa, is replaced by P/Pcr, the same as outlined above. 2. For the second and third terms, the following modifications are required: a. Determine/^ by adding first order column end mo-



ments that are not associated with sidesway movement to those column end moments (magnified) that are associated with sidesway movement. The magnified column end moments, associated with sidesway, are determined by multiplying the associated first order moments by the following magnification factor m. m = 1/(1-P/Pcr) where, P = total gravity load on story Pcr = Eq. (7) from subject paper = (12/23) x (shl 1.2) b. Determine the allowable bending stress Fb as outlined above. c. The sidesway instability interaction equation becomes PIPcr + fbx IFbx + fby IFby ^ 1 where the terms are defined above. As is consistent with present AISC procedure, the 12/ 23 factor used in the determination of the magnification factor m above is equivalent with the use of the undefined factor F suggested by SSRC 2 in the approach outlined earlier. That is, F = the ratio of the factored load lateral deflection to the design lateral load deflection. Application of F accounts for the effect of ultimately displaced frame while design gravity loads are acting on it. The 12/23 factor, which had accounted for this effect, can still be used, as demonstrated next. As presently accepted, final working moments including effects of secondary analysis can be determined by multiplying the first order moments by a magnification factor. For example, Mf = Mt 1(1 - PIPe) where, Mf Mt P P. = final working load moment including secondary effects = initial working load first order moment = working gravity load = elastic critical buckling load = sh/1.2

To determine the final design moment including secondary effects, divide both sides of the above equation by the load factor B. Md = Milil where Md = design moment. Md determined here is equivalent to the design moment that would_be obtained from a conventional P-A analysis if F were set equal to B. Thus, Md determined by the above equation is a summation of the first order moment and the secondary moment of working gravity loads acting on an ultimately displaced frame. Use of B equal to 23/12 is consistent with present AISC requirements. For wind loading analysis divide B by 1.33. For an unbraced frame laterally loaded at floor levels, the stability interaction equation for sidesway buckling will almost always control except for special conditions. For example, a slender column being part of a frame having other heavier stocky columns may be controlled either by the strength interaction equation or the stability interaction equation for Euler-type buckling between column ends. Or a column subjected to substantially more axial load than the others may also be controlled by the above two types of interaction equations. The analysis/design procedure described herein can be applied to multi-story frames that approach the behavior of shear cantilevers (as opposed to flexural cantilevers) as proposed by Nair. 3 Determination of the sidesway buckling strength and magnification factor for each story is required. These values are calculated from the relative lateral displacement of the story being considered, the actual total shear load acting in the story, and the actual total gravity load acting on the story, all determined from a conventional first order analysis procedure. Once the buckling strength and magnification factor for each story are obtained, the design approach for each story is the same as outlined herein. SUMMARY With the development of sidesway buckling strength equations by the subject paper which takes into account the effects of residual stresses and initial geometric imperfections, frame sidesway stability interaction with column end moments can be utilized for determination of overall frame strength via interaction checks of individual columns. Although stability interaction checks for buckling between column ends and strength interaction checks are required for individual columns, the sidesway stability interaction check proposed here will usually control the column design. A rational design procedure was proposed for gravity loaded only frames where first order sidesway does not occur. This avoids the need for assumptions regarding initial geometric imperfections which are difficult to assess accurately. Also, a rational approach for considering 209 BPIPe)

To find the ultimate final moment including secondary effects, assuming elastic frame behavior, multiply all working load values in the above equation by the load factor B, BMf = BM(/(1 - BPIPe) where BMf = ultimate final moment which includes the effects of the ultimate gravity load BP acting on the ultimately displaced frame caused by the ultimate moment BMt.

the effect of working gravity loads acting on a ultimately displaced frame was proposed in lieu of using an undefined displacement factor (F) as required for the conventional P-A analysis procedure by SSRC. 2 Also, as indicated, the proposed design approach can be extended for use in design of multistory frames that approach the behavior of shear cantilevers. REFERENCES 1. American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. Manual of Steel Construction 8th Ed., Chicago, III., 1980. 2. Structural Stability Research Council Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal Structures 3rd Ed., John Wiley & Sons, New York, N.Y., 1976. 3. Nair, R.S. Lecture Notes, Lateral Load Resisting Systems for Multistory Buildings Presented at the 1980 ACI Chicago Area Chapter Seminar, ' 'Selected Topics in Concrete Design and Construction," March 20, 1980.


e sin e - e 2 cos e

- 6 sin 6 - 2 cos 0 0 2 sin 0 1 0 - 0 cos 0

h; u3 sir

0 3 sin 0 0 3 cos 0 0 - 0 cos 0

2 - 0 sin 0 - 2 cos 0

d-x u 3



Discussion by Alfred Zweig Schilling's paper regarding an approximate frame buckling analysis is a valuable contribution to the extensive literature of frame buckling. He tries to validate his approximation by comparing its results with the answers obtained by a more rigid investigation based on a finite element analysis. The writer was interested to compare Schilling's approximation with the results of a frame buckling analysis which is based on the deformation method. This method was used by the writer for analysis of one-story frames in a paper published in September 1968 in the Structural Journal of the American Society of Civil Engineers under the title, "Buckling Analysis of One Story Frames." Applied to the frames used in Schilling's comparison it leads to the following trigonometric equations: (a) For the frames with pinned bases:
{bxmi + 4 ) D 2 b\rrii
= 0(1)

0 2 - 0 2 cos 0 2 -- 0 sin 0 - 2 cos 0 = 4 i = 3 bi C\ = 6 dx = 3 S\ = 12 mx = cyfli m2 = C2IBX

- 2
M i

-(b3m3 + 4) b3m3 b3m3

(dimi -\-d3m3)

(b) For the frames with fixed bases:

(miani D = + 4) 2 mxs\


-(m3an3 + 4) m3s3 = 0 m3s3


= 0(2)

e = L (pcr/Eiy>2 L = 100 in. E = 29,000 ksi 2 Per = 290 0 C2 ForBlt Cx and C 2 see Table D l . Equations 1 and 2 were applied to all portal frames analyzed by Schilling in Table D l , i.e., all frames with the exception for those frames in his table which have either a second bay with members B2 and C3, or a diagonal strut Dl or a ratio A/I = 0.1. The results of this comparison are shown in Table 1. Table 1 substantiates Schilling's claim to the accuracy of his approximation which to the writer's opinion seems sufficiently close for practical purposes, maybe with the exception of Case 5 for the frame with pinned bases, where the deformation method gives about a 15% smaller value for Pcr than Schilling's approximation. It is only a question of whether the accuracy could not be improved for all frames with pinned bases by revising the correction factor of 1.2 for these frames. Schilling's approximation will be especially welcomed by those who have used the more accurate methods as the writer has done. The advantage of his approach becomes immediately apparent when comparing Eqs. 1 and 2 (which, without the use of a computer would be very difficult to solve) with the rather simple and elegant Eq. B6, which can be solved without recourse to any computer.
hence with and Schilling's method, however, would be of little practical value if it could not be extended to the case where not only a single column in a given frame is loaded but each of the columns is subject to an axial compression

Alfred Zweig is a Consulting Engineer in Laguna Hills, California.



Table 1
Pcr in kips according to Finite Element Method Schilling Case 1 Column with fixed base Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Case 6 Column with pinned base Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 1,450 3,530 4,319 4,944 5,800 3,900 829 1,065 1,234 1,450 890 Deformation Method Zweig 1,409 3,451 4,230 4,820 5,833 3,673 819 1,091 1,196 1,408 753 Approximate Method Schilling 1,450 3,314 4,060 4,712 5,800 3,780 725 967 1,160 1,450 865 2.204 3.450 3.819 4.077 4.407 5.033 1.680 1.895 2.032 - 2.204 2.278

paper: the term "allowable critical frame buckling load" used by Schilling seems to be a contradiction in itself. If a load is critical, according to common usage, the frame will buckle under this load and this quantity, therefore, cannot be allowable. If, on the other hand, you add a factor of safety to this load, it turns into the allowable load and, therefore, it is not any longer the critical load in the generally accepted terminology. It may lead to less confusion if the attribute "allowable" would be omitted when referring to a critical load. The values given for Pcr in Table Dl are obviously the critical, not allowable loads in kips (not stated so in this table). A value of 29,000 ksi was used in Eqs. B5 and B6, although not stated in the paper. The writer wishes to express thanks to Albeit Kahn Associates Inc. of Detroit, Mich, for permitting the use of the Digital VAX-11/780 Computer to solve Eqs. 1 and 2, and to Charles T. Robinson, Assistant Chief Structural and Civil Engineer of this organization for providing the figures of the 6 values in Table 1.

Discussion by John Springfield load. The writer has solved this problem in a general way in the above mentioned paper, which was used as a basis for a computer program by Albert Kahn Associates Inc. of Detroit, Mich. It served as a useful column design aid for factories with large unobstructed spaces where the overall column stability depends only on the rigid interaction between column and roof trusses (no vertical bracing is permitted) and all columns are subject to the same vertical load. By alternately turning adjacent I-shaped columns 90, it is possible to utilize the inherent strength of this column arrangement and achieve a substantial saving in the resulting steel tonnage. Without a rational buckling analysis, these and similar savings would not have been attainable. It would be useful and of practical value if Schilling's approximation could be extended to this and similar problems. To make practical use in all cases of Schilling's approximation, he proposes the factor of safety in his Eqs. 5 and 6. The designer should be made aware, however, of the fact that this proposal per se could violate the AISC Code, which stipulates the K factor should not be less than 1. In using the expression in Eq. B6 for Pcr the corresponding K value is unknown and may be less than 1. If the Specification requirement of K ^ 1 is not justified and should be rescinded, the designer should be made aware that by following Schilling's proposal in this respect, he might be violating the Specification unless he checks the guiding K value. Finally, a few random observations about Schilling's The author has identified correctly the prinicipal shortcomings of current practical approaches to frame stability. These are the inability of the effective length method to cope well with either complex frames or to take account of lateral forces (except through the beam-column interaction equations) and, with the P-A method, the less than satisfactory approach to the gravity load only load case. Within the limits of a uniform single story array of rigid frames, the author has proposed a method which promises to overcome these problems. This method proposes to determine the critical elastic buckling load, defined as that load under which a laterally disturbed frame will sway uncontrolled to collapse. I wish to comment on three aspects, namely: The validity of the basic approach The difficulties in applying the method to irregular frameworks The approach to inelastic buckling Schilling has improved the commonly used P-A method by taking account of the curvature of the beam-column between end points. This writer's concern was that Schilling used the P-A method to predict the elastic buckling load of a frame. Rather than arguing on theoretical grounds, this writer has compared Schilling's method, applied to a flag-pole under vertical and horizontal loading, with the results provided by Dr. Kirby
John Springfield is Vice President of Carruthers & Wallace Ltd., Consulting Structural Engineers, Rexdale, Ontario, Canada.


of Sheffield University for this problem, derived using both the stability functions and the "Euler amplification factor" methods. The problem is illustrated in Fig. 1. These results are tabulated in Table 1, together with the normal P-A results which do not include Schilling's 1.2 factor.

The author's value would be: A = Hh3 3EI-l.2Ph2 Hh3

3-1.2TT2P/ ~W

A -

r i

Table 1. Values of Coefficient K 0. 0.06 0.10 0.16 0.915 0.926 0.20 0.22 0.24

1. Stability 0.333 0.437 0.552 function 2. Amplification 0.333 0.439 0.556 factor 3. Linear 0.333 0.415 0.497 4. Schilling P-A 5. Ratio 1:3 6. Ratio 1:4 0.333 0.437 0.551 1.0 1.0 1.052 1.001 1.111 1.002

1.645 2.714 8.242 1.667 2.778 8.333 1.207 1.584

0.704 0.975 0.905 1.300 1.011

1.584 2.535 6.347 1.688 2.249 5.203 1.039 1.071 1.299

Figure I

The results give the values of the coefficient K which would be used to predict the lateral deflection of the tip of the flagpole: K With no axial load, K = lA. Kirby gives the following expressions: A 1 [2s/m-s(l+c)](l+c) 1 1 3 1-P/.25 Hh3 Pe EI Hh3 EI Hh3 EI

The stability functions have their usual values. Pe = TT2 EI/h2, the 0.25 is derived from an effective length of 2h. The usual P A method gives ~ Hh3 3EI-Ph2

Comparison of the coefficients confirms what was well known already, that the linear P-A method is a poor predictor of second order effects when the slenderness ratio approaches the upper limits of design practice. (This limit has been suggested by P.F. Adams as p = 0.145: the values in the table confirm this.) Much more importantly, the values demonstrate the remarkable improvement effected by Schilling's simple suggestion of increasing the P A effects by 20%. Finally, the values show how good is the approximation using the amplification factor, (l-P/Pe). This is used by both Galambos and Kirby. The snag with this seemingly simple amplification factor is that it is necessary to know the elastic effective length, which is what we are trying to avoid. Regardless of the theoretical rigor of Schilling's method, it appears to provide good results. The difficulties in applying the method to irregular frameworks and the author's approach to inelastic buck-




Setting p = TT2 EI/h2 1



P h2 ^ -

Figure 2



ling are really the same problem. There is no difficulty in determining the elastic critical load, for however irregular the framework, the frame stiffness s = H/A can be determined from first order elastic analysis. However, as soon as the author tries to use the Johnson parabola to predict the inelastic buckling load, his method breaks down with frames of the type shown in Figs. 1 and 2. These frames are diagrammatic representations of types of framework used in practical structures. Figure 1 represents framework in which there are simply connected columns supporting gravity load, stabilized by adjacent rigidly framed columns. Figure 2 is representative of rigid frames in which there is wide variation in column stiffness in a given plane. The author's magnification factor is satisfactory since it contains the summation of all gravity loads on the structure and the frame stiffness. However, the logic for using Py/2, where Py represents the yield load of all the columns in the frame, as the point of intersection of the elastic buckling curve with the inelastic transition curve is incorrect. The squash load of the pinned column in Fig. 1 has no bearing on the transition between elastic and inelastic frame buckling. The frame in Fig. 2 suffers from a similar problem but is more difficult to resolve. In this writer's view, there is no validity to distributing the squash load in proportion to the gravity load on the columns since the cross-section of the pinned columns could be selected for some reason independent of column design. For the method to be of wide practical use in the design of one-story frames, it is essential that the author develop another means of determining the on-set of inelastic buckling. In this writer's opinion, the method proposed by the author is of sufficient merit to warrant further development. In the customary second order analysis approach, the designer has to decide the degree of second order effect which is acceptable. The writer has not seen recommendations on this matter published but has adopted the following limits: Ratio of total (first and second order effects) to first order effects Low-rise buildings: 1.3 High-rise buildings: 1.2. The author's proposal permits the designer to arrive at a single solution under gravity load. To this degree it shares the design simplicity of the effective length method when applied to simple frames. The method proposed by the author demonstrates a requirement which in this writer's opinion is of extreme importance in the assessment of frame stability. This is the need to determine in any design the stiffness of the framework to lateral displacement when carrying its gravity load. A fundamental fault with the effective length method of treating stability was that it was possible for an engineer to design a framework and satisfy the design specification with regard to stability, when he had no idea whatsoever of the structure's lateral sway characteristics,

either under lateral load or under gravity load only. Admittedly, determination of lateral deflection was difficult prior to computer structural analysis programs. However, there is no longer any justification for avoiding the need to determine this important parameter.