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Civil/Structural Global Forum

Main Topic
Author: Michael Barbetta/PH/Fluor Last Modified: 08/03/1999 02:29 PM
Topic: cross bracing Click for Instructions
Sub Category: steel
Keywords: Click for Instructions Status: Active
If diagonal cross bracing is pinned at the intersection where both braces meet, what
length is to be used in determining
the KL/r value for each member? Would it be the full length of the member, 1/2 the
length of the member, or something in between?
>cross bracing by Bryan Galloway on 8/4/1999 11:11:29 AM
Concerning X-bracing effective lengths...
We did our own investigation on my current job, and we calculated a theoretical
value for k = 0.58 (Based on technical paper "Design of Diagonal Cross
Bracings, Part 1: Theoretical Study" by Picard & Beaulieu). However we used a
design value of k=0.65 & applied it to the full length of the brace in
If you would like me to fax you a copy of our investigation (it's only about 10
pages), drop me a note & a fax number. I would recommend taking a look at the
study & working through the numbers before using the k-value.
There are other approaches & justifications, but this one made the most sense
to us.
Hope this helps,
>another response by Ed Haninger on 8/4/1999 8:30:26 AM
Under normal situations, where the two braces are of equal length and the
forces are opposing (one in compression and one in tension), the stiffness of
the tension member plus the restraining effect of the tension force is enough
to force the compression member into the second mode buckling shape -
effectively providing a brace at midpoint.
There are articles (which I tossed before I moved) which discuss this.
Timoshenko and Gere, in "Theory of Elastic Stability", Second Edition, cover
the subject of a beam-column with a flexible support, on pages 70 to 74.
Although, he does not cover the restraint of the tension force. Also, the
latest draft of the new LRFD spec has some additional information on
requirements for bracing of compression members which may help. Also, see the
previous response by Wislocky (1997, in this database) to this similar
>Effective Length for Cross Bracings by Janos Toth on 8/5/1999 2:44:40 PM
There is a paper written by Sayed H. Stoman in the ASCE Journal of Structural
Engineering, Vol. 115, No. 12, December 1989 discussing this topic. A good
summary of references and some practical formulas also could be found in this
article finding the value of k.
>K factor depends on tension in tension brace by Marian Podlovsky on 8/20/1999 12:07:27 PM
(the following is extracted from Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol 115,
December 1989)
For bracing pinned ( both, tension and compression) both ends.
Pec = 3.14^2 * Ec * Ic / (Lc)^2
Ec - modulus of elasticity
Ic - moment of inertia in direction perpendicular to the cross brace plane
Lc - Full length of the brace
c subscript indicates compression
Pcr = 2 * Pec + Q
Q - tension in the other (tension) brace
Gamma = Q/Pcr = Q / ( 2 * Pec + Q )
K = ( ( 1 - Gamma) / 2 )^0.5 but >or = 0.5
K will vary between 0.5 and 0.7
For bracing with fixed ends
Pcr = 8 * Pec + Q
K = (( 1 - Gamma)/8)^0.5 but > or = 0.35
With only the tension brace ends fixed ( not a very practical case, if lateral
forces are reversible...)
Replace the 8 with 5 and K should be at least 0.5.
So, based on tension in the tension member the K factor will be at least 0.5
for pinned braces and maximum 0.7.
The 0.6 or 0.65 value should be a good value to use.