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EXAMPLE 6-009
LINK PLASTIC KINEMATIC LINK
PROBLEM DESCRIPTION
This example uses a single degree of freedom structure to test the behavior of a
plastic kinematic link element. Multi-linear force-deformation characteristics are
defined for the link element for both tension and compression behavior. The
force-deformation characteristics modeled for tension are different from those
modeled for compression. A nonlinear static analysis is used to push the link
element to a positive 12 inch displacement. Then, a second nonlinear load case is
started from the final conditions of the first load case and used to push the link
element to a negative 12 inch displacement, a 24 inch push. The resulting link
force at various deformations is compared with the defined link forcedeformation characteristics.
The SAP2000 model consists of a single joint, labeled joint 1, and one link
element. The model is created in the XZ plane. Only the Uz degree of freedom is
active for the analysis. The plastic kinematic link element is modeled as a singlejoint link element at joint 1. This means that one end of the link element is
connected to the ground and the other end is connected to joint 1. The link
element is oriented such that its positive local 1 axis is parallel to the positive
global Z axis. This is the default orientation of single joint link elements. Only
U1 degree of freedom properties are defined for the link element.
Only the nonlinear properties of the link element are relevant for this example
because the only load cases used are nonlinear load cases. The nonlinear forcedeformation characteristics of the link are defined in the table and chart on the
following page.
The weight of the link is 1 kip. This is the only load acting on the link, and it is
applied as a gravity load acting in the Z direction.
Two displacement-controlled nonlinear static load cases are used in this example.
They are named NLSTAT1 and NLSTAT2. NLSTAT1 starts from zero initial
conditions and pushes the link to a positive 12 inch deformation. NLSTAT2
starts from the conditions at the end of NLSTAT1 and pushes the link from a
positive 12 inch deformation to a negative 12 inch deformation.

EXAMPLE 6-009 - 1

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GEOMETRY, PROPERTIES AND LOADING


Loading
Self weight is applied as a
gravity load

1
Plastic kinematic
link. Self weight of
link is 1 kip.

Active Degrees of Freedom


Uz only

80

G
F

60
E

Link Force (kip)

40
20
0
-16

-12

-8

-4

0 D

12

16

-20

-40
C
-60
-80

Link Deformation (inch)

Link Properties (U1 DOF)


Linear Properties
Not used
Shear Distance
Not used for zero length link
Nonlinear Properties
Point Deformation (in) Force (kip)
A
-16
-55
B
-6
-50
C
-1
-40
D
0
0
E
2
50
F
6
70
G
16
80
See force-deformation chart to left

HYSTERETIC BEHAVIOR OF PLASTIC KINEMATIC LINKS


The hysteretic behavior for the plastic kinematic link element is described in
detail in the SAP2000 Analysis Reference Manual. This section describes the
hysteretic behavior as it relates to this
X
example.
G
F

Link Force

Consider the link force-deformation


relationship shown in the figure to the
right. Segments D-E and D-C
represent
elastic
deformation.
Segments E-F, F-G, C-B and B-A
represent plastic deformation. For
elastic deformation, the loading and

D
A

C
Link Deformation
EXAMPLE 6-009 - 2

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unloading follow the same path. For plastic deformation, the unloading follows a
different path from the loading.
Assume that the loading is positive and starts from zero at point D and proceeds
along path D-E-F-G until it reaches point X. At point X the load reverses
direction.

As point E is pulled, it pulls


points C and D along a similar path to
points C' and D', respectively.
Similarly, as point F is pulled, it
pulls point B along a similar path to
point B'. This is illustrated in the first
figure to the right.
When the load reverses, it follows
path X-D'-C'-B'-A and then continues
out on the slope defined by B-A. This
is illustrated in the second figure
shown to the right.

X, E', F'
G

F
E
Link Force

D'
D
A

C
C'

C
B'
Link Deformation

X, E', F'
G

F
E
D'

Link Force

As the load passes through point E


and proceeds to point F, point E is
pulled along with the load along
segment E-F such that when the load
reaches point F, points E' and F are in
the same location. Similarly, as the
load passes through point F and
proceeds to point X, points E' and F
are pulled along with the load along
segment F-G such that when the load
reaches point X, points X, E' and F'
are in the same location.

D
A

C
C'

C
B'
Link Deformation

EXAMPLE 6-009 - 3

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TECHNICAL FEATURES OF SAP2000 TESTED


Plastic kinematic links
Displacement-controlled nonlinear static analysis
Link gravity load

RESULTS COMPARISON
Independent results are hand calculated from the defined link force-deformation
characteristics and hysteretic behavior.

Output
Parameter

Link force at
specified
deformation
for specified
load case
kips

Link
Deformation

Load
Case

SAP2000

Independent

Percent
Difference

1.2 in

NLSTAT1

30

30

0%

4.2 in

NLSTAT1

61

61

0%

12 in

NLSTAT1

76

76

0%

11.52 in

NLSTAT2

64

64

0%

9.6 in

NLSTAT2

10

10

0%

2.4 in

NLSTAT2

-36

-36

0%

-12 in

NLSTAT2

-52.25

-52.25

0%

The following figure shows a plot of the link force versus deformation results
obtained from SAP2000 for load cases NLSTAT1 and NLSTAT2.

EXAMPLE 6-009 - 4

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80

60

Force (kip)

40

20

0
-12

-8

-4

12

-20

-40
NLSTAT1
NLSTAT2

-60

Deformation (inch)

COMPUTER FILE: Example 6-009


CONCLUSION
The SAP2000 results show an exact comparison with the independent results.

EXAMPLE 6-009 - 5

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HAND CALCULATION

EXAMPLE 6-009 - 6

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EXAMPLE 6-009 - 7

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EXAMPLE 6-009 - 8

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EXAMPLE 6-009 - 9