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Author Summary

Richard B. Heagler is director of This paper describes the theoretical


engineering for Nicholas J. Bouras, behavior of metal decks acting as
Inc. and United Steel Deck, Inc. of diaphragms to stabilize roof and
Summit, N.J. He received his Bach- floor systems. Shear deflections, of
elor of Science, Master of Science primary importance, are relatively
Basic and doctorate degrees in civil engi-
neering from the University of Mis-
easy to calculate. However, real
roof and floor systems show practi-
Diaphragm Design souri, Rolla. He has been involved cal differences compared with the-
in the steel deck industry for over ory. The shear behavior is effected
25 yearsstarting out with Granco by slip between formed sections.
Steel Products, St. Louis, Mo. and Numerous tests have provided
joining Nicholas J. Bouras, Inc. in effective shear moduli that can be
1977. used in design. This paper con-
"Heagler has written articles on cludes with several practical exam-
connecting steel deck and is the ples, including applications of tables
author of Engineers Notebook for developed by the Steel Deck Insti-
the Design of Composite Beams tute.
and Girders with Steel Deck. He is
a Professional Member of AISC
and a member of ASCE. He serves
on the AISI Specifications Advisory
Committee, on all Steel Deck Insti-
tute technical committees and on
the ASCE Composite Steel Deck
Slabs Standards Committee.
Heagler is a registered professional
engineer in Missouri, New Jersey
and New York.

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2003 by American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Diaphragm Basics

A roof or floor diaphragm can be t h o u g h t of as (an almost)

flat plate brace. For instance the frame shown in figure 1.

Figure 1

Could be braced by using plates instead of structural

braces.

Figure 2
These plates are of course diaphragms.

Since a real building generally requires a roof anyway, it

would seem wise to use the steel roof deck plate as a

diaphragm. The roof deck then provides one of those rare

things in life - something for nothing; or, at least, for


little additional cost.

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2003 by American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Diaphragms can be imagined as the webs of huge plate
girders. See figure 3.

Figure 3a. (Top view of building)

Figure 3b. (Idealized beam)

Most roofs, even of long thin buildings, would show up as


fairly short beams when viewed from the top; this means that
shear becomes an important consideration.

In our basic structure courses, students are taught that for


most beams, which are long with respect to their depth,

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2003 by American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. All rights reserved.
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shear deflection can be neglected; but now, there is the

opposite case so a review of the basic nature of the types

of deflection should be helpful.

The equation that relates b e n d i n g deflection (curvature) to

m o m e n t is:

One integration of the moment (over EI) equation gives the

slope and another integration gives the deflection. The

individual strains on elements caused by bending are

d e p e n d i n g on the elements position in reference to the


neutral axis and the c u r v a t u r e is the result (or cause,

depending on your point of view) of these strains.

2003 by American Institute22-4


of Steel Construction, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Shear stain is not the measurement of a length change; it is

measured as an angle, , and represents the distortion of

a rectangular element into a parallelogram.

v is the shear stress and G is the shear modulus of


elasticity. The slope of the beam, , because of shear

alone (bending not considered) is the shear strain at

the centroid.

In a beam where k is a shape constant and A is


the area of the beam, so

One integration, under the shear (over AG) diagram will then

produce the deflection. Since it takes two integrations to

find bending deflection it would stand to reason that shear

deflections are really easier to calculate - we are just not


accustomed to doing it.

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2003 by American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. All rights reserved.
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For example, one could examine both the shear and bending
deflections at the middle of a simply supported uniformly

loaded beam. In order to see the relative importance of


each type of deflection answers should be obtained for

different span lengths.

The beam has these properties:

G = 12 x 106 psi

E = 29 x 106 psi

K = 3/2 (rectangle shape factor)

A = 16 in.2

I = 85.3 in.4

W = 1000 #/in.

Bending:

this can be obtained by integrating


the general moment equation twice
and evaluating the b o u n d r y

conditions, or more simply by

looking it up in the AISC manual.

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shear:

this can be obtained by finding the

area under the shear diagram between

the end and the center of the beam


and multiplying it by k/AG.

Span y (bending) y (shear) y Total % of total


inches inches Inches contributed by shear
64" .0883 .0040 .0923 4.3%
48" .0279 .0023 .0302 7.6%
32" .0055 .0010 .0065 15.0%
24" .0017 .0006 .0023 26.0%

The point of this exercise is to get a feel for the part

that shear plays and to see how much more important shear is

as the span gets shorter.

In a real roof system there are practical differences from

the beam example. The web of the hypothetical plate girder

that makes up the roof is not a homogenous material; it is

made up of profiled deck units intermittently connected to


the building frame and to each other. Each side lap is a

potential line of slip: each connection point is a little


point load; each combination of deck profile, and metal

thickness has distortion characteristics of its own. The

subject of much research and thousands of hours of testing


has been to determine how a shear modulus could be defined

to take into account the m a n y variables involved. (And, the

strength of the system was also of considerable interest.)

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The result is that G is replaced by G', where G' is a

variable that can be determined for a given deck/connection


system. (The G' values determined for roof and floor deck
profiles have the k shape factor built in.)

Two things now happen to the real deflection problem. If we

refer to figure 3, we see that we could estimate the I of a


roof system by is the area of the
perimeter beam. I becomes very very large - this is the

first thing that happens. G' because it now is a function


of all the imperfections of a real system, becomes much

smaller than G - this is the second thing. These two items,

plus the fact that we are almost always in the short beam
category, make shear deflections a large part of the total,
and bending deflection a small part. This is quite the
opposite of long beam deflections.

Looking back at the shear deflection part of our example, we

see that in a homogenous uniformly loaded beam, the part of


the deflection attributed to shear was:

In a real roof diaphragm this equation would be:

where q is the shear force per unit length and G' is the
shear stiffness now measured in force per unit length and B
is the depth of the diaphragms.

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2003 by American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. All rights reserved.
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It is very important to realize the G' is not a material
constant, as G is, and it must be determined for each

combination of deck profile and metal thickness and must


also include the slip characteristics of the fasteners.

EXAMPLE PROBLEM

perimeter beams are 18 x 35


A = 10.3 in.2

G' = 12 x 103 kips/inch


I of perimeter m e m b e r s is
negligible.

E = 29 x 103 kips/inch 2

( b e n d i n g deflection) = 0.015"

(shear d e f l e c t i o n ) = 0.563

Note that the b e n d i n g deflection can be neglected. The

maximum shear in the d i a p h r a g m is v:

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2003 by American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The diaphragm then must be able to carry 300 plf as a design

load - at least at the edges.

Note that the Yv shear deflection (at point B), can be


found by finding the area under the V/BG' diaphragm between

A (a point of zero deflection) and B.

An interesting example is to look at a symmetrical fixed end

beam.

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If we ignore the b e n d i n g part of the deflection the equation

of c u r v a t u r e is

so, either by integration or b y solving for the area u n d e r

the shear diagram we get the shear deflection (at the center

of the beam) to be:

If we change the beam to being simply supported (and

u n i f o r m l y loaded) we would get:

and the answer for the shear deflection at the center would

be , which is exactly the same as if the beam were


fixed at the ends. The important point is, by ignoring

bending deflection the effect of bending restraints and

continuity can be ignored.

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For instance, the f r e e b o d y of this

building would be:

and the reaction (as far as shear

is concerned) would be:

The fact that I 2 > I1 and the fact that continuity exists in
the deck system has no effect on the shear deflection of the
diaphragm. The reactions at A, B and C can simply be found

by contributing area method.

In a real roof system the deflection of the left portion of


the roof would be:

and the deflection of the right portion would be:

The change in shear (for the uniform load) is w/d 1 on the

left and w/d 2 On the right.

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2003 by American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Another important example is the cantilever:

This loading is one the the test arrangements used in the


lab to determine G' - the Y v and P values taken at 0.4 Pu
(the ultimate load) are used to determine G' The test
system is composed of deck sheets attached to perimeter
members that are relatively heavy (compared to the deck).
Pin connection are used at each corner.

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An interesting aspect of the cantilever test comes to light
by examining the free body:

The shear in the d i a p h r a g m ,


parallel to R is:

The shear, v' , in the d i a p h r a g m

perpendicular to R is

but

and

The shears in the two directions are exactly the same; so

the loads (strength) of the diaphragms shown in the SDI


tables are the same regardless of whether the load is
perpendicular or parallel to the deck flutes.

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On the other hand the formula for G' is d e p e n d a n t on the

panel length and the fastener arrangement. So the stiffness

of the d i a p h r a g m is different in mutually perpendicular

directions.

CANTILEVER WALL EXAMPLE PROBLEM

NOTE: This neglects any stiffness (resistance to b e n d i n g ) of


perpendicular walls or corner columns.

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Part II. How to use SDI tables to find strengths and
deflections
1). Enter the correct table for profile and fastening.

2). Read strength directly from the tables - plf;


interpolation is O.K.

3). Substitute the constants from the tables into the

formulas at the bottom of the page to find G'.

This formula combines the effect of fasteners and fastener


spacings, profile shape and thickness, number of purlins and

panel length.

DXX is a warping constant that depends on panel profile and

the end panel fastener positions. The SDI tables cover the

frame fastener layouts shown.

Example -

A .0295" thick (22 gage) 1 1/2" WR deck has a 30/4 weld

pattern (on all supports) and one n u m b e r 10 TEK screw at the

midspan stitching the sheets together. Find the d i a p h r a g m


strength and stiffness from the tables for a 6' span between

supports. (The tables are reproduced from the SDI Diaphragm

Design Manual, Second Edition).

Design shear = 215 plf

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If intermediate rib (IR) deck were used instead of WR (wide

rib) the strength would be the same but the new stiffness

would be:

Note: The IR deck at a 6'-0" span exceeds SDI maximum span


recommendations; however an individual manufacturer may
publish greater maximum spans than the SDI.

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T Y P I C A L FASTENER LAYOUTS

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V14 STANDARD 1.5 DECK

FRAME FASTENING: 5/8" WELDS on 30/4 Pattern.


STITCH FASTENING: #10 SCREWS (BUILDEX) SAFETY FACTOR: 2.75
t = design thickness = .0295"

Stitch DESIGN SHEAR, plf


Connectors Span, ft.
per span 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 K1
0 340 300 270 240 215 195 175 160 150 0.728
1 395 350 315 285 260 235 215 195 180 0.536
2 440 395 355 325 295 275 255 230 215 0.424
3 475 430 395 360 330 305 285 265 245 0.350
4 510 465 425 395 365 335 315 295 275 0.299
5 540 495 460 425 395 365 340 320 300 0.260
6 565 525 485 450 420 395 370 345 325 0.231
D wr = 1377 Dir = 1547 Dnr = 1608 K2 = 870

S u b s t i t u t e these values into the equation for G' as a p p r o p r i a t e .

t = design thickness = .0358"


Stitch DESIGN SHEAR, plf
Connectors Span, ft.
per span 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 K1
0 320 290 260 235 215 195 180 165 155 0.802
1 375 340 310 285 260 240 220 205 190 0.590
2 425 390 355 330 305 280 260 240 225 0.467
3 475 435 400 370 340 320 300 280 260 0.386
4 515 475 440 405 380 355 330 310 295 0.329
5 550 510 475 440 410 385 365 345 325 0.287
6 585 545 505 475 445 420 395 370 350 0.254
7 615 575 540 505 475 445 420 400 380 0.228

Dwr = 1030 Dir = 1157 Dnr = 1202 K2 = 1056


S u b s t i t u t e these values into the equation for G' as a p p r o p r i a t e .

t = design thickness = .0474"


Stitch DESIGN SHEAR, plf
Connectors Span, ft.
per span 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 8.5 9.0 K1
0 340 305 280 255 235 220 205 190 180 0.923
1 405 370 340 315 290 270 250 235 220 0.679
2 465 430 395 370 340 320 295 280 260 0.537
3 520 480 445 415 390 365 345 320 305 0.444
4 570 530 495 465 435 410 385 365 345 0.379
5 620 575 540 505 475 450 425 400 380 0.330
6 665 620 580 545 515 485 460 440 415 0.293
7 705 660 620 585 555 525 495 470 450 0.263
8 740 695 660 620 590 560 530 505 480 0.238

Dwr = 676 Dir = 760 Dnr = 789 K2 = 1398

Substitute these values into the equation for G' as appropriate.

See p a g e V1 f o r n o t e s .

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2003 by American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. All rights reserved.
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