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# Influence of material strength scattering on the ductile response of steel structures

**M. Gündel, B. Hoffmeister & M. Feldmann
**

Institute for Steel Structures, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

ABSTRACT: In this paper investigations on the influence of material strength scattering on the seismic performance of steel structures are presented. Real material properties obtained directly from the monitoring of European steel producers has shown a significant overstrength for low steel grades, which is not always captured by provisions in EN1998-1. The real material scattering is considered in non-linear time step analyses on reference steel structures either braced by moment resisting or concentrically braced frames. The evaluation of failure criteria shows that local and global deformation behaviour is less depending on material scattering than on random artificial accelerograms. However, connection and foundation forces correlate strongly with the yield stress of adjacent dissipative elements, but are nearly independent to different accelerograms. 1 INTRODUCTION The exploitation of the capability of steel structures to dissipate energy by means of plastic deformations is a common and effective design strategy to achieve a high resistance against exceptional loads like earthquake. The crucial point in this design method is the prediction and control of the formation of plastic mechanisms with regard to their location and to their ultimate resistance combined with the prevention of brittle or other sudden failure modes. To this end so called capacity design rules are applied, where brittle parts of the structure are designed with a sufficient overstrength compared to the plastic limits of ductile members and thus enabling the development of the intended plastic mechanisms. The overstrength used in the capacity design needs to cover the differences between the nominal plastic resistances of members obtained with the nominal values of yield strength and member dimensions and the real resistances which include the influence of strain hardening, cross-sectional dimensions and the actual yield strength of the material. In particular the scattering of the yield strength, which in reality is usually significantly higher than the nominal value, is of high importance. Current European material standards however provide no requirements with regard to a limitation of the upper yield strength values. The contribution presents results from the recently finished research project OPUS founded by RFCS. In this project actual material properties of structural steel were obtained directly from the monitoring of European steel producers. The data were evaluated statistically and used to assess the expected distribution of yield strength in four reference steel buildings. The structures were used to investigate the influence of scattered material strength on their response to seismic actions and on failure modes. 2 MATERIAL STRENGTH 2.1 Production standards The limits for mechanical material properties of structural steel as yield stress, tensile strength and ultimate elongation are defined in the European production standard series EN10025. These standards define – depending on the material thickness – minimum values for the yield stress and ultimate elongation as well as lower and upper limits for the tensile strength. An upper limit for the yield stress, as given by ISO-DIS24314 (steel grades for seismic application), is not implemented in EN10025. However, the European seismic standard EN1998-1 recommend to consider an factor of 1.25 for material overstrength and a factor of 1.1 for strain hardening in the capacity design. 2.2 Measured material properties In the research project OPUS two European steel producers provided more than 13000 material data sets from three plants including yield stress, tensile strength, ultimate elongation and nominal thickness.

The fundamental period in this direction was T = 1. 4).81 s.12 and 1.4 Industrial building braced by moment resisting frames (MRF) The next structure was a four storey industrial building with dimensions of 22. 2). unpub. The concrete floors (without composite action) were designed to provide sufficient diaphragm action. These sections were used to fulfil the slenderness as well as uniformity criteria according to EN1998-1. 4 m.08 and 1.and UPNsections in steel grades S235M.32. The fundamental period of the structure in Y-direction was T = 1.5x8. for low steel grades already the ratio from mean value to nominal value was significantly higher than the overstrength factor of 1. The steel grade of all elements was S355. The cross section dimensions were selected to fulfil the homogeneous as well as the slenderness criteria according to EN1998-1. 3 % damping). The statistical distribution of the yield strength samples can be described sufficiently well by a 2-parameter lognormal distribution. d = 139. but it was braced by concentric bracings also in Xdirection. 193. The resistance to lateral loads was provided by moment resisting frames in Xdirection and concentrically braced frames in Ydirection. This design was done by the lateral force method (ag = 0. In the first step the buildings were designed for ordinary loads according to EN1991 and E1993 using a 3D-model considering dead load. The 2-D non-linear analyses were focused on the moment resisting frames in X-direction.40. for S355 between 1.27 s (Fig. The dissipative elements were the horizontal beams and column bases.were made of CHS.01 s (Fig.25 proposed in EN1998-1. for S460 between 1. imposed load.05 and 0. where the fundamental period was T = 1. The columns were made of HEB340 and the beams IPE400 (hinged). 3. see Fig.7x10 and 193. The moment resisting frames consisted of HEB400-columns and IPE400beams. The structure was relatively soft in X-direction resulting in a rather high fundamental period (T = 1. S275M. These results are in good agreement with data from literature (Faber et al 2001). 3).5 x 30 m in plane and a height of 20 m. Soil type C. which were rigidly connected to the foundation. both in steel grade S235.1 Procedure The numerical investigations were carried out on four typical multi-storey steel structures with different bracing systems and type of use.5 mm in the first storey to t = 4 mm in the fifth storey.28. as transferring the full plastic moment of the large column sections to the foundation was judged as uneconomic.1. 3.7x4 (both in S235). non-linear time-step analyses were carried out on 2-D models for probabilistic investigations. S355M and S460M produced according to EN10025. The data were grouped according to steel grade and flange thicknesses (3 to 16 mm and 16 to 40 mm).5x6 (both in S355).20 and 1.7 mm in S235 with thickness decreasing from t = 12.). for S275 between 1. The unequally spaced storey heights (first to fourth storey 4 m. 3 REFERENCE STEEL STRUCTURES 3.12 s (Fig. 5 m and 7 m) and high masses also in upper storeys are typically for industrial buildings. . 1). The column bases were designed as hinged connected to the foundation. The concentric bracings – the dissipative elements . It was braced by moment resisting frames in X-direction and by concentric bracings in Y-direction. 3. The 2-D non-linear analysis was carried out only for the concentrically braced frames in X-direction. both in steel grade S235.5 m (equal storey heights). 244.13 (Braconi et al 2009.2 Office building braced by moment resisting frames (MRF) The first structure was a 5 storey office building with dimensions of 21 x 36 m in plane and a height of 17. Therefore. In the next step the initial design was extended by adopting requirements for moderate seismic loads according to EN1998-1. The beams were made of HEA700 in S355 and the columns were still HEB700-sections (bending around the weak axis).The data were obtained for HE-. Finally. 3.3 Office building braced by concentrically braced frames (CBF) The second structure was of the same geometrical dimensions and the same type of use as the first one. The ratio from mean values to nominal value depended strongly on the steel grade: for S235 it was 1. The number of samples in each group was between 60 and 8200. The statistical evaluation of the yield strength led to coefficient of variations (COV) mainly between 0. The concentric bracings – first to fourth storey were made of CHS 244. where IPE550’s were used to prevent soft storey failure. IPE. but in this example the analysis was focused on the concentrically braced frames in Y-direction. wind and snow loads.5 Industrial building braced by concentrically braced frames (CBF) The last structure was the same industrial building as in the previous section.07. The moment resisting frame consisted of HEB700-columns and IPE500-beams with exception of the first storey.

Reference structure 2 . . The non-linear material behaviour was considered by a bi-linear model with kinematic hardening described by yield stress. The filter function was defined by a trapezoidal shape. The structures were modelled in 2-D by fibre beam elements. whereas a baseline correction of the accelerograms was carried out afterwards (see Figs. which fulfilled the target spectrum for low seismicity (type 2) and soil type C according to EN 1998-1 (5 % damping).Industrial building MRF: fundamental period = 1.Office building CBF: fundamental period = 1.2 Ground motion histories In the time step analyses artificial ground motion histories with a p.81 s. global buckling under compression and cyclic degradation. with increasing element density in dissipative regions of the moment resisting frames (e. Reference structure 3 . Real stress strain curve of steel and simplified material law used in the non-linear analyses.g.). Figure 5. 5). strong motion duration and ending ramp are 5 s. Reference structure 4 .a. 4.4 NONLINEAR DYNAMIC ANALYSIS 4.Industrial building CBF: fundamental period = 1.27 s. unpubl. representing the cyclic behaviour including plastification under tension. The analyses were carried out using the FE-program DYNACS developed at the Institute for Steel Structures at RWTH Aachen University (Kuck 1993. Figure 1.1 Model and FE-program The influence of material scattering on the seismic performance was investigated by non-linear dynamic analyses.Office building MRF: fundamental period = 1. 6-7). beam-column connections). Figure 3.12 s. Figure 4. The ground motion histories were generated with the software SIMQUE (Gelfi 2006). column feet. of 0. Figure 2. The analyses included large deformations to consider the influence of the P-∆-effect. where the time intervals for the initial ramp. Reference structure 1 .1 g were used.g. tensile stress and ultimate elongation (Fig.01 s. Braces were described by special developed non-linear springs elements.

etc.5% (ind. Additionally. to EN1993-1-1. The investigations hereafter were carried out for the performance level “Severe Damage” acc.2 for the industrial building CBF.5 3. to EN1998-1 for low seismicity and soil type C (5% damping).) FEMA356 Ultimate rotation 6θy (limit) EN1998-3 Ultimate def. all q-factors are related to the acceleration corresponding to the first plastic hinge in the structure.0 a [m/s²] 0. 1 accel. A crucial point in assessing structures by non-linear time-step analysis is the definition of limit states.5 -1.ultimate rotation acc. The high resistance can be explained. In this study following limit states were defined as failure criteria (Table 1): . to EN1993-1-1 Furthermore. The seismic performance of structures can be evaluated by general deformation criteria like roof drift and storey drift or local ductility criteria.5 2. 5 accel.3 < N/Npl < 0. . for 0.) FEMA356 Storey drift 2. Roof drift 2. which corresponds to an earthquake hazard level with a medium return period of 475 years.5 1.lateral torsional buckling of columns acc. ______________________________________________ Criteria limit reference ______________________________________________ 0 5 t [s] 10 15 Figure 6.5 0.0 -1.a.dynamic instability .0 2. The original accelerograms were multiplied with a gradually increased factor until the dynamic instability of the structure was reached. 5.ultimate deformation in compression acc. global buckling.0 0.2 0.6 target spectrum accel. Only global buckling and lateral torsional buckling were checked separately in the relevant time step of each accelerogram. All structures resisted significantly higher p. for ratios higher than 0.g.0 Akz 1 Akz 2 Akz 3 Akz 4 Akz 5 Akz 6 Akz 7 .global buckling acc. Elastic response spectra of 7 artificial accelerograms for low seismicity and soil type C (5% damping vs.0 0. as they are partly not exactly defined in European seismic standards. to EN1998-3. Table 1.2.shear capacity acc.5: θy*= θy (1 – N/Npl) acc. maximum connection forces and foundation forces were recorded for further investigations. the verification of sections subjected to combined axial and bending forces was considered directly in each time step by using fibre elements with non-linear material behaviour. have to be carried out.5 -2. in compression 4∆c (limit) EN1998-3 EN1998-3 Ultimate def. 4 accel.5 1.0 1.0 1.4 for the office building CBF. 3 accel.0 -0. 2 accel. to EN1993-1-1 . The available q-factors determined on the basis of the IDA are 6. 4.ultimate deformation in tension acc. 7 0. to FEMA350 ∆c = axial deformation of the brace at buckling load ∆t = axial deformation of the brace at tensile yielding load. All verifications were carried out for each structural element with regard to the maximum value during a time history automatically by user-defined Matlab subroutines (Matlab 2010).3 Failure criteria Seismic demand levels are usually defined in relation to performance levels as Damage Limitation. to EN1998-3 (only CBF) 4. 6 accel.4 Sa [g] 0.5 the moment capacity is reduced correspondingly . non seismic-specific verifications as shear capacity. as these seismic design requirements have to ensure a sufficient performance of structures not only for low seismicity but also for high seismicity with longer strong motion periods. to EN1998-3 including the limiting effect of axial forces (only MRF) .5% (ind. to EN1998-1. 7 artificial accelerograms fulfilling the demand spectra acc.0 for the industrial building MRF and 9. Such effects are more considerable for structures designed for moderate seismic loads. Severe Damage and Near Collapse. as many seismic design requirements lead to an overstrength of the structure compared to the resistance required for the applied seismic design load. Seismic failure criteria. levels than considered in the initial design by the lateral force method. in tension 7∆t (limit) _____________________________________________ θy = chord rotation at yielding. Global deformation criteria as roof and storey drift according to FEMA356 were only used as indicative criteria. Furthermore.4 Incremental Dynamic Analysis (IDA) The seismic performance of all reference structures as well as evaluation of their limit states were investigated for nominal yield stress values. 7.7 for the office building MRF.0 T [s] Figure 7. to EN1998-3 (only CBF) . 0. target spectra acc.

Reference structure 2 .Office building CBF: capacity ratio of failure criteria at load factor 7 (mean.Office building CBF: maximum ultimate tension deformation ratio in the IDA’s.5 0 0 5 (3) 10 15 multiplier factor [-] multiplier factor [-] Figure 10.) accelerogram 2 1.. def. Reference structure 3 . ratio [-] 2 1. 200% 175% 150% ratio [-] 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% roof drift storey drift beam rot.Industrial building CBF: capacity ratio of failure criteria at load factor 8 (mean. column rot.Office building MRF: maximum ultimate rotation ratio in the IDA’s .Industrial building MRF: maximum ultimate rotation ratio in the IDA’s.) accelerogram (6) (2) (1) (5) (4) (7) (3) (6) 1 0... ratio [-] 2 1.5 0 0 5 10 15 0.. 200% 175% 150% ~650 % 200% 175% 150% ~700 % ratio [-] 125% 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% roof drift storey drift tension def. ultimate def. Figure 15. 200% 175% 150% Figure 12.) accelerogram (5) (6) (4) (5) (2) 1 (7) 0.5 1 (2) (. Reference structure 4 . column rot. maximum and minimum). shear force ratio [-] 125% 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% roof drift storey drift def.5 (1) (2) (. maximum and minimum).. ultimate def. maximum and minimum).. shear force Figure 11. Reference structure 2 .5 0 0 5 10 15 0 0 5 10 15 multiplier factor [-] multiplier factor [-] Figure 8..5 1 (3) (1) Figure 13.) accelerogram (7) (6) (4) (. Reference structure 1 . Figure 14. def. Reference structure 1 . maximum and minimum). shear force Figure 9.Office building MRF: capacity ratio of failure criteria at load factor 10 (mean. shear force ratio [-] 125% 125% 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% roof drift storey drift beam rot. Reference structure 4 .5 (4) (1) (5) (7) (3) 0. Reference structure 3 .Industrial building CBF: maximum ultimate tension deformation ratio in the IDA’s.2 1. .5 ultimate rotation ratio [-] ultimate rotation ratio [-] (. tension compr. compr..Industrial building MRF: capacity ratio of failure criteria at load factor 8 (mean.

16).In structures braced by moment resisting frames the ultimate rotation ratio was the controlling failure criterion (Figs. The evaluation of connection and foundation forces adjacent to bracings (dissipative elements) show similar tendencies as for the MRF: correlation to the actual yield strength and low scattering between different accelerograms.Office building MRF: column base rotation over roof drift for accelerogram 1. the influence of material scattering on the seismic performance was investigated. The material properties between different structural elements were assumed as uncorrelated excepting members representing columns as they were assumed as continues structural elements from storey 1 to 3.2. 8-9 and 12-13). The deformation limits (ultimate rotation and ultimate deformation in tension and compression) were assessed with the nominal yield stress and were kept unchanged.013 0. However. However.1 Procedure Following the IDA.012 0.014 0. The scattering of global and local deformation parameters for different material samples within one accelerogram was significant lower than the scattering between different accelerograms. in the following the investigations were focused on the deformation in tension criterion. Fig. also the failure probability of CBF structures seems to be less dependent to material scattering. The differences between particular accelerograms were however very small. The analyses were carried out with accelerograms multiplied by the load factor.g.17. In contrast to this observation connection and foundation forces were highly correlated with the yield stress of the adjacent dissipative element (Fig. 11 and 15). The other failure criteria were not dominant excepting the indicative criterion storey drift. which are still in the bandwidth of the slenderness criterion of EN1998-1. For each structure 5000 samples with different material properties were generated and investigated in non-linear time-step analyses with 7 different accelerograms. but the ultimate deformation capacity in compression is always lower than in tension. Therefore. 5. Again the deformation of the braces was less dependent to the material scattering. higher mode effects were clearly visible. . As ultimate rotation was the dominant failure criterion (see previous section). 0. The first one is defined as 4 times the axial deformation at buckling load and the second one is defined as 7 times the axial deformation at tensile yielding load. Kook 1994).3 Buildings braced by concentrically braced frames Similar results were also obtained for concentrically braced frames. which has already been stated by other authors (e.22 0. which was also related to the reduction of ultimate rotation capacity due to axial loads. the ultimate deformation ratio of braces in compression according to EN1998-3 is questionable. therefore.26 0.16 and 0.07). as deformation of the braces correlates less with the roof drift.011 0. The scattering between different accelerograms were obviously predominant (COV = 0. The samples of the material properties (yield stress. which is an indication for a significant influence of higher modes. tensile stress and ultimate elongation) were generated on the basis of the monitored data in section 2. 5. at which the first failure criterion was reached in the IDA applying nominal material properties (see previous section). 17 and 21).010 0. especially for the office building the scattering was higher. Reference structure 1 . 18). The capacity ratios of the other failure criteria were rather low. the failure probability of the structures seems to be nearly independent from material scattering.28 roof drift [m] Figure 16. Furthermore. The scattering of the ultimate rotation ratio between accelerograms was considerably high (80 – 140 % and 80 – 130 %). In the buildings braced by concentric bracings the ultimate deformation of the bracings in compression was the governing failure criterion (Figs. especially for the industrial building.015 rotation [rad] 0.24 0. 5 RESULTS OF CRUDE MONTE-CARLOSIMLUATION 5. In the office as well as in the industrial building the columns were the critical elements. local rotations of beams and columns did not correlate with the roof drift (Fig.03 to 0. Strict application of this failure criterion may prevent plastifications of slender braces in tension. Furthermore. The scattering of the results between different accelerograms was lower than for the MRF.2 Buildings braced by moment resisting frames In the analyses of MRF-structures the scattering of deformation parameters as roof drift and element rotation for different material samples was moderate (COV = 0. The deformation of braces in tension and compression is approximately identical.

Structure 3 . Structure 1 .Industrial building CBF: maximum tension force at joint vs. Structure 4 .Office building CBF: Box plot of tension deformation braces 3rd storey (multiplier 7). yield stress (beams 2nd storey. yield stress (braces 3rd storey. Structure 3 . 2300 Figure 23.Industrial building CBF: Box plot of tension deformation braces 4th storey (multiplier 8).Figure 17. multiplier 8) . multiplier 10). Figure 19. yield stress [MPa] Figure 22. 400 450 500 550 yield stress [MPa] Figure 24.Office building MRF: maximum moment at joint vs. multip. 3500 axial force [kN] 1900 1700 1500 1300 250 axial force [kN] 300 350 400 2100 3300 3100 2900 2700 2500 2300 350 yield stress [MPa] Figure 20. Structure 1 . (braces 3rd storey. 8). Reference structure 2 .Industrial building MRF: Box plot of column head rotation 1st storey (multiplier 8).Industrial building MRF: maximum moment at joint vs. Structure 2 .Office building CBF: maximum tension force at joint vs. 1500 moment [kNm] 450 400 350 300 250 moment [kNm] 300 350 400 1400 1300 1200 1100 1000 900 350 400 450 500 550 yield stress [MPa] Figure 18. Structure 4 . yield stress (beams 2nd storey. 500 Figure 21.Office building MRF: Box plot of column foot rotation 1st storey (multiplier 10). yield stress. multiplier 7).

On the basis of 5000 non-linear time step analyses for each structure with different material samples some general conclusions can be made on the failure probability. there are experimental and analytical results. DARS will be implemented in the open source reliability platform FERUM 4. 1994. Joint Committee on Structural Safety. User Manual – Matlab 2010a. Vorhersage duktilen Festigkeitsversagens von Stahlbauteilen mit Hilfe schädigungsmechanischer Methoden. K. Series at Institute for Steel Structures at RWTH Aachen University Volume 27. PhD-thesis. H.1 Results In this study the influence of material scattering on the seismic performance of steel structures was investigated via non-linear time step analyses. D. et al 2009. Schäfer. www.M. Therefore.g. REFERENCE Bourinet. Feldmann. Midterm report (unpublished). . Based on the results of four reference structures ..SIMQKE_GR Version 1. To determine a realistic and economic overstrength factor for connections also the real scattering of joint capacities has to be determined and considered. Even if the material properties correlate less with the deformation behaviour. Version 7.499 Whaarts. Kuck. S.office and industrial building braced by MRF and CBF following conclusions are made: . P. .2 Outlook In the performed investigations the ultimate rotation capacity and the ultimate deformation capacity are assumed as constant. B. However. and Eichler.0 to carry out further investigations (Bourinet 2009). M.jcss. 6. As non-linear time step analysis even with efficient software and strong computers are still time consum- ing (5 to 10 min for each sample).A Program for DYnamic Nonlinear Analysis of Composite and Steel structures (unpublished).200910094 Gelfi. Hence. 2000.Connection and foundation forces correlate strongly with the yield stress of adjacent dissipative elements. Beitrag zur Definition der Bauwerksregularität und zur Bestimmung der Verhaltensbeiwerte für die Erdbebenbemessung von Stahlbauten. which show a negative correlation between deformation capacity and material strength (e. 2009. P. non-ductile joints have to be designed with an enormous overstrength to fulfil capacity design rules.The global and local deformation behaviour of the investigated steel structures is less dependent on material scattering. crude Monte Carlo simulations are still not applicable. doi: 10.0 User’s Guide Braconi. 1994. . Kook. Feldmann 1994). The statistical evaluation of real material data in section 2. to determine the influence of different parameters on the absolute failure probability.-M.ethz. Delft University Press. PhD-thesis. A. 78: 784– 794.10. in the current model the connection forces are only evaluated as demand measure and the inherent existing overstrength of the joint itself is not considered. real material properties increase the failure probability in relation to nominal material strength.2. M..The scattering of global and local deformation behaviour of the structure due to different accelerograms is predominant.6 CONCLUSIONS AND FURTHER INVESTIGATIONS 6. If the deformation capacity is negative correlated with the material strength. User Manual . Zur Rotationskapazität von I-Profilen statisch und dynamisch belasteter Träger. Structural reliability using Finite Element Analysis – An appraisal of DARS: Directional Adaptive Response surface Sampling.2 has clearly shown that the mean values of steel strength are significant higher than the nominal values. Matlab 2010. Investigations in (Whaarts 2002) have shown that combining directional sampling with adaptive response surface methods (“Directional Adaptive Response surface Sampling. J. Optimizing the seismic performance of steel and steelconcrete structures by standardizing material quality control. 2009. further investigations will be carried out with more efficient probabilistic methods. 1993. B. the number of samples shall be increased. Delft. FERUM 4. Under consideration of the strong correlation between the material strength of dissipative elements and forces in adjacent connections and foundations.ch.0. User manual for DYNACS . However. Stahlbau. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The research leading to these results has received funding from the Research Program of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel RFSR-CT-2007-00039. Hoffmeister. DARS”) provide a robust and efficient approach. PhD-thesis. Series at Institute for Steel Structures at RWTH Aachen University Volume 30 Feldmann. et al 2001. However. Grant agree number RFSR-CT-2007-00039 Faber. H. the material strength may influence the deformation capacity. but they are nearly independent to the scattering of the seismic action. 2006. JCSS Probabilistic Model Code.1002/stab. J.