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2.

Design of Axial-force Members

2.1 Tension Members

Those elements of structures that carry tension are termed as tension members. Tension members
may be bottom-chords and some of web members of roof and bridge trusses, secondary members
(tie rods) in truss bracing or, members of tower trusses, members of wind bracing system of multi
story buildings, hangers for suspended roof structures of large span, and etc.
Sections used by tension members are solid bars, wires & cables for hangers; solid bars & single
angles for secondary bracing members of trusses; single-angles, double angles, tees, channels,
flanged sections & built-up sections made of plates or rolled shapes for truss members. Structural
tees used satisfactorily for tension members of welded trusses because web-members can
conveniently be connected to them. If connections of members are made by welding, tubular
sections can be used for tension members of roof trusses.
Some of the various type of tension members in general use are illustrated as shown below.

Round, square & rectangular bars Angles Double angles Structural tee W- or S-sections Channels

Box-section built-up Box-section built-up Built-up channels


Built-up angles Built-up angles
of channels of angles section
section section

2.1.1 Design of Tension Members using Working Stress Method

It is simple to design tension member as there is no problem of stability (plate buckling, side
buckling or warping). However, specifications will require a minimum amount of member
stiffness for esthetic and safety reasons (there may be reversal stresses and sagging due to
weight). Design of tension members is made preventing any failure of sections cased by applied
load along gross area and net area through fasteners holes. Thus, the required area of tension
member that prevent any failure is determined by limiting tensile stress developed in member
section due applied load to the allowable tensile stress of steel. Then, a section is selected from
tables of rolled sections with area slightly greater than the required area obtained from design
equation of tension member.
Member consisting of more than one section need to be tied together by tie-bars located at various
intervals. But, these tie-bars are not to be considered to increase the effective areas of the sections.
As they do not theoretically carry portion of the force in the main section, their sizes are usually
governed by specification.

Allowable tensile stress of structural steel according to AISC as follow:


1) To prevent yielding failure in gross section by excessive elongation of bolted/riveted or welded
connected member,
Fa 0.6 F y where F y --yield strength of steel
Therefore, the required gross area of tension member is obtained by
T
Ag
0.6 F y
2) Since length of bolted/riveted joint is short compared to the length of member, strain hardening
situation is quickly reached at the net-section portion of member before yielding and failure

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commence by fracture through fasteners holes. To prevent fracture failure in net-section through
fasteners holes of bolted/riveted connected member,
Fa 0.5 Fu
where F u --ultimate tensile strength of steel

Therefore, the required net-area of tension member considering fasteners holes is obtained by
T
An
0.5 Fu
3) To prevent block-shear failure and shear-rupture, the allowable strength of bolted/riveted
connected tension member are specified as follows:
Block-shear: T R BS (0.3Fu ) . Av (0.5 Fu ) . At
Shear-rupture: Fv 0.3Fu

4) For design of pin-connected members, allowable tensile stress of steel,


Fa 0.45 Fy
and, the required gross area of pin-connected members is obtained by
T
Ag
0.45 F y
Allowable tensile stress of steel according to AASHTO,
Fa 0.55 F y --on gross section
Fa 0.46 Fu --on net section

2.1.2 Net Area of Section

Holes are required if any two members are connected by rivets or bolts. The holes reduce the
effective area of cross-section and the section passing through the holes will develop a non-
uniform stress distribution. Therefore, the critical section through fasteners holes used for design
is obtained by reducing area lost by fasteners holes from the gross area of tension member.
i.e (Net area) = (Gross area) (area lost by fasteners holes)
Since area lost by one hole is rectangular with area equals d . t , net-area for critical section
passing through a number of holes is obtained as,
An A g ( n . d . t ) and, AISC specification also requires that
An 0.85 Ag .
where t thickness of plates where hole (fasteners) is passing
n number of holes (fasteners) at the critical section
d diameter of holes (1.5mm & 3mm larger than diameter of fastener if hole is made by
drilling & punching, respectively)
For illustration, consider two tension members made of plates connected by two fasteners in two
rows as shown below. 1

1
t

Net-area along section 1-1 passing through fastener holes along straight path is given by,
An Ag 2d . t

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If more than one row of fastener holes in a member, it is often desirable to stagger them in order
to provide as large net area as possible at any section to resist the load. The net-area of section
along staggered critical path is obtained based on the procedure given by Cochrane. The
procedure is as follows:
1) Take any possible critical path across a chain of holes and deduct one hole-width for each hole
encountered.
2) For each change in direction from one hole to the next hole, add back the quantity of width,
s 2 4g .
where, s pitch or longitudinal distance between adjacent holes
g gage distance between adjacent holes across the width
Therefore, the net-area of a section with staggered critical path passing through holes is given as,
s2
An Ag n . d . t t . 4g

where, --indicates number of change in direction along staggered path
and, AISC specification also requires that An 0.85 Ag .
For illustration, consider two tension members made of plates connected by three fasteners as
shown below. s1
t
A

B g1
C D g2

F F E
s2
2 2
s s
Net-area along section ABCDE is given by, An Ag 3d . t t . 1 t . 2
4 g1 4g 2
2
s1
Net-area along section ABCF is given by, An Ag 2d . t t .
4 g1

2.1.3 Effective Net-Area of Section


For profile consists of several members not in a common plane, the transfer of tensile forces from
one member to other are not uniformly distributed over net-area or there may be an eccentricity of
transfer of loads. To over-come these problems, AISC uses an effective net area, Ane instead of
the actual net area, An . Effective net area of section of tension member when transfer of member
forces is not concentric is given by (AISC),
Ane U . An
where U 1 x l 0.9 --reduction factor
x --distance between the plane of connection to the centroid of section
l --distance between the first and last bolts in the line with maximum number of
bolts

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T
x

AISC specifications provide set of reduction factors, U values that could be used for preliminary
design of bolted/riveted members instead of using the empirical relation as given in table below.

Table 1: Reduction factor, U used for bolted connections (AISC)

a) Equal or unequal-leg angles connected by one leg to a connecting plate (singly or in pairs),
U = 0.9
b) W- or S-shaped section with flange-greater than 2/3 of the depth, structural tees cut from
these shapes, provided the connection is made to the flanges only and has no fewer than three
fasteners per line in the direction of stress, U= 0.90
c) W- or S-shaped section not meeting the conditions given in (b), structural tees cut from
these shapes, and all other shapes including built-up sections, provided the connection has no
fewer than three fasteners per line in the direction of stress, U=0.85
d) All members having only two fasteners per line in the direction of stress, U = 0.75

2.1.4 Minimum Stiffness Criteria of Tension Member


Even though the problem of stability is not considered in design of tension members, minimum
stiffness criteria are specified by codes for esthetic and safety reasons. The criterion may be used
in initial proportioning of tension members. Stiffness criterion is established in terms of l u r .

Table 2: AISC stiffness criterion for tension member


Types of member Acceptable l u r
-Main member 240
-Lateral bracing and secondary members 300
-Members subjected to other reversal loading Limited by compression

2.1.5 AISC Specification for Built-up Tension Members

1) When tension member is built-up from sections in continuous contact or separated by small
distance, the longitudinal spacing of connectors between those sections must not exceed 24
times the thickness of the thinner plate or 300mm if the member is to be painted or if it is not to
be painted and not to be subjected to corrosive condition.
2) For member given in (1) consist of unpainted weathering steel sections in continuous contact or
separated by small distance subjected to atmospheric corrosion, the maximum permissible
connector spacing are 14 times the thickness of the thinner plate or 180mm.
3) For tension member built-up from two or more shapes separated by larger distance, the shapes
must be connected to each other by intermittent filler plates at interval such that the slenderness
ratio of individual shapes between the fasteners does not exceed 300.
4) The distance from the center of any bolts to the nearest edge of the connected part under
consideration may not be larger than 12 times the thickness of the connected part or 150mm.

- Tie-plates or tie-bars used to hold two or more shapes together are as shown below.
AISC specification state that the length of tie-plate may
not be less than 2/3 of the distance between the lines of

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the connectors. Furthermore, their thickness may not be
less than 1/50 of this distance.
width of
tie-plate
tie-plate
(filler-
plate)

length of
tie-plate

distance b/n line


of connectors

2.2 Compression Members

Those elements of structures that carry compression are termed as compression members.
Compression members may be top chords and some of web members of trusses, interior column
of buildings, bracing system of multi-story buildings, and etc. Because of buckling phenomena
present in compression member, compression member is more critical member in structure than
beam or tension member.
Section used by compression members are single angles for web members and double angles
placed back to back for top chord members of roof truss, W-shapes for columns of buildings and
compression members of high way bridges. The space between back of double angles is left for
the insertion of gusset plate used to connect to other member. In welded roof trusses, structural
tees may be used for top chord compression members; since web members can be welded directly
to the stem of the tee without gusset-plat. If connections of members are made by welding, square
and rectangular tube sections can be used for column of buildings and compression members of
trusses. Tubular sections are the most economical section for compression members since they
have the same or nearly the same radius of gyrations about the centroid of the section in all
directions. For compression member of very large structures, it may be necessary to use built-up
section. Built-up sections are needed when the members are long and support very heavy loads
and/or when there are advantages of connection. A built-up of section well suited for top chords
of bridge trusses is a pair of channels with a cover-plate on top and with lacing on the bottom.
Some of the various type of compression members in general use are illustrated as shown below.

Angles Double angles Structural tee W- sections Channels Square tube Rectangular tube
(some
times)

Box-section built-up Box-section built-up Built-up channels


of channels Built-up channels W-section with W- & channel
of angles section section cover plate sections
2.2.1 Design of Compression Members

Compression members made of structural steel fail in three modes depending on its relative
length or slenderness ratio of member. These are:

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1)Long column:- long column fails by elastic buckling not by the yielding of steel. Euler formula
predicts very well the strength of long columns where the axial buckling stress remains below
the yield strength of steel.
2) Short column:- very short columns fails by the yielding of steel, the failure stress will equal to
the yield strength of steel and no buckling will occur. For a column to fall into this class it
would have to be so short as to have no practical application in steel columns.
3) Intermediate column:- for intermediate columns some of the fibers of section will reach the
yield stress and some will not when member subjected to the maximum load. This is because of
the inherent presence of residual-stresses in any rolled section. Residual-stresses in rolled
section may be caused by uneven cooling of rolled section in steel mill or by improper handling
of rolled section while transporting to the field. Thus, the section of intermediate column
members will fail by both yielding and buckling, and their behavior is said to be inelastic. Most
columns fall into this range. For Euler formula to be applicable for such columns it would have
to be modified according to the reduced modulus concept or the tangent modulus concept to
account for the presence of residual stress in rolled section.

2.2.2 Euler Elastic Buckling Column Formula

This formula was first derived by Leonhard Euler. It is strictly applicable to long column, under
ideal conditions of homogeneity, isotropy, axially loaded, perfect straightness of columns and
perfect elasticity.
To derive the formula, consider an ideal pin-connected column, initially straight and
concentrically loaded as shown below.
Pcr
y
x
x y

dy
dx
l

dy

dx

Fig : Buckled column with first mode shape


Writing the fundamental equation of moment-curvature,
d2y
EI . M (change of slope is negative)
dx 2
Moment at distance x from origin is ( P . y )
2
d y
then, EI . P. y
dx 2
Let 2 P EI Then, rewriting the equation,
2
d y
2 . y 0
dx 2
General solution of differential equation is,
y A . sin . x B . cos . x
With boundary conditions,

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y = 0 at x = 0 B0
and, y = 0 at x = l A0 or sin . l 0
With A = 0, there is no deflected shape, so the solution must be in sin( . l ) 0 . Thus, the
possible solutions are when ( n. ) l . Substituting P EI , we obtain the critical
column buckling load as,
n 2 . 2 . EI
Pcr
l2
The minimum critical buckling load is obtained when the deflection curvature is single, i.e when
n=1. Therefore, the minimum critical column buckling load is obtained as,
2 . EI
Pcr
l2
In terms of compressive stress, with I Ag . r
2

Pcr 2 .E
Fcr (1)
Ag l r 2
This equation gives the minimum critical stress of pinned column. Eq.(1) indicates that very large
values of Fcr can be obtained using l r 0 . However, in deriving the equation, stress is
assumed proportional to strain. Thus, the upper limit of Fcr is the proportional limit, Fcr Fy .
Derivation of critical buckling load for columns with various end restraints can be done in similar
way of Euler case. The same Euler column stress formula can be obtained with adjustment of
column length for various end-restrained conditions, as given below.
2 .E 2 .E
Fcr
le r 2 k .l r 2
where l e is effective length of column, or the length between inflection points of buckled
column
k is effective length or equivalent pinned length factor
AISC specification recommended the following table of effective length factor used for design of
any column when ideal end conditions are approximated as shown in table. As no column ends
are perfectly fixed or perfectly hinged, the designer may interpolate between the values given in
the table. The table may be satisfactorily used for design of isolated column and also be used for
preliminary design of column in framed-structure.

End conditions (a (b) (c) (d) (f) (g)


buckled shape )
of column

Theoretical 0.5 0.7 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0


k value
Recommended 0.65 0.8 1.0 1.2 2.1 2.0
design k value Braced frame member Un-braced frame member

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For rigid frames, effective length factor may be determined either using the alignment-chart or
codes empirical formula given in terms of relative stiffness of columns to relative stiffness of
beams at both ends of the column.

2.2.3 Allowable Compressive Stresses of Steel Column

The Euler column stress formula is used to develop the allowable compressive stress of steel
column taking in to account the limiting value of yield stress of steel F y . It is evident from
Euler equation to note that slenderness ratio of column, l e r ( k . l ) r would be one of the
significant parameters that determine the allowable strength of column.
AISC specification provides allowable compressive stresses based on Euler column stress formula
depending on slenderness ratio of column as follow:
a) For Intermediate column where k .l r C c :- the allowable stress is given by
Fy k .l r 2
Fa . 1 2
FS 2C c
where F y --yield stress of steel
2 2 . E
Cc --limiting slenderness ratio dividing long and intermediate
Fy
column
1 k .l r
3
5 3 k .l r 23
FS
3 8 Cc 8 Cc 3 12
Here, variable safety factors were applied on modified Euler column stress formula depending on
l e r ( k . l ) r values.
b) For long column where k .l r C c :- the allowable stress is the Euler column stress formula
with FS 23 12 given as
12 2 . E
Fa
23 k .l r
2

Equation given in (a) and (b) are used for main compression members. Secondary compression
members may be designed for an allowable stress based on the following amplification factors
1

using k .l r 120 , l r
1 .6
200
We obtain the allowable design stress either using Eq(a) or Eq(b)
Fa ' Fa *
To reduce length of calculation of allowable stresses of steel column made of A-36 & A-50 steel,
table 3 may be used as given below.

Table 3: Allowable stress values on gross area due to axial compression (ASD-AISC)
Fa in MPa , C c ( A 36) 126.1 Cc ( A 50) 107.0
k.l 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60
r
A 36 147.5 145.9 144.0 142.0 139.8 137.5 135.0 132.3 129.5 126.5 123.4 120.2
F y 248.2 MPa

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A 50 204.4 201.7 198.6 195.1 191.3 187.2 182.8 178.1 173.1 167.9 162.4 156.6
F y 344.7 MPa

k.l 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 115 120


r
A 36 116.8 113.3 109.6 105.9 102.0 97.9 93.8 89.5 85.0 80.5 75.8 70.9
F y 248.2 MPa
A 50 150.6 144.3 137.8 131.1 124.1 116.8 109.2 101.4 93.3 85.1 77.9 71.5
F y 344.7 MPa

k.l 125 130 135 140 145 150 155 160 165 170 175 180
r
A 36 65.9 60.9 56.5 52.5 49.0 45.8 42.9 40.2 37.8 35.6 33.6 31.8
F y 248.2 MPa
A 50 65.9 60.9 56.5 52.5 49.0 45.8 42.9 40.2 37.8 35.6 33.6 31.8
F y 344.7 MPa

The design of compression member using design formulas involves a trial and error procedure
since the allowable compressive stress is not known until a column size is selected. Once a trial
section is assumed, the values radius of gyration of that section can be obtained and substituted
into the appropriate column equation to determine the load carrying capacity of assumed section.
If the load carrying capacity of assumed section of column is slightly greater than or equal to the
compressive load developed in member due to the service design load on structure, assumed trail
section can be selected for member. Otherwise, other larger trail section needs to check for
adequacy. To determine the load carrying capacity of compression member made of any section, it
is necessary to calculate slenderness ratio in both principal axes of section; and the larger
slenderness ratio will controls the capacity of member. Compression members should preferably
designed with slenderness ratio, l e r ( k . l ) r not exceeding 200.
For very long columns, bracing is supplied perpendicular to the weak axis of section thus reducing
the slenderness ratio of column. This may be accomplished by framing braces or beams into the
side of a column. Bracing members must be capable of providing the necessary lateral forces
without buckling themselves. The lateral forces to be taken by bracing are quite small and are
conservatively estimated to 0.02 times the column design compressive load.

2.2.4 AISC Specification for Built-up Compression Members

a) Built-up from sections in continuous contact or separated by a small distance:-The different


component of built-up section must be connected at their ends with bolts or welds. If welds are
used the weld lengths must at least equal the maximum width of the member. If bolts are used
they may not be spaced longitudinally more than 4 times diameters of bolt on center and the
connection must extend for a distance at least equal to 1.5 times the maximum width of the
member.

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P Slip resistance
connection at ends

Slip resistance
connection at ends
P
When the component of built-up section consists of outside plate, AISC specification provides
specific maximum spacing for fastening. If intermittent welds are used along the edges of the
components, or if bolts are provided along the gage lines at each section, their maximum
spacing may not be greater than 334 F y times the thickness of the thinner outside plate or
300mm. If these fasteners be staggered on each gage line, however, they may not be spaced
farther apart on each gage line than 500 Fy times the thickness of thinner part or 450mm.

b) Built-up sections with components not in contact with each other:-Parts of such sections need
to connected or laced together across their open sides. The connection may be made by lacing
and tie plates (or by batten plates). The purpose of the lacing and tie plates is to hold the
individual sections parallel and at the correct distance apart; and to equalize the stress
distribution between individual sections. In addition to lacing, it is necessary to have additional
tie-plates at near the ends of the member and at intermediate points if lacing interrupted.
AISC specification for tie plates and lacing shall have a thickness at least equal to 1/50 of
distance between the connection lines of fasteners or welds. Lacing may consist of flat bars,
angles, channels. These pieces must be spaced so that the slenderness ratio of individual
section will not exceed the governing value of slenderness ratio of the entire built-up member.
Lacing is assumed to be subjected to a shearing force normal to the member equal to not less
than 2% of the compressive design load of the member. Slenderness ratios of the lacing bars are
limited to 140 for single-lacing and 200 for double-lacing. Double lacing or single lacing made
with angle sections should preferably be used if the distance between the connection-lines
greater than 380mm.

IS-800/84 Specification for Built-up Compression Members :-built-up section


composed of two angles or two channels placed back-to-back in contact or separated by small
distance should be connected together by riveting, bolting or welding so that the slenderness ratio
of each component between the connections is not greater than 40 nor greater than 0.6 times the
most unfavorable slenderness ratio of the built-up compression member. In no case should the
spacing of the taking rivets in a line exceed 600mm for such built-up section.
For built-up section where cover plates are used, the pitch of taking rivets (bolts) should not
exceed 32 times the thickness of thinner outside plate or 300mm, whichever is less. When plates
are exposed to weather, the pitch should not exceed 16 times the thickness of thinner outside plate
or 200mm, whichever is less.
The different components of built-up section if separated by distance between them are to be
connected together by lacing so that they act as a single column. Flat bars are generally used for
lacing. Angles and channels are also used for lacing of very heavy columns. Single-laced systems
on opposite sides of the main components should preferably be in the same direction so that one
will be the shadow of the other. Laced compression members should be provided with tie-plates
at the ends of the lacing system and at points where lacing system are interrupted.
The followings are design specification of lacing (IS-800/84):
a)The angle of inclination of the lacing bar with the longitudinal axis of the column should be
between 40 0 to 70 0 .
b)Slenderness ratio of lacing bars should not exceed 145.

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c) Lacing bars are spaced so that the slenderness ratio of individual component of built-up section
will not exceed 50 or 0.7 times the maximum slenderness ratio of the entire built-up member,
whichever is less.
d)Minimum width of lacing bars in bolted/riveted construction should be at least 3 times the
diameter of bolts.
e) Minimum thickness of lacing bars should not be less than l 40 for single-lacing, l 60 for
double-lacing where l is length of lacing bar between center of connection.
f) The lacing of compression member should be designed to resist a transverse shear about 2.5%
of axial force in the member.

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