Buckling strength of multi-story sway, non-sway and partially-sway frames with semi-rigid connections

Laboratory of Metal Structures, Department of Structural Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Heroon Polytechniou, GR-15780, Zografou, Athens, Greece
Journal of Constructional Steel Research 01/2006; DOI: 10.1016/j.jcsr.2005.11.019

ABSTRACT The objective of this paper is to propose a simplified approach to the evaluation of the critical buckling load of multi-story frames with semi-rigid connections. To that effect, analytical expressions and corresponding graphs accounting for the boundary conditions of the column under investigation are proposed for the calculation of the effective buckling length coefficient for different levels of frame sway ability. In addition, a complete set of rotational stiffness coefficients is derived, which is then used for the replacement of members converging at the bottom and top ends of the column in question by equivalent springs. All possible rotational and translational boundary conditions at the far end of these members, featuring semi-rigid connection at their near end as well as the eventual presence of axial force, are considered. Examples of sway, non-sway and partially-sway frames with semi-rigid connections are presented, where the proposed approach is found to be in excellent agreement with the finite element results, while the application of codes such as Eurocode 3 and LRFD leads to significant inaccuracies.

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