Buckling length of columns in a load-bearing multi storey steel frame structure, used as case study, are determined following approaches given by AISC and DIN 18800.
Additionally the numerical tool Robot is applied for this issue.
Initially frame design in practice, the different methods given by EC 3 are explained where design based on equivalent column method is chosen. Hence the concept of effective buckling length is explained by considering the fundamental column cases where the influence of support conditions on the buckling length of column (K-factor) is elaborated.
Several other buckling analysis are performed on frames with variance restraint conditions
in Robot in order to determine factors that
influence on K-factor of columns in framed
structure.

© All Rights Reserved

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Buckling Length REPORT

Buckling length of columns in a load-bearing multi storey steel frame structure, used as case study, are determined following approaches given by AISC and DIN 18800.
Additionally the numerical tool Robot is applied for this issue.
Initially frame design in practice, the different methods given by EC 3 are explained where design based on equivalent column method is chosen. Hence the concept of effective buckling length is explained by considering the fundamental column cases where the influence of support conditions on the buckling length of column (K-factor) is elaborated.
Several other buckling analysis are performed on frames with variance restraint conditions
in Robot in order to determine factors that
influence on K-factor of columns in framed
structure.

© All Rights Reserved

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Department of Civil Engineering

Sohngrdsholmsvej 57

www.bsn.aau.dk

Synopsis:

Buckling length of columns in a load-bearing

multi storey steel frame structure, used

as case study, are determined following

approaches given by AISC and DIN 18800.

Additionally the numerical tool Robot is

applied for this issue.

of columns in multi storey plane

steel frames

Project period: B9K - Trainee, Autumn 2010

By: Sugunenthiran Markandu

Supervisors:

Lars Pedersen

Print runs: 4

Number of pages: 76

Appendix: 42 Appendix report and 1

Appendix CD.

Completed: 6 January 2011

methods given by EC 3 are explained where

design based on equivalent column method

is chosen. Hence the concept of effective

buckling length is explained by considering

the fundamental column cases where the influence of support conditions on the buckling

length of column (K-factor) is elaborated.

Several other buckling analysis are performed

on frames with variance restraint conditions

in Robot in order to determine factors that

influence on K-factor of columns in framed

structure.

K-factor determination charts given by AISC

and DIN 18800 are presented where the

use and limitations of them are explained.

Furthermore theoretical deviation of AISC

charts are elaborated.

Two load cases are considered due to obtain Kfactor of columns in the case study structure

by application of AISC and DIN 18800

approaches. Buckling analyses in Robot are

performed for this issue. The determined

results by employing different approaches are

compared and discussed. Furthermore the

influence of the K-factor on the final result is

examined by performing code check in Robot.

Finally the conclusion is made upon which

method is most suitable for practical use.

The reports content is freely available, but the publication (with source indications) may only happen by agreement

with the authors.

Preface

This report is a product of project work made by the author at the 3rd semester of

the candidate program of Structural and Civil Engineering at the Department of Civil

Engineering at Aalborg University.

The project is made during an internship at Rambll Aalborg, where the author also

participated in other projects and activities. These projects and activities are shortly

described in appendix F. The project is completed within the period of 6th of September

to the 07th of January 2011.

The project covers the investigation of different methods to determine the effective

buckling length of columns in a load-bearing multi storey steel frame structure. The

case study used for the current project is a plan steel frame structure part from a project

called "Z-house".

The project report consists of four parts: Pre-analysis of frame design, Case study,

Conclusion and Appendix. The appendix is divided into A, B, C etc., which are found at

the end of the report.

The project report uses the Harvard method of bibliography with the name of the source

author and year of publication inserted in brackets after the text, for example: [Bonnerup

and Jensen, 2007]. The lists of all the sources of reference are found at Bibliography list

in the end of the report.

A resume of this report including important conclusive matters gathered by different

analysis and studies, with the aim to provide a quick overview of this project for staff at

Rambll and furthermore be a guidance to determine the K-factor in framed structure of

steel in practice, is given in appendix E.

Acknowledgements

I would like to acknowledge the employees at the Building department at Rambll Aalborg

for daily guidance and for being good colleagues during the internship. I was very pleasant

with my stay at Rambll Aalborg where I found both the working environment and the

social life in general very much attractive.

iii

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1

Problem statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.2

Problem definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.3

Methods of analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.4

7

9

2.1

Frame classification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.2

EC 3 - formulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

2.3

2.2.1

2.2.2

17

3.1

3.2

3.2.1

3.3

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

4.1

27

AISC - formulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

4.1.1

Non-sway frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

4.2

4.3

Table of contents

4.1.2

Sway frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

4.1.3

4.2.1

Non-sway frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

4.2.2

Sway frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

II Case study

45

47

5.1

5.2

53

6.1

AISC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

6.2

DIN 18800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

6.3

ROBOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

6.4

Results compairison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

6.5

6.5.1

III Conclusion

71

Chapter 7 Conclusion

73

75

IV Appendix

77

vi

Table of contents

9th semester

B.1 Bracing effect of bays

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7

8

Appendix C Frame Base Effects on K-factor

13

17

D.2 Application of Robot to local storey buckling load determination . . . . . . 20

Appendix E Resume of the report

27

Rambll

35

39

G.2 Course - Buckling analysis in Robot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Bibliography

41

vii

Introduction

In this chapter the motivation for this project will be described followed by a

presentation of the problems to be handled. This leads to the problem definition

for the project, which will be answered in the report. Furthermore the objectives

of the project in order to handle the problem are described.

Design of tall buildings using steel frames is a very common method in the modern

industry. Utilising steel frames as the primary load bearing structure allow a long spanning

multiple-storey construction, where the benefit is that steel elements dont take up a lot

of space. Tall buildings made of steel frames have a lower self weight in comparison with

for instance a solution of reinforced concrete elements. This means that the foundation

cost of the building is lower than else. Furthermore steel elements are easier to handle at

the construction site. These aspects make a construction solution of steel frames simple

and economical, [Thomsen, 1968]. An example on such a construction is shown in figure

1.1.

1. Introduction

The construction sketch shown in figure 1.1 is the exclusive project named "Z-house". The

house is intended to be build at a location near Aarhus harbour. The building is planned

to consist of 11000 m2 housing area and 14000 m2 for commercial lease. The construction

work is suspended at the moment caused by the economic crisis. But Rambll Aalborg

has until the date of suspension been the advisor regarding the engineering field related

to the project. The construction engineers involved in the project at Rambll Aalborg

have chosen the primary load bearing principle of the house to be based on steel frames.

These frames, with different levels in height, are joined in extension to each other in order

to meet the special requirements of the geometry for the Z-house. [Dalsgaard, 2008]

The static model shown to the left in figure 1.2, represents a simplified frame from the

project of Z-house. This static model is used for the case study in the current project. It

is an unbraced, pinned, 10-storey frame consisting of 2 bays. Each storey is with a height

of 3.6 m and a bay span of 8 m. The connections between the columns and beams are

regarded to be rigid, see the illustration to right in figure 1.2. HE400B profiles are used

for the columns in all the storeys. The beams in all the storeys are designed asymmetric

having a wide lower flange in order to support the concrete floor, the dimensions are shown

in figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2. Two-bay and ten-storey plane frame construction to be used for the case study

9th semester

The local coordinate system of the elements is illustrated on a column and beam element

but is valid for all the other respective members in the structure. The frames are intended

to be placed with an individual distance of 6 m in longitudinal direction (parallel with the

z-axis). It shall be mentioned that the stability in the z-axis direction is assumed to stable;

hence only in plane situation is required by Rambll to be considered. In accordance to

the illustrated local coordinate system for the elements, the geometric and mechanical

parameters of the members are presented in table 1.1.

Profil

Length [mm] E [M P a] Iz mm4

fyk [M P a]

Asymmetric beam

HE400B column

8000

3600

210 103

210 103

776453 103

576805 103

350

350

Table 1.1. Geometrical and mechanical parameters of members involved in the frame used as

case study, see figure 1.2 for illustration of the case study structure.

Determination of the effective buckling length of the columns in the case study structure

shown in figure 1.2, by employing different analytical and numerical methods is the aim

of this project. The motivation and furthermore why construction engineers at Rambll

Aalborg are interested on this study is described in the following.

1.1

Problem statement

The stability analysis of a frame shall be performed following the code of practice. Hence

the stability of steel frame structure shall be insured by following the instruction given in

Eurocode 3. In general the code introduces three different methods in order to analyse

and document the stability of the frame. But basically the design procedure is required

to be based on either 1. or 2. order theory or by a combination of these. A more detailed

description of this is given in chapter 2. [EC3, 2007]

The construction engineers at Rambll Aalborg prefer to apply the equivalent column

method (based on the 1. order theory) for the stability analyses of frames. This is due to

the fact that the equivalent column method is the traditional way which the engineers are

familiar with. Therefore they find it to be the most secure way of insuring the stability of

the frames as they are able to follow the calculation steps. A more detailed description of

why they prefer the equivalent column method is given in chapter 2.

Applying the equivalent column method requires the designer to determine the effective

buckling length value of the columns based on a global buckling mode of the frame

accounting for the stiffness behaviour of the members and joint and the distribution of

the compressive forces. This means that the objective get complex. Eurocode 3 nor

Danish National Annex suggest any procedure to determine the effective buckling length

value of the columns but refer to some other relevant literature for this objective. It is

hence essential to find and employ a method which gives reliable results and the use of

numerical tools can be relevant. There are hence a number of methods; therefore the

accuracy, usability and limitations may be studied in order to point out one or more

suitable methods in the practical engineering work. [EC3, 2007]

3

1. Introduction

The description of the problem and requirements from the construction engineers at

Rambll lead to the following problems which seeks to be investigated and answered

through the project:

Point out, one or more methods whereby a quick and reliable estimate of effective

buckling length of columns in framed steel structure can be determined.

This project focuses on determination of the effective buckling length of columns in frames

applying different methods. Hence the following problem formulation is the main issue of

this project:

Determination of the effective buckling length of columns in steel framed

structures by employing different analytical and numerical methods

1.2

Problem definition

In order to handle the described problem, the following objectives for the project are

made:

Understand the design requirements and methods for steel frames given in Eurocode

3 and what is meant by 1. and 2. order analysis.

Understand the concept of the effective buckling length in general.

Classify whether a given frame is of sway or non-sway type.

Perform analyses in order to determine the parameters that influence buckling length

of columns in a frame.

Apply different approaches to determine the effective buckling length of columns

and study theirs assumption, usability and limitations.

Perform analyses in order to verify the reliability of the commercial program Robot

with respect to buckling analysis and examine in what extend it can be applied due

to determine the buckling length of columns in framed structures.

Determine the effective buckling length of columns in the structure presented as case

study using different analytical and numerical methods.

Perform code check and sensitivity analysis due to examine the influence of effective

buckling length value for the final design.

Due to the lack of time available for this project, limitations on the treatment of some

of the described objectives are made. These limitations are described in the respective

chapters. Furthermore the instability problem, lateral torsional buckling of the members

is not included this study.

1.3

9th semester

Methods of analysis

Analytical approach

Alignment charts given by AISC, American institute of steel construction, and charts

published by the German code DIN 18800 are employed in order to determine the

effective buckling length of columns. Furthermore the theoretical background of the AISC

alignment charts is developed analytically.

Eurocode 3, mentioned EC 3 in the following, is studied in order to understand the

design requirement in practice. The theoretical background is granted by study of several

scientific notes and books on analysis of steel frame structures, references are made

throughout the report.

Numerical approach

The finite element program: "AutoDesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2011",

mentioned as Robot in the following, is applied in order to model and perform buckling

analysis. Furthermore calculations programs available at Rambll as Excel and MathCAD

are used in order to set up small programs and MatLab is employed to plot graphs.

The use of the program Robot is enabled by 1 week of training at Rambll, following

the manuals offered by AutoDesk. Understanding of the methods Robot calculations are

based on, are gathered by studying the Robot manuals.

1.4

This report is divided into 4 parts exclusive the introduction. Each chapter of this report

starts with an overview of the contents in the actual chapter. The current report consists

of following chapters and appendix:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Part I - Pre-analysis of frame design

Chapter 2: Frame design in practice

Chapter 3: Elastic buckling of columns

Chapter 4: K-factor determination in practice

Part II - Case study

Chapter 5: Case study structure

Chapter 6: K-factor determination

1. Introduction

Chapter 7: Conclusion

Chapter 8: Putting into perspective

Part IV - Appendix

Appendix

Appendix

Appendix

Appendix

Appendix

Appendix

Appendix

B: Factors that influence the K-factor

C: Frame Base Effects on K-factor

D: K-factor determination using Robot

E: Resume of the Report

F: Overview of other participated project and activities at Rambll

G: Guide to Appendix CD

Part I

the discussion and definition on classification of the frame type is given. This is

followed by a description of EC 3 formulation of theory and methods to be applied

in practice design of frames. Finally the design method preferred by Rambll is

described whereby the cause for the current study of this project is elaborated.

It shall initially be mentioned that buckling analysis in Robot is widely used in this project.

Hence a description on the method Robot uses and input parameters it requires due to

perform buckling analysis and furthermore a convergence test is made, see appendix A.

The reader is strongly suggested to read this document due to get the theoretical background

of buckling analysis in Robot.

The main goal of this chapter is to clarify what is stated in EC 3 regarding the practical

design of frames. Eurocode is in general made to cover a large number of construction

types why it often contains a wide description of the design methods. Therefore it becomes

hard to get an overview of the design requirement for a given construction. Hence this

chapter is made due to enable a brief overview of the requirements in EC 3 that is valid

for frames of the kind presented as case study in chapter 1. But before this objective, the

current chapter is initiated by a classification study on frame types introducing definitions

and terms that are widely used in the stability study of frames and not least in this

chapter.

2.1

Frame classification

When dealing with stability of columns or stability of frames, codes and design books

commonly use the following terms, which is dependence on the deformation fashion that

occurs when the frame is subjected to loading: [University of Ljubljana - Slovenia, 2010a]

Sway / unbraced frame, shown to right in figure 2.1.

Non-sway / braced frame, shown to left in figure 2.1.

9

Figure 2.1. Non-sway/braced frame to left and sway/unbraced frame to right. [University of

Ljubljana - Slovenia, 2010a]

Sway frame is defined as a frame which is not restrained from deflecting laterally and

non-sway is hence a frame which is restrained from deflecting laterally. But this doesnt

means that the structure example shown in figure 2.1 to right and left always is classified

as sway and non-sway frame, respectively. If the restraint or the bracing of the braced

structure is very flexible, then the frame may be classified as sway frame. Likewise if the

stiffness of the elements in the unbraced structure is sufficiently large, then the frame may

be classified as non-sway frame. [University of Ljubljana - Slovenia, 2010a]

In fact the definition given above of non-sway frame has no real significance and is only

valid in an "engineering" sense. Because there is no structure, whether it is braced

or unbraced that doesnt displace laterally. But it is a question on how small the

displacements are thus to be considered equal zero in an engineering sense. But eventually

the reason for defining whether the frame is a sway or non-sway type is due to argue for

adopting conventional analysis on non-sway frames or if the 2. order analysis (on sway

frames) shall be performed. Further description on this matter is given in this chapter

2.2. [University of Ljubljana - Slovenia, 2010a]

A more precise definition of a non-sway frame is hence a structure which, from the points of

view of stability, can be considered to have small inter-storey displacements. Therefore the

local column buckling is independent from the global frame buckling, why the instability

problem can be uncoupled, [University of Ljubljana - Slovenia, 2010a]. EC 3 indirectly

provides the following criterion in order to define whether the frame can be considered as

sway or non-sway type. A frame may be classified as non-sway if cr factor for a given

load case satisfies the criterion given in equation 2.1. [EC3, 2007]

10

2.2. EC 3 - formulation

cr =

cr

FEd

Fcr

Fcr

10

FEd

9th semester

(2.1)

to cause elastic instability in the global mode

The vertical design load on the structure

Elastic critical buckling load for global instability mode based on initial elastic

stiffness

It is hence seen that the definition of a frame as sway or non-sway type depends on the

magnitude of vertical loads; which is understandable since even a very flexible structure

doesnt have any 2. order effects if the vertical loads are equal to zero. Therefore the

classification of sway or non-sway type is not general for a given frame, but is just valid

for a specific vertical load case. If equation 2.1 is satisfied, the global buckling can be

neglected when carrying out the check against column buckling, further description on

this matter is given in the following. [University of Ljubljana - Slovenia, 2010a]

2.2

EC 3 - formulation

In stability analysis of frames, flexure is the primary means for unbraced rigid frames by

which they resist the applied load. Therefore it may be essential to account for so called

2. order effects. The effect of deformed geometry (2. order analysis) of a structure shall

be included if they significantly increase the action effects. Therefore influence of 2. order

effects shall be specified and evaluated. In the following the formulation given in EC 3 on

this matter is described. Initially what is meant by 1. and 2. order response is illustrated.

[EC3, 2007]

2.2.1

going onto further details with the design regulations, a description on what is assumed

and accounted for in 1. and 2. order analysis is given in the following. [University of

Ljubljana - Slovenia, 2010b]

1. order analysis

Assumes small deflection behaviour.

Resulting forces and moments do not account for the additional effect due to

the deformation of the structure under loading.

11

2. order analysis

Large displacement theory :

Resulting forces and moments take full account of the effects due to the

deformed shape of both the structure and its members.

Stress stiffening :

Effect of element axial loads on structure stiffness: Tensile loads stiffening

an element and compressive loads softening an element.

In the following two cases, symmetric and asymmetric loading on an unbraced in-plane

frame is considered in order to illustrate what is meant by the 2. order effect. Figure

2.2 to left shows an undeformed frame with uniformly distributed load. For this case the

primary deflection due to load P < Pcr will be symmetrical until the bifurcation point is

reached, illustrated in the middle in figure 2.2. A detailed description on the critical load

Pcr and the bifurcation point is given in chapter 3. When the critical load is reached the

deflection pattern changes to fail by side-sway buckling, shown on the illustration to right

in figure 2.2. This behaviour is sketched in a load - lateral deflection curve, see figure 2.4,

where elastic behaviour is assumed. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

Figure 2.2. Symmetric deflection of the frame due to symmetric loading until bifurcation point

is reached, hereafter deflection pattern changes to fail by side-sway buckling

Consider the frame in figure 2.3, which is in addition to the previous case, subjected to

a lateral load H. This frame doesnt have any bifurcation point where the deflection

pattern changes, but it deflects laterally from the start of loading. The P behaviour

of this case can be described based on either 1. or 2. order deflection, see figure 2.4.

In 1. order analysis, the load - deflection response is based on the undeformed structure

where equilibrium is formulated on the deformed structure; hence it results in a linear load

deflection curve. In the 2. order analysis, a load increment gives a incremental deflection,

which is a little more than in the previous load increment. Hence slope of the 2. order

curve decreases as the load increases, why it results in a non linear curve in figure 2.4.

[Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

12

2.2. EC 3 - formulation

9th semester

Figure 2.3. Unsymmetrical deflection (side-sway buckling) of the frame due to lateral loading

H.

Figure 2.4. Load - lateral deflection curve P for symmetric and unsymmetrical loading

including 1. and 2. order analysis. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

Figure 2.3 also shows the element deflection , due to the axial loading. Hence to provide

a complete stability analysis of frame both the P and P effects may be included.

Such an analysis is called 2. order P analysis. [S.L Chan & C.K. Lu, 2006]

2.2.2

EC 3 states the criterion given in equation 2.1 for the safety factor cr ; if (cr 10),

the 2. order effect is assumed to be neglectable and the calculations can be performed

using 1. order elastic analysis. For critical value lower than three, cr 3, a precise 2.

order analysis shall be performed. For intermediate values, 3 cr < 10, EC 3 suggests

to multiply the horizontal loads due to wind and imperfections by an amplification factor

given by the equation 2.2. [EC3, 2007]

Af actor =

1

1 1cr

(2.2)

13

The global critical value cr for the structure is directly obtainable by performing buckling

analysis in Robot. Hence it can be verified if 2. order effect shall be included. Anyhow EC

3 suggests three approaches in order to account for P . Without going to details,

it can briefly be said that EC 3 differentiate between three kind of analysis in order to

demonstrate the structural stability of frames: [EC3, 2007]

1. Complete P analysis method: Analysis where 2. order effects in individual

members (P effect) and relevant member and global imperfections are totally

accounted for in the global analysis (P effect) of the structure.

No individual stability check for the members is necessary.

2. Partly P and partly equivalent column method: Analysis where

2. order effects in individual members (P effect) or certain individual member

imperfections are not fully accounted for in the global analysis (P effect) but 2.

order effect of global imperfections are included.

Individual stability check for the members following the instruction given in EC

3, section 6.3: "Buckling resistance of members" is necessary, where buckling

length equals to the system length is used.

3. Equivalent column method: Analysis where only 1. order analysis, without

considering imperfections, is accounted for in the global analysis.

Stability of the frame is accessed by a check with the equivalent column method

according to the instruction given in EC 3, section 6.3. The buckling length

values should be based on a global buckling mode of the frame accounting for

the stiffness behavior of the members and joints, the presence of plastic hinges

and the distribution of compressive forces under the design load.

As the different design approaches stated in EC 3 are explained, the approach that the

construction engineers at Rambll prefer to use and the reason for it is described in the

following.

2.3

The construction engineers at Rambll Aalborg prefer to use the design approach based on

the equivalent column method. This is due to the fact that the equivalent column method

is the conventional method they are familiar with, as described in the introduction, chapter

1.

On the other hand the numerical tool Robot, available at Rambll, is able to perform

a complete P analysis, and hence no individual element check is required, why

this approach obviously seems to be a quick method. But the problem connected to

this method the engineers call attention to, is that the global-frame and local-element

imperfections of the structure shall be included when performing the analysis.

14

9th semester

This means that the imperfections shall be calculated, which is maybe not the main time

consuming process, but implementing them in Robot is a very time consuming process.

This practically means that the geometry shall be adjusted including the imperfections,

by offsetting the element nodes. The other problem is to place the imperfections thus

it reflects the most unfavorable situation for a given load case. This objective gets very

complicated, as in practice a large number of load combinations shall be checked and it is

hard to point out which one is more critical in forehand, even for an experienced engineer.

All these complications committed to the P analysis method, makes the engineers

in practice to prefer the well known equivalent column method following EC 3, which is

also available in Robot. The other design approach, where partly P and partly

equivalent column method is applied, also consist of complications as described before,

why this method neither is preferred.

Using the equivalent column method, requires to determine the effective buckling length

of the columns based on a global buckling mode of the frame accounting for the stiffness

behavior of the members and joints, the presence of plastic hinges and the distribution

of compressive forces under the design load. No suggestion is given in EC 3 or Danish

National Annex, in terms of how to determine the buckling length of columns in frames.

The Danish National Annex refers to some other relevant literature for this objective.

This leads to the reason for the scope of this project as described in chapter 1. It shall be

mentioned that presence of plastic hinges are not included this study as only the elastic

behaviour of the structure is considered.

15

Elastic buckling of

columns

a study of elastic buckling of planar columns. The expression of Euler load

is derived for the basic case, pin-ended column. Critical buckling load and

thereby the effective buckling length factor (K-factor) is determined for some

other fundamental cases.

The basic and essential question in a study of the stability of a given structure goes on

whether it is stable or instable. The definition of a stable elastic structure is that "a small

increase in load causes small increase in displacement" where the instability is defined as

"a small increase in load causes large displacement". The condition of stability refers to

the state of equilibrium of the system which can be illustrated as: [Galambos and Surovek,

2008]

Figure 3.1. Illustrations indicating the state of equilibrium of a system. [Aalborg University, -]

The illustration (a) in figure 3.1 indicates a stable equilibrium where the "element" can

be disturbed but will return to the initial position. Contrary to this, the illustration

(b) indicates an unstable equilibrium where the "element" will fail if it is disturbed.

Illustration (c) represents the neutral equilibrium, where the element will find a new

position of equilibrium if it get disturbed. These illustrations on state of equilibrium are

the basic for understanding the stability condition of a structure. [Galambos and Surovek,

2008]

17

Structural engineers are familiar with so called Euler load PE , of an axial loaded column.

This is the critical buckling load Pcr , of a pin-ended column, referred as the basic case

in the buckling analysis. More explanation on this matter will be given later in this

chapter. Considering figure 3.1, the state of stability at the level of critical buckling load

is recognised as the upper limit of the condition shown at the illustration (a), meaning

that further increase in load will lead to instability of the column where unstable state

shown at the illustration (b) occurs. Illustration (c) represents the "loading path" from

no load on the column till the critical buckling load where the column keeps on finding

new positions that establish equilibrium of the system as the load increases.

3.1

Having illustrated the state of equilibrium of the system, the next step is to determine the

critical buckling load of a compression member with a given support conditions. In the

stability study of compression elements, the Euler load is used as the reference which is

determined from the Euler buckling equation. It is of the greatest important to understand

the derivation of the Euler buckling equation where for instance the influence of the

boundary conditions on the critical load can be demonstrated. Thereby it becomes easier

to understand the behaviour of a column and perform analysis of frames where the columns

are connected to beams that act as supports. Hence derivation of the Euler buckling

equation based on the basic case, a pin-ended column, is performed in the following.

Bernoulli-Euler beam theory is applied in the following, where the internal forces are

assumed to act in accordance to the undeformed plane, in other words plane cross

section remains plane. Hence a perfectly straight, pin-ended, Bernoulli-Euler bar with

the buckling stiffness E I, subjected to a point load P is considered, see figure 3.2.

[Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

Figure 3.2. Pin-ended column with buckling stiffness EI, suspected to point load P . [Bonnerup

and Jensen, 2007]

18

9th semester

The deflection of the column from its initial shape v(x), is given as a function of x. The

external bending moment of the deflected shape is then determined by the equation 3.1.

[Bonnerup and Jensen, 2007]

M (x) = P v(x)

(3.1)

Equation 3.2 fulfils the constitutive condition that gives the relationship between moment

and curvature and the equation 3.3 fulfils the kinematics condition for the system.

M (x) = E I

=

d2 v(x)

dx2

(3.2)

(3.3)

By insertion of these conditions into the equation 3.1, the differential equation of the

column becomes:

EI

d2 v(x)

+ P v(x) = 0

dx2

(3.4)

The quantity k 2 , is introduced in equation 3.5 and used in what comes ahead in this

report.

k2 =

P

EI

(3.5)

Using the equation 3.5 the differential equation can be rewritten into the form

d2 v(x)

+ k 2 v(x) = 0

dx2

(3.6)

Differential equation of the form as given in equation 3.6, has the following general solution:

(3.7)

A and B are constants that shall be found by applying 2 boundary conditions in order to

determine the exact solution for the given problem. Hence for the pin-ended column, the

following boundary conditions are applicable:

(3.8)

19

B = 0 is found from the first boundary condition v(0) = 0. Applying the second boundary

condition v(L) = 0, equation 3.7 becomes:

v(L) = A sin(k L)

(3.9)

for sin(k L) = 0. The solution then becomes k L = n . Substituting this into the

equation 3.5 and isolating P yields: [Bonnerup and Jensen, 2007]

P = n2 2

EI

L2

(3.10)

Equation 3.10 includes the n2 factor, which will give solutions for different buckling modes

for which the system is theoretically found to be stable. In figure 3.3, the buckling mode

of a pin-ended column for n = 1, 2, 3 and 4 are shown. These are found by performing

buckling analyses in Robot for a HE400B profile of 5 meter length. The critical buckling

loads are analytically determined by using equation 3.10, where Iy = 576805103 mm4 and

E = 210 103 M P a are inserted. These value together with those determined numerically

in Robot for different modes are given in table 3.1. Hence it is seen that the results

obtained from Robot are in agreement with the analytical solution. It shall be mentioned

that the profile is divided into 110 subelements in Robot in terms to obtain similar value

as found analytically for n = 4. This matter is examined by performing a convergence

test and discussed in more detail in appendix A.

buckling analyses in Robot.

20

HE400B

Pcr [kN ] Robot

Pcr [kN ] Analytical

9th semester

n=1

n=2

n=3

n=4

47819.8

47819.8

191279

191279.2

430378.5

430378.2

765117.6

765116.8

Table 3.1. Critical buckling load determined by buckling analyses in Robot and analytically by

employing equation 3.10

Buckling modes in figure 3.3 for n equals 2, 3 and 4 appear to be unrealistic; therefore in

practice only the lowest possible solution n = 1, is of interest. After inserting this into

equation 3.10, yields the classic Euler buckling equation:

PE = 2

EI

L2

(3.11)

subdevide the element in considaration into 20 elements due to obtain reliable results for

n = 1.

3.2

Previously it was shown how boundary condition at the supports are used in order to

determine the exact solution for governing differential equation of the column. In the

following, the effect of the supports on the critical buckling load will be demonstrated

for some other fundamental cases with various support conditions. Hence the relation,

between the critical buckling load for a given support case and its Euler buckling load

(found by assuming the profile to be pin-ended) will be determined.

The governing differential equation, equation 3.4 only covers some few cases as only two

boundary conditions are needed. In the following calculations the general governing

differential equation of 4 th order, allowing the investigation of the impact of more

parameters on the buckling behaviour of a member, is used. This is done in order to also be

able to apply the equation in later study where critical buckling load of columns in framed

structures are determined. It can theoretically be shown (not included this report) that

the general governing differential equation for compression elements of various conditions

has the form and solution as given in equation 3.12 and 3.13, respectively [Galambos and

Surovek, 2008].

d4 v(z)

d2 v(z)

+

P

=0

dz 4

dz 2

2

d4 v(z)

2 d v(z)

+

k

=0

dz 4

dz 2

v(z) = A + B z + C sin(k z) + D cos(k z)

EI

(3.12)

(3.13)

Where v(z) is the deflection and the coefficients A, B, C and D are determined by applying

boundary conditions.

21

0

First derivative of v(z) is the slope of the deflection v (z) and is given in equation 3.14.

00

The second derivative v (z), given in equation 3.15, is the curvature , used to define

the moment which fulfils the constitutive condition, see equation 3.2. Third derivative

000

v (z) is the derivative of the curvature, see equation 3.16, which is utilized to define the

shear force by differentiating the moment - curvature relation given in equation 3.2. Using

these derivatives, the boundary conditions for various support conditions is formulated.

[Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

(3.14)

00

(3.15)

v = B + C k cos(k z) D k sin(k z)

v = C k 2 sin(k z) D k 2 cos(k z)

v

000

= C k 3 cos(k z) + D k 3 sin(k z)

(3.16)

An example of a fundamental case is a cantilever column shown in figure 3.4, where its

base end is fixed and the top end is free. The critical buckling load for this case will be

determined in the following.

Zero

Zero

Zero

Zero

00

moment at z = 0 : v (0) = 0

000

0

shear at z = 0 : v (0) + k 2 v (0) = 0

deflection at z = L : v(L) = 0

0

slope at z = L : v (L) = 0

By applaying these boundary conditions to equation 3.13 and its derivates, the following

four simultaneous equations are obtained:

00

v (0)

000

v(L)

v (L)

22

v (0) + k 2 v (0)

9th semester

0 0

0

k 2

0 k2

0

0

1 L

sin(k L)

cos(k L)

0 1 k cos(k L) k cos(k L)

A

B

C

D

= 0

(3.17)

The coefficients A, B, C and D define the deflection of the buckled bar, why one or more

of them have value other than zero. Thus, the determinant of the coefficient must be equal

to zero, in order to obtain nontrivial solution to the eigenvalue problem. [Galambos and

Surovek, 2008]

0 0

0

k 2

0 k2

0

0

1 L

sin(k L)

cos(k L)

0 1 k cos(k L) k cos(k L)

= 0

(3.18)

Solution to the problem given in equation 3.18, or in other words solution to the critical

buckling load Pcr for the case shown in figure 3.4 is hence found to be contained in the

following eigenfunction.

cos(k L) = 0

(3.19)

The eigenfunction in equation 3.19 has infinite number of roots or eigenvalues as n goes

from one to infinity. But as described earlier only the first defection mode n = 1 is of

interest. Hence the lowest critical buckling load is determined:

r

2 E I

P

kL=

L = n Pcr =

(3.20)

EI

2

4 L2

The critical buckling load for the present case is thus reduced by 25 % in comparison

with the Euler buckling load for pin-ended column case, see equation 3.11. Thereby

the influence of the support conditions on the critical buckling load is demonstrated.

This is done by employing the general governing differential equation, applying boundary

conditions and solving the eigenvalue problem.

3.2.1

Having determined the Euler buckling load PE , for pin-ended column, representing the

basic case and critical buckling load Pcr , of a cantilever column presented in figure 3.4,

the next step is to define the relation between these given by the effective length factor

K, see equation 3.21. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

23

K2 =

PE

=

Pcr

EI

L2

EI

4L2

=4

(3.21)

Hence the effective length factor, denoted as "K-factor" in the following, is found to be:

K = 2, for a cantilever column. K-factor is the ratio between the buckling length and the

actual column length, see figure 3.5.

Figure 3.5. Effectiv buckling length of a pin-ended (left) and cantilever (right) column. [Delft

University of Technology, -]

Figure 3.5 shows the buckling length of a pin-ended and cantilever case where the buckling

length is defined as the horizontal length between the points of inflection of the deformed

shape of the column. Point of inflection is the point at which the secound derivative of

the buckled shape changes sign.

Multiplication of K-factor by the actual column length L, the equivalent or effective column

length is determined, which is replaced in the Euler buckling equation instead of L. This

matter is analysed in Robot by determining the critical buckling load of a cantilever

column of length 5 m/2 = 2.5 m, see figure 3.6.

Figure 3.6. Cantilever column of length 2.5 m modelled in Robot in order to perform buckling

analysis.

The critical buckling load is expected to have the same magnitude as found earlier for the

pin-ended column of 5 meter length, given the same stiffness parameters, see table 3.1.

24

9th semester

with the theory. Hence the critical buckling load for the case shown in figure 3.6 is

determined to Pcr = 47819.8 kN in Robot, which is in accordance with the theory.

Some other fundamental cases than already studied and the point of inflection of the

deformed shape are shown in figure 3.7. The K-factor for the cases are:

Fixed-ended: Both ends are fixed - K = 0.5

Fixed-pinned: One end is pinned, the other end is fixed - K = 0.7

Figure 3.7. Effective buckling length of a fixed-ended (left) and fixed-pinned (right) column.

[Delft University of Technology, -]

3.3

In what was done, the definition of K-factor is given and explained. It was demonstrated

that K-factor is just a method of mathematically reducing the problem of evaluating

the critical buckling load for columns in structures to that of equivalent pin-ended braced

columns. Determination of the K-factor of the columns in complex frame buckling problem

is the scope of this project.

As the bases in buckling analysis of columns are clarified, some more complex models are

studied aiming towards the scope of this project. Hence the parameters that influence on

the K-factor of columns in framed structures are studied in more detail, see appendix B,

where two analyses are made:

Bracing effect of bays: Determine chances in degree of bracing of the exterior

column by the other members of the storey as the number of its bays increases

stepwise from 1 to 8.

Bracing effect of storeys: Determine chance in degree of bracing on the interior

column in a two-bay frame as the number of storeys increases stepwise from 1 to 4.

25

Hence the important conclusive matters from the analyses are included here, but detail

description and results need to be found in appendix B:

Bracing effect of bays

Scientists have made research of steel framed construction on this matter and have

concluded the following statement which is also what was verified in the study made

in appendix B and is hence also the conclusion of the performed analysis:

"In general, the critical buckling load which produces failure by side-sway can be distributed

among the columns in a storey in any manner. Failure by side-sway will not occur until

the total frame load on a storey reaches the sum of the potential individual critical column

loads for the unbraced frame. There is one limitation, the maximum load an individual

column can carry is limited to the load permitted on that column for the braced case,

K = 1. Side-sway is a total storey characteristic, not an individual column phenomenon."

[Joseph A. Yura, 2003]

Bracing effect of storeys

Analyses made in terms to determine the bracing effect of storeys on a considered storey

showed that only the adjoining storeys of a considered storey have remarkably effect on its

columns K-factor. Thereby it is evaluated to be sufficient to consider only the adjoining

storeys when determination of K - factor of columns in a given storey.

26

K-factor determination in

practice

of columns in sway and non-sway frames and the theoretical background in

derivation of them are presented. Furthermore the approach given in DIN 18800

for K-factor determination is presented.

Design of framed structures can among others be dealt by the concept of effective length

or K-factor. Definition of K-factor is given in chapter 3. Figure 4.1 illustrates the physical

of effective buckling length of a column in a rigid connected frame.

Figure 4.1. Illustration on physical of effective buckling length of a column in a rigid sway frame.

[G.Johnston, 1976]

Studies made in chapter 3, clarify the influence of support conditions on the K-factor,

which are illustrated for the fundamental cases. Those analyses were based on idealised

support conditions. This assumption will not be the case for the columns in framed

structure, as they interact with other members.

27

This interaction makes it necessary to consider the connecting members when designing

columns of frames. EC 3 and Danish National Annex refer to other specific literature for

K-factor determination. This chapter presents the approaches given in the following two

codes of practice:

AISC: American Institute of Steel Structure

DIN18800: German code for the design of structural steel

Descriptions on the use of the charts provided by the mentioned codes are given in

subsequent sections of this chapter. The background of the AISC approach is elaborated

due to get the theoretical understanding of the charts. The aim is to apply these procedures

to determine K-factor of columns in the case study structure, which is done in chapter 6.

4.1

AISC - formulation

AISC provides so-called alignment chart for sway and non-sway frames whereby the Kfactor of a column is determined based on the joint stiffness of the column ends. In

the following the background of the charts and the applied model and assumptions are

elaborated.

4.1.1

Non-sway frame

their ends is considered. This situation reflects a column restrained by beams of finite

stiffness. For non-sway frame case, it is assumed that the column ends do not translate

with respect to each other. The static model of the actual case is shown in figure 4.2.

[Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

Figure 4.2. Static model applied for non-sway frame - column with rotational spring. [Galambos

and Surovek, 2008]

28

9th semester

Consider the rigid connection at the columns top; the column and adjoining beam are

perpendicular to each other, meaning there is no deflection. Hence the slope of the column

and beam, denoted T , are equal.

The total spring constant from restraint in top and bottom of the column is denoted T

and B , respectively. Hence the moment from elastic restrained beam at the top can

be expressed as M = T T . Further explanation on the spring constant quantity is

given later, but only the symbol is used now. This expression for moment is rewritten

0

to M = T v (0), where v(z) is the lateral deformation as a function of z. Moment

at the columns top, emerged from the change in column slope can be expressed as

00

M = E IC v (0), where IC is the moment of inertia of the column. Hence from

the equilibrium condition the following relation is established:

00

(4.1)

T v (0) E IC v (0) = 0

The above given condition is also valid for point B, at the distance LC (length of the

column). But in point B, the sign for moment from elastic restrained beam is negative,

hence the relation becomes: [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

00

(4.2)

B v (LC ) E IC v (LC ) = 0

These are 2 of the 4 boundary conditions needed in order to solve the differential equation

for the system. The remaining 2 boundary conditions are governed by requiring no lateral

displacement at the top and bottom, given by:

v(0) = 0

v(LC ) = 0

The 4 boundary conditions are applied the general solution for the governing differential

equation, given in equation 3.13, chapter 3. Thus the determinant of the coefficient A,B,C

and D becomes as given in equation 4.3, where the variable k is earlier defined in equation

3.5, chapter 3. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

0 =

1

0

0

1

1 LC sin(k LC ) cos(k LC )

1 T

T k

E IC k 2

0 B

a43

a44

(4.3)

a44 = B k sin(k LC ) + E IC k 2 cos(k LC )

The eigenfunction of the model is determined by solving the determinant in equation 4.3.

29

Decomposition of the determinant gives the eigenfunction in equation 4.4, where the

nondimensional spring constant ratios RT and RB are introduced. [Galambos and Surovek,

2008]

0 = 2RT RB + sin(k LC ) RT RB k LC k LC (RT + RB ) (k LC )3

+ cos(k LC ) 2 RT RB + (k LC )2 (RT + RB )

(4.4)

T LC

RT =

E IC

B LC

RB =

E IC

The critical buckling load for the system is hence obtainable by solving the equation 4.4

for the smallest k L. The correctness of expression 4.4 can be tested by evaluating the

limiting cases for the model, which are:

Both end pinned: T = B = 0 RT = RB = 0

Both end fixed: T = B = RT = RB =

The limiting cases are thus established by inserting the spring constant from restraint, ,

equal to zero and infinity. By substituting = 0 in the equation 4.4 yields:

(4.5)

Hence equation 4.5 is the eigenvalue for the limiting case; both ends are pinned, which

yileds:

r

sin(k L) = 0 k L = =

P

L Pcr = PE K = 1

EI

(4.6)

This is hence the fundamental column case presented in chapter 3. In the same manner by

inserting = in equation 4.4, and after some algebraic and trigonometric manipulation,

the eigenfunction sin((kL)/2), resulting in Pcr = 4PE and K = 0.5 is determined. This is

recognised as the cantilever column case shown in figure 3.7, chapter 3. Thus the equation

4.4, encloses all the intermediate conditions between these two limiting cases. [Galambos

and Surovek, 2008]

K-factor value of a column for a given case depends on the nondimensional spring constant

ratios RT and RB , which again depends on the elastic rotational spring constants T and

B . AISC Specification of K-factor determination is governed by assuming that the far

end of the top and bottom beams have the same slope as the near end, single curvature

EIBB

BT

bending, see figure 4.3. This means T = 2 EI

LBT and B = 2 LBB . Based on this

assumption the equation 4.7 is derived. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

30

2

2 tan

(K

) GT G B

GT + GB

K

1+

1

+

4

2

tan( K )

K

9th semester

2K

=0

(4.7)

Figure 4.3. Subassembly rigid frame for non-sway case, where single curvature bending of the

beam, with the slope at both ends is assumed. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

is adapted and the flexibility parameters GT and

GB are introduced, which are determined by equation 4.8. [G.Johnston, 1976]

IC

LC

P IBT

LBT

P IC

LC

P IBB

LBB

GT =

GB =

P

IC , LC

IBT , LBT

IBB , LBB

(4.8)

Summation of all members rigidly connected to the joint and laying in the plane

in which buckling of the column is being considered.

IC is the moment of inertia and LC the corresponding unbraced length of

the column of consideration.

IBT is the moment of inertia and LBT the corresponding unbraced length of

the beam at columns top.

IBB is the moment of inertia and LBB the corresponding unbraced length of

the beam at columns end.

Having determined GT and GB , the AISC Alignment chart for non-sway frame given in

figure 4.4 is used to determine the K-factor of the columns. Otherwise equation 4.7 is

used in a numerical solver, where K-factor is determined by iteration.

31

Figure 4.4. AISC - Alignment chart for K-factor determination in a rigid non-sway frame.

[Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

There are a number of assumptions inherent in the equations accompanying the Alignment

charts. These are mentioned later, after presentation of the governing equations for the

sway frame case, in the following.

4.1.2

Sway frame

The stability problem of a sway frame can be modelled by a rotational spring , and a

translational spring , at each ends, see figure 4.5. The indices T and B, symbolise the top

and bottom of the column, respectively. The applied procedure is similar to the non-sway

frame case, but differs as the boundary conditions are different for this case.

32

9th semester

Figure 4.5. Static model applied for sway frame - column with rotational and translational

spring. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

The following four boundary conditions are applicable for the static model shown in figure

4.5.

000

00

0

E I v (0) = T v (0)

000

00

0

E I v (LC ) = B v (LC )

Inserting the boundary conditions into the deflection equation given in equation 3.13,

chapter 3, the following determinant of the coefficients of the unknowns A,B,C and D is

determined. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

0 =

TT

0

TB TB

0

k L2

0

TT

RT

RT k L

(k L)2

(k L)2 TB sin(k L) TB cos(k L)

RB

a43

a44

(4.9)

a44 = RB k L sin(k L) (k L)2 cos(k L)

33

The variables TT and TB in equation 4.9, account for the translation stiffness where:

[Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

T L3

EI

B L3

TB =

EI

TT =

The AISC Specification, assumes that a sway frame consists of subassembly type of frames

where the top of the column is able to translate with respect to the bottom, see figure 4.6.

Furthermore it is assumed that the bottom column cannot translate where translational

restraint is infinite large TB = , and the top column is free to translate TT = 0. These

are hence applied the equation 4.9 by substituting TT = 0 into the first row and dividing

the third row by TB and then equating TB to , which yields: [Galambos and Surovek,

2008]

0 =

0 k L2

0

0

0 RT

RT k L (k L)2

1

1

sin(k L) cos(k L)

0 RB

a43

a44

(4.10)

a44 = RB k L sin(k L) (k L)2 cos(k L)

Figure 4.6. Subassembly rigid frame for sway case, where reverse curve bending of the beam,

with the slope at both ends is assumed. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

The rotational stiffness for this case is found by assuming equal rotation in magnitude

and direction at near and far ends of the restraining beam but producing reverse curve

EIBB

BT

bending, see figure 4.6. This means T = 6 EI

LBT and B = 6 LBB [Shanmugam

and Choo, 1995]. Substituting these values into equation 4.10, and after some algebraic

manipulation, the eigenfunction given in equation 4.11 is derived. [Galambos and Surovek,

2008]

34

tan

2

K

GT GB 36

=0

6 (GT + GB )

9th semester

(4.11)

This equation is the basic for the sway alignment chart shown in figure 4.7,that relates

the flexibility parameters GT and GB with the K-factor.

Figure 4.7. AISC - Alignment chart for K-factor determination in a rigid sway frame. [Galambos

and Surovek, 2008]

Figure 4.8 shows the members involved in K-factor determination of the column marked

with red, for both the sway and non-sway frames.

35

Figure 4.8. The members enclosed by the dashed lines are involved in K-factor determination

of the column marked with red. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

but 10 is suggested to be used in design practice. If the column base is rigidly attached,

GB approaches the theoretical value of zero, but should not be taken lower than 1,

[G.Johnston, 1976]. Having introduced the theoretical background in AISC Specifications

for K-factor determination, the inherent assumptions are summarized and discussed in

the following.

4.1.3

a number of assumptions, otherwise it is impossible to determine a solution. Hence the

obtained results would not be the exact, but the better the mathematical model describes

the practical problem, the better the final results becomes. Hence the mathematical model

and assumptions adopted in the AISC Specifications due to determine the K-factor are

discussed in the following. The alignment charts are based on the following assumptions:

1.

2.

3.

4.

All members have constant cross section.

All joints are rigid.

For the non-sway frame case, rotations at the far ends of restraint beams are equal

in magnitude but opposite in sense to the joint rotations at the far ends (single

curvature bending).

5. For the sway frame case, rotations at the far ends of the restraint beams are equal in

magnitude and in the same sense as the joint rotations at the column ends (reverse

curvature bending).

6. All columns in the frame buckle simultaneously.

7. Only the members shown at figure 4.8 is accounted in K-factor determination.

36

9th semester

The assumption that the behaviour is purely elastic is not valid when the load increases

thus yielding of the column occurs. This means EC reduces and the beams provide more

relative restraint to the columns. Hence it causes a lower G - factor and consequently a

lower K-factor, see the charts in figure 4.4 and 4.7. Thus the alignment charts provide

conservative values regarding this matter. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

Constant cross section

The assumption that all members have constant cross section is not valid around a joint

where for instant the column dimension changes. This is often seen in tall buildings that

the dimension of the columns in the upper storeys is smaller than in the lower storeys.

[Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

Rigid joints

AISC assumes rigid joins, which require perpendicular shape between beam and column

is maintained under deformation. The joints shall be able to transfer moment. This

assumption put requirement for the performance of the joints in practice. An example of

rigid and pinned connections are given to the left and right in the figure 4.9, respectively.

Pinned connections are theoretically only able to transfer axial and shear forces. It is

hence important to establish the joints in practice as assumed. [University of Ljubljana Slovenia, 2010b]

Figure 4.9. Examples of rigid (left) and pinned (right) connections. [University of Ljubljana Slovenia, 2010b]

Single curvature bending for the non-sway and reverse curvature bending for sway frame

is assumed. These assumptions are only fully valid for a perfectly symmetric deformation

which requires symmetric geometry and loading conditions. The restraint of the columns

by beams is affected by the far-end rotation of the beams. Hence the following modification

0

of the beam length LB is suggested in order to account for the variation from the

assumptions: [G.Johnston, 1976]

37

MF

LB = LB 2

MN

0

(4.12)

Where MF and MN are the moment at the far and near end, respectively. This modified

length is hence to be applied in equation 4.8, whereby the flexibility parameters are

determined. In practice design, it is suggested to apply the following: [Shanmugam and

Choo, 1995]

Non sway

0

Far end is fixed: LB = 0, 5 LB

Sway

0

Far end is fixed: LB = 1, 5 LB

All columns buckle simultaneously

Assuming that all columns in the frame buckle simultaneously means that in the moment

of failure, no further capacity in any columns in the storey is in place due to provide lateral

resistance. In other words all the columns of the system reach the critical buckling load

simultaneously. This is not the case in practice but is assumed in AISC; thus K-factor of

individual column is obtained without accounting for the load distribution on the columns

in the storey.

In appendix B, it is examined how the other column members restraint a given column in

a sway frame. It is hence obtained:

"Failure by side-sway will not occur until the total frame load on a story reaches the sum

of the potential individual column loads for the unbraced frame." [Joseph A. Yura, 2003]

Thus side-sway is a total storey characteristic and not an individual column phenomenon.

Consequently it can be said that the assumption that all columns in the frame buckle

simultaneously is a conservative assumption.

Only the members shown at figure 4.8 is accounted

Only the members shown at figure 4.8 is accounted in K-factor determination. This

assumption again refers to the discussion before, where the conclusion was that the sidesway is a total storey characteristic and not an individual column phenomenon. Hence a

more exact determination of K-factor of the individual columns may be found by determine

the critical buckling load of the total storey and then distribute the critical load according

to load- and stiffness distribution factor of the individual columns in the storey. This

distribution method is suggested by DIN 18800, see section: "DIN 18800 procedure" in

this chapter for further description.

In appendix B, it is further examined whether an increase in the number of storeys restraint

the interior base column, see the results in table B.2, appendix B.

38

9th semester

It is hence obtained that only the adjoining storeys of the considered storey are found

to influence the K-factor. Therefore it is evaluated to be acceptable, only to include the

adjoining storeys in K-factor determination of the case study structure, as suggested in

AISC Specifications. It shall be mentioned that this evaluation is based on the analysed

case (limited storeys); therefore this is not necessary valid in general for frames with

various number of storeys.

As the AISC specifications including the deviation of the charts and its assumptions are

presented and discussed, another method for determining K-factor, provided by German

code DIN18800 is presented in the following.

4.2

The procedure presented in DIN 18800 is given in the following, where only the practical

use of it is explained. DIN 18800 also suggests two charts; one for non-sway and one for

sway frames. The original text by DIN 18800 in German is translated to English by the

author. It should be mentioned that K-factor is denoted as () in the following due to

keep the same denotation given by DIN 18800. [DIN-Standards and Regulations, 1989]

Common for both the non-sway and sway frames, are the two parameters CO and CU that

is determined by using the equation 4.13, and the indices are illustrated at figure 4.10.

CO =

CU =

1

1+

P

(KO )

KS +KS,O

(4.13)

1

1+

(KU )

KS +KS,U

The K parameters given with indices in equation 4.13, are illustrated in figure 4.10. The

respective K value is in general determined by K = I/L, where I and L are the moment of

inertia and length of the member. The values, known as the rotational stiffness factor,

shall be applied as: [DIN-Standards and Regulations, 1989]

= 4 for the case where beams far end is fixed

= 1 for case where beams far end is pinned

Furthermore for the pinned-base and fixed-base case the prescribed value CU = 1 and

CU = 0 are suggested, respectively. Parameters CO and CU are comparable with the

flexibility parameters GT and GB given in the AISC formulation. But the difference in

DIN 18800 from AISC formulation is the number of elements that is included for the Kfactor determination. DIN 18800, consider the elements shown in figure 4.10, to contribute

to restraint the storey marked with red.

39

The representative K-factor () is determined using the charts; Thereafter the K-factor

j for each of the columns are found corresponding to the normal force and stiffness

distribution of the columns in the storey, see equation 4.14. [DIN-Standards and

Regulations, 1989]

Figure 4.10. Elements included in K-factor determination of the storey marked with red,

suggested by DIN 18800.

N Kj

Nj KS

X

N=

Nj

j =

for j = 1, 2 .. n

(4.14)

for j = 1, 2 .. n

K = I/L

Kj = Ij /Lj

X

KS =

Kj

j

n

Nj

N

KS

Ij , Lj

for j = 1, 2 .. n

for j = 1, 2 .. n

K-factor of the individual columns in the storey

Number of columns in the storey

Normal force distribution factor, indicating the factor the column in question is

loaded in comparison to the other columns in the storey

Sum of the normal force distribution factors of the columns in the storey

Sum of stiffness factors for the individual columns Kj

Moment of inertia and length of the individual columns in the storey

This idea is also what is concluded in appendix B, that the side-sway is a total storey

characteristic and not an individual column phenomenon; hence all the columns and beams

in a storey contribute to the total restraints of the storey.

40

4.2.1

9th semester

Non-sway frame

is found by reading the chart in figure 4.11. The K-factor for the individual columns is

then determined by applying the equation 4.14.

Figure 4.11. K-factor , represent for given storey, determination chart for a non-sway frame

given by DIN 18800. [DIN-Standards and Regulations, 1989]

41

4.2.2

Sway frame

In the same manner the representative K-factor , of a storey in a sway frame is found

by reading the chart in figure 4.12. Thereafter j , K-factor of the individual columns are

determined by applying equation 4.14.

Figure 4.12. K-factor , represent for given storey, determination chart for a sway frame given

by DIN 18800. [DIN-Standards and Regulations, 1989]

A calculation seat with illustrations and explanations is made in MathCAD and enclosed

the Appendix CD, G.1.

42

4.3

9th semester

AISC and DIN 18800 formulations dont distinguish between the base columns are pinned

or fixed when the K-factor of columns in storeys, other than the base storey, is considered.

Hence analyses of whether the base condition influences the K-factors of columns in

intermediate storeys are performed in Robot, see appendix C.

It is hence found that the influence of the base on K-factor of the intermediate storeys is

large for frames with few storeys and small for frame with large number of storeys. Hence

for the case study structure, consisting 10 storeys, the influence of the base is small and

can be disregarded. This means that the AISC and DIN 18800 procedures can be applied.

Another matter is obtained by the analyses; K-factor of the intermediate columns in

general gets large for frames consisting large number of storeys, in comparison to frames

with few storeys. Hence using subassembly models as given in AISC and DIN 18800

procedure, in order to determine the K-factors, become invalid as the number of storeys

in the frame becomes large. Hence care should be taken when designing frames consisting

more than circa 10-15 storeys, as AISC and DIN 18800 may then give unfavourable results

for K-factor of columns. This matter is not further studied in this report. But as the case

study structure only consists of 10 storeys, AISC and DIN 18800 procedures are evaluated

to be applicable.

43

Part II

Case study

45

required to determine the K-factor of the columns in the frame presented as

case study structure in the introduction are given. Two different vertical load

cases are considered in order to determine whether the case study structure is

sway or non-sway type by buckling analysis in Robot.

The frame to be used in this chapter and the following chapter is the one presented as case

study structure in the introduction, see figure 1.2 in chapter 1. The geometric parameters

of this structure are summarized in figure 5.1. It consists of two bay and ten storeys,

with rigidly connected members and pinned supported base. The local coordinate system

applied for the each of the column and beam elements of the structure is illustrated, where

z-axis is shown to be out-of-plane. It shall be mentioned that the stability in longitudinal

direction, z-axis, is assumed to be stable, hence only in-plane situation is considered.

The frame to be used in this chapter and the following chapter is the one presented as

the case study structure in the introduction, see figure 1.2 in chapter 1. The geometric

parameters of this structure are summarized in figure 5.1. It consists of two bay and ten

storeys, with rigidly connected members and pinned supported base. The local coordinate

system applied for the each of the column and beam elements of the structure is illustrated

in the figure mentioned above, where z-axis is shown to be out-of-plane. It is assumed that

the stability in longitudinal direction, z-axis, to be stable; hence only in-plane situation is

required to be considered by Rambll.

47

The frames have an individual distance of 6 meters between each other in the longitudinal

(z-axis) direction, (not included in the figure 5.1). The geometric and mechanical

parameters of the members are presented in table 5.1 in accordance to the local coordinate

system shown in the figure.

Profil

Asymmetric beam

HE400B column

Length [mm]

E [M P a]

Iz mm4

8000

3600

210 103

210 103

776453 103

576805 103

fyk [M P a]

350

350

Table 5.1. Geometrical and mechanical parameters of members involved in the frame used as

case study, see figure fig:framedetailcasestud for illustration of the frame.

5.1

sway or non-sway type. Hence only the vertical loads are considered. The vertical loads

are limited to account for permanent and imposed loads on the construction.

Permanent load

The permanent load of a floor including the installations and partition walls, is determined

to be 6.2 kN/m2 . This load is set to act uniformly distributed on the beams, calculated

as G1 = 6.2 kN/m2 6 m = 37.2 kN/m. For simplification, the same load is assumed to

act on the upper beams to account for load from the roof-floor.

48

9th semester

The facade of Z-house is of glass and weighs 1 kN/m2 . This load is assumed to

act as centric point load on the exterior columns at each storey, calculated as G2 =

1 kN/m2 6 m 3.6 m = 21.6 kN .

Imposed load

The primary use of construction is assumed to be office related, which falls into category

B in Eurocode definitions for the use of the construction. Hence the characteristic value

of imposed load is taken as 2.5 kN/m2 . Thus the uniformly distributed load on the beams

is N = 2.5 kN/m2 6 m = 15 kN/m. This load is also set to act at the top beams of the

frame to account for platform roof.

In accordance with the Danish National Annex for EC 1, the total imposed loads from

several storeys may be multiplied by the reduction factor n given in equation 5.1, where

n is number of storeys and 0 is a factor, that depends on the category, that is 0.6 for

office areas.

n =

1 + (n 1) 0

1 + (10 1) 0.6

= 10 =

= 0.64

n

10

(5.1)

Load cases

Z-house is categorised as high consequence class, CC3. Two load combinations consisting

permanent and imposed loads are considered for the current analysis:

LC 1 : 1.1 1.0 G + 1.1 1.5 n N

LC 2 : 0.9 G + 1.1 1.5 n N

Load combination LC 1, consists of loads that are to be applied symmetrically around

the interior columns of the frame, see to the left in figure 5.2. Load combination LC 2,

consists of loads that are to be applied asymmetrically around the interior columns of the

frame, see to the right in figure 5.2 where the imposed load is only applied on the bays

to the right. The choices of the two combinations are based on the advice by Rambll, to

establish two situations where the normal force in the columns varies the most compared

to each other.

49

5.2

Robot offers the feature to perform global buckling analysis of a frame. In appendix A

the theoretical background in Robot calculations and the required input parameters are

described. A global analysis on the frame is performed, subjecting the frame to each of

the load cases presented in figure 5.2. Hence the critical global buckling load Pcr and the

critical global load factor cr of the frame can be determined to define whether the frame

is sway or non-sway type based on the definition given in equation 2.1, chapter 2.

Results

The base columns of the frame are pinned and loaded the most; hence the base storey

causes the global failure of the frame, but in general the global failure mode shall be

considered due to point out the storey that causes the global failure of the frame. In

appendix D more description on the global analysis in Robot and interpretation of the

results are given. Results from the current buckling analyses in Robot, determined for the

base storey, are presented in table 5.2 and 5.3 for LL 1 and LL 2, respectively.

50

9th semester

Robot performs the buckling analysis by an iterative process, where it factorises the

applied load and requires equilibrium. If the equilibrium state is found, it continuously

increase the factor until the equilibrium is no longer obtainable. Hence the iterative

process results in a critical load factor cr , which is directly multipliable by the internal

normal forces in the column, whereby the critical buckling load is determined. This fact

is notable by considering for instant the results in table 5.2.

LC 1

Critical coefficient

Critical force [kN ]

2584

4.826

12471

4555

4.826

21982

2584

4.826

12471

Table 5.2. Buckling analysis results determined in Robot for the load case: LC 1

LC 2

Critical coefficient

Critical force [kN ]

1586

6.637

10528

3303

6.637

21926

2180

6.637

14470

Table 5.3. Buckling analysis results determined in Robot for the load case: LC 2

The critical load factor cr = 4.826 is found to be lowest for the considered load cases.

But both load cases indicate the actual frame as sway frame type, as the critical load

factor is lower than 10. Hence the charts for sway frame suggested by AISC and DIN

18800 along with analysis in Robot are used to determine the K-factor of the columns in

the following chapter.

51

K - factor determination

is performed following the approaches given in AISC and DIN 18800. The

results from buckling analysis of subassembly models in Robot, representing base,

intermediate and top storey cases, are also used for the determination of K-factor.

The results from AISC and DIN 18800 approaches are compared to the results

from Robot and discussed. Finally, code check according to EC 3 by employing

Robot is performed, where a sensitivity analysis of the K-factor influence for the

final result is made.

The case study structure is classified as a sway frame type in chapter 5, which means

the effective buckling length of the columns become larger than the system length,

K > 1.Practical methods according to AISC and DIN 18800 to determine the K-factors

are presented in chapter4 and are applied to the case study structure. In addition, Robot

is also employed for this objective. In appendix D, it is shown that buckling analysis in

Robot is only applicable for global analysis of the structure, resulting in the global critical

parameters. But it is further demonstrated that subassembly models can be used in Robot

to represent the local storey, whereby the critical buckling load of the storey is obtainable

and is used to determine the respective K-factor of the columns, see appendix D.

6.1

AISC

In order to apply the AISC Alignment chart for sway frame, the flexibility parameters

shall be calculated. This is done for 6 different column restraint types, numbered 1 to 6

in figure 6.1. These are representative for the other columns that have identical restraint

conditions at theirs ends.

53

6. K - factor determination

Figure 6.1. Case study frame, divided into 6 different representative column restraint types.

In equation 6.1, calculation example of the flexibility parameters is shown for column

number 4, where equation 4.8 given in chapter 4 is used and the input parameters are

0

given in table 5.1, chapter 5. In equation 6.1, LB = 1.5 LB , is applied to account for

beams connection at the far end, which is fixed for the actual case. For the example shown

in equation 6.1, the same value of the flexibility parameters for both the top and bottom

connections are obtained due to the identical restraint conditions.

IC

LC

IBT

LBT

P IC

LC

P IBB

LBB

GT = P

GB =

2

2

2

2

576805103 mm4

3600 mm

776453103 mm4

1.58000 mm

= 2.476

576805103 mm4

3600 mm

776453103 mm4

1.58000 mm

= 2.476

(6.1)

Thus the flexibility parameters are determined for the different column types as illustrated

in figure 6.1. Hence the respective K-factors are determined by using the equation 4.11

given in chapter 4. The results are given in table 6.1.

Column :

Type 1

Type 2

Type 3

Type 4

Type 5

Type 6

GT

GB

K - factor

4.952

10

2.552

2.476

10

2.192

4.952

4.952

2.219

2.476

2.476

1.706

2.476

4.952

1.954

1.238

2.476

1.497

Table 6.1. Flexibility parameters and K-factors for different column types as illustrated in figure

6.1, determined in accordance to AISC formulation.

54

6.2

9th semester

DIN 18800

The following uses the formulation given by DIN 18800 to evaluate the K-factors of

columns. Application of DIN 18800 method is given in chapter 4. DIN 18800 considers

the buckling failure of a complete storey instead of just the column restraint condition

in the storey as AISC does. The K-factor of the individual column is therefore found

by considering load and stiffness distribution between the individual columns within the

storey.

Initially the parameters CO and CU for the storey have to be determined. An example of

determining these parameters is given in equation 6.2, for the intermediate storey shown

in the figure 6.1. In equation 6.2, = 4 is applied, corresponding to the case where beams

far end is fixed. The geometric and mechanical parameters are taken from table 5.1 in

chapter 5.

CO =

CU =

1

1+

P

(KO )

KS +KS,O

1

1+

(KU )

KS +KS,U

1+

= 0.553

= 0.553

3 mm4

2

4 77645310

8000 mm

576805103 mm4

576805103 mm4

3+

3

3600 mm

3600 mm

1+

3 mm4

4 77645310

2

8000 mm

576805103 mm4

576805103 mm4

3+

3

3600 mm

3600 mm

(6.2)

The identical result of CO and CU value, is expected as identical restraint conditions at the

top and bottom of the storey exist. Using these parameters, the representative K-factor

of the intermediate storey = 1.7 is found by reading from the chart for sway frame given

in figure 4.12, chapter 4. In the same manner the representative K-factor for the other

storey types are determined. The results are given in table 6.2. Note that CU = 1 is

applied for the pinned base-column as suggested by DIN 18800.

Parameter

Base storey

Intermediate storey

Top storey

CO

CU

K-factor

0.55

1

2.8

0.55

0.55

1.7

0.38

0.55

1.55

Table 6.2. Flexibility parameters and representative K-factors for different storey types,

determined according to DIN 18800 formulations.

The K-factor value , representing a storey is then used to determine the K-factor of the

individual columns of the storey, for which the normal force distribution factor Nj of the

columns is introduced. Nj is the factor, the column in question is loaded in comparison

with the other columns in the storey, where Nj = 1 is given for the lowest loaded column

in the storey.

55

6. K - factor determination

There are large number of load cases in practice, but in order to stick to the scope of this

project, only the load cases presented in figure 5.2, chapter 5 are employed, but modified

by including the wind load V , hence:

LC 3 : 1.1 1.0 G + 1.1 1.5 n N + 1.1 0 1.5 V

LC 4 : 0.9 G + 1.1 1.5 n N + 1.1 1.5 V

The wind pressure qmax = 0.8 kN/m2 is assumed, which results in the following uniformly

distributed load values:

V = 0.8 kN/m2 6 m 0.7 = 3.36 kN/m for cf = 0.7

V = 0.8 kN/m2 6 m 0.3 = 1.44 kN/m for cf = 0.3

The loads included in load cases LC 3 and LC 4 are applied to the structure as shown in

figure 6.2. These load distributions are suggested by Rambll in order to get two situations

where distribution of the compressive forces in columns varies the most.

Figure 6.2. Load distribution, suggested by Rambll to be applied for load cases LC 3 and LC

4

By applying these load cases and performing static analysis in Robot, the distribution of

the compressive forces and hence the Load factors are determined. Results are given in

table 6.3 and table 6.4 for LC 3 and LC 4 load cases, respectively. Columns numbered

1 3, 4 27 and 27 30 in the table, belongs to the base, intermediate and top storey

case, respectively.

56

9th semester

Having obtained the load factors for the different columns in each storeys, the next step is

to determine the respective K-factor for the columns by applying the equation 4.14 given

in chapter 4. An example hereupon is provided in equation 6.3 for columns: 4, 5 and 6,

in load case LC 3. These columns belongs to the category for an intermediate storey, for

which kind the representative K-factor storey = 1.7, is determined, see table 6.2.

sP

column =

col nr 4

col nr 4

col nr 4

Nj Kj

storey

Nj KS

v

u

u 4.06 576805103 mm4

3600 mm

=t

3 mm4 1.7 =

1 3 57680510

3600 mm

v

u

u 4.06 576805103 mm4

3600 mm

=t

3 mm4 1.7 =

1.88 3 57680510

3600 mm

v

u

u 4.06 576805103 mm4

3600 mm

=t

3 mm4 1.7 =

1.17 3 57680510

3600 mm

for j = 1, 2 and 3

(6.3)

1.977

1.440

1.826

P

Similarly the K-factors for the other columns are determined.

Nj and Nj value to be

inserted in equation 6.3 and the determined K-factors are given in table 6.3 and 6.4 for

LC 3 and LC 4, respectively.

57

Normal

force [kN ]

Load

factor Nj

Col nr 1

Col nr 2

Col nr 3

2334

4554

2834

1.00

1.95

1.21

Col nr 4

Col nr 5

Col nr 6

2155

4062

2526

1.00

1.88

1.17

Col nr 7

Col nr 8

Col nr 9

1946

3588

2230

1.00

1.84

1.15

Col nr 10

Col nr 11

Col nr 12

1725

3121

1939

1.00

1.81

1.12

Col nr 13

Col nr 14

Col nr 15

1495

2661

1649

1.00

1.78

1.10

Col nr 16

Col nr 17

Col nr 18

1257

2208

1360

1.00

1.76

1.08

Col nr 19

Col nr 20

Col nr 21

1011

1760

1075

Col nr 22

Col nr 23

Col nr 24

Load case

LC 3

6. K - factor determination

Total load

P

factor

Nj

storey

column

K-factor

2.8

3.299

2.362

2.994

1.7

1.977

1.440

1.826

1.7

1.960

1.444

1.831

1.7

1.947

1.447

1.836

1.7

1.934

1.450

1.842

3.84

1.7

1.923

1.451

1.849

1.00

1.74

1.06

3.80

1.7

1.914

1.451

1.856

758

1317

792

1.00

1.74

1.04

3.78

1.7

1.909

1.448

1.867

Col nr 25

Col nr 26

Col nr 27

499

875

513

1.00

1.75

1.03

3.78

1.7

1.909

1.441

1.882

Col nr 28

Col nr 29

Col nr 30

231

442

235

1.00

1.91

1.02

1.55

1.774

1.283

1.759

4.17

4.06

3.99

3.93

3.88

3.93

Table 6.3. Distribution of compressive forces in columns of each storey and the respective Kfactors determined for LC 3.

58

9th semester

Normal

force [kN ]

Load

factor Nj

Col nr 1

Col nr 2

Col nr 3

1164

3303

2597

1.00

2.84

2.23

Col nr 4

Col nr 5

Col nr 6

1129

2946

2282

1.00

2.61

2.02

Col nr 7

Col nr 8

Col nr 9

1046

2602

1996

1.00

2.49

1.91

Col nr 10

Col nr 11

Col nr 12

948

2263

1720

1.00

2.39

1.81

Col nr 13

Col nr 14

Col nr 15

838

1925

1451

1.00

2.30

1.73

Col nr 16

Col nr 17

Col nr 18

717

1600

1187

1.00

2.23

1.66

Col nr 19

Col nr 20

Col nr 21

587

1275

930

Col nr 22

Col nr 23

Col nr 24

Load case

LC 4

Total load

P

factor

Nj

storey

column

K-factor

2.8

3.982

2.364

2.666

1.7

2.329

1.442

1.638

1.7

2.280

1.446

1.650

1.7

2.238

1.449

1.662

1.7

2.201

1.452

1.673

4.89

1.7

2.170

1.452

1.686

1.00

2.17

1.58

4.76

1.7

2.141

1.452

1.701

446

953

680

1.00

2.14

1.52

4.66

1.7

2.119

1.450

1.716

Col nr 25

Col nr 26

Col nr 27

296

633

438

1.00

2.14

1.48

4.62

1.7

2.109

1.442

1.734

Col nr 28

Col nr 29

Col nr 30

135

318

201

1.00

2.36

1.49

1.55

1.970

1.283

1.614

6.07

5.63

5.40

5.20

5.03

4.84

Table 6.4. Distribution of compressive forces in columns of each storey and the respective Kfactors determined for LC 4.

59

6.3

6. K - factor determination

ROBOT

the case study structure. In appendix D, the application of Robot in practice for Kfactor determination is elaborated. The conclusion made upon the analyses performed in

appendix D is:

Buckling analysis in Robot is as default only accessible to perform global buckling

analysis.

Total critical buckling load of a given storey is obtainable by performing buckling

analysis on a subassembly model that represent the local storey restraint condition

in the global framed system, and then adding the individual buckling load of the

columns.

Based on the total buckling load of the storey, a representative K-factor for the

storey can be determined by employing Euler buckling equation. The representative

K-factor of the storey, is used to determine K-factor of the columns by employing

equation 6.3, suggested by DIN 18800.

Hence the total critical buckling load of the base, intermediate and top storeys are found

in appendix D and is summarised in table 6.5.

Critical Buckling load

Base storey

Intermediate storey

Top storey

46800

101097

107862

Table 6.5. Total critical buckling load of the base, intermediate and top storey are found by

performing buckling analysis on subassembly models in Robot, see appendix D for

further detail.

buckling load of the storeys is given in appendix D. Normal force distribution factors

Nj are earlier obtained for LC 3 and LC 4. K-factor for the columns are thus determined

and given in table 6.6 and 6.7 for LC 3 and LC 4, respectively.

60

6.3. ROBOT

Load case

LC 3

9th semester

Load

factor []

Total load

factor []

Total critical

load [kN ]

Represantativ

storey

K-factor

column

2.432

2.865

2.051

2.600

1.655

1.924

1.401

1.777

1.655

1.908

1.405

1.782

1.655

1.894

1.408

1.787

1.655

1.882

1.411

1.792

Col nr 1

Col nr 2

Col nr 3

1.00

1.95

1.21

Col nr 4

Col nr 5

Col nr 6

1.00

1.88

1.17

Col nr 7

Col nr 8

Col nr 9

1.00

1.84

1.15

Col nr 10

Col nr 11

Col nr 12

1.00

1.81

1.12

Col nr 13

Col nr 14

Col nr 15

1.00

1.78

1.10

Col nr 16

Col nr 17

Col nr 18

1.00

1.76

1.08

3.84

101097

1.655

1.871

1.412

1.799

Col nr 19

Col nr 20

Col nr 21

1.00

1.74

1.06

3.80

101097

1.655

1.863

1.412

1.807

Col nr 22

Col nr 23

Col nr 24

1.00

1.74

1.04

3.78

101097

1.655

1.858

1.409

1.817

Col nr 25

Col nr 26

Col nr 27

1.00

1.75

1.03

3.78

101097

1.655

1.858

1.403

1.832

Col nr 28

Col nr 29

Col nr 30

1.00

1.91

1.02

1.602

1.833

1.325

1.818

4.17

4.06

3.99

3.93

3.88

3.93

46800

101097

101097

101097

101097

107862

Table 6.6. Distribution of compressive forces in columns of each storey and the respective Kfactors determined for LC 3.

61

Load case

LC 4

Load

factor []

Total load

factor []

6. K - factor determination

Total critical

load [kN ]

K-factor

storey

K-factor

column

2.432

3.459

2.053

2.315

1.655

2.267

1.403

1.594

1.655

2.219

1.407

1.606

1.655

2.179

1.410

1.617

1.655

2.142

1.413

1.628

Col nr 1

Col nr 2

Col nr 3

1.00

2.84

2.23

Col nr 4

Col nr 5

Col nr 6

1.00

2.61

2.02

Col nr 7

Col nr 8

Col nr 9

1.00

2.49

1.91

Col nr 10

Col nr 11

Col nr 12

1.00

2.39

1.81

Col nr 13

Col nr 14

Col nr 15

1.00

2.30

1.73

Col nr 16

Col nr 17

Col nr 18

1.00

2.23

1.66

4.89

101097

1.655

2.112

1.414

1.641

Col nr 19

Col nr 20

Col nr 21

1.00

2.17

1.58

4.76

101097

1.655

2.083

1.414

1.655

Col nr 22

Col nr 23

Col nr 24

1.00

2.14

1.52

4.66

101097

1.655

2.062

1.411

1.670

Col nr 25

Col nr 26

Col nr 27

1.00

2.14

1.48

4.62

101097

1.655

2.053

1.404

1.688

Col nr 28

Col nr 29

Col nr 30

1.00

2.36

1.49

1.602

2.035

1.326

1.668

6.07

5.63

5.40

5.20

5.03

4.84

46800

101097

101097

101097

101097

107862

Table 6.7. Distribution of compressive forces in columns of each storey and the respective Kfactors determined for LC 4.

62

6.4

9th semester

Results compairison

K-factor of the columns is obtained using the procedure given in AISC, DIN 18800 and by

application of subassembly models in Robot. These results are compared and discussed

in the following.

By application of AISC procedure the K-factor for each of the representative columns in

the structure, thus 6 column cases in total, shown in figure 6.1 are determined. But using

DIN 18800 and Robot models, the capacity of three storey cases: base, intermediate and

top, are found and hence the K-factors for each columns within the storey is determined in

accordance to the normal force and column stiffness distribution in the storey. In order to

make the results obtained by different approach comparable, the AISC results, obtained

for 6 representative column cases, are distributed to the individual columns by employing

the normal force distribution factor Nj .

Distributions of AISC result, obtained for the respective cases, to the individual columns

are performed by determine the critical buckling load for individual columns employing

Eulers buckling equation. Hence total critical buckling load for base, intermediate and

top storey cases are determined. The critical load for a storey is then distributed to its

columns in accordance to Nj factor determined for load cases: LC 3 and LC 4. Nj factors

and the calculation procedure for this objective are earlier presented, hence only the

results are given in table 6.8 and 6.9 where also results obtained by the other procedures

are presented.

AISC and DIN 18800 results are compared with the K-factors obtained by using Robot

in table 6.8 and 6.9; as Robot calculation is evaluated to reflect the accurate results the

most. But applying a numerical tool as Robot, will only results in an approximation to

the reality. How close the approximation is to the exact result, depends on the accuracy

and convergence of the subassembly models to reflect the real behaviour. A discussion

on this matter, based on the failure modes obtained from the buckling analysis, is given

in appendix D, where the problem committed to application of Robot in general for this

objective is also described.

The variation of the AISC and DIN 18800 results from those obtained by Robot are given

in %, in table 6.8 and 6.9, where positive and negative value indicate whether the results

are on safe or unsafe side, respectively. The immediate fact to note is that (%) variations

for the storey cases are equal in both load cases LC 3 and LC 4, which is obvious as the

results for different methods are factorized by using identical Nj factors.

63

6. K - factor determination

LC 3

Robot

AISC

AISC [%]

DIN 18800

Col nr 1

Col nr 2

Col nr 3

2.865

2.051

2.600

2.843

2.036

2.580

-0.76

-0.76

-0.76

3.299

2.362

2.994

15.15

15.15

15.15

Col nr 4

Col nr 5

Col nr 6

1.924

1.401

1.777

2.326

1.694

2.149

20.90

20.90

20.90

1.977

1.440

1.826

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 7

Col nr 8

Col nr 9

1.908

1.405

1.782

2.307

1.699

2.155

20.90

20.90

20.90

1.960

1.444

1.831

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 10

Col nr 11

Col nr 12

1.894

1.408

1.787

2.290

1.703

2.160

20.90

20.90

20.90

1.947

1.447

1.836

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 13

Col nr 14

Col nr 15

1.882

1.411

1.792

2.276

1.706

2.167

20.90

20.90

20.90

1.934

1.450

1.842

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 16

Col nr 17

Col nr 18

1.871

1.412

1.799

2.263

1.707

2.175

20.90

20.90

20.90

1.923

1.451

1.849

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 19

Col nr 20

Col nr 21

1.863

1.412

1.807

2.252

1.707

2.184

20.90

20.90

20.90

1.914

1.451

1.856

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 22

Col nr 23

Col nr 24

1.858

1.409

1.817

2.246

1.704

2.197

20.90

20.90

20.90

1.909

1.448

1.867

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 25

Col nr 26

Col nr 27

1.858

1.403

1.832

2.246

1.696

2.215

20.90

20.90

20.90

1.909

1.441

1.882

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 28

Col nr 29

Col nr 30

1.833

1.325

1.818

2.013

1.456

1.996

9.81

9.81

9.81

1.774

1.283

1.759

-3.23

-3.23

-3.23

Table 6.8. Comparison of K-factor of columns of the case study structure; determined by AISC

and DIN 18800 with results obtained by Robot for LC 3.

64

9th semester

LC 4

Robot

AISC

AISC [%]

DIN 18800

Col nr 1

Col nr 2

Col nr 3

3.459

2.053

2.315

3.432

2.037

2.298

-0.76

-0.76

-0.76

3.982

2.364

2.666

15.15

15.15

15.15

Col nr 4

Col nr 5

Col nr 6

2.267

1.403

1.594

2.740

1.696

1.927

20.90

20.90

20.90

2.329

1.442

1.638

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 7

Col nr 8

Col nr 9

2.219

1.407

1.606

2.683

1.701

1.942

20.90

20.90

20.90

2.280

1.446

1.650

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 10

Col nr 11

Col nr 12

2.179

1.410

1.617

2.634

1.705

1.955

20.90

20.90

20.90

2.238

1.449

1.662

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 13

Col nr 14

Col nr 15

2.142

1.413

1.628

2.590

1.709

1.968

20.90

20.90

20.90

2.201

1.452

1.673

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 16

Col nr 17

Col nr 18

2.112

1.414

1.641

2.553

1.709

1.984

20.90

20.90

20.90

2.170

1.452

1.686

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 19

Col nr 20

Col nr 21

2.083

1.414

1.655

2.519

1.709

2.001

20.90

20.90

20.90

2.141

1.452

1.701

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 22

Col nr 23

Col nr 24

2.062

1.411

1.670

2.493

1.706

2.019

20.90

20.90

20.90

2.119

1.450

1.716

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 25

Col nr 26

Col nr 27

2.053

1.404

1.688

2.482

1.697

2.040

20.90

20.90

20.90

2.109

1.442

1.734

2.75

2.75

2.75

Col nr 28

Col nr 29

Col nr 30

2.035

1.326

1.668

2.235

1.456

1.832

9.81

9.81

9.81

1.970

1.283

1.614

-3.23

-3.23

-3.23

Table 6.9. Comparison of K-factor of columns in the case study structure; determined by AISC

and DIN 18800, with results obtained by Robot for LC 4.

In general it is notable that the AISC procedure provides results on very conservative

side and hence varies from the Robot results the most. The variation are 0.76 %, 20.9 %

and 9.81 % for the base, intermediate and top storey, respectively. It shall be noted

that flexibility parameter of value GB = 10 is recommended by AISC to be used for the

pin-ended column. Hence the flexibility parameter value is limited in comparison to the

theoretical value of GB = for a frictionless hinge.

65

6. K - factor determination

numerical solutions for different pinned cases are taken into account for this decision. This

is evaluated to be the reason why AISC procedure provides results that only varies by

0.76 % on the unsafe side for the base case.

DIN 18800 procedure provides in general results that are very close to those obtained

by Robot, but not for the base storey, which differ by 15.15 %. It shall be noted that

the flexibility parameter CU = 1 is recommended for the pin based columns. This is the

outermost limit value indicating a very flexible joint, but this is not the case as the joint

is pin-supported thus the base cant deflect laterally. A backwards calculation, requiring

identical K-factor as determined in Robot, yields a flexibility parameter CU 0.9. This

is the reason for the large variation of the results found for the base storey. For the

intermediate storey the variation is 2.75 % on the safe side. This is a small variation that

can be caused by error in reading of the charts given in figure 4.12. This may also be the

reason for the top columns where the variation in results are determined to be 3.23 % on

the unsafe side.

Considering the results, the rank going on the degree of the restraint are numbered from

1 to 6 in the following, where 1 indicates the most restraint column case and 6 indicates

the less restraint column case:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Interior columns (column 5 for an instant) in intermediate storey.

Exterior columns (column 28 and 30) in top storey.

Exterior columns (column 4 and 6 for an instant) in intermediate storey.

Interior column (column 2) in base storey.

Exterior columns (column 1 and 3) in base storey.

This observation is found to be valid for all three methods and is hence a general matter,

given that the dimension of beams and columns in the system are identical. The reason

why the top storey is restraint the most is simply that the top beams are only restraining

the columns top, and by contrast to the intermediate storeys, there arent any other

columns ahead this storey that needs to be supported.

It is from the results seen that the K-factor of columns varies all over the system depending

on the normal force distribution. Hence in practice the same amount of K-factor value

as number of columns in the system are determinable for a non-symmetrical load case.

But by considering the K-factor variation for the intermediate storeys, it is seen that

the respective exterior and interior columns doesnt vary much between each other in the

different storeys. The question then goes on what it does mean for the final design, if just

the greatest value among those found for the exterior and interior columns are applied for

the respective columns in all the intermediate storeys. In order to seek an answer for this

and furthermore to make a decision of which method/methods to be applied in practice,

it becomes essential to examine how the K-factors influence the final design. This is done

in the following.

66

6.5

9th semester

Determination of the critical buckling load of a storey by employing different methods and

more than that to distribute the critical load among its columns according to the normal

force and column stiffness distribution is a time consuming process. This procedure will

in practice results in the number of K-factors equals the number of columns in the frame

multiplied with the number of load cases; hence 60 different K-factors are determined for

the case study structure where 2 load cases are considered. It is impractical to deal with

so many K-factors; therefore the number of different K-factors has to be reduced in the

system in order to save time in practical engineering work.

Hence this analysis evaluates the influence of K-factors on the final design, by applying

Robot where performing code check according to EC 3 is available. It is the aim to examine

the variation of the final results due to a change of K-factor, whereby the importance of

the K-factor is analysed. According to EC 3, two kind of code check need to be fulfilled,

these are: [EC3, 2007]

Section strength check

Global stability check of member

Section strength of a member doesnt get affected by K-factor, why only the global stability

checks of the members are focused in this study. The equations from EC 3 formulation that

should be checked are not repeated here, but will be included in case of not satisfaction.

LC 3 is used for this study. The stability check analysis is limited only to include the base

storey columns as the greatest internal forces and K-factor of columns are found at this

storey.

6.5.1

The results from the code check analysis in Robot are given in table 6.10. Among

the different check required for the columns, the interaction formulas due to members

subjected to combined bending and axial compression, given in EC 3 at point 6.3.3.(4),

have shown to be the design criteria for each cases given in table 6.10. The ratios given in

table 6.10 represent the maximum value obtained by the interaction formulas, and these

can hence be regarded as rate of utilization of the member.

67

LC 3

Base

storey

Left column

Robot DIN AISC

18800

K-factor

2.86

HE340B

HE360B

HE400B

HE450B

HE500B

HE550B

HE600B

1.01

0.90

0.70

3.30

1.01

0.77

0.62

2.843

6. K - factor determination

Interior column

Robot DIN AISC

18800

2.05

2.36

2.04

1.01

0.90

0.70

1.01

0.91

0.85

1.04

0.93

0.85

1.01

0.91

0.85

Right column

Robot DIN AISC

18800

2.60

2.99

2.58

1.07

0.88

0.75

1.16

0.93

0.78

1.07

0.88

0.75

Table 6.10. Rate of utilization of profiles determined by code check according to EC 3 in Robot

where K-factors found by different methods are applied.

The HE-B profiles used for this analysis are standard products assumed to have yield

strength fyk = 355 MPa. It is hence seen that for all three methods, HE550B and

HE450B profiles have to be used for the interior and right column of the base storey, even

the AISC method results in very conservative K-factors, deviating up to 20 % from the

others. But contrary to this, for the left column HE400B profile need to be used according

to the DIN 18800 producer which K-factor deviates by 15 % from the others, where

HE360B profile is satisfied due to Robot and AISC procedures.

Hence the tendency to be noted is that the rate of utilization variation versus K-factor

variation is large for small profiles than for large profiles. This is analysed in further detail,

see figure 6.3, where rate of utilizations are found for different profiles for the interior base

column by code check according to EC 3 in Robot. The K-factor values in range [1; 5] are

inputted where the internal forces determined for LC 3 are used.

Figure 6.3. Rate of utilization for different profiles determined by code check according to EC 3

in Robot for interior base column where K-factor values in range [1; 5] are employed.

68

9th semester

It shall be mentioned that curves in figure 6.3 indicate rate of utilization larger than 1 for

the most cases, but the curves are made due to get an idea of the influence of K-factors

on the rate of utilization, why the magnitude of utilization rate doesnt matter but rather

the changes due to K-factor increments are of interest.

Figure 6.3 shows in general that rate of utilization of the profiles grows parabolic for increasing K-factor values, which is due to reduction of the critical buckling load by factor

K 2 . Regarding the influence of K-factor, it is for an instant seen; the rate of utilization differ the most for HE400B profile then for HE550B profile for the same increment

in K-factor at the small range of K-factors. K-factors below 3.3 are obtained for the

case study structure. Hence among the considered profiles, HE400B and HE450B profiles

are most sensitive in comparison to HE500B and HE550B profiles for changes in K-factors.

But care must be taken due to change in K-factor caused by the change of column

dimension as K-factor is influenced by the stiffness ratio between columns and beams.

An example on this matter is given in table 6.11 where Robot is used to determine the

K-factors.

LC 3 - Base storey

Left column

Interior column

Right column

Profile

K-factor

HE400B

2.843

HE400B

2.036

HE400B

2.580

Profile

K-factor

HE400B

2.314

HE550B

2.786

HE400B

2.553

Table 6.11. Change of K-factor due to change of column dimensions, obtained for the base

storey in Robot for LC 3.

It is hence seen that the change in dimension results in the largest K-factor values of the

interior column and smallest of the left column. This matter can be conclusive design

criteria, why care should be taken.

The other important factor to note is that in practice standard profiles are preferred to be

used, which means for an instant HE550B profile have to be used for the interior column

at the base storey, even the rate of utilization is 1.01 for a HE500B (based on Robot and

AISC method), which is very close to be satisfied, see table 6.10 and figure 6.3. At the

same storey, the side columns need a HE450B profile, for which the rate of utilization is

only 0.88. Hence there is some additional capacity available in the side columns, which

allows the engineer in practice to evaluate whether HE500B profile is yet reasonable to

use for the interior column.

The K-factors for the interior columns in intermediate storeys are determined to be in the

interval of [1.442; 1.452] according to DIN 18800 formulation. By considering the curves

in figure 6.3 for these values, it gives an idea that the variations of utilization ratio are

small; therefore identical K-factors can be applied for the respective interior and exterior

columns for all intermediate storeys.

69

6. K - factor determination

In practice design it is not suitable to suggest a large variation of element profiles for the

different storeys, where maybe only 2 or 3 changes of profile dimensions are preferred; this

supports the argument to apply identical K-factors for columns in the storeys. It is hence

up to the engineer in practice for a given case to decide which set of K-factors, for which

load cases need to be used and how many set of profiles are reasonable to design.

70

Part III

Conclusion

71

Conclusion

Determination of the effective buckling length of the columns in steel framed

construction by employing different analytical and numerical methods

This problem is required by Rambll to be analyzed with the aim to point out one or

more methods whereby a quick and reliable estimate of K-factor of columns in framed

steel structure can be determined. Structure, presented in figure 1.2 in chapter 1 is used

for case study of this project. The case study structure is determined to be a sway type,

therefore the K-factor of the columns are greater than one.

Eurocode 3 requires the determination of K-factor for columns to be based on a global

buckling mode of the frame, which accounts for the stiffness behaviour of the members

and joints, the presence of plastic hinges and the distribution of compressive forces under

the design load. Neither the EC 3 nor Danish National Annex provide any guidelines for

the determination of K-factor of columns in frames but refer to other specific literature

for this purpose. The following statement on sway frames is shown to be valid by analysis

performed in the report:

"In general, the critical buckling load which produces failure by side-sway can be distributed

among the columns in a storey in any manner. Failure by side-sway will not occur until

the total frame load on a storey reaches the sum of the potential individual critical column

loads for the unbraced frame. There is one limitation, the maximum load an individual

column can carry is limited to the load permitted on that column for the braced case,

K = 1. Side-sway is a total storey characteristic, not an individual column phenomenon."

[Joseph A. Yura, 2003]

The case study structure is divided in to 3: base, intermediate and top storey cases, where

the critical buckling load of the respective storey cases is determined by applying:

Method proposed by DIN 18800

Method proposed by AISC

Robot

73

7. Conclusion

DIN 18800 considers the total storey as a whole, where a representative K-factor of the

storey is determined. The representative K-factor of the storey is used to determine the Kfactor of the individual columns in the storey by accounting for normal force and stiffness

distribution of the columns, which is required by EC 3.

AISC method assumes the columns in a storey fail simultaneously, therefore it considers

the individual columns within the storey separately. Hence K-factor of each column is

directly determined. In order to meet the EC 3 requirement, the K-factor is obtained for

the individual columns are used to determine the representative K-factor of the storey;

then a procedure identical to DIN 18800 is applied.

Robot is as default, only applicable to perform global buckling analysis. However by

performing buckling analysis on subassembly models (representing the base, intermediate

and top storey cases) buckling load of each storey cases can be determined. The buckling

load is then used to determine the representative K-factor of the storey; then an procedure

identical to DIN 18800 is applied.

Considering the two load cases, LC 3 and LC 4, presented in chapter 5, the following

comparison are drawn for the three methods mentioned above, as discussed in chapter

6.4.

In general AISC approach gives very conservative results while DIN 18800 very accurate

results, except for the base storey case where the tendency is the other way around. The

reason for the accurate results in AISC compared with DIN 18800, for the base storey case

are evaluated to be caused by the flexibility parameter for the pinned support, suggested

by the respective codes. AISC considers the combined effect of the pinned base and

restraint at the top of the base columns where DIN 18800 suggests applying a theoretical

value, which equals to a situation where the pinned-support is free to sway.

Further, based on the sensitivity analysis of the influence of the K-factor in chapter 6.5, it

is found that the variation of the rate on utilisation is large for an increment of K-factor for

small profiles in comparison to large profiles. However, it is found that all three methods

conformed to the same design profile to be chosen although they all revealed different Kfactor values. Thus, it is clear that the small variation within different methods is not

significant enough to influence the choice of the design profile.

In practice it is important to consider the time it takes to determine the K-factor of each

column in comparison to its influence on the final results. Thus the author suggests to

base the K-factor determination solely on DIN 18800 procedure in practice, in order to

stick with just one method, which is quick, while obtaining results that are a little on the

conservative side leaving a little capacity reserve. Further it is favourable as the design

practice is a dynamic process where changes often occur throughout the design face.

74

In this chapter the frame design based on equivalent column method is put into

perspective by considering the need of numerical tools.

The scope of this project is to apply different methods in order to determine the effective

buckling length of columns which is necessary in application of the equivalent column

method for design of steel frames. The equivalent column method is conventional for the

engineers in Rambll Aalborg why they are interested in the current study.

The other method advised in EC 3 is a global analyses procedure based on the second

order theory where the second order effects, global and local imperfections are considered

in order to determine the internal forces and moments. Hence no individual stability check

of the members using the effective buckling length values is required. The determined

internal forces and moments can directly be used in resistance checks. By this way the

well known reduction factor for the buckling mode of the columns, doesnt appear explicit

in the design procedure but is included implicit by accounting for the second order effects.

This method is computationally advanced why numerical tools shall be employed in order

to perform the analysis. But on the other hand the numerical tool Robot is applied for

following objectives throughout this project:

Classification of the frame type (sway or non-sway)

Determination of the internal force and moment distribution for different load cases

Performing code check

Hence application of numerical tool as Robot is still necessary in practical engineering

work even the equivalent column method is used due to frame design. Robot offers the

feature to perform second order analysis. Then the question is if the advanced numerical

tools are available, why not use them to perform the second order theory directly. Another

fact to note is that EC 3 indirectly states that the second order theory is more exact to

use why this method maybe is more likely to employ sooner or later.

75

It is the authors opinion that the equivalent column method is not necessarily the

exceptional desired design method in practice, as a number of decisions have to be made

during the analysis anyway. An example upon the decision to be made are to point out

which load cases are the most critical for a given column as the effective column length are

influenced by the load case. Hence it becomes necessary to type in the K-factors manually

in order to perform the code check, which may be a time consuming process.

Hence the author recommends, if further investigations on frame design due to lighten

the practical design approach is wanted, to evaluate the application of numerical tools in

order to design frames based on second order analysis. Direct design approach by applying

advanced numerical tool can maybe be the most suitable procedure in practice.

76

Part IV

Appendix

77

In this chapter the method Robot uses to perform buckling analysis and the

required input parameters are explained. A convergence test is performed in

order to determine how many elements a column shall be subdivided to obtain

reliable results. Furthermore it is evaluated whether the surrounding elements of

a considered column also need to be subdivided in order to obtain reliable results.

A.1

in practice for modelling, analysing and designing various types of structures. The user

is able to create structures, carry out structural analysis, verify obtained results and

perform code check calculations of structural members. Furthermore it has layout features

that make it simple to prepare documentation for a calculated and designed structure.

[Robobat, 2008]

One kind of analysis type Robot offers, is buckling analysis which is widely used in this

project in order to perform different buckling analysis of columns in frames. It is hence

important to study the method Robot applies to run the analysis in order to verify the

usability and accuracy of the results.

The problem of linear buckling analysis of a structure is formulated and solved through

the problem of eigenvalues. The generalized eigenvalue problem in matrix form is given

in equation A.1. [Robobat, 2008]

K M =0

K

M

,

(A.1)

Stiffness matrix

Geometric stiffness matrix

Eigenpairs: Buckling shape or buckling mode - eigenvector and

critical buckling load Pcr - eigenvalue)

The eigenvalue problem can be chosen to be solved either by subspace iteration or block

subspace iteration method. It is recommended to apply block subspace iteration method

when analysis on large scale problem requiring large number of modes N > 10, are

performed. For the actual analysis in this project the subspace iteration method is applied

as only N = 1, the 1. buckling mode resulting in the lowest Pcr is of interest. Hence for

the required buckling mode, eigenvalue and critical load coefficient cr are determined.

As the calculation process is iterative, a requirement for the convergence criterion whereby

the calculations shall stop may be prescribed. The convergence criterion given in equation

A.2 is applied in Robot. [Robobat, 2008]

k+1 k

i

i

< T ol

k

i

i, k

T ol

(A.2)

Value of tolerance

Robot also gives the precision of the obtained buckling analysis results which is calculated

by equation A.3.

i i K 1 M

=

ki k

(A.3)

Number of required buckling modes, (mode = 1 gives the lowest critical load value

Pcr , which is of interest for the cases included in this project)

Value of tolerance that is to be achieved during iterative analysis of the structure,

(default value of 0.00001 is set).

The maximum number of iterations where after the calculations shall stop even if

the required tolerance is not reached, (default value of 40 is set).

9th semester

Subspace iteration method

Block subspace iteration method

Sturm check finds the skipped vibration mode (ensure determination of the lowest

required eigenvalue)

A.2

Convergence test

In order to obtain reliable results of Pcr for a column by buckling analysis in Robot,

the column shall be subdivided into a number of elements. This increases the number of

degrees of freedom thus to enable a more precise representation of the collapse mechanism.

Hence a convergence test is performed in the following in order to determine the necessary

number of elements due to obtain reliable results.

The convergence test is based on a pin-ended column of 5 meter length HE400B steel

profile. Hence Pcr of the 1. mode is determined by employing Euler equation to

47819.8 kN , see table 3.1, chapter 3 for the calculation. The buckling analysis in Robot is

repeated where the column is divided into various number of elements and the respective

Pcr is obtained. The results are given in table A.1 and sketched in figure A.1.

n - elements

Pcr [kN ] Robot

1

58141.94

2

48179.55

3

47895.45

4

47844.32

5

47829.98

6

47824.75

n - elements

Pcr [kN ] Robot

7

47822.5

8

47821.4

9

47820.81

10

47820.48

20

47819.87

50

47819.83

Table A.1. Critical buckling load Pcr , determined by buckling analyses in Robot for various

number of element subdivision

Figure A.1. Convergence test: Pcr determined by buckling analyses in Robot for various number

of element subdivision.

From the results, it can be concluded that the column shall be divided into small elements

in order to obtain reliable results, but how many small elements are needed depends on how

precise results are needed. An important factor in this discussion is the time consumption

for run the analysis as the number of elements increase. The actual analysis is based on

a very simple model; therefore the difference in calculation time wasnt notable, but for

large models this can be the decisive factor.

For the performed analysis, subdivision of the element into 20 elements gives a result that

is very close to the exact value. As the models used for analysis in this project are simple

and more or less similar to the performed analysis, subdivision of a profile into 20 elements

is evaluated to be sufficient in order to obtain reliable results.

Requirement to deviation of the surrounding elements

As buckling of a given column is dependent on the surrounding elements in a frame, it

shall be examined whether the surrounding elements also need to be divided into smaller

elements; if so how many elements are needed due to obtain reliable results.

Examination of this matter is carried out by applying the structure model shown in figure

A.2, where buckling analysis of the interior column marked with red is considered. Initially

it is examined whether the surrounding elements need to be divided at all, by performing

2 analyses:

1. Divide the column in consideration into 20 parts and leave the rest of the elements

unchanged (not divided into parts) and perform the buckling analysis.

2. Divide all the elements of the structure into 20 parts and perform the buckling

analysis. This situation is shown in the figure A.2.

Figure A.2. Structure where each element is divided into 20 elements and the column marked

with red is considered.

9th semester

Pcr = 24700 kN is obtained for the analysis number (1) and the same value is also

obtained for the analysis number (2). Hereby it can be concluded for this case that if

buckling analysis is performed with the aim of determine the buckling- load or length of

a given column, only the considered column needs to be divided into smaller elements.

But when a global buckling analysis is performed on a structure, where it is unknown in

beforehand which of the columns will initiate the failure, then all the columns need to be

divided into 20 elements in order to determine reliable results.

K-factor

In this chapter studies are made by using Robot in order to evaluate the

parameters that influence on the buckling length of a column connected to a

sway frame construction. Initially the bracing effect on a column in a storey by

the other columns of the storey is analysed. Finally the influence of the other

storeys on the bracing effect of a column in a frame is examined.

Studies made in chapter 3, clarify the influence of support conditions on K-factor, where

the analyses were based on fundamental cases with precise and ideal support conditions.

This will not be the case for columns that form part of a framed structure as they interact

with other members. Hence the purpose of this chapter is to determine whether and to

what extent the surrounding column and beam elements of a considered column influence

on the bracing of it. This is done by performing the following two analyses:

Bracing effect of bays: Determine chance in degree of bracing on the exterior

column by the other members of the storey as the number of bays increases stepwise

from 1 to 8.

Bracing effect of storeys: Determine chance in degree of bracing on the interior

column in a two-bay frame as the number of storeys increases stepwise from 1 to 4.

The analysis is to be performed in Robot, where further description on the geometry and

mechanical properties of the frame and its members are given in the introduction to the

respective analysis.

B.1

The current analysis focuses on the bracing effect of bays, where the purpose is to

determine whether and to what extent the other columns connected by beams at same

level restraint each other. This matter is examined by performing buckling analysis in

Robot on frames with number of bays varying from 1 to 8, but with identical geometric

and mechanical properties of the beams and columns. The idea is to load one of the

exterior columns of the frame and determine the K-factor of it. Figure B.1 shows the

static model used for the analysis, but here illustrating for the frame with 4 bays where

the exterior column marked with red is considered.

Figure B.1. Plane frame with 4 bays, with identical geometric and mechanical properties L, E

and I of the beams and columns. The axial loaded exterior column, marked with

red, is considered.

Hence buckling analyses are performed in Robot for 8 different frame cases in total, where

the respective K - factor of the exterior column is determined. The results are shown in

table B.1.

Number of bay

K - factor

1.658

1.326

1.142

1.030

0.960

0.916

0.892

0.876

Table B.1. K-factors of the exterior column subjected to axial load, determined by buckling

analysis in Robot for frames with number of bays varying from 1 to 8.

The result shows that as the number of bays in the system increases, the more the degree of

restraint of the loaded column grows, as the K-factor becomes smaller. K = 1 represents

a pin-ended column and is defined to be the smallest K-factor value for a sway frame.

This definition for the upper limit for restraint is based on that the column ends are free

to rotate (bending stiffness of the restraining beam approach zero) and fixed to translate.

But it is evident from results in table B.1 that K-factor greater than 1 is determined for

frames exceeding 4 bays, which is caused by the fact that the bending stiffness of the beam

E I > 0.

9th semester

Figure B.2 shows the failure mode obtained for frame with 2 bays, where K = 1.326 is

determined. It is hence seen that all the columns in the frame are identically deformed.

Figure B.2. Buckling mode obtained for 2 bays and single-storey frame, obtained by buckling

analysis in Robot.

Compared to this, the columns are not identically deformed in the buckling mode shown

in figure B.3, determined for a frame with 8 bays where K = 0.876 is obtained. In this

case it is clearly seen that the loaded column is deformed the most.

Figure B.3. Buckling mode for 8 bays and single-storey frame, obtained by buckling analysis in

Robot.

For the concrete analysis, it can be said that all the columns in frames consisting up to

4 bays fail simultaneous, as illustrated in figure B.2. In this range, the loaded column

doesnt fail before all the restraint capacity of the other columns in the storey is used.

For frames with more than 4 bays the failure is caused by the actual loaded column. This

means that the total restraint capacity in the frame is not used, but the column fails

caused as the critical load of the loaded column is reached. Scientists have made research

of steel framed construction on this matter and have concluded the following:

"In general, the critical buckling load which produces failure by side-sway can be distributed

among the columns in a storey in any manner. Failure by side-sway will not occur until

the total frame load on a storey reaches the sum of the potential individual critical column

loads for the unbraced frame. There is one limitation, the maximum load an individual

column can carry is limited to the load permitted on that column for the braced case,

K = 1. Side-sway is a total storey characteristic, not an individual column phenomenon."

[Joseph A. Yura, 2003]

This statement is also what is verified in the current study and is hence also the conclusion

of the performed analysis.

9

B.2

Having obtained that buckling of a storey is a total storey phenomena, the following

analysis examines on the influence of the number of storeys on the bracing of a storey.

This analysis is performed in Robot by increasing the number of storeys due to obtain the

change in the degree of restraint by considering the respective K - factors. The frames

are modelled by applying IPE100 profile both for columns and beams. The columns and

beams are 5 and 7 meter in length, respectively. Analyses of frames are made with the

number of storeys varying from 1 to 4. Load is applied the interior base column. Figure

B.4 shows the described idea, illustrated for the frame with 4 storeys, where the column

of consideration is marked with red. Table B.2 shows the results obtained by buckling

analysis in Robot.

Number of storey

K - factor

1.437

1.376

1.375

1.375

Table B.2. K - factors determined by buckling analysis in Robot for pinned frames with storeys

varying from 1 to 4.

It is seen from the results that the only remarkable change in K-factor for the considered

column is obtained for the frame with 2 storeys compared to the frame with 1 storey.

Decrease of K-factor means increase of the degree of restraint at the support. On the

other hand, it is seen that the additional restraint supply is limited only to the right

adjoined storey. Figure B.4 shows the buckling mode for the 4 storey frame obtained in

Robot.

Figure B.4. Buckling mode for frame with 2 bay and 4 storeys, obtained by buckling analysis

in Robot

10

9th semester

It is seen from the buckling mode that remarkable deformations occur in 1. and 2. storey,

where after the structure remains more and more straight. The same type of analysis is

performed where the base support is changed to be fixed, see table B.3 for the results.

Number of storey

K - factor

0.695

0.677

0.677

0.677

Table B.3. K - factor determined by buckling analyses in Robot for frames with fixed base and

number of storeys varying from 1 to 4.

The same tendency as for frames with pinned base is again obtained. Hence it can be

concluded that only the adjoining storeys of a storey have remarkable effect on its columns

K-factor. Thereby it is evaluated to be sufficient only to consider the adjoining storeys

when determining K - factor of columns in the case study structure.

11

K-factor

In this chapter the influence of frame base condition on the K-factor of columns

in intermediate storeys is examined.

In this chapter, the focus is to determine whether the base condition influences the Kfactor of columns in intermediate storeys. Motivation for this study is; AISC and DIN

18800 formulation doesnt distinguish between pinned or fixed column base when the Kfactor of columns in storeys, other than the base storey, are considered. Robot is used for

this study.

In order to examine the influence of the base support conditions on the other storeys,

global analyses are performed in Robot. The frame to be used is shown in figure C.1 to

left, where columns marked with blue are considered. The following procedure is used:

Perform global analysis on the frame shown to left in figure C.1, where all the

members are of HE400B profile. Thus determine K-factor of the columns marked

with blue in figure C.1.

Change the beam member, marked with red in figure C.1 to left, to HE450B profile

and perform the global analysis in terms to determine K-factor of the columns

marked with blue in figure C.1.

Repeat step 2, where following profiles are applied the base beam members: HE600B,

HE1000B and finally fixed base.

The buckling mode, obtained for the first mentioned analysis is shown in figure C.1 to

right. It is hence seen that the failure occurs in one of the intermediate storeys, more

likely the storey in center marked with yellow; as both the top and bottom storeys in

figure C.1 are restrained the most, and the one in center is less influenced by top and

bottom storeys. K-factors obtained for different analysis are given in table C.1. Global

buckling analysis on structure with the loading condition as shown in figure C.1, results

in identical K-factor of the columns. Explanation for this is found in appendix D.

13

Figure C.1. Frame used to perform the analysis (left) to examine the influence of the base

condition on the other storeys where the profile of the beam element marked with

red, is changed in terms to get different base conditions. Buckling mode (to right)

for the frame shown to left.

K-factor

HE400B

HE450B

HE600B

HE1000B

FIXED

1.737

1.733

1.730

1.729

1.729

Table C.1. K-factor of columns determined by global buckling analyses in Robot for the frame

shown in figure C.1 to left, where analyses are made by appling different profiles for

the base beams.

K-factor of the columns decreases as the support strength of the base columns increase,

which means K-factor of columns in other storeys are influenced by the base condition.

But the variance in K-factors for different base conditions are small, the largest variance

among the value in table C.1 is 0.5 %. This is small to have any significant influence,

which is examined by performing a sensitivity analysis where the influence of the K-factor

on the final result is examined, see chapter 6.

14

9th semester

Previous analyses consider a frame consisting 7 storeys. In order to examine the influence

of the base on frames with various numbers of storeys, the following analyses are made

and respective results are given in table C.2.

Perform two global buckling analyses on each of a frame with 3, 7, 10, 20 and 50

storeys.

In the first analysis, apply identical base conditions as shown in figure C.1

where the bottom of the base columns are pinned, but joined with each other

by HE400B beam profiles. Figure C.2, shows an example upon this analysis,

where frame with 50 and 20 storeys and the respective buckling modes are

shown.

In the second analysis, fix the columns base and remove the adjoining beam

members at the base.

Figure C.2. Frame with 50 and 20 storeys with pinned base and the respective failure modes

obtained by buckling analysis in Robot.

Number of storeys

K-factor, Base pinned

K-factor, Base fixed

50

20

10

3.125

3.125

2.006

2.006

1.784

1.782

1.737

1.729

1.634

1.593

Table C.2. K - factors determined by global buckling analyses in Robot for frames with various

number of storeys.

15

It is hence seen that the influence of the base on intermediate storeys are large for frames

with few storeys and small for frame with large number of storeys. Hence for the case study

structure, consisting 10 storeys, the influence of the base is small and can be disregarded.

This means that the AISC and DIN 18800 procedures can be applied.

Another matter obtained by this analysis is that K-factor of the intermediate columns in

general get large for frames consisting large number of storeys in comparison to frames with

few storeys. Hence performing analysis on subassembly models as AISC and DIN 18800

procedure do becomes invalid as the number of storeys in the frame becomes large. Hence

care should be taken when designing frames consisting more than circa 10-15 storeys, as

AISC and DIN 18800 may then give unfavorable results for K-factor of columns. This

matter is not further studied in this report. But as the case study structure only consists

of 10 storeys, AISC and DIN 18800 procedures are evaluated to be applicable.

16

K-factor determination

using Robot

In this chapter, it is examined how the buckling analysis feature in Robot, can be

applied in order to determine K-factor of columns in a frame, as Robot as default

only is applicable to perform global buckling analysis. Initially the global buckling

analysis and the direct solutions it provides are discussed. Finally, suggestions

for how the K-factor of columns in the case study structure can be determined

are given.

Initially it shall be mentioned that dimension of all the beam and column elements, included

the analyses of this appendix, are identical to those presented in chapter 5 for the case

study structure and hence is not repeated here.

By working with Robot according to the scope of this project, it is the authors expedience

that a detailed description on the buckling analysis feature in Robot is not given in the

user manual or in other relevant available materials. The understanding of the program

concerning the buckling analysis is hence gathered by application of the program and

evaluation of the results. Thus a description on what Robot calculates, and for which

cases, the direct provided results are reliable and applicable are given in this chapter.

Verified by examples suggestions to determine the K-factor of columns in the case study

structure are given, where subassembly models are applied due to represent the base,

intermediate and top storey cases.

D.1

In order to get an overview of the global buckling analysis feature in Robot and the direct

solution it provides, the case study structure, loaded as shown in figure D.1 to left, is

used. The column numbers are shown for some of the columns, but the numbering follows

systematically for the other columns.

17

Buckling analysis is performed in Robot, where the normal force distribution and failure

mode of the structure are shown in the middle and to the right in figure D.1, respectively.

Figure D.1. Uniformly loaded frame applied for global buckling analysis in Robot (left), normal

force distribution (middle), failure mode (right)

Robot directly provides the following parameters for the buckling analysis:

Critical Coefficent

Critical Force

Buckling length

These parameters with the respective K-factors (manually calculated value) and normal

forces (determined in Robot) are given, for each columns in the case study structure, in

table D.1.

18

9th semester

Column

number

Critical

coefficient

Critical

load [kN ]

Buckling

length [m]

K-factor

[]

Normal

force [kN ]

1

2

3

5.616

5.616

5.616

12242

22421

12242

9.88

7.30

9.88

2.74

2.03

2.74

2180

3992

2180

4

5

6

5.616

5.616

5.616

11107

20001

11107

10.37

7.73

10.37

2.88

2.15

2.88

1978

3561

1978

7

8

9

5.616

5.616

5.616

9925

17673

9925

10.97

8.22

10.97

3.05

2.28

3.05

1767

3147

1767

10

11

12

5.616

5.616

5.616

8725

15384

8725

11.71

8.82

11.71

3.25

2.45

3.25

1554

2739

1554

13

14

15

5.616

5.616

5.616

7505

13134

7505

12.62

9.54

12.62

3.51

2.65

3.51

1336

2339

1336

16

17

18

5.616

5.616

5.616

6268

10916

6268

13.81

10.46

13.81

3.84

2.91

3.84

1116

1944

1116

19

20

21

5.616

5.616

5.616

5018

8726

5018

15.44

11.70

15.44

4.29

3.25

4.29

894

1554

894

22

23

24

5.616

5.616

5.616

3757

6557

3757

17.84

13.50

17.84

4.96

3.75

4.96

669

1168

669

25

26

27

5.616

5.616

5.616

2490

4401

2490

21.91

16.48

21.91

6.09

4.58

6.09

443

784

443

28

29

30

5.616

5.616

5.616

1203

2285

1203

31.53

22.87

31.53

8.76

6.35

8.76

214

407

214

Table D.1. Parameters provided for columns in case study structure, by global buckling analysis

in Robot.

Considering the results shown in table D.1, the immediate tendency to note is that the

K-factors increase on a continuous basis upwards the system, as the result of the critical

load of columns degrees on a continuous basis upwards the system. This tendency is in

conflict with earlier analyses where the K-factors are shown to be dependent on the degree

of the restraint. For an instant, the columns of the intermediate storeys (columns 4 - 27)

more or less need to have similar K-factors for identical supports conditions, but this is

not the case for the current analysis.

19

The critical coefficient is identical for all the columns; it is hence a global value. This is

the coefficient that, multiplied with the applied load (normal force in the column), leads

to the failure load (critical load) of the structure. See appendix A due to understand the

calculation method used by Robot. This is also the value that needs to be larger than 10

in order to consider the frame as a non-sway type, in accordance with the definition given

in equation 2.1, chapter 2. [EC3, 2007]

It is in appendix B verified, that failure by side-sway is a total storey phenomenon. Hence

it can be assumed that the columns in a storey buckle simultaneous. Thus the global

critical buckling coefficient in fact dictates the critical buckling of a storey somewhere in

the system. Determination of which storey in the system that causes the global failure

is left as an exercise for the engineer. The illustration of the failure mode for the actual

case, shown to the right in figure D.1, can be used in order to determine the storey that

cause the failure, as it is obvious that failure occurs in the storey-columns that together

with the surrounding restraining members are deformed the most.

Hence it is the base storey (column 1-3) that leads the failure, why the obtained results

are only reliable for the base storey. The critical loads provided for the other columns,

are just calculated in Robot by multiplication of the determined global critical buckling

coefficient by the normal forces in the respective columns. The buckling lengths are then

obtained by applying the Eulers buckling equation. Hence the results provided by Robot

for other storey-columns than base storey-columns (as they cause the global failure for

the current case) become useless.

The K-factors obtained for columns of the base storey, can be applied for all the column

members of the frame as these are the most critical K-factors for the whole system. But

this application leads to a conservative design. On the other hand, if the designer is

only interested in columns with identical dimension for the whole system, the determined

K-factor for the base storey-columns can be applied.

D.2

determination

As default, the buckling analysis in Robot only offers a global buckling analysis; therefore

modifications have to be made due to determine the buckling load of the local storeys.

The columns in the global system can be divided into 6 representative columns and further

into 3 representative storey cases: base, intermediate and top, see figure D.2.

20

9th semester

Figure D.2. Case study structure, divided into 6 representative column types and further into

base-, intermediate- and top storey cases.

Studies are performed in appendix B in order to evaluate the other storeys which influence

on the buckling load of a given storey. It is hence obtained that buckling load of the storey

in consideration, is influenced by the elements within the storey itself, and elements in the

adjoining storeys. Considering this observation, the static models given in figure D.3 are

evaluated to be representative of the local conditions of the storey cases shown in figure

D.2.

Figure D.3. Static models representing the base, intermediate and top storey cases of the case

study structure to left, in middle and to right, respectively.

Model to the left, middle and to the right in figure D.3, are intended to represent the

base, intermediate and top storey cases, respectively. The static model for intermediate

and top storey cases are in accordance with the assumption made in AISC formulation;

"A sway frame consists of subassembly type of frames where the top of the column is able

to translate with respect to the bottom. The bottom columns cannot translate where the

translational restrain is infinite large and the top column is free to translate where the

restraint is equal to zero." Further description on AISC assumptions are given in chapter

4.

21

Centric point loads of 1 kN are applied on the uppermost columns, which results in

uniformly normal force distribution in each columns. But this would not be the case in

practice; figure D.1 shows an example of normal force distribution for a more realistic

loading. Application of equal centric load on the top of the subassembly models, makes

the model conservative, as in reality more capacity are in place in the uppermost columns,

since they are loaded less in reality than assumed here.

Figure D.4 shows the failure modes obtained by buckling analysis of the models shown

in figure D.3. The failure modes are identical to the AISC assumption; reverse curvature

bending of restraining beams, see figure 4.7 in chapter 4.

Figure D.4. Buckled shape of the representative models shown in figure D.3.

In order to examine which of the storey that initiates the failure of the structure for

different cases, the failure modes shown in figure D.4 shall be considered. It is clear

from the failure mode, shown to the left, that the base storey causes the failure. For the

intermediate storey case, it is the storey in the middle that initiates the failure, as the

adjoining beams are deformed the most. The top storey case, shown to the right, consists

of two storeys with identical restraint condition. This is also notable from the buckled

shape, as both storeys seem to buckle identically.

Hence it is concluded that the intended storey in each cases are the one to cause the

buckling failure due to the critical load; thus the obtained results are reliable for the

respective cases. Buckling analyses results for base, intermediate and top storeys are

given in table D.2, D.3 and D.4, respectively.

Base storey

Col 1

Col 2

Col 3

Col 4

Col 5

Col 6

Critical load [kN ]

Total critical load [kN ]

Buckling length [m]

K-factor []

1

15600

8.754

2.432

1

15600

46800

8.754

2.432

1

15600

8.754

2.432

1

15600

8.754

2.432

1

15600

46800

8.754

2.432

1

15600

8.754

2.432

Table D.2. Buckling analyses results on the subassembly model for the base storey shown to

left in figure D.3.

22

Intermediate

storey

Normal

force [kN ]

Critical

load [kN ]

Total critical

load [kN ]

buckling

length [m]

K-factor

9th semester

Col 1

Col 2

Col 3

Col 4

Col 5

Col 6

Col 7

Col 8

Col 9

33699

33699

33699

33699

33699

33699

33699

33699

33699

101097

101097

101097

5.956

1.654

5.956

1.654

5.956

1.654

5.956

1.654

5.956

1.654

5.956

1.654

5.956

1.654

5.956

1.654

Table D.3. Buckling analysis results on the subassembly model for the intermediate storey,

shown at the center in figure D.3.

Top storey

Col 1

Col 2

Col 3

Col 4

Col 5

Col 6

Critical load [kN ]

Total critical load [kN ]

Buckling length [m]

K-factor []

1

35954

1

35954

107862

5.766

1.602

1

35954

1

35954

1

35954

5.766

1.602

5.766

1.602

1

35954

107862

5.766

1.602

5.766

1.602

5.766

1.602

Table D.4. Buckling analysis results on the subassembly model for the top storey shown to right

in figure D.3.

Note from the tables that identical critical buckling loads are obtained for all of the

columns in the subassembly frames. This is due to identical internal compression force of

each column. This observation again confirms what is earlier concluded; Robot determine

a critical load coefficient whereby the normal force is multiplied in order to find the critical

buckling load.

The total critical buckling load of a storey is determined by summarising the critical

buckling load for the individual columns. The K-factors given in tables D.2, D.3 and D.4,

states that they are identical for all columns in a storey. This is not in accordance with

the studies made earlier as it is obvious that for instant the interior columns are more

restraint than the exterior columns. Therefore the total critical buckling load of a storey,

representing the total restraint capacity of the storey, shall be distributed to the individual

columns within the storey, according to the compressive forces and stiffness distribution of

the individual columns in the storey, [EC3, 2007]. As EC 3 doesnt suggests any method

in terms to perform the required distribution, DIN 18800 suggestion, given in equation

D.1, can be applied where j denotes the K-factor of the columns. Further explanation

on DIN 18800 procedure is given in chapter 4.

23

5,956

1.654

N Kj

storey

Nj KS

X

N=

Nj

j =

for j = 1, 2 .. n

(D.1)

for j = 1, 2 .. n

K = I/L

for j = 1, 2 .. n

Kj = Ij /Lj

X

KS =

Kj

for j = 1, 2 .. n

for j = 1, 2 .. n

In order to employ equation D.1, the representative K-factor of the storey, denoted storey

have to be found. That is done by application of Eulers equation D.2, where Pcr is the

total critical buckling load of the storey and Itotal is sum of moment of inertia for the

individual columns in the storey.

s

Kstorey =

(D.2)

Pcr L2

2 EItotal

For an instant, consider the normal forces in columns of the base storey (column 1-3)

given in table D.1, where the total critical buckling load of the storey is determined

to 46800 kN . Moment of inertia corresponding to 3 columns of HE400B profile is

Itotal = 576805 103 mm4 3 = 1.73 109 mm4 . Inserting these in equation D.2:

s

Kstorey = storey =

1

46800103 N 36002 mm2

2 210103 M P a 1.73109 mm4

= 2.432

Having the representative K-factor of the storey, equation D.1 is applied, where the normal

force distribution for the base columns (1, 2 and 3), given in table D.1, for load shown in

figure D.1, are used:

v

u

u (2180 kN + 3992 kN + 2180 kN ) 576805103 mm4

3600 mm

2.432 = 2.748

K1 = 1 = t

3 mm4 3

2180 kN 57680510

3600 mm

v

u

u (2180 kN + 3992 kN + 2180 kN ) 576805103 mm4

3600 mm

K2 = 2 = t

2.432 = 2.03

3 mm4 3

3992 kN 57680510

3600 mm

v

u

u (2180 kN + 3992 kN + 2180 kN ) 576805103 mm4

3600 mm

K3 = 3 = t

2.432 = 2.748

3 mm4 3

2180 kN 57680510

3600 mm

24

9th semester

It is hence seen that the obtained K-factors are similar to those found for the base storey

by global buckling analysis, see table D.1. In the same manner, as illustrated for the base

storey, the K-factors for all the other columns in the framed structure are determined.

The following are thus concluded:

Buckling analysis in Robot is as default only accessible to perform global buckling

analysis.

Total critical buckling load of a given storey is obtainable by performing buckling

analysis on a subassembly model that represent the local storey restraint condition

in the global framed system, and then adding the individual buckling load of the

columns.

Based on the total buckling load of the storey, a representative K-factor for the

storey can be determined by employing Euler buckling equation. The representative

K-factor of the storey, is used to determine K-factor of the columns by employing

equation D.1, suggested by DIN 18800.

This ascertainment means, for the number of load cases, correspondingly the K-factor of

the columns also exists, which becomes inappropriate operation in practical engineering

work. Therefore it is necessarily for the practical use to point out the load cases that makes

remarkable changes in the compression force distribution. Hence it becomes possible to

use the same K-factors of columns for a number of load cases where the compression force

distribution doesnt vary much. Further discussion on this matter is not given in this

project.

25

determination of columns, in the case study structure, obtained by the studies

performed throughout this project on frames in general are given. A summary

of the methods, which are applied to determine the K-factor of columns are

also given. Finally the suitable method to determine the K-factor in practice is

suggested. Hence this chapter is aimed to provide a review of this project for staff

at Rambll and furthermore be a guidance to determine the K-factor in framed

structure of steel in practice.

Determination of the effective buckling length of the columns in steel framed

construction by employing different analytical and numerical methods

This problem is required by Rambll to be analyzed with the aim to point out one or more

methods whereby a quick and reliable estimate of K-factor of columns in framed structure

of steel can be determined. Thus a number of analyses are preformed in this project by

applying a commercial program Robot. The framed structure, presented in figure 1.2 in

chapter 1 is used as a case study of this project. Two methods of practice, proposed

by AISC and DIN 18800, together with Robot are applied to determine K-factors of the

columns in the case study structure. Hence the important conclusive matters gathered

by different analysis and studies are briefly summarised in the following and detailed

descriptions are found in the report. The presentation of the methods and the conclusion

of the analysis are not given in the same sequence as done in the report, but the following

sequence is found reasonable for the purpose of this chapter.

27

EC 3 - formulation

Buckling length values (K-factor) are required when the stability of a frame is assessed by

code check with the equivalent column method. According to EC 3, the buckling length

values are based on a global buckling mode of the frame, which accounts for the stiffness

behavior of the members and joints, the presence of plastic hinges and the distribution of

compressive forces under the design load. Neither the EC 3 nor Danish National Annex

provide any guidelines for determination of the buckling length value of columns in frames

but refer to other specific literature for this purpose. Hence a guideline to determine the

K-factors based on the preformed studies and analysis is provided.

Sway or non-sway

The classification of the frame as a sway or non-sway type is carried out via the application

of equation E.1, a criterion that needs to be fulfilled for a frame to be classified as a nonsway type. The critical coefficient cr , is determined by performing buckling analysis in

Robot, only applying vertical loads FEd to the structure and Fcr is the critical buckling

load of the structure.

cr =

Fcr

10

FEd

(E.1)

The values between 0.5 K 1 and 1 K are taken as the K-factor of columns in

sway and non-sway frames, respectivly. EC 3 suggests to use K = 1 for columns in nonsway frames. In order to determine the K-factor of columns in sway frames its behavior

is studied.

Behavior of sway frame

The following statement on sway frames is shown to be valid by analysis performed in the

report:

"In general, the critical buckling load which produces failure by side-sway can be distributed

among the columns in a storey in any manner. Failure by side-sway will not occur until

the total frame load on a storey reaches the sum of the potential individual critical column

loads for the unbraced frame. There is one limitation, the maximum load an individual

column can carry is limited to the load permitted on that column for the braced case,

K = 1. Side-sway is a total storey characteristic, not an individual column phenomenon."

[Joseph A. Yura, 2003]

The case study structure is divided in to 3: base, intermediate and top storey cases, where

the critical buckling load of the respective storey cases is determined by applying:

Method proposed by DIN 18800

Robot

Method proposed by AISC

28

9th semester

DIN 18800

DIN 18000 procedure regards a total storey as a whole. Figure E.1 shows the elements

that are included when the storey marked with red is considered.

Figure E.1. Elements included due to determine the flexibility parameters CO and CU at top

and bottom of the considered storey (marked with red) respectively.

Having the flexibility parameters, the representative K-factor for the total storey is read

of DIN 18800 chart, given at figure 4.12 in chapter 4. The representative K-factor for

the storey is used to determine the individual columns K-factor, by accounting for the

load and stiffness distribution factor as required in EC 3. Performing the distribution by

applying the equation E.2 is suggested in DIN 18800, where K-factor is denoted .

N Kj

Nj KS

X

N=

Nj

for j = 1, 2 .. n

K = I/L

for j = 1, 2 .. n

Kj = Ij /Lj

X

KS =

Kj

for j = 1, 2 .. n

j =

for j = 1, 2 .. n

(E.2)

for j = 1, 2 .. n

ROBOT

Buckling analysis in Robot is as default only accessible to perform a global buckling

analysis, where the critical coefficient cr is directly determined. In order to determine

which of the storey that indicates the global failure, the failure mode for the buckling

analysis has to be evaluated. More detailed description on this matter is given in appendix

D. The following approach is used to determine the critical buckling load for each of the

base, intermediate and top storey cases.

Total critical buckling load of a storey is obtainable by performing buckling analysis in

Robot on a subassembly model, see figure E.2 that represent the local storey restraint

condition in the global framed system.

29

Figure E.2. Models representing a base, intermediate and top storey to left, in middle and to

right respectively.

Based on the total critical buckling load of the storey, a representative K-factor is

calculated applying the Eulers equation, where the sum of moment of inertia for the

columns. Based on this value, equation E.2 suggested by DIN 18800 is applied in order

to determine the K-factor of the individual columns.

AISC

AISC method assumes the columns in a storey fail simultaneously, therefore it considers

the individual columns within the storey separately. Hence K-factor of each column is

directly determined, where only the adjoining elements at the column ends are accounted

for the K-factor determination; for an instance figure E.3 shows the elements included

when buckling of the column marked with red is considered.

Figure E.3. The members enclosed by the dashed lines are involved in K-factor determination

of the column marked with red. [Galambos and Surovek, 2008]

As the exterior columns have identical restraint conditions, identical K-factors are

determined. However to satisfy the requirement of EC 3, modifications on the K-factor

values are needed, according to the distribution of compressive forces and stiffness behavior

of the members.

The K-factor of the individual columns are used to determine the respective critical

buckling load using the Eulers equation and then the critical buckling loads for the

columns are added to obtain the total critical buckling load of the storey. Having this value,

the approach given for the Robot method, due to determine K-factors of the individual

columns is used.

30

9th semester

K-factor - Case Study Structure

The structure in question is determined to be a sway type because the global analysis in

Robot resulted in cr = 4.826 < 10, which is the lowest obtained critical value for one of

in total two considered vertical load cases.

Two load cases illustrated at figure 6.2 in chapter 5 are considered for the purpose of

determining the K-factor. For a single load case, 30 different K-factors are obtained, as

the structure consists of 30 columns in total. Results are given in table 6.9 and 6.8 for the

load case; LC 3 and LC 4, respectively. Hence the number of K-factor value are equals

the number of columns in a structure times the number of load cases, which will leave an

impractical design basis.

The results are compared to each other, see table E.1 where the deviations are given in

% taking the Robot results as reference, as numerical calculations in Robot are evaluated

to give the most accurate estimates of the K-factor. Hence positive and negative % value

represent results on safe and unsafe side respectively.

Robot used as

Basic

Base

Storey

Intermediate

Storeys

Top

Storey

AISC [%]

DIN 18800 [%]

0.76

15.15

20.90

2.75

9.81

3.23

Table E.1. Comparison of results for K-factor of columns in the case study structure determined

by employing AISC and DIN 18800 approaches where Robot results are used as

reference, as they are evaluated to give the most accurate estimates.

In general AISC approach gives very conservative results while DIN 18800 very accurate

results, except for the base storey case where the tendency is the other way around.

The accurate results in AISC compared with DIN 18800, for the base storey case are

evaluated to be caused by the flexibility parameter for the pinned support, suggested by

the respective codes:

AISC : Gpinned = 10, where the theoretical value is Gpinned =

DIN 18800 : Cpinned = 1 where the theoretical value is Cpinned = 1

Hence AISC considers the combined effect of the pinned base and restraint at the top of

the base columns where DIN 18800 suggests applying a theoretical value, which equals to

a situation where the pinned-support is free to sway. A backwards calculation shows that

application of Cpinned 0.9 for the DIN 18800 procedure, results in similar K-factors as

obtained by the other methods.

Method to employ in practice

A sensitivity analysis of the influence of K-factor on the final results is assessed by

performing code check according to EC 3 for load case LC 3, in Robot. Figure E.4 shows

the rate of utilization obtained for the interior base column for some standard profiles,

when K-factor values in range [1; 5] are input.

31

Figure E.4. Rate of utilization for different profiles determined by code check according to EC3

in Robot for interior base column where K-factor values in range [1; 5] are employed.

Hence figure E.4 illustrates the general tendency; Rate of utilization variation is large

for an increment of K-factor for small profiles in comparison to the large profiles. As

Large profile is required, HE550B in this case, to document the stability of the column

which is under consideration, it is seen that the variations of K-factor found by applying

different methods doesnt have that much influence on the final result. In table E.2, rate

of utilization of profiles are given for the base storey columns for Robot, DIN 18800 and

AISC methods.

Max RB

Base

storey

Left column

Robot DIN AISC

18800

Interior column

Robot DIN AISC

18800

K-factor

2.865

2.051

HE340B

HE360B

HE400B

HE450B

HE500B

HE550B

HE600B

1.01

0.90

0.70

3.3

1.01

0.77

0.62

2.843

2.362

2.036

1.01

0.90

0.70

1.01

0.91

0.85

1.04

0.93

0.85

1.01

0.91

0.85

Right column

Robot DIN AISC

18800

2.6

2.994

2.58

1.07

0.88

0.75

1.16

0.93

0.78

1.07

0.88

0.75

Table E.2. Rate of utilization of profiles determined by code check according to EC 3 in Robot

where K-factors found by different methods is applied.

32

9th semester

Disregarding the left column, as it should be of the same dimension as the right column,

it is seen that HE450B and HE550B profiles shall be applied for the exterior and interior

columns respectively no matter which approach is used. Hence it is shown for the current

case, the practice design suggests to use identical profile dimension, regardless of the

method used to determine the K-factors.

In practice it is important to consider the time it takes to determine the K-factor of each

column in comparison to its influence on the final results. Thus the author suggests to

base the K-factor determination solely on DIN 18800 procedure in practice, in order to

stick with just one method, which is quick, while obtaining results that are a little on the

conservative side leaving a little capacity reserve. Further it is favorable as the design

practice is a dynamic process where changes often occur throughout the design face.

Guideline - K-factor determination procedure

The following guidelines are drawn from the study to determine the K-factor of columns

in practice.

1. Perform a global buckling analysis of the frame to classify it as a sway or non-sway

type, in Robot. Instruction and course materials to buckling analysis performance

is enclosed the Appendix CD, G.2.

2. Consider only two storey cases: Base and first storey. Disregard all other storey and

apply the parameters found for the first storey to the rest.

3. Apply DIN 18800 procedure to determine the representative K-factor of the base and

first storey. A calculation sheet in MathCAD is made and enclosed the Appendix

CD, G.2.

4. Determine the normal force distribution only for the base storey in Robot and apply

equation E.2, in order to determine K-factor of the individual columns in both the

base and first storey based on the representative K-factor of the storey. Equation

E.2 accounts for the load and stiffness distribution of the columns in the storey.

5. Perform code check in Robot. Note if the column dimensions need considerable

increment, be aware that the respective increments in K-factor.

33

Overview of other

participated project and

activities at Rambll

In this appendix the other projects and relevant activities within the field of

engineering subject, the author has been participated in is described.

During the trainee at Rambll Aalborg the author has been participated in the following

other activities and projects:

Biotek:

Meetings

Determination of the loads on the building, see figure F.1 for sketch of Biotek.

Design of concrete walls of the basement subjected to, among other loads, earth

pressure

Calculation of windload on the building and windload distribution on the

stablising walls

Stability calculations of the elements

Nordhavnsvej:

Design of lamp pole with triangle cross-section of extruded aluminum in Robot,

see figure F.2

Design of signposting portals in Robot, see figure F.3 and F.4

Design of noise shelter

Foundation design of the mentioned profiles

Spncom:

Guided tour in Spncom

Network meeting:

Meeting with other construction engineers from Rambll Central and Nord

Jutland with the aim to fortify the network and shear knowledge between the

colleagues.

35

F. Overview

- Autumnof2010

other participated project and activities at Rambll

Figure F.2. Map of Von Mises stresses for lamp pole determined by FEM calculation in Robot

36

9th semester

Figure F.4. Map of Von Mises stresses for portal determined by FEM calculation in Robot

37

Guide to Appendix CD

G.1

MathCAD sheet to determine K-factor of columns in sway frame according to DIN 18800.

G.2

39

Bibliography

Aalborg University, -. Aalborg University. Stabilitet, sjler, ulinere bjlker.

http : //people.civil.aau.dk/ i6cf rier/Statik2A/Lektion5/F orelaesning5.pdf , -.

Bonnerup and Jensen, 2007. Bent Bonnerup and Bjarne Chr. Jensen. Stl

konstruktioner efter DS 412. Nyt Teknisk Forlag, 2007. ISBN 978-87-571-2604-4.

Dalsgaard, 2008. Morten Dalsgaard. Statisk projekteringsrapport og projektgrundlag.

Rambll Aalborg, 2008. Intern projekteringsrapport.

Delft University of Technology, -. Delft University of Technology. Buckling length.

http : //people.civil.aau.dk/ i6lp/B5st%E5l/S%F 8jlel%E6ngder/ST EP.pdf , -.

DIN-Standards and Regulations, 1989. DIN-Standards and Regulations. DIN

18800. DIN-Standards and Regulations, 1989. ISBN -. German code for the design of

structural steel.

EC3, 2007. EC3. Design of steel structures, part 1-1. Danish Standards, 2007. General

rules and rules for buildings, 2. udgave.

Galambos and Surovek, 2008. Theodore V. Galambos and Andrea E. Surovek.

Structural stability of steel. John Wiley & Sons, 2008. ISBN 978-0-470-03778-2.

G.Johnston, 1976. Bruce G.Johnston. Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal

Structures. John Wiley & Sons, 1976. ISBN 0-471-44629-7. Structural Stability

Research Council.

Joseph A. Yura, 2003. Joseph A. Yura. The effective length of columns in unbraced

frames.

http://structureshandouts.unomaha.edu/AISC/ProgramFilesFolder/AISC/Companion

/bin/pdf/ej/yura1971Q2.pdf, 2003.

Robobat, 2008. Robobat. ROBOT Millennium Version 20.0 - Users Manual.

http : //www.robobat.com, 2008.

Shanmugam and Choo, 1995. N. E. Shanmugam and Y. S. Choo. Structural Steel.

Pergamon Singapore, 1995. ISBN 0-08-042265-9. Vol 1 - Steel Structures - National

University of Singapore.

S.L Chan & C.K. Lu, 2006. S.L Chan & C.K. Lu. On the Advanced Analysis of Steel

Frames Allowing for Flexural, Local and Lateral-torsional Buckling.

http : //www.ceric.net/kssc/KSSC_3_2006_6_2_121(C).pdf , 2006.

41

BIBLIOGRAPHY

University of Ljubljana - Slovenia, 2010a. University of Ljubljana - Slovenia.

Classification of Multi-Storey Frames.

http : //www.f gg.uni-lj.si/kmk/esdep/master/wg14/l0800.htm, 2010.

University of Ljubljana - Slovenia, 2010b. University of Ljubljana - Slovenia.

Methods of analysis.

http : //www.f gg.uni lj.si/kmk/esdep/master/wg07/k1100.htm#SEC_5, 2010.

42

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