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Structural Analysis

Chapter 6:
Plastic Analysis
Plastic vs Elastic methods
• In elastic analysis, we assume that all the materials are behaving
elastically (i.e. stress is proportional to strain) so if we double the values of
the loads on a structure then we will double the stresses in the members.
This allows us to specify a permissible stress by dividing the breaking
stress by a factor of safety.
• an elastic analysis does not give information about the loads that will
actually collapse a structure.

• In plastic analysis, which is only used for certain types of structure, we

allow the material (usually steel) to pass its yield stress in certain places.
There is therefore no longer a linear relationship between stress and load,
and we therefore apply a load factor (symbol λ)to ensure safety of the
• Plastic analysis is usually based on the idealization of stress strain curve
as perfectly plastic.
Create plastic
Hinge and attain
possible moment
capacity (MP)
The advantages of plastic behaviour;
a) Reduce the risk of failure due to the additional load or
calculation error.
b) Give the additional safety to structure.

The theory of plastic analysis based on;

a) Stable structure.
b) Steel in ductile behaviour.
c) The main point in plastic action is the bending neglecting the
influence of any shear force and axial load that maybe present.

Two methods can be used to solve the plastic analysis problem;

a) Graphical method
b) Virtual work method
• Plastic moment (MP)
- at this stage the beam member cannot take up any additional
moment but may maintain this moment for some amount of
rotation and acts like a plastic hinge(hinge means having no capacity
to resist moment).
- Plastic hinge behaves like an ordinary hinge allowing free
rotation about itself Consider the beam with the cross
section (b x h) is subjected to bending, M due to the point load, P.
(c) (d) (e)
(a) (b)
Become half
Cross section
M = bending moment
Y = bottom or above distance
to neutral axis
I = moment of inertia
• Shape factor, S
– In calculation of plastic moments the term shape factor has its own
importance. Shape factor can be defined as the ratio of plastic
moment to yield moment is said to be as the shape factor.
– Shape factor depend usually on shape of the cross section.
– Thus the ratio of elastic to plastic moment capacity is:

M P  y .Z P Z P
 
My y.Z Z

• This ration is termed the shape factor , S, and is a property of a cross

section alone. For a rectangular cross-section, we have:

Z P (bd 2 / 4)
S   1.5
Z (bd 2 / 6)
– Shape factors for some other cross section are:

Rectangle : S = 1.5

Circle : S = 1.7

Thin Plate : S = 1.0

Steel I beam: S between 1.12 and 1.15

• load factor, 
– The ratio of the collapse load to maximum applied load.
– Load factor is based on the cross sectional shapes. Work load depends
on the value of I and Z while collapse load depends on the cross
sectional shapes.
– Consider the rectangular section
Example 6.1
Given, σy = 250 N/mm2Permissible stress,
σb = 175 N/mm2 Determine :

(1) Elastic modulus, Z

(2) Yield moment, My
(3) Plastic moment, Mp
(4) Plastic modulus, Zp
(5) Shape factor, S
(6) Load factor, λ
a) Determine the centroid of cross sectional area

b) Determine the moment of Inertia, I

c) Analysis
1) Elastic modulus, Z
I 963.33 106
Z   3.93 106 mm3
ymax 245
1) Yield moment, My
M y   y .Z  250(3.93106 )  982.5MNmm
1) Plastic moment, MP


Neutral axis (σ = 0) in the elastic

analysis pass through the area of
 Neutral axis in the plastic analysis
divide the cross sectional equal
area. (E.A.A).
For rectangular cross section;
Neutral axis = Equal Area Axis
4) Plastic modulus, ZP
MP 1.5 109
ZP    6 106 mm3
y 250

4) Shape factor, S
MP 1.5 109
S   1.53
M y 982.5 106

5) Load factor, 
y 250
  (S )  (1.53)  2.19
b 175
Theorems of Plastic analysis:
There are following conditions for plastic analysis
1. Mechanism condition
2. Equilibrium condition
3. Plastic moment condition

1. Mechanism condition:
When the ultimate load is reached collapse mechanism usually formed.
2. Equilibrium condition:
Σ FX=0, Σ FY=0, Σ Mxy=0
3. The yield condition:
The bending moment at any section in the structure should not be more
than the full plastic moment (moment at which plastic hinges form and
structure moves to failure) of the section.
• Assumption in plastic analysis
– Obey the Hooke’s Law if the moment is not exceed the yield moment,
– The relationship of stress-strain must be considered;
– The cross sectional area are assumed symmetrical about the major
axis so that plastic moment takes the same value whether the bending
moment is hogging or sagging.
– A cross section is assumed elastic and rigid until the plastic moment is
reached at which point a hinge forms and the rotational stiffness
becomes zero.
– Neglecting the influence of any axial load or shear force that may be
Collapse load and collapse mechanicm
Point load
Unequal length, M=Pab/L
Equal length , M = PL/4
Uniform load
M = wl2/8

Beam in elastic condition

beam achieved the collapse

load, Pu or λP and bending
moment at C known as plastic
moment, MP.

Fail can be as a mechanism

Location of plastic hinge
• Determinate beam –only 1 hinge to ensure in mechanism condition

• Indeterminate beam- at least 2 hinge to ensure in mechanism condition

Additional prediction

a) At joint of the structure which is

have two members. The plastic
hinge is created at the weakest
member or at the smallest cross
sectional area.

b) At the joint which is having more

than three members, the plastic
hinge is created in the member
itself even the cross sectional area
is bigger than other members.
Plastic analysis beam using the graphical
• Determine plastic moment, Mp and the value of P required to cause
collapse using graphical method.
Plastic analysis using the virtual work method

The principle of virtual work

External Virtual Work (EVW) = Internal Virtual Work (IVW)

Subjected to
Subjected to plastic hinge
external/applied load

 More than one applied load – Considered mode of failure

Example 6.5 (Point Load, P)
• Determine plastic moment, Mp and the value of P required to cause
collapse using virtual work method

Assumes tan θA = θ (tangent is

neglected because of the small
External Virtual Work (EVW) = Internal Virtual Work (IVW)
Example 6.7 ( two point Load)
• Determine the maximum P at the propped beam using virtual work

Mode of failure 1

Mode of failure 2
• Mode failure 1

P = 3Mp/2L

• Mode failure 2

P = 5Mp/2L

Max Load, Pu = 5Mp/2L

Exercise 6.1

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3
• External work for the beam undergoes the uniform
distributed load, q :

External work = w x area of mechanism along the load

= w x (1/2 x L x h)
Example 6.8
The beam is fixed at both support and subjected to uniform distributed
load, w. Determine plastic moment, Mp using the virtual work method.

External Virtual Work (EVW) = Internal Virtual Work (IVW)
Example 6.9
• Determine the maximum of plastic moment for this beam.
• Mode of failure 1

• Mode of failure 2

Mp = 24 kNm
Plastic Analysis Frame using virtual work
• Two categories of mechanism in portal frame;
a) Free mechanism
b) Combined mechanism
• For plastic analysis of frames, there are three types of

Beam sway Mechanism g

mechanism mechanism
• Generally, the number of free mechanism (Me) can be determined by
using formula;

Me = N – d

Where N = position number of plastic hinge that might be occurred

d = number of redundant (d = R – 3)
R = reaction occurred

R = 5, N = 4

Me = 4 – 2 = 2 (sway + beam)
Total mechanism = 2 + 1 = 3 Combined
Example 6.11

• Determine the maximum moment plastic from the frame shown below.

R = 4, N = 3

Me = 3 – 1 = 2
Total mechanism = 2 + 1 = 3
Mode failure 1 – beam mechanism BC (plastic hinge occurs at B, C and E

Assumes tan θB = θ (tangent is neglected

because of the small value)
• Mode of failure 2- Sway mechanism ABCD; plastic hinge occurred at B and C.

Assumes tan θA = θ ; θA = θB =
θ ; θC = θD ; hB = hC
• Mode failure 3 – Combine mechanism ABCD; plastic hinge occurred at C and E.

Assumes tan θA = θ ; θA = θB = θ
; hB = hC

Max ,Mp = 61.4 kNm

Assignment 5
• Calculate plastic moment for frame below

20 kN

40 kN C D

40 kN 4m



4m 4m