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10/10/2018 PLASTIC DESIGN OF CONTINUOUS BEAMS & PORTAL FRAMES

PLASTIC DESIGN OF CONTINUOUS BEAMS &


PORTAL FRAMES
Through ductility, structural is able to absorb large deformations beyond elastic limit without
the danger of fracture. It is this characteristics feature of steel that makes possible the
application of plastic analysis to structural design.

Figure 1: Stress strain diagram (for mild steel)

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Figure 2:Modified Plastic strain diagram

PLASTIC THEORY

Stress-strain diagram for mild steel in tension is shown in figure-1. Let ‘ab’ represent the
elastic range, ‘be’ the range where strain increases without load (plastic flow), ‘d’ represents
the ultimate strength and ‘e’ the breaking load.

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For applying the plastic theory to simple beams in bending the following assumptions are
made:

1. The plastic range is entered on reaching the yield point.


2. Strain hardening is ignored.
3. Stress-strain relation for tension is the same as that for compression.
4. Plane sections remain plane, and
5. The upper and lower points b and b’ merge into one.

Based on the above assumptions, the stress-strain diagram shown in figure 2 is used in plastic
theory upto the point of failure; the limb ‘bc’ will represent the plastic strain.

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Figure 3: Distribution of stress

Consider a simple beam under bending (figure 3(a)) subjected to a load W at mid point. Figure
3(b) represents the stress distribution due to both self weight (dead load) and live load W. as
the load W increases, the stress in the extreme fibre reaches the yield point and the extreme
fibre offer no further resistance but the inner fibres have not yet been stressed to the yield
limit. In figure 3(c), some fibres are stressed to yield point and others still under-stressed,
whereas in figure 3(d) all the fibres are stressed to the yield level. It can be assumed, at this
point, that the section has become fully plastic. Any further increase of load is assumed to
increase the deflection substantially and the fully plastic section may be treated as a plastic
hinge. The deflection under the increased load will lead to collapse of the beam.

LOAD FACTOR

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The ratio of the load producing collapse to the working load is called the load factor. As the
working stress is dependent on the shape of the section, i.e. I and Z values, so also the
collapse load is dependent on the shape of the section.

RECTANGULAR BEAM

(Shown in figure 4)

Figure 4: Load factor

The moment of resistance under working load =

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For collapsible load, the moment of resistance =

Load factor =

Assuming a factor of safety of 1.5, load factor = 1.5 x 1.5 = 2.25

SHAPE FACTOR

The fully plastic stage in the section is said to have occurred when tensile as well as

compressive zones both have at all the points.

The plastic moment will be given by

= Force x lever arm

This can be written as

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Thus the bending strength of a rectangular member is given by , which is 1.5 times its

yield strength . This ratio is called shape factor.

Shape factor f =

Shape factor can also be written as

f=

It may be seen that the shape factor is a property dependent upon the geometry of the section
only.

Table – 1: Shape factors for different sections

Shape Shape Factor

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2.0

Diamond

1.70

Round

1.50

Rectangle

1.27

Tube

1.14

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I – section

PLASTIC HINGE MECHANISM

Consider a simply supported beam of span L, carrying a concentrated load W at mid point. The
beam will fail when the centre section becomes fully plastic. With simple supports at the ends
and a plastic hinge at centre, the beam will transform into a mechanism consisting of two links.
Figure 5 shows plastic zone shaded.

The length of the plastic zone depends upon the ratio to . Greater the ratio, larger will

be the length of the plastic zone. The sections in this length will be at different stages of

curve about the yield value. Figure 6 shows the curve for I-section.

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Figure 5: Plastic Hinge

Figure 6: Idealised curve

Table – 2: Different Types of Mechanisms

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COLLAPSE MECHANISM

The insertion of a real hinge or a pint joint, into a statically indeterminate frame reduces the
number of indeterminate moments by one, so that if the number of indeterminacies is m, the

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addition of n hinges produces a simple statically determinate structure. The addition of one
more hinge will allow the structure to movewith one degree of freedom, i.e. a mechanism is
formed; then the number of hinges to form a mechanism is (n+1). This criterion must, of
course be applied to each element of a structure as well as the structure as a whole, because
collapse of one part represents practical failure. Typical collapse mechanisms are shown in
figure 7.

Figure 7: Collapse Mechanism

CONTINUOUS BEAMS

Figure 8 shows a two span continuous beam, built at one end.

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Figure 8

Figure 8 (b), (c) and (d) show possible failures in each span. The problem is then to determine
the least load value to cause collapse, or conversely, the maximum plastic moment of
resistance required for the section. Bending moment diagrams are given in (e), (f) and (g) of
figure 8. The associated failure loads are

, , respectively.

PORTAL FRAMES

Consider a pin-based frame shown in figure 9(a). The frame is indeterminate to the first
degree; therefore, the number of plastic hinges at collapse should be 2. The final bending
moment diagram is drawn in 2 parts for

1. Statically determinate frame (shown in figure 9(b)), and


2. Moment diagram due to indeterminate horizontal reaction, shown in figure 9(d).

These diagrams have been added to give two equal and opposite peaks of bending moment to
satisfy the mechanism condition. figure (d) shows the combined bending moment diagram.
One hinge forms at D and the length BC is fully plastic. Considering B, we get,

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Figure 9

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Gopal Mishra
https://theconstructor.org/

Gopal Mishra is a Civil Engineer from NIT Calicut and has more than 9 years of experience in Civil Engineering and
Construction. He is the founder of The Constructor.

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