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Aalborg University

Structural and Civil Engineering, 9th Semester


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.

Title: Determination of buckling length


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

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.
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

Layout of the report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pre-analysis of frame design

Chapter 2 Frame design in practice

7
9

2.1

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

2.2

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

2.3

2.2.1

1. and 2. order response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

2.2.2

Accounting for P and P effect in EC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Design approach preferred at Rambll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Chapter 3 Elastic buckling of columns

17

3.1

Euler buckling load . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

3.2

Critical buckling load


3.2.1

3.3

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

Effective length factor (K-factor) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Critical buckling load of columns in framed structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Chapter 4 K-factor determination in practice


4.1

27

AISC - formulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.1.1

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

4.2

4.3

Table of contents

4.1.2

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

4.1.3

Assumptions made in AISC specification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

DIN 18800 procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39


4.2.1

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

4.2.2

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

Frame base effects on K-factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

II Case study

45

Chapter 5 Case study structure

47

5.1

Load and load cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

5.2

Global analysis in Robot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Chapter 6 K - factor determination

53

6.1

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

6.2

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

6.3

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

6.4

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

6.5

Code check using Robot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67


6.5.1

Results and sensitivity analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

III Conclusion

71

Chapter 7 Conclusion

73

Chapter 8 Putting into perspective

75

IV Appendix

77

Appendix A Buckling analysis in Robot

vi

A.1 Buckling analysis in Robot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A.2 Convergence test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Table of contents

9th semester

Appendix B Factors that influence the K-factor


B.1 Bracing effect of bays

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

7
8

B.2 Bracing effect of storeys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10


Appendix C Frame Base Effects on K-factor

13

Appendix D K-factor determination using Robot

17

D.1 Global buckling analysis in Robot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17


D.2 Application of Robot to local storey buckling load determination . . . . . . 20
Appendix E Resume of the report

27

Appendix F Overview of other participated project and activities at


Rambll

35

Appendix G Guide to Appendix CD

39

G.1 K-factor determination in sway frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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.

Figure 1.1. The exclusive project: "Z-house" near Aarhus harbour

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

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

1.1. Problem statement

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

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. Methods of analysis

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

Layout of the report

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

1. Introduction

Part III - Conclusion


Chapter 7: Conclusion
Chapter 8: Putting into perspective
Part IV - Appendix

Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix

A: Buckling analysis in Robot


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

Pre-analysis of frame design

Frame design in practice

In this chapter the frame design in practice following EC 3 is presented. Initially


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.
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Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

2. Frame design in practice

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)

Critical buckling factor, by which the design loading have to be increased


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

1. and 2. order response

EC 3 suggests design procedure of frames based on either 1. or 2. order analysis. Before


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

2. Frame design in practice

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

Accounting for P and P effect in EC 3

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

2. Frame design in practice

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

Design approach preferred at Rambll

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

2.3. Design approach preferred at Rambll

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

In this chapter the concept of effective buckling length is explained based on


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

3. Elastic buckling of columns

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

Euler buckling load

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

3.1. Euler buckling load

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:

v(x) = A cos(k x) + B sin(k x)

(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:

v(0) = 0 and v(L) = 0

(3.8)
19

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

3. Elastic buckling of columns

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)

Since A = 0 is a trivial solution to equation 3.9, it is required to determine the solution


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.

Figure 3.3. Buckling modes for n = 1, n = 2, n = 3 and n = 4 determined by performing


buckling analyses in Robot.

20

3.2. Critical buckling load


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)

It shall be mentioned that the convergence test performed in appendix A, suggests to


subdevide the element in considaration into 20 elements due to obtain reliable results for
n = 1.

3.2

Critical buckling load

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

3. Elastic buckling of columns


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.

Figure 3.4. Cantilever column subjected to axial load

The boundary conditions for the present case are:

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

= 0 =A(0) + B(0) + C(0) + D(k 2 )

v (0)
000

= 0 =A(0) + B(k 2 ) + C(0) + D(0)

v(L)

= 0 =A(1) + B(L) + C(sin(k L)) + C(cos(k L))

v (L)
22

v (0) + k 2 v (0)

= 0 =A(0) + B(1) + C(k cos(k L)) D(k cos(k L))

3.2. Critical buckling load

9th semester

These equation can be presented in the following matrix form:

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

Effective length factor (K-factor)

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

K2 =

PE
=
Pcr

EI
L2
EI
4L2

=4

3. Elastic buckling of columns

(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

3.3. Critical buckling load of columns in framed structure

9th semester

Thereby it can be evaluated if buckling analysis in Robot provides results in accordance


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

Critical buckling load of columns in framed structure

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

3. Elastic buckling of columns

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

In this chapter the AISC alignment charts in order to determine K-factor


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

4. K-factor determination in practice

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

A general case of column subjected to compression and restrained by elastic springs at


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

4.1. AISC - formulation

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)

a43 = B k cos(k LC ) + E IC k 2 sin(k LC )


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

4. K-factor determination in practice

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:

sin(k L) (k L)3 = 0 sin(k L) = 0

(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

4.1. AISC - formulation



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]

In equation 4.7, the K-factor K = kL


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

4. K-factor determination in practice

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

4.1. AISC - formulation

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

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


00
0
E I v (0) = T v (0)
000

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


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)

a43 = RB k L cos(k L) (k L)2 sin(k L)


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

33

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

4. K-factor determination in practice

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)

a43 = RB k L cos(k L) (k L)2 sin(k L)


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

4.1. AISC - formulation

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

4. K-factor determination in practice

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]

For a column base connected to footing by a frictionless hinge, GB is theoretically infinite


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

Assumptions made in AISC specification

Mathematical solution to a practice problem is found by putting up a model and make


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.

Behaviour is purely elastic.


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

4.1. AISC - formulation

9th semester

Purely elastic behaviour


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/reverse curvature bending


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

4. K-factor determination in practice



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 pinned: 0LB = 2/3 LB


Far end is fixed: LB = 0, 5 LB
Sway
0

Far end is pinned: 0LB = 2 LB


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

4.2. DIN 18800 procedure

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

DIN 18800 procedure

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

4. K-factor determination in practice

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

Representative K-factor of the storey


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. DIN 18800 procedure

4.2.1

9th semester

Non-sway frame

Having determined CO and CU value, the representative K-factor , in a 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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

4.2.2

4. K-factor determination in practice

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. Frame base effects on K-factor

4.3

9th semester

Frame base effects on K-factor

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

Case study structure

In this chapter, the geometric and mechanical parameters of the members,


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

5. Case study structure

Figure 5.1. The case study structure consisting 10 storeys in total

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

Load and load cases

Global buckling analysis of the frame is performed in order to determine whether it is a


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

5.1. Load and load cases

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

5. Case study structure

Figure 5.2. Loads corresponding to LL 1 (left) and LL 2 (right)

5.2

Global analysis in Robot

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

5.2. Global analysis in Robot

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

Left base column

Interior base column

Right base column

Normal force [kN ]


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

Left base column

Interior base column

Right base column

Normal force [kN ]


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

In this chapter, K-factor determination of columns in the case study structure


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

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. DIN 18800

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

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

6.2. DIN 18800

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010


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

6.2. DIN 18800

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

6.3

6. K - factor determination

ROBOT

In the following Robot is employed in order to determine the K-factor of columns in


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

Total Pcr [kN ]

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.

An example on K-factor calculation of the individual columns, based on the critical


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010


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. Results compairison

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

6. K - factor determination

LC 3

Robot

AISC

AISC [%]

DIN 18800

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

6.4. Results compairison

9th semester

LC 4

Robot

AISC

AISC [%]

DIN 18800

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

6. K - factor determination

It is unknown why exactly the value of GB = 10 is recommended, but it is likely that


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 column (column 29) in top storey.


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. Code check using Robot

6.5

9th semester

Code check using Robot

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

Results and sensitivity analysis

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010


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

6.5. Code check using Robot

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.

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Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

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

The problem statement of the project reads


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
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Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

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

Putting into perspective

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.

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Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

8. Putting into perspective

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

Buckling analysis in Robot

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

Buckling analysis in Robot

AutoDesk Robot Structural Analysis (Robot) is a commercial program used by engineers


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]

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

A. Buckling analysis in Robot

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)

Number of a mode and number of iteration step


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)

The following buckling analysis parameters are set in Robot:


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).

A.2. Convergence test

9th semester

The method of solving the problem


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.

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

A. Buckling analysis in Robot

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.

A.2. Convergence test

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.

Factors that influence the


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.

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

B.1

B. Factors that influence the K-factor

Bracing effect of bays

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.

B.1. Bracing effect of bays

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

B.2

B. Factors that influence the K-factor

Bracing effect of storeys

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

B.2. Bracing effect of storeys

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

Frame Base Effects on


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

C. Frame Base Effects on K-factor

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.

Base beam profile


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

C. Frame Base Effects on K-factor

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

Global buckling analysis in Robot

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

D. K-factor determination using Robot

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

D.1. Global buckling analysis in Robot

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

D. K-factor determination using Robot

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]

Which storey cause the global buckling


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

Application of Robot to local storey buckling load


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

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

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

D. K-factor determination using Robot

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

Normal force [kN ]


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

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


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

Normal force [kN ]


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

D. K-factor determination using Robot

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

Example on use of equation D.1 and D.2


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

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

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

Resume of the report

In this chapter a review of important matters concerning the K-factor


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.

The problem statement of the project reads


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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

E. Resume of the report

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

E. Resume of the report

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

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

E. Resume of the report

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

Trainee report - Rambll


F. Overview
- Autumnof2010
other participated project and activities at Rambll

Figure F.1. Sketch of "Biotek" building

Figure F.2. Map of Von Mises stresses for lamp pole determined by FEM calculation in Robot

36

9th semester

Figure F.3. Wind and dead load on the protal

Figure F.4. Map of Von Mises stresses for portal determined by FEM calculation in Robot

37

Guide to Appendix CD

G.1

K-factor determination in sway frame

MathCAD sheet to determine K-factor of columns in sway frame according to DIN 18800.

G.2

Course - Buckling analysis in Robot

Course material related to buckling analysis in Robot.

39

Bibliography
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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.
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DIN-Standards and Regulations, 1989. DIN-Standards and Regulations. DIN
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http : //www.ceric.net/kssc/KSSC_3_2006_6_2_121(C).pdf , 2006.
41

Trainee report - Rambll - Autumn 2010

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Thomsen, 1968. Kjeld Thomsen. Stlkonstruktioner hjhuse. Polyteknisk Forlag, 1968.


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