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Steel Beam Design by

ASD/LRFD Steel Construction Manual


13th Edition

By Duane Nickols

Beams are flexural members that are subjected to shear and bending
moments. The shear and moment vary with position along the beam.
A beams primary function is resisting bending moments. Beams
usually have uniform loads, concentrated loads or both on them. We
will be looking at W shaped members. LRFD stands for Load and
Resistance Factor Design and was in three previous editions of the
specifications. ASD stands for Allowable Strength Design which is
similar to Allowable Stress Design that many engineers are familiar
with.

Types of loads

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LRFD Load Combinations (ASCE 7-05)

ASD Load Combinations (ASCE 7-05)

We will analyze first and design later.

Let’s say we have a 26 foot long beam that is simply supported at


each end. It supports a live load equal to 0.60 k/ft and a dead load of
0.83 k/ft, including the weight of the beam.

LRFD

wu 1.2 D 1.6 L (1.2 0.83 k / ft ) (1.6 0.60 k / ft ) 1.96 k / ft


wu L 1.96 k / ft 26 ft
Vu 25.43 k
2 2
wu L2 1.96 k / ft (26 ft ) 2
Mu 165 .3 k ip ft
8 8

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ASD

wa D L 0.83 k / ft 0.60 k / ft 1.43 k / ft


wa L 1.43 k / ft 26 ft
Va 18.59 k
2 2
wa L2 1.43 k / ft (26 ft ) 2
Ma 120 .8 k ip ft
8 8

Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD)

Also M u M n andVu Vn

Chapter F is Design of Members for Flexure

Allowable Strength Design (ASD)

Mn Vn
Also M a and Va

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Limit States

We will look at six limit states. The first five are strength limit states
and the last is a serviceability limit state.

Yielding has to do with the strength of the beam to resist


bending moments without failure. Yielding depends on the loads,
supports, span and the strength of the steel.
Lateral-Torsional Buckling has to do with the twisting of the
beam in a lateral direction. If the beam is adequately braced, it
will not twist into failure.
Web Local Buckling has to do with the strength of the web to
resist failure. This means the width to thickness ratio must fall
between certain limits so the web will not collapse or fail.
Flange Local Buckling has to do with strength of the flange to
resist failure. This means the width to thickness ratio must fall
between certain limits so the flange will not collapse or fail.
Shear has to do with shear failure of the beam. Chapter G
covers Design of Members for Shear.
Deflection is a serviceability limit state. This has to do with the
beam deflecting too noticeable to people or so people feel
uncomfortable.

If the un-braced length, (Lb) <=Lp use equation F2-1.

Lateral-Torsional Buckling

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Cb can be conservatively equal to 1.0
Sx comes from the shapes table
Lp and Lr can be found in Table 3-2 for W shapes in the AISC Manual or
you can calculate them from the following equations.

J is in the shapes table.

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Now let’s say the beam we looked at before is a W14 x 30 and the
un-braced length is 26 feet. Fy=50 ksi, Sx=42.0 in3 and Zx=47.3 in3.

Yielding

Since Lb>Lp, it does not meet the limit state of yielding in equation
(F2-1).

Mp Fy Z x (50 ksi) (47.3 in3 ) 2365 kip in 197 kip ft


Mp (0.9) (197 kip ft ) 177 kip ft
Mr 0.7 Fy S x (0.7) (50 ksi) (42.0 in3 ) 1470 kip in 122 .5 kip ft
Mr (0.9) (122 .5 kip ft ) 110 kip ft

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LRFD

The Mu was equal to 165.3 kip-ft

From Table 3-2, AISC Manual

Lp 5.26 ft
Lr 14.9 ft
b Mp 177 k ip ft
b Mr 110 k ip ft

Since the required moment, (Mu=165.3 kip-ft) is greater than the


design moment, (bMr=110 kip-ft) and the un-braced length, (Lb=26
feet) is greater than Lr of 14.9 feet, this will not meet the limit state
for lateral-torsional buckling.

Now, let’s say we brace this beam in the middle and at each end. The
un-braced length (Lb = 13 feet). Interpolating between the above
values:

(13 .0' 5.26 ' ) x


(14 .9' 5.26 ' ) (177 k ip ft 110 k ip ft )
x 53 .79 k ip ft
b Mn 177 k ip ft 53 .79 k ip ft 123 .2 k ip ft

Now the design moment becomes 123.2 kip-ft. This is less than the
required moment, (Mu=165.3 kip-ft) so it will not work. No Good.

Now let’s say we brace this beam at each end and the quarter points.
The un-braced length, (Lb) will be 6.50 feet. Interpolating between the
above values, the design moment, bMn is 168.4 kip-ft. This is greater
than the required moment of 165.3 kip-ft, so this will work. Just by
bracing adequately, the beam will not twist into failure (Lateral-
Torsional Bucking).

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ASD

Again, we will brace the beam at each end and the quarter points. The
un-braced length, (Lb=6.50 feet). Remember from above, Ma=120.8
kip-ft.

Mp Fy Z x 197 kip ft
Mp 197 kip ft
118 kip ft
1.67
Mr 0.7 Fy S x 122 .5 kip ft
Mr 122 .5 kip ft
73.4 kip ft
1.67

From Table 3-2, for W14 x 30 in the AISC Manual

Mp
118 k ip ft
b

Mr
73 .4 k ip ft
b

Lp 5.26 ft
Lr 14 .9 ft

Mp
Since M a 120 .8 k ip ft 118 k ip ft , we need to select another
b

beam.

Selecting a W16 x 31

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From Table 3-2, AISC Manual

Mp
135 k ip ft
b

Mr
82 .5 k ip ft
b

Lp 4.13 ft
Lr 11 .9 ft

Mn
Interpolating from the above values, 118 .96 k ip ft which is still No
b

Good.

Selecting a W14 x 34

From Table 3-2, AISC Manual

Mp
136 k ip ft
b

Mr
84 .9 k ip ft
b

Lp 5.4 ft
Lr 15 .6 ft
Mn
Interpolating from the above values for Lb=6.50 feet, 130 .5 k ip ft
b

which is greater than Ma=120.8 kip-ft. This member is OK.

Conclusion

The LRFD member (W14 x 30) is lighter than the ASD member
(W14 x 34) but both are the same depth.

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Classification of Sections for Local Buckling

Compact
Non-compact
Slender-element

b bf h d 2k
For W sections and
t 2t f tw tw
Flange Local Buckling

b
It is compact if 0.38 E
t
p Fy

It is non-compact if 1.0 E
p r Fy

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Web Local Buckling

h
It is compact if 3.76 E
tw
p Fy

h
It is non-compact if 5.70 E
p
tw
r Fy

Now the W14 X 30 from LRFD, is it compact, non-compact or a


slender-element?

bf 6.73 in
8.74 this checks with the table
2t f (2 0.385 in)

0.38 E 0.38 29,000 k si 9.15 it is compact


p Fy 50 k si

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Now let’s check the web.

h d 2k (13 .8 in (2 0.785 in))


45.3 it is 45.4 in the table
tw tw 0.270 in

3.76 E 3.76 29,000 k si 90.6 it is compact


p Fy 50 k si

The W14 X 34 from ASD is also compact. In fact for Fy=50 ksi, most all
W sections have compact flanges. There are only about ten sections
that have non-compact flanges.

Shear Strength

Now recall, from page 2 and 3, that our Vu=25.43 kips and Va=18.59
kips.

LRFD

Vn Vu
Vn 0.6 Fy Aw C v 0.6 Fy dtw Cv 0.6 50 ksi 13.8 in 0.270 in 1.0 112 kips
Vn 1.00 112 kips 112 kips
112 kips 25.43 kips OK

ASD

Vn
Va

Vn 112 k ips
74 .7 k ips
1. 5
74 .7 k ips 18 .59 k ips OK

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Vn
Both of these values ( Vn and ) are listed in Table 3-2 of the Steel

Manual. Only about eight W sections don’t meet the h/tw requirement.
The W14 x 30 from LRFD and the W14 X 34 from ASD meet the h/tw
requirement.

Deflection (serviceability)

Let’s say that our deflection limit is L/360. Since our span was 26 feet,
L/360=(26 feet X 12 in/ft)/360=0.867 inches. Deflection for the
member is based on service loads so that will be the same for LRFD
and ASD. We are using two different W sections so the deflections will
be different.

From page 3, our uniform service load wa=1.43 k/ft


For the W14 X 30 from LRFD, Ix=291 in4
For the W14 X 34 from ASD, Ix=340 in4

LRFD

5wL4 5(1430 lb / ft )( ft / 12 in)( 26 ft 12 in / ft ) 4


1.74 in 0.867 in No Good
384 EI 384 (29 10 6 lb / in 2 )( 291 in 4 )
Try W18 X 40, I x 612 in 4
5(1430 lb / ft )( ft / 12 in)( 26 ft 12 in / ft ) 4
0.829 in 0.867 in OK
384 (29 10 6 lb / in 2 )(612 in 4 )

ASD

The W14 X 34 didn’t work but the W18 X 40 will work.

Conclusion

Looking at the strength of the beam to resist bending moment we


came up with two different members. We braced the beam adequately
(Lb=6.5 ft) to resist lateral-torsional buckling. We determined the ASD
beam would be a W14 X 34. The beams were compact so there was no
flange local buckling or web local buckling. We checked the shear
strength of both beams and it was OK. The deflection turned out to be
the determining limit state. Based on deflection we would use the
same W section for both LRFD and ASD (W18 X 40).

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Design W Section, Continuously Braced

Select an ASTM A992 W section simply supported with a span of 35


feet. The beam is continuously braced, so Lb=0 ft. The maximum
depth of the section is 21 inches. The limit on live load deflection is
L/360. The uniform dead load is 0.5 kip/ft and the uniform live load is
0.8 kip/ft.

Material properties:

ASTM A992 Fy=50 ksi Fu=65 ksi

LRFD ASD

wu 1.2 D 1.6 L wa D L
wu (1.2 0.5 k ip/ ft ) (1.6 0.8 k ip/ ft ) wa (0.5 k ip/ ft ) (0.8 k ip/ ft )
wu 1.88 k ip/ ft wa 1.30 k ip / ft
wL (1.88 k ip/ ft ) (35 ft ) wL (1.30 k ip / ft ) (35 ft )
Vu 32.9 k ip Va 22.75 k ip
2 2 2 2
wL2 (1.88 k ip/ ft ) (35 ft ) 2 wL2 (1.30 k ip/ ft ) (35 ft ) 2
Mu Mu
8 8 8 8
Mu 288 k ip ft M u 199 k ip ft

L (35 ft ) (12 in / ft )
max 1.17 in
360 360
5wL4 5(0.8 k ip/ ft )( ft / 12 in)(35 ft 12 in / ft ) 4
I req 794 in 4
384 E max 384 (29,000 k si)(1.17 in)

The Steel Manual has many design aids. Table 3-3, W Shapes by Ix
shows a W21 X 44 with Ix=843 in4 will work. Table 3-2, W Shapes by
Zx shows a W18 X40 will work for LRFD but the Ix is too small. The
table shows a W21 X 44 will work for ASD and it will work for LRFD.
Table 3-10 shows a W18 X 40 will work for LRFD but the Ix is too
small. It shows a W21 X 44 will work for ASD and it will also work for
LRFD. Let’s select a W21 X 44.

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Mn Fy Z x (50 ksi)(95.4 in3 ) 4770 kip in 398 kip ft

LRFD ASD

Mn 0.90(398 k ip ft ) 358 k ip ft Mn 398 k ip ft


238 k ip ft
1.67
Mn Mu 288 k ip ft OK Mn
Ma 199 k ip ft OK

Vn 0.6 Fy Aw Cv 0.6 Fy dtw Cv 0.6(50 ksi)(20.7 in)(0.350 in)(1) 217 kip

Vn 1.00 (217 k ip) 217 k ip Vn 217 k ip


145 k ip
1.5
Vn Vu 32 .9 k ip OK Vn
Va 22 .75 k ip OK

The Steel Manual comes with a CD. On the CD is a beam design


program. Here is the same example using that program for LRFD and
ASD.

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Both design methods verify our previous calculations. This program is
very useful to check your calculations.

Summary

Steel beams can be designed with simple calculations, by use of tables


in the Steel Construction Manual or with computer programs. No
matter how you design the beams, they should be checked by another
method. We only looked at a beam uniformly loaded. If the beam has
concentrated loads, then there may be other limit states involved (J10
of the specification). These would be Flange Local Bending, Web Local
Yielding, Web Crippling, Web Sidesway Buckling, Web Compression
Buckling and Web Panel Zone Shear. This is beyond the scope of this
course. This course is to get designers interested in using the new
code by showing that it isn’t that hard. It doesn’t matter if you use
LRFD or ASD, both will result in a safe member.

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