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- Eurocode 3 Simplified
- Example Calculation of Effective Section Properties for a Cold-Formed Lipped Channel Section in Bending
- Eurocode 3: Design of Steel Structures “ready
- EC3 & EC4 Worked Examples
- BUCKLING ANALYSIS OF STEEL BRIDGES
- Lecture 28
- Designers' Guide to en 1993-1-1 Eurocode 3 - Design of Steel Structures
- Manual on Stability of Steel Structures
- Ex3_LTBeam
- Portal Frames
- Dynamics of Structure Chopra 1995
- Designs Guide to en 1994-2, Eurocode 4
- Designers-Guide-to-EN1992-1-1-and-EN1992-1-2
- Eurocode 3 Actions
- Plastic Design Portal Frame to Ec3
- ECCECCS publications
- Advances in Steel Structures Vol.1
- SCI P341 Secure
- steel-ec3 (1)
- Greiner Lindner EC3 PM Interaction

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Institute for Steel Structures and Shell Structures Institute of Steel Structures and Shell Structures

Graz University of Technology Graz University of Technology

E-mail: lechner@TUGraz.at E-mail: greiner@steel.tu-graz.ac.at

ABSTRACT

The rules in EN 1993-1-1 provide an approach for the stability check of members and frames

under axial compression and bending with the “equivalent column method”. This method is

based on the use of the specific buckling length of the structure and of first order internal

forces. In addition, a second approach is provided where individual members are considered

like “cut-out members” of the system with end-moments including the second order sway

effects. For the check of equivalent members or cut-out members the appropriate moment

diagram to be used in the design formula has not been defined in the code yet. The present

paper – after explaining the conceptual background of the methods – deals with the

application on individual members with different boundary conditions as well as on frame

systems of sway type. Comparisons of the results of the code-formulae with numerical

calculations were made to illustrate the efficiency of the different methods.

1 INTRODUCTION

The stability check in EC 3, Part 1-1 for members and frames may be performed in a number

of ways, which differ in the extent to which second order and imperfection effects

(SO+I-effects) are accounted for in the global analysis. If certain parts of these effects are not

taken into account in the structural analysis, these have to be covered then by using the

specific member design formulae.

One extreme of these methods is the “equivalent column method”, which is based on first

order internal forces without any SO+I-effects and, therefore, has to account for these effects

by a specific buckling length introduced in the member design formulae.

A second method goes a step further by accounting for SO+I-effects of frames just by the

sway-effect (P.∆-effect) and by then using the second order end moments in the member

design, like for a member “cut-out of the system” and loaded by the continuity moments at

the member ends. For the member check EC3 specifies, that the full member length may be

taken. Other design specifications accounting for the beneficial continuity effects by non-

sway buckling lengths may also be found. Then, the approach of the cut-out member could be

again considered as an equivalent column method, but in this case with imposed second order

end moments.

The two methods, therefore, lead to modelling the structural behaviour by individual

members, which have a specific buckling length and corresponding moment diagram.

However, the code does not define, how the moment diagram should be accounted for in the

member-design formulae in context with the equivalent column.

This paper deals with the application of the above two methods for members and frames and

gives proposals for the yet open definitions. For simplification the two models are called

“equivalent member” and “cut-out member” in the following.

The two applications of the equivalent column method certainly play a significant role in

practical design of standard structures as long as not all SO+I-effects can be included in the

global analysis, like those for LT-buckling. The benefit of the method is, that the common

design-formulae of single span members can be used for all kinds of boundary conditions and

members in frame structures.

The equivalent column method (called ECM in the following) is applied here in its traditional

form as described e.g. in [1][2]. Accordingly, the equivalent member is regarded as pin-ended

column (Euler-case II) of uniform cross-section and uniform axial force with a buckling

length, which leads to the same critical buckling capacity Ncr as the structure considered.

Thus, under pure axial compression the buckling effects are covered with good quality by the

column design in the code. Buckling lengths may be well understood as the sinusoidal part of

the buckling modes and are widely provided in present codes and handbooks for practical

applications (see Fig. 1).

Additional bending with various moment diagrams may lead to cases, which are exactly

represented by the equivalent column method or where just approximative results can be

achieved. The accuracy is dependent on the degree of affinity of bending effect and second

order effect. Full affinity is given if the points of inflection of the buckling mode and of the

bending deformation (of first order moments) coincide. This means that the end points of the

sinus-half wave and the zero points of the moment diagram are in the same place or just

closely apart. Then, the equivalent member is subjected to that part of the moment diagram

along its length Lcr, which includes the moment maximum (see Fig. 1). The member design

formula of the single span member may now be applied to the equivalent member under

max M. The effect of the shape of non-uniform bending moments can be accounted for by the

corresponding CM-factor of the relevant part of the moment diagram. In cases where the

buckling length exceeds the actual member length the moment diagram should be

symmetrically extended (see Fig. 1a, 1c) or linearly extended to the end of the equivalent

member. The method is, therefore, applicable to sway and non-sway structural systems

analogously.

If the above affinity is not given, in particular in cases with imposed end-deformation, the

elasto-plastic buckling behaviour may be so complex, that for practical design just

approximative CM-values can be recommended. Therefore it is proposed to use the actual CM-

factor of the relevant moment diagram in cases of sufficient affinity and for all other cases the

conservative approximation of CM = 0.9 (Fig.2).

3 CUT-OUT-MEMBERS

The stability check of sway frames may alternatively be based on the buckling check of

individual members, which are considered as isolated columns cut-out of the system and are

loaded by the end forces/moments of the structure – apart from internal loads along the span.

These end moments have to include the SO+I-effects of the sway-mode (P.∆-effect). For the

member buckling length EC3-1-1 specifies to take the full length, while other codes allow

also to use a reduced buckling length due to the restraints of the continuity conditions of the

non-sway mode. The idea behind is, that – since the sway effect is accounted for by the end

moments – the cut-out member may be regarded like an equivalent column of a non-sway

system.

Fig.3 illustrates examples of two sway frames, where the cut-out members were modelled

with full member length or alternatively with the non-sway buckling length. If the member

check is based on the full member length, the actual column may be regarded like a pin-ended

isolated member under the given end moments and the corresponding CM-factor. (This design

is called COM/1 in the following). If the design is based on non-sway buckling lengths (called

COM/2 below) the cut-out member containing the moment maximum exceeds the actual

member, so that the moment diagram has to be extended to the outer member end.

An alternative approach of this kind is also provided in BS 5950-1 by the Amplified Sway

Method. There the first order moments are split into two parts; the sway moments are

amplified due to the sway-effect and the non-sway moments are reduced by the CM-factor for

the moment diagram along the column length. The buckling length is specified as non-sway

mode. The application of the above methods will be illustrated below.

The buckling check of the individual members, used in the following for either equivalent

members or cut-out members, has been based on the formula for in-plane buckling of Method

2 in EC3-1-1 (class 1 and 2 sections) (Fig.4).

NEd M NEd

buckling mode y-y: + Cmyk y y ,Ed ≤ 1 with ny =

χ yNRd My ,Rd χ yNRd

k y = 1 + (λ y − 0.2) ny ≤ 1 + 0.8 ny

Cmy = 0.6 + 0.4 ψ ≥ 0.4 or Table B.3

A set of examples is presented in Fig. 5 and is called classical equivalent members, because

full affinity exists between the buckling mode and the bending deformation in the sense

explained in par.2 above. Further examples are given in Fig. 6 for cases, where just

approximate affinity exists. Since the points of inflection of buckling mode and bending

deformation are close to each other, the results of the equivalent column method are in

sufficient accordance with the numerical simulations.

For illustration a few selected cases are presented. There, numerical simulations (GMNIA, i.e.

geometrically and materially nonlinear analysis with imperfections, with imperfection of

L/1000 and residual stresses of 0,5 fy) [3] have been carried out for both the actual member

and for the equivalent member. These results are then compared with the member buckling

formula of EC3, Method 2 for the equivalent member. While the comparison of the GMNIA-

results proves the physical accuracy of the equivalent column model, the comparison with the

EC3-formula serves for illustration of the application in design.

1,0

GMNIA My 0.67L

GMNIA equ.memb. -0.5

N

EC3/M2 ECM

EC3/M2

0,8 buckling curve: a 1.0 e=L/1000

Cmy = 0.58

λy for Lcr = 0.7L

0,6 S 235 L

My/Mpl,y

equivalent member

0,4 My

-0.05

N

My

1.0 e=L*/1000

0,2

λy = 0.5

λy = 1.0 L*=0.7L

λy = 1.5

λy = 2.5

0,0 N/Npl

0,0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1,0

Fig. 7: Propped cantilever with end moment and axial compression. Method (P-P)

1,0 q

GMNIA 3εy

GMNIA equ.memb. -1.0 -1.0

EC3/M2 ECM

N

EC3/M2 Class 2:

0,8

εmax = 3εy 0.5 0.42L

buckling curve: a e=L/1000

Cmy = 0.888

λy for Lcr = L/2

0,6 RHS 200/100/10 Lcr = L/2 L/2

S 235

My/Mpl,y

equivalent member

0,4 q

My -1.0 My

N

λy = 0.5 V

λy = 1.0

λy = 1.5 e=L*/1000

λy = 2.5

0,0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1,0

Fig. 8: Beam-column with clamped ends under transverse load and axial compression. Method (E-P)

The examples of the classical cases in Fig. 5 were investigated and showed, that full

accordance exists between real and equivalent member [see 4]. Here, just the approximate

cases are given in Fig. 7 to 9. The results of the numerical simulations (GMNIA) show that

the equivalent members with their specific buckling length and the corresponding moment

diagram – containing the moment maximum – are well able to describe the actual buckling

behaviour. The use of the member design formula EC3/Method 2 leads to conservative

results, which is mainly due to the safety considerations made for the design formula.

Vmax = 1.44 Vpl

plastic moment distribution

1,4 GMNIA

GMNIA equ.memb. 0.7L V

-1.0

EC3/M2 ECM

N

1,2 EC3/M2

buckling curve: a 1.0

Cmy = 0.8 0.85L

λy for Lcr = 0.7L

1,0 e=L/1000

RHS 200/100/10

S 235

Lcr = 0.7L Lcr = 0.7L

0,8

L

V/Vpl

equivalent member

0,6

My -1.0

N

0,4

λy = 0.5 1.0 V

λy = 1.0 0.43L* 0.57L*

0,2

λy = 1.5 e=L*/1000

λy = 2.5

0,0 N/Npl L*=0.7L

0,0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1,0

Fig. 9: Propped cantilever with point load and axial compression. Method (P-P)

The application of the EC3-design methods to frame systems is presented here for two

different sway-frames with two kinds of loading, the one with bending purely from sway-

effects (Fig. 9) and the second with bending combined of sway and symmetrical loading (Fig.

10). The frames were studied for different slenderness λ = 0.5 ÷ 2.5 , where λ describes the

frame-slenderness.

The GMNIA-calculation (with eigenmode-conform imperfections L/1000 and residual

stresses) has been compared with the following methods. Thereby, equivalent members and

cut-out members were calculated with the Method 2 of EC3.

– 2O EP: elasto-plastic second order analysis with global and local imperfections acc. to EC3

– ECM: equivalent column method with sway-buckling length and first order moments

– COM/1: cut-out member with second order end-moment and full member length

– COM/2: cut-out member with second order end-moment and non-sway buckling length

– BS-ASM: amplified sway method of BS 5950, but member check with EC3, Method 2

For the frame (Fig.10) subjected to bending by pure sway-load it was found that the model of

ECM, when investigated by GMNIA leads to very close approximation of the frame analysis

(not shown here). The good results are mainly connected with the clear anti-symmetry of the

given load case, which is conform to the buckling mode. When checked by the formula of

EC3/Method 2 it is conservative as illustrated in Fig.10. Thereby, the equivalent member has

been calculated by use of CM=0.9 as specified for sway members in EC3/Method 2.

My/Mpl,y resp. [3*F*H/10] / Mpl,y

1,0 F1 ECM

GMNIA εmax=3εy F1

2O EP-analytical

Lcr

ECM Cmy=0.9 F My

COM/2 MIIE,col

Lcr,non-sway Cmy=0.9 -0.67

0,8 COM/1 MIIE,col

0.67

H

MI

Lcr =1.231*H

Lcr=H, Cmy=0.4

BS-ASM MI

MIIE,col = kamp*MIsway 1.0

-1.0

Lcr=Lcr,non-sway

0,6 RHS 200/100/10

L = 1.5*H

S 235

COM/1 COM/2

0,4 F1 F1

0.06

Lcr

0.65

Lcr =H

H

MEII

0,2

0.29

λy = 1.0 λy = 0.5

λy = 1.5 MEII MEII

λy = 2.5

0,0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1,0

2

My/Mpl,y resp. [q*L /16 + F*H/2] / Mpl,y

1,0

GMNIA εmax=3εy ECM

2O EP-analytical F1

F1

ECM Cmy=0.9

Lcr = 2.69 H

COM/2 Cmy=0.6 q

0,8 Lcr,non-sway

F=q*L/4 -1.0 MI

COM/1 Cmy=0.6

Lcr=H

BS-ASM MIIE,col= 0.56

kamp*M sway+0.6*MInon-sway

I

H

Lcr,non-sway My

0,6 RHS 200/100/10

S 235 L = 2*H

COM/1 COM/2

0,4

F1 F1

MEII

Lcr=0.92H Lcr

II II

ME ME

Lcr=H

0,2

H

λy = 1.0 λy = 0.5

λy = 2.5 λy = 1.5

0,0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1,0

Fig. 11: Sway frame with combined sway and non-sway loading. Method (E-P)

Using the buckling check COM/1 with full member length and bitriangular moment diagram,

again good accordance with GMNIA is reached. This because the second order end moments

are the correct ones and the local buckling effect within the member is described by the

member check. If differences occur they result from the approximate limit of the Austin

formula by 0.4 and/or different assumptions of the local imperfection.

When the check is made with COM/2 with non-sway buckling length and the relevant part of

the moment diagram the result is rather conservative, which is caused by the increase of the

given second order end moment in the member check for the extended moment diagram.

The check by BS-ASM leads to conservative results too, since the second order end moment

is used in the member check without reducing it by CM.

In Fig.11 a frame has been investigated with bending moments resulting from both sway and

non-sway loads. The result of ECM is more conservative than in the example before, since the

non-sway part of the moments is treated like sway moments. The buckling checks with cut-

out members COM/1 and COM/2 result in curves, which are slightly above the GMNIA-

results. The small differences come from the effect of the local imperfection e0 on the second

order end moments, which has not to be taken into account by the rules of EC3 for this

example. Further the results of COM/1 and COM/2 are nearly coincident due to the fact that

the non-sway buckling length is nearly the member length H and the moment diagrams are

nearly the same (CM=0.6) for both cases.

The check by BS-ASM again is conservative for the same reasons as given above.

7 CONCLUSION

The present study with comparison of different equivalent column methods with GMNIA- or

second order results leads to the following conclusion:

– The original ECM with system bucking length and first order moment suffers from

the fact that it is not consistently derivable from mechanics. While there are many

cases where practically exact results are achieved, also cases are found which can

only approximately be treated, (e.g. bending under imposed end deformation).

– The method COM/1 with member length and second order end moments leads to

good results, since the already correct second order end moments are kept and just the

local member buckling is added.

– The method COM/2 with non-sway buckling length and second order end moments

used in the given form (with approximate CM-factors 0.9) may be more conservative

as COM/1.

– The method BS-ASM leads to conservative results, mainly since the full sway

moment is introduced without CM.

Considering the many implications of the different methods it appears that nowadays the most

preferable concept for frame systems is to use a consistent second order analysis for in-plane

buckling effects and the equivalent column method for out-of-plane buckling effects.

REFERENCES

[1] Roik K., Kindmann R., Das Ersatzstabverfahren – Tragsicherheitsnachweise für

Stabwerke bei einachsiger Biegung und Normalkraft, Der Stahlbau, 5/1982

[2] Roik K., Vorlesungen über Stahlbau, Ernst & Sohn, 1978

[3] Abaqus, Version 6.3, Hibbit, Karlsson & Sorensen, Inc.

[4] Lechner A., Steel Structures and Bridges 2003, ISBN 80-01-02747-3, Prague 2003

KEYWORDS

Eurocode3-Part 1, flexural buckling, equivalent member, effective length method, amplified

sway method, member buckling, frame analysis

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