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Experimental Study on Buckling Strength of Angle Steel Compression Members

with Built-up Bracing

* ** ***

Hiroshi KOMATSU* Keigo ISHII** Akio FUKUSHIMA***

ABSTRACT In the desert area of Libya, an incident involving the collapse of several
telecommunication towers became a very serious problem. Such incidents can be prevented by
taking adequate measures to strengthen the tower structures. However, most towers that needed
to be reinforced are located in the middle of the desert with frequent harsh windy conditions
and are difficult to reach. Any construction work at these locations faces great challenges in
mobilization of heavy equipment as well as materials and personnel. Therefore, it was
essential that any remedial measure should be simple and easy to undertake. In this paper, we
present a new structural steel reinforcement methodology that is both simple and easy to
implement, but yields effective and guaranteed results. It does not require any drilling or
welding of the existing tower structures. Such new and innovative methodology have now
been employed in the Libyan Desert, which were extensively tested and found to be very
effective and resulted in significant savings to the clients.

Key words: Telecommunication steel tower, Main post, Bracing for buckling, Buckling strength

1Introduction The objective is to reinforce the main

In a desert area such as the African Sahara in structural members of the tower using a simple
Libya, otherwise known as the Socialist but effective methodology that would maximize
Peoples Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the collapse the strength of the main structural members.
of several steel telecommunication towers Since most of the tower locations to be
became a very serious problem, caused by very reinforced are located in the desert area under
harsh and strong windy conditions. Moreover, harsh weather and terrain conditions, it was
there were also increases on the wind load on not practical to mobilize heavy machinery to the
the towers, which accumulated over the years sites. In addition, if the galvanized surface of
resulting from changes to the installed tower the tower members were to be damaged, it will
appurtenances from the towers original design diminish its resistance to rust. Considering the
load. In order to prevent further collapse of above circumstances, the new reinforcement
the other remaining and existing towers, it was methodology that was employed has had to be
necessary to strengthen these towers. both effective, easy to implement and cost
() The new methodology that we have invented,

which is explained in this paper, employs a
275-8575 1-2-1
built-up approach and does not require drilling
and/or welding of the tower members. The
102-0071 1-5-16 auxiliary reinforcement attachment is buckled
2 by bolts around the main member posts

together with the reinforcement flat bar. This
275-8575 1-2-1 method have been studied and analyzed by

various professionals in the field of Structural area of both materials in the reinforced and
Steel Reinforcement. Dr. Ono reported that the non-reinforced models. The reinforcement effect
reinforcement plate is fastened by using the was analyzed by comparison study with the
bolts of the tower junction part to intensify the obtained data considering the structural
main post1). Moreover, they have also proposed characteristic.
the reinforcement method which constitutes a
closed cross section using the angle steel as a 2. Experimentation
reinforcement2). Dr. Tamai proposed that the 2.1 Reinforcement Method
carbon fiber plate is adhered to the main post Fig. 1 shows the sectional diagram of the
steel by means of bonding to increase the specimen used in the experiment and Fig. 2
maximum strength3). As an example, there is a shows the whole configurations of the specimen,
construction method which covers main post which is composed of angle steel, flat bar and
material in a split pipe in the case of an overseas. auxiliary attachment material. As shown in Fig.
And reinforcement of truss material has attached 1, the flat bar is adhered to the fillet of the angle
a rod, flat bar, and the angle steel by weld4). Thus, steel by the auxiliary attachment. This contact
there is little study on reinforcement of the angle makes the reinforcement effect stronger. The
steel main post which main post material is not angle steel and the reinforcement bar are
made to damage. fastened by the attachment with high-tension
In this study, the construction method is bolts as shown in Fig. 1. This flat bar is
simpler than a past case, and in order to continuously adhered to the span of the angle
construct with a flat bar and small auxiliary steel, so that it is highly effective to reinforce
attachment, a lightweight thing is the the weak axial bending.
description. In this experiment, various
buckling loading tests at the center
axis of compression were carried out Angle Reinforcement
L10010010 (Flat bar)
on the angle steel reinforced by this 6110
new method. The reinforcement

effect was observed by changing the

125 50

parameters such as the slenderness


ratio and reinforcement covering the

125 50









110 110

H.T.B(M16) Partial Whole

H.T.B(M16) reinforcement reinforcement

Fig.1 Section of Specimen Fig. 2 Configurations and dimensions of specimen

2.2 Specimens The length L in Fig. 2 is the value subtracted
The specimens used in this experiment were 290mm of knife-edge length from the overall
an angule steel L10010010 (SS400) as length.
main post and flat steel bar 1106 (SS400) as
auxiliary attachment. Table 1 shows the outline c = Ny / Ne (1)
Ne = EI / L , Ny = yA
2 2
of the mechanical characteristics of the both
materials. Table 1 also shows the maximum A=19cm2, Iu=278cm4 Iv=72cm4 ,
compression strength obtained by stub column E=20500kN/cm2
compression experiment that the flat rigid c generalization slenderness ratio
compression is loading to 300mm length Ny : yield axial force
specimens of the same angle steel. The y tensile yield stress
parameters used in the experiment are the A : cross-section Area (a nominal value)
slenderness ratio, the reinforcement area, the IuIv : geometrical moment of inertia
reinforcement material interval and the (a nominal value)
buckling direction. Those parameters are E : Young's modulus
shown in Table 2. In this table, the slenderness L length between knife-edge
ratio means the generalized slenderness ratio
c obtained by formula (1), and when c is 0.8, Table 1 Mechanical Characteristics
1.0 and 1.2 in weak axial bending, the length L
ty tu cu
between the knife-edges becomes 1272mm, (N/mm )
(N/mm )
(N/mm )
1590mm and 1908mm, respectively. While, in
the case of the weak axial bending, the length L Angle 303.4 439.8 330.7 25.7

is same in c =1.0 and 1.2 of the weak axial

bending, so that the generalized slenderness Flat Bar 347.2 462.2 28.0

ratio c becomes 0.51 and 0.61, respectively.

tytensile yield stress tutensile stress

cucompression maximum stress of a stub column


Table 2 List of test specimen

Direction Number
L L Reinforcement Lr La Lb Lc
of flexural c Lr/L of Auxiliary
(mm) (mm) area (mm) (mm) (mm) (mm)
buckling Attachment
0.80 65.2 1272 982 Partial reinforcement 491 266.0 358.0 245.5 0.50 2
Whole Reinforcement 832 303.5 187.5 75.0 0.85 3
425.0 2
Weak Partial Reinforcement 650 437.5 325.0 0.50
212.5 3
axial 1.00 81.5 1590 1300
bending 462.5 3
1150 187.5 75.0 0.88
Whole Reinforcement 231.0 5
1280 527.5 122.5 10.0 0.98 3
1.20 97.8 1908 1618 Partial Reinforcement 809 292.0 517.0 404.5 0.50 3
Whole Reinforcement 1468 311.0 187.5 75.0 0.91 5
0.51 41.5 1590 1300 462.5 3
Strong Whole Reinforcement 1150 187.5 75.0 0.88
231.0 5
bending Non-reinforcement
0.61 49.8 1908 1618 Partial Reinforcement 809 292.0 517.0 404.5 0.50 3
Whole Reinforcement 1468 311.0 187.5 75.0 0.91 5
cgeneralization slenderness ratio slenderness ratio L length between the knife-edges
Llength of test specimen Lrlength of reinforcement

Fig. 2 shows two reinforcement methods,
which are partial reinforcement and the whole 1000kN
Testing machine
reinforcement. The interval of the auxiliary
attachments in both methods is intentionally
varied from narrow to large for comparison. Lr in
Table 2 is the length of the reinforcement flat bar, Knife-edge
and Lr/L represents the ratio of the
reinforcement bar to the whole angle steel in

length. This Lr/L ratio in partial reinforcement

is 2 to 1. The length of the reinforcement bar is
shorter than the angle steel in order not to
receive the loading directly instead of the angle
steel. For that reason, 75mm non- reinforcement
interval is placed between the end-plate and the
edge of the reinforcement bar, but 10mm
non-reinforcement interval is also placed in case
of c=1.0. The auxiliary attachment is 125mm in
length and fastened to the main post with the
reinforcement bar by M16 high-tension bolts
with the torque 100N m. The auxiliary
attachment is placed in three points, one at the
center and the two other are placed on both
edges of the flat bar at regular intervals. In the
case where the interval is shorter in c =1.0 as
well as c =1.2, two more attachment materials
are added between the center and the both edges.
While, in the case of the partial reinforcement,
the attachment is set at the same position and/or
only at the edge. The number of the auxiliary
attachments used in each test is summarized in
Table 2.
Fig. 3 Test set-up

2.3 The Experiment Method

The machine used in conducting this study 1.2
was a 1000kN Structural Loading Equipment
(UH-1000kNI), and the outline of the
equipment is shown in Fig. 3. The UH-1000kNI 1.0
can measure buckling bending strength in the

center axial compression. 0.9

A 25mm thick end-plate is welded at both 0.8 c0.80

ends of the angle steel, and the pin type support c1.00
0.7 c1.20
device having knife-edge project is fastened to c0.51
the endplate by bolts, so that the buckling c0.61
direction is controlled in one way by the 0.0 0.5 1.0 Lr/L'
knife-edge. The fixture of the knife-edge is Non Partial Whole
reinforcement reinforcement reinforcement
adjusted to the centroid of the angle steel before
Reinforcement area
reinforcement. The value of the compression
strength is introduced by the machine, and Fig. 4 Maximum strength vs. Reinforcement area

displacement is measured in the axial direction 3. Discussion of Experiment Resuits
by displacement meters placed at two points 3.1 Maximum Strength and Failure Type
between the fulcrums. Moreover, strain is The results of the experiment are
measured on the angle steel and the flat bar summarized in Table 3. In this table, strength
separately. In the case where the number of increase rate represents the ratio of the
auxiliary attachments is even, a strain gage is non-reinforcement strength to the
placed at the center of the angle steel. However, reinforcement strength. Since the decline of the
in the case of uneven number of auxiliary bending stress was not found when the interval
attachments, the meter is located at two points length was changed in the partial and the
i.e. above and below the center point. Two axis whole reinforcement cases, 500mm interval was
gauges are placed on the flat bar at the same deemed reasonable for this experiment. Fig. 4
points of the angle steel in order to measure the shows the relation between the maximum
strain on its axis and at the rectangular strength and the reinforcement area, and the
directions. All measurements are done twice cu in Fig. 4 represents the result of the short

under the same conditions. length column compression test. As can be seen
in Fig. 4, it is determined that the

Table 3 Summary of test results

Direction Maximum Strength
Reinforcement La maximum
of flexural c Lr/L strength increase Failure position
area (mm) strength
buckling (Nmax/Ny) rate
Non 0.965
0.951 1.00 Center of specimen
reinforcement 0.937
Partial 0.940
0.80 266.0 0.50 0.968 1.02 Edge of reinforcement
reinforcement 0.997
Whole 1.002
303.5 0.85 1.000 1.05 Edge of reinforcement
reinforcement 0.997
Non 0.808
0.795 1.00 Center of specimen
reinforcement 0.782
396.0 0.900 1.13
Partial 0.948
0.50 Edge of reinforcement
reinforcement 0.896
Weak 212.5 0.899 1.13
axial 1.00
bending 462.5 0.997 1.25
0.88 Edge of reinforcement
Whole 1.026
231.0 0.983 1.24
reinforcement 0.939
0.998 Near by centered auxiliary
527.5 0.98 1.016 1.28
1.034 attachment
Non 0.668
0.640 1.00 Center of specimen
reinforcement 0.611
Partial 0.756
1.20 292.0 0.50 0.710 1.11 Edge of reinforcement
reinforcement 0.664
Whole 0.957
311.0 0.91 0.967 1.51 Edge of reinforcement
reinforcement 0.977
Non 1.063
1.063 1.00 Center of specimen
reinforcement 1.063
1.068 Near by centered auxiliary
0.51 462.5 1.076 1.01
Whole 1.085 attachment
reinforcement 1.056 Near by centered auxiliary
Strong 231.0 1.056 0.99
1.056 attachment
Non 1.024
bending 1.033 1.00 Center of specimen
reinforcement 1.041
Partial 1.003
0.61 292.0 0.50 1.043 1.01 Edge of reinforcement
reinforcement 1.082
Whole 0.955 Near by centered auxiliary
311.0 0.91 0.987 0.84
reinforcement 1.020 attachment

reinforcement effect is slightly improved when has on the maximum strength. In weak axial
c is 0.8 in the weak axial bending. However, bending, when a generalization slenderness ratio
significant improvement was observed when c is small, it is not influenced by L'/L to the
is 1.0 and 1.2. The maximum strength N/Ny maximum strength. However, when a
value is calculated almost 1.0 in all slenderness generalization slenderness ratio is large, the
ratios of the whole reinforcement, which means maximum strength is greatly influenced by L'/L,
that 1.0 is the value of the yielded axial force of and especially the effect is remarkable at c=1.2.
the angle steel. Figs. 5(a)(d) shows the failure type in case
The strength increase rate in Table 3 shows of the weak axial bending. The maximum
the effect which the reinforcement area (L'/L) strength is determined by the various failure

Non reinforcement
1.0 Partial reinforcement
Whole reinforcement


(a) Non reinforcement

0 1 2 3 4 5

(a) c=0.8
Non reinforcement
1.0 Partial reinforcement
Whole reinforcement
(b) Partial reinforcement 0.8




0 1 2 3 4 5

(b) c=1.0
Non reinforcement
(c) Whole reinforcement (Lc=75mm)
1.0 Partial reinforcement
Whole reinforcement




0 1 2 3 4 5

(d) Whole reinforcement (Lc=10mm) (c) c=1.2

Fig. 5 Failure type Fig.6 N/Ny vs. /y

types, and Fig. 5(a) shows the buckling state acquired, since the flat bar received the weak
occurring at the center part of the angle steel in axial bending. As for the failure type in partial
non-reinforcement method. Whereas, buckling reinforcement, buckling occurred at the edge
occurred near the edge of the flat bar in partial side as well as the weak axial bending case,
reinforcement as shown in Fig. 5(b). Figs. 5(c) while buckling occurred in the center portion in
(d) shows the failure types in the both whole the whole reinforcement case, and the outbreak
reinforcement cases. It is observed that buckling of the buckling is concentrated at the center in
occurred near the edge of the flat bar in case of the case of the no reinforcement.
having 75mm without reinforcement interval as
well as in partial reinforcement case as shown in 3.2 Hysteretic Characteristics and Normal
Fig. 5(c), however, in case of the test object Strain Description
having 10mm interval, the buckling occurred at Fig. 6 shows the relationship between N/Ny
the center portion as shown in Fig. 5(d). and / y in all the slenderness ratios of the
Judging from the relationship between the weak axial bending. In this Fig. 6, indicates
reinforcement area and the slenderness ratio, shrunk length in long axis direction between
the point of damaged due to buckling is shorter, the knife-edges, and y is the yield
when the maximum strength is greater in the displacement calculated by the yield strain y
partial reinforcement case, while as the multiplying the test material length (L)
slenderness ratio is increased, the results together. Consequently, the initial stiffness in
showed greater reinforcement effect. As for the both reinforcement cases becomes equal
whole reinforcement, the 75mm
non-reinforcement is located near the endplates, 600
so that the occurrence of the buckling is
concentrated in the non-reinforcement area. As
for the results, the maximum strength is almost 400
the same values in all the slenderness ratios of
Load (kN)

c =0.8, 1.0 and 1.2. While, buckling occurred in
the center portion without using 10mm Angle
reinforcement interval, the maximum strength (Vertical)
100 Reinforcement
is greatest. The maximum strength is increased (Holizontal)
by 25% in c =1.0 and 50% in c =1.2 in the 0
-6000 -4000 -2000 0 2000 4000
reinforcement as compared to the Strain (10-6)
non-reinforced cases.
(a) Partial reinforcement
When the main structure of the
telecommunication tower is designed, the axial
strength set in consideration of the overturning
moment. The axial strength value is normally 500
designed to more than 10 times the vertical load
of the tower itself. As the materials needed for
Load (kN)

the reinforcement are added to the tower, the 300

vertical weight increases only by 1.5 to 2 times,
200 Angle
which is negligible. Therefore, it can be stated Reinforcement
that the reinforcement added to the angle steel (Vertical)
structure is highly effective to neutralize (Holizontal)
buckling at the weak axial points. -6000 -4000 -2000 0 2000 4000
When the angle steel receives the weak axial Strain (10-6)

bending as shown in the dashed line of Fig. 4, (b) Whole reinforcement

the prominent reinforcement effect was not Fig. 7 Normal strain description

condition to the non-reinforcement, and there is 5) The total weight of tower becomes almost
no influence to the initial stiffness by double by installing all the reinforcement
introducing the reinforcement flat bar. Since materials, but the increasing weight is
the hysteretic characteristic after buckling negligible since the main structure of the
outbreak shows similar tendency, it is telecommunication tower is designed in
confirmed that the reinforcement flat bar is consideration of the overturning moment
working only to protect the angle steel as the and the value is predominantly greater
main post from buckling outbreak. than the vertical tower weight. And since
Fig. 7 shows a tendency of vertical strain a reinforcement does not transmit axial
values in long axial directions of the main post force, there is no effect on the foundation
and reinforcement flat bar. The strain in the structure by having reinforced the tower
main post is linearly increased and reaches body.
around 15002000, while the strain of the 6) Buckling occurs near the edge in case of
flat bar is about 100200. Since the strain using 75mm non-reinforcement interval,
volume of the reinforcement flat bar starts and the buckling break out at the center
increasing after the buckling outbreak of the point in case of having 10mm
angle steel, it is obvious that the reinforcement non-reinforcement interval. Therefore,
is operating only to protect the buckling the location of the local deformation
bending as well as the tendency of the outbreak can be controlled by reinforcing
hysteretic characteristic. the angle steel continuously.

4. Conclusion 1) Hidemasa KOZAWA, Tetsuro ONO,
The centrally loaded compression tests were Kazuto ISHIDA, Takashi MABUCHI,
carried out on the angle steel reinforced by this Yasuo SUGIMOTO, Yasuo OHKOCHI
new method. The findings from the and Tomohiro ISHIDA : Experiment of
experiments are: Reinforced Angle Members for Buckling
1) The main post angle steel of the on Truss Tower, Summaries of Technical
telecommunications tower can be Paper of Annual Meeting, AIJ, C-1,
continuously reinforced along its full length pp.829-830, 2006.9
from the base to the required upper level 2) Makoto SAKURABA, Hiroyuki TAMAI,
including a tower cross junction, Takao TAKAMATSU, Tokuji HAITANI
2) When reinforcement is applied on the and Akeo HATTORI : Strength and
whole span of the angle steel, the Stiffness Evaluation of Multi-interface
maximum stress in the weak axial Connection used in Seismic retrofitting,
bending is almost equal to the value of Journal of Constructional Steel, Vol.14,
the weak axial bending. pp.437-444, 2006.11
3) Judging from the data obtained on 3) Takashi MABUCHI, Tetsuro ONO, Yasuo
hysteretic characteristic, the initial SUGIMOTO and Akihiro KOJIMA :
stiffness and normal strain description, Experiment of the Reinforced Angle
the axial force is not transferred to the Members by Fiber Sheets and Steel Angle
flat bar from the angle steel, and the Members for Buckling on Truss Tower,
reinforcement flat bars function is only to Summaries of Technical Paper of Annual
intensify the bending property. Meeting, AIJ, C-1, pp.611-612, 2007.8
4) Since sufficient strength of the angle steel 4) Broekemeier, Marlon W. and Fisher,
under test can be achieved, 500mm James M. "Evaluation and Modification
of Open-Web Steel Joists and Joist
interval between the attachments was
Girders," NASCC 2007 Proceedings, New
determined to be ideal and was used
Orleans LA.
during this experiment.