Behaviour of non-prismatic steel members

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Material savings, cost effectiveness, weight reduction, Strength and aesthetics of steel structures are some of the key factors to be considered in structural design. In the last decade, non-prismatic steel members have proved to be more effective in structural design than the prismatic members, i.e. they have higher load carrying capacity when their geometry closely resemble the bending moment envelope as compared to prismatic members with the same material properties, loading and boundary conditions. However, there is a unique point (degree of non-uniformity) for which every non-prismatic member loses its load carrying capacity due to a change in its failure position and mechanism. Therefore, in order to investigate the effect of geometrical non-uniformity on steel members, non-prismatic steel members with different steel sections were simulated using ADINA/M 8.4.2 version whose function is based on finite element method. Furthermore, the non-prismatic steel members were modeled under different geometrical arrangements, degree of non-uniformity, boundary and loading conditions. Deflections, stress distributions, torsional effect and critical buckling load were recorded. The numerical results obtained in this study combine effectively an optimized check for different geometrical arrangements and degree of non-uniformity leading to a relatively improved economic and safe design.

Includes abstract.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 127-133).