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# Steel Structure

Basic Conceptes

Statics
• Applied Forces – All external forces that act on a structure or member
• Center of Gravity – A point of balance where the tendency of forces to rotate one
side of an object are countered by equal and opposite forces located on the other
side of the object
• Center of Mass – In an object or system of objects in motion, the center of mass
is one point that moves in the same path that a particle would if subjected to the
same net force
• Centroid – The center of gravity for a two-dimensional shape
• Collinear Forces – Forces that act along the same line of action
• Component of a Force - Two or more forces that compose a single force
• Composite Shapes – Refers to a combination of 2 or more built up shapes
• Concurrent Forces - Forces that pass through the same point or intersect at a
common point
• Coplanar Forces - Forces that act along lines that lie in the same plane
• Couple – The effect produced from two forces that have the same magnitude,
parallel line of action and opposite sense
• Elastic Deformation - Temporary deformation of a material where the material
subjected to a load or force returns to its original dimensions once the load or
force is removed
• External Force - The applied forces that cause an object to translate, rotate or
stay at rest
• Elastic Range – Range on the stress/strain curve in which a material will return to
its original state once the stress is removed
• Fixed Support - A fixed support resists translation and rotation of a member at the
connection point The reactions of a fixed support compose three unknown
forces, including both a vertical and a horizontal component and a resisting
moment.
• Force - The action of one object exerted on another
• Free Body Diagram - A simplified and conceptual diagram that isolates a
structural member under investigation from the rest of the structure
• Internal Force – Forces that are developed within an object in response to the
• Modulus of Elasticity - The ratio of the stress inflicted on an element to the strain
that is produced
• Moment - The tendency to make an object or a point rotate
• Moment Arm - The perpendicular distance between the line of the action of the
force and the point
• Moment of Inertia – A mathematical concept that incorporates the effect of cross
sectional shape and orientation to study the strength of a structural member
• Non-Collinear Forces – Two or more forces that act along different lines of action
• Non-Concurrent Forces - Forces that do not pass the same point or do not
intersect. Parallel forces are an example of non-concurrent forces.
• Non-Coplanar Forces - Forces that do not lie in the same plane and have a have a
three dimensional arrangement
• Parallel Axis Theorem – A mathematical method by which the moment of inertia of
a shape with respect to its centroidal axis can be transferred to a prescribed
parallel axis that is normally the centroidal axis of the composite shape
• Pinned/Hinged Support – A pin or a hinge support resists translation of a member
in both horizontal and vertical directions. The reactions of a pin support represent
two unknown force components
• Plastic Deformation - Deformation that remains permanent in a material subjected
to load or force and remains in place even after the load or force is removed
• Plastic Range – Range on the stress/strain curve where a material permanently
deforms once stress is removed
• Radius of Gyration – Defined as the square root of the moment of inertia divided
by the cross sectional area of the shape; a shape factor that measures the
resistance to bending about a defined axis
• Reaction Forces - Equal and opposing forces that resist applies forces
• Resultant of a Force – A single force that replaces a system of concurrent forces
• Roller Support – A roller support resists translation of a member in the
perpendicular direction to the contact surface. This reaction of a roller connection
represents one unknown force component.
• Static Equilibrium – The state when the net effect of all the forces acting on an
object equal zero
• Statics – One of three branches of mechanics that deals with the study of forces
that are in a state of balance
• Stiffness – Measure of a material’s rigidity; a material’s ability to withstand
deformations under stress; slope of the stress/strain curve
• Strain – Deformation of the physical dimensions of an object subjected to a stress
• Stress – Describes the intensity of a force and is expressed by the amount of
force acting per unit of area
• Transmissibility of Forces – Law that states that the point of application of an
external force acting on a body can be moved anywhere along the line of action of
the force without creating a change in the overall external forces applied on the
body
• Ultimate Strength – The maximum force that can be applied to a material without
breaking the material
• Yield Stress – The point at which stress causes a material to permanently deform

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• Area Load – A uniform load that acts across the entire area or surface of a structural
member
• Center of Mass – A point on an oject or system of objects in motion that moves in the
same path that a particle would if subjected to the same net force
• Dead Load – Loads that consist of the weight of permanent and fixed components of a
structure
• Deflection - The deviation of a structural member from its original position due to applied
• Occupancy Load – Live, gravity loads that consist of the weight of people, furniture,
equipment, and stored materials.
• Overturning – A structural failure that is normally associated with tall and slender
buildings with relatively small foundations
• Seismic Load – Earthquake forces that result from the slippage of rock plates along the
fault line
• Sliding – Structural failure caused from the effect of lateral forces on inadequately
designed foundation systems
• Snow Load – A gravity live load caused from the accumulation of snow on a horizontal
surface
• Torsion – A twisting effect induced by the action of lateral forces
structural member
• Uniformly Increasing Load – A load that is increased at a constant rate
Mechanics of Materials
• Bearing Stress – Stress produced by the pressure or intensity of a force at the
contact point of two bodies or structural members
• Breaking Point – The maximum point in which a material can elongate; the point
at which a material fails or breaks when subjected to a stress
• Compression Force – A force caused from the compacting or pushing in of
structural fibers
• Creep – Deformation of a structure over an extended time
• Elastic Deformation – Temporary deformation of a material where the material
subjected to a load or force returns to its original dimensions once the load or
force is removed
• Flexure – The bending of a material under load application
• Hook’s Law – Law discovered by Robert Hook in 1678 that describes the linear
and proportional
relationship of stress and strain in elastic materials subjected to moderate
• Modulus of Elasticity (Young’s Modulus) – A measure of stiffness of a material
that is measured by the slope of the elastic portion of the stress-strain curve
• Normal (Axial) Stress – Stress produced by a tension or compression force acting
perpendicular to the surface area under stress
• Plastic Deformation – Deformation that remains permanent in a material subjected
to load or force and remains in place even after the load or force is removed
• Shear Force – An effect that produces shifting of horizontal or vertical parallel
plains of a material
• Shear Stress – Stress that is produced by a force applied parallel to the stressed
area. Shear stress is calculated by dividing the shear force by the parallel area
resisting the force.
• Stiffness – The ability of a material to withstand deformation under stress
• Strain – The deformation of the physical dimension of a body under stress
• Strain Hardening – A stage beyond yield stress where steel goes through
structural changes that result in increased strength and resistance to further
deformation
• Stress – Describes the intensity of a force and is expressed by the amount of
force acting per unit of area
• Stress Concentration – The accumulation of stress on a small section or area of
an object
• Tension Force – A force that pulls or stretches the fibers of a material away from
each other
• Thermal Strain – The change in material dimensions as a result of temperature
changes
• Thermal Stress – The expansion and contraction of a material due to thermal
change
• Torsion – The twisting and distortion of a material’s fibers in response to an
• Ultimate Stress – The maximum stress level of a material at which it breaks or
ruptures
• Yield Stress – The point at which stress causes a material to permanently deform

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Structural Materials
• Angles – steel members used fro truss members and connection elements;
designated by the letter ‘L’
• Built-Up Section – steel section formed by welding or bolting various rolled
shapes
• Cast Iron – a hard, brittle and nonmalleable alloy composed of iron, 2-4.5%
carbon, and 1-4% silicon; strong in compression, weak in tension
• Cementiferous Spray – a concrete-vermiculite like substance that is sprayed on
steel members for fireproofing
• Channels – C-shaped steel members mostly used for purlins and structural
fascias; designated by the letter ‘C’
• Concrete – a mixture of sand, cement, aggregate and water used in construction
• Corten (Weathering) Steel – a type of steel that contains high levels of copper and
phosphorous that form a thin protective layer of brown rust on the surface that
stops further corrosion when exposed to weather
• Glu-Laminated Lumber – wood that is composed of an assembly of wood
laminations
• I-Beams – steel member that has a lower depth to width ratio than wide flanges;
designated by the letter ‘S’
• Intumescent Coatings – thin film coatings that are sprayed or brushed on metal
surfaces to provide fire protection
Posttensioned Concrete – prestressed concrete in which steel tendons are
tensioned after the concrete has cured
• Prestressed Concrete – concrete in which forces are applied prior to loading that
counteract the effect of subsequent loads
• Pretensioned Concrete – prestessed concrete in which steel tendons are
stretched and tensioned prior to the casting of the concrete
• Reinforced Concrete – concrete that is supplemented with steel bars that make it
more efficient in resisting tensile forces as well as compressive forces
• Reinforcing Steel – steel that is used to add strength to concrete
• Sawn Lumber – wood that is cut directly from a log
• Stainless Steel – steel that contains 10-30% chromium that provides resistance to
rust
• Steel – an iron alloy with low carbon that is strong in both compression and
tension
• Tee Sections – T shaped steel members used for truss chords and structural
lintels
• Thermal Sprayed Metal Coatings – aluminum or zinc alloys that are melted and
sprayed onto a metal surface to prevent corrosion
• Wide Flange – steel member that has a high depth to width ratio; designated by
the letter ‘W’
• Wrought Iron – an alloy of iron that contains carbon and silicon that was used
throughout the 19th century in bridge and building construction

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Connections
• Arc Welding – a process of welding that passes an electric current through a
metal electrode that produces intense heat that melts and fuses the electrode rod
as well as a small portion of the connecting elements
• Beam Hangar – a steel connection that is used to anchor a flush/face beam
connection
• Bolt – a type of fastener that can resist withdrawal and lateral loads significantly
more than nails and screws
• Common Bolts (Unfinished Bolts, ASTM A307) – structural steel bolts composed
of low carbon steel that have a smaller load capacity than high strength bolts
• Direct Tension Indicator Bolts – a type of high strength steel bolt that releases
silicone that is embedded in the depressions of the washer when the desired
amount of torque is applied
• Filet Weld – a type of weld that is used to join overlapping elements
• Framing Anchors –
• Groove Weld – a type of weld that is used between adjacent members
• High Strength Bolts (A325, A490) – structural bolts composed of high strength
steel that are tightened with an impact wrench to produce friction type
connections
• Impact/Torque Wrench – a wrench that can be calibrated to apply a specific
amount on torque
• Joist Hangar – a steel connection that is used to anchor a flush/face joist
connection
• Nail – a type of simple wood fastener used in small-scale construction that resists
shear but does not resist tension forces
• Post Base/Cap – a steel fastener used to anchor a post or column into the
foundation and/or ceiling
• Rebar Jacket
• Rigid Connection – a type of structural joinery that resists both shear forces and
bending moments
• Rivet – a smooth, screw like fastener that is pushed through adjacent members
and pneumatically hammered and heated to produce an anchoring head on the
opposite side of the rivet head
• Screw - a type of simple wood fastener that is somewhat more efficient than nails
used in small-scale construction that resists shear but does not resist tension
forces
• Semi-Rigid Connection – a type of structural joinery that restrains translation and
permits partial rotation of the connecting members
• Simple Connection – a type of structural joinery that resists shear forces but does
not resist bending moments
• Twist Off/Tension Controlled Bolts – a type of high strength bolt that releases the
splined extension of the bolt when the optimum amount of torque is applied
• Welding – a method of joining steel elements by heat

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Lateral Systems
• Braced Frames – truss structures that provide diagonal paths for moving the
lateral loads through the structure in vertical planes
• Building Configuration – the form, geometry, scale, arrangement of the building
mass and structure
• Cross Bracing – bracing used in frames that resist lateral forces in two or more
directions
• Diaphragms – structural elements that resist and collect lateral forces in the
horizontal planes of a structure and transfer them to the vertical bearing elements
• Drift – deflection of a building under lateral loads
• Earthquake (Seismic) Forces – lateral forces caused by the shifting of plates
below the earth’s surface that act mostly at the base of a structure
• Knee (K) Bracing – short diagonal bracing linking horizontal and vertical
members that effectively makes a rigid connection where two members are
pinned
• Moment Resistant Frames – structural systems that are constructed with rigidly
connected joints
• Re-Entrant Corners – differential stiffness in a structure caused by irregular
geometries
• Shear Walls – structural elements made of rigid materials that resist lateral loads
in the vertical plane
Soft Story – the result of insufficient strength and stiffness of a specific floor
structure that is inconsistent with the rest of the building floors
• Torsion – a twisting effect that results when applied loads located at the center of
mass of a structure do not coincide with the center of stiffness
• Wind Forces – lateral forces caused by wind that affect the exposed surface area
of a structure
Foundations
• Battered Pile – a type of pile that is used when lateral forces exceed the loading capacity
of vertical piles
• Bearing Pile – a type of pile that is used to resist lateral loads and uplift forces
• Cantilever Wall – a type of foundation wall that consists of a stem and a base slab that is
held in equilibrium by self-weight, horizontal soil pressure, and the reaction of the base
structure acting upward
• Combined Footing
• Crib Wall – a type of foundation wall
• Deep Foundation – a type of foundation that is used when the soil near the ground surface
is weak
• Foundation – the interface of a building structure with the ground
• Foundation Wall – a structural element that is constructed below grade to support the
earth and resist water pressure
• Friction Pile – a type of pile that resists gravity loads by friction and transfers loads to the
surrounding soil using the adhesive resistance between the pile surface and its
surrounding soil
• Gravity Wall – a type of foundation wall
• Mat/Raft Foundation – a type of shallow footing that is equal to the area of the building
footprint
• Pile – a long and slender prefabricated type of deep foundation that are driven into the
ground
• Shallow Foundation – a type of foundation that is used when the earth directly beneath a
structure has sufficient bearing capacity to sustain the loads from the structure
• Sheet Pile - a type of foundation wall
• Spread Footing – the most widely used type of shallow foundation that are designed to
receive the concentrated gravity loads directly on their centroid to prevent unequal
pressure distribution and overturning of the footing
• Table Wall Footing – a type of shallow foundation
Structural System
Trusses
• Baltimore Truss - A trapezoidal, flat truss
• Bowstring Truss - A truss with an arched upper chord and a central triangual
configuration converging on the upper chord
• Cambered Fink Truss - A triangular truss characterized by parallel diagonal compression
members that are perpendicular to the top chord and a cambered lower chord
• Fan Truss - A simple or multi-paneled triangular truss where all of the diagonal members
radiate from one point on the lower chord
• Fink Truss - A triangular truss characterized by parallel diagonal compression members
that are perpendicular to the top chord
• Gusset Plate – A common plate that is used to connect truss members at their ends
• Howe Truss – Truss in which the top chords and diagonal members are in compression,
and all vertical members and bottom chord members are in tension
• Ideal Truss – A truss that assumes that all members are connected with pinned joints, that
panel points
• K-Truss - A truss in which the vertical and diagonal members are arranged in the shape of
a "k"
• King Post - A truss that is composed of a simple triangle with a central post
• Method of Joints – Method of analyzing trusses that uses the equilibrium of each truss
joint to determine the forces in the members
• Method of Sections – Method of analyzing trusses that conceptually cuts the truss into
sections and thus allowing the analysis of each section by using the equations of static
equilibrium
• Open Web Joists – a steel truss that is used and spaced like a joist to support floor or roof
decking
• Panel Points – Joints located along the top member of a truss that are directly connected
to the structure. The uniform load of the structure is concentrated at the panel points and
thus allows the truss to behave like a simply supported beam.
• Parker Truss - A truss with an arched upper chord and a central triangular arrangement
converging on the bottom chord
• Pins/Bolts – Connection type used to join truss members
• Pratt Truss – A truss in which the top chords and vertical members are in compression,
and diagonals and bottom chord in tension
• Scissors Truss – A truss in which the bottom chord is raised to increase the clear height
near the mid span; top chords are in compression and vertical members in the center of
the truss are in tension
• Static Equilibrium - The state when the net effect of all the forces acting on an object equal
zero
• Statically Determinate Truss (Simple Truss) – A truss in which the static equations of
equilibrium can be used to determine the force in each member
• Statically Indeterminate Truss – A truss that contains a series of redundant members that
cannot be resolved with the equations of static equilibrium
• Tension Member - Structural member subjected to tension forces
• Truss – A structural system composed of short and straight structural members that are
arranged in a pattern of triangles
• Two-Force Member – A structural member that is hinged or pinned at each end and does
not carry any loads between the ends
• Warren Truss – A flat truss with parallel and equal length top and bottom chord members
• Zero Force Member – Members in a truss that do not carry loads that are used to provide
stability and insure triangulation

Beams
• Beam Deflection – The deviation of a beam from its original position due to
• Bearing Stresses – Forces that exist when forces are transferred from one
member to another
• Bending – Deformation of a horizontal structural member that is a result of the
• Bending Stresses – Stresses that are produced in a structural member’s cross -
section when subjected to bending. Compressive stresses are generated at
concave fibers and tensile stresses are generated at convex fibers.
• Cantilever Beams – Beams that are fixed or anchored at one end and free at the
other end
• Center of Gravity – A point of balance where the tendency of forces to rotate one
side of an object are countered by equal and opposite forces located at the other
side of the object; the resultant force of the earth’s gravitational forces acting on
individual particles composing an object
• Centroid – The center of gravity for the area of a two dimensional shape
• Centroidal Axis – Also called the neutral axis; a line that passes through the
centroid of a beam’s cross- section where beam fibers are neither shortened
under compression or elongated under tension
• Compression Forces – Forces that tend to crush or buckle an element; forces act
inwardly on an object
• Concentrated Loads – Loads that act on a single or concentrated point of a
structural member
• Continuous Beams – Beams that span over more than two supports
• Equations of Static Equilibrium – Equations used to determine unknown reactions
that assume all forces and moments in all directions sum to zero
• External Forces – Forces applied to a structure
• Fixed End Beams – A beam that is restrained from any movement or rotation at
both of its two end supports
• Fixed Support – A support condition that does not permit translation or rotation
and thus develops three unknown reactions, including a vertical and horizontal
component and a resisting moment
• Fixed-Pinned Beams – A beam that is fixed at one end and pinned at the other end
• Free Body Diagram - A simplified and conceptual diagram that isolates a
structural member under investigation from the rest of the structure
• Horizontal Shear Force – Equal and opposite forces that are generated in adjacent
horizontal fibers of a structural member in response to applied loads
• Horizontal Shear Stress – Stresses produced by the movement of the adjacent
fibers of a member in the horizontal direction due to opposing and equal forces
• Internal Forces – Forces that occur within a structural member
• Internal Resisting Moment – Moment generated from tension and compression
forces in a beam cross section that counterbalance the external moment
• Lateral Buckling – Buckling in the horizontal direction
• Neutral Axis (see centroidal axis)
• Open Web Joist - A steel truss that is used and spaced like a joist to support floor
or roof decking
• Overhanging Beams – A simply supported beam that has one or both of its ends
extending beyond the supports
• Pin/Hinge Support – A support condition that that can resist a single force in any
direction on the plane containing and thus develops two unknown force
components
• Principle of Superposition – Method that consists of finding the effect of several
loading conditions acting on a beam simultaneously by determining the effect of
each individual load on the beam separately
• Resisting Moment – A moment generated by tension and compression forces in
the cross section of a structural member that counterbalances the external
moment produced by the applied loads
• Roller Support – A support condition that develops a reaction force perpendicular
to the point of contact, thus restricting movement in that direction
• Shear – A force that is the result of opposing forces that cause the sliding of one
portion of a structural member along an adjacent portion
• Shear and Moment Diagram – Graphical diagrams that determine the intensity of
shear force and bending moment at any point along a structural member
• Simply Supported Beams – A beam in which one end is connected by a hinge and
the other end is connected by a roller
• Statically Determinate Beams – Beams that allow the application of the basic
equations of static equilibrium to determine up to three unknown reactions
• Statically Indeterminate Beams – A beam that contains more than three unknown
reactions and thus does not permit the use of the static equations of equilibrium
• Tension Forces – Forces that tend to pull an element apart
• Torsion – A twisting effect on an object
• Tributary Area – The portion of an area load that is carried by each beam in a
frame
• Uniformly Distributed Loads – An evenly distributed load that is applied over an
area
• Uniformly Increasing Loads – Loads that are applied over a given area that
gradually increase over or at certain portions of the structure
• Vertical Shear Force – Equal and opposite forces that are generated in adjacent
vertical fibers of a structural member in response to applied loads
• Vertical Shear Stress – Stress produced by the movement of the adjacent fibers of
a member in the vertical direction due to opposing and equal forces resulted from
• Wide Flange – A rolled steel section in the shape of an I

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Columns
• Allowable Stress – Maximum amount of stress a column can take before it fails
• Beam Columns – Columns that are subjected to moment and axial forces
• Buckling – The bowing or bending of a column when subjected to loading
• Buckling Direction – The direction that a column will tend to bend when subjected
• Column Effective Length – Column length subjected to buckling
• Column End Condition – The type of connection between the column and the
• Column Moment Diagrams – Diagram that graphically depicts the moments of a
• Compression Elements – Structural elements that collect loads from horizontal
spanning members and transfer them to the foundation or other structural
elements
centroid of the column cross section along its long axis
• Crushing – Common failure mode of short columns
column
• Effective Length (Critical Length) - The length of a column that is susceptible to
buckling
• Euler Elastic Theory – Formula that predicts the value of critical load and critical
stresses for long columns
• Fixed Columns - Columns that are fixed or restrained from movement at both
ends
• Hinged Columns – A Column that is hinged at both of its ends
• Inflection Points (Contraflexure Points) – Location of curvature changes in the
buckled column; the bending moment is zero at this point.
• Intermediate Column – A column that fails by a combination of crushing and
buckling
• K Value – A modifier that takes into account the end condition of the column and
thus effects the slenderness ratio; a larger k-value will increase the slenderness
ratio
• Lateral Loads – Loads applied in the horizontal direction such as wind,
earthquakes, and impacts
• Leonard Euler – A Swiss mathematician who recognized that a long column’s
failure under axial loads is caused by buckling and not by strength failure.
• Load Capacity – The amount of load a structure or structural element can take
before failing
• Long Column – A column that is defined as having a small cross sectional area in
relation to its length
• Masts – A type of large column
• Modules of Elasticity –The ratio of the stress inflicted on an element to the strain
that is produced;
• Moment of Inertia – A mathematical concept that is used to study the strength of a
structural member by factoring the effect of cross sectional shape and orientation
• Piers – A type of large column
• Pilasters – A type of large column
• Posts – A type of smaller column
• Pylons – A type of larger column
• Radius of Gyration – Defined as the square root of the moment of inertia divided
by the cross sectional area of the shape; a shape factor that measures the
resistance to bending about a defined axis
• Section Modulus – A measure of bending resistance
• Short Column – A column that has a relatively large cross sectional area when
compared to its length; usually fails by crushing
• Slenderness Ratio – Defined as the column’s effective length divided by the
radius of gyration; a dimensional property that identifies the critical length of the
column
• Strong/ Major Axis – The axis of a column about which there exists greater
resistance to buckling
• Struts – A type of smaller column
• Weak/Minor Axis – The axis of a column that will be initially subjected to buckling

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Frames
• Cross Bracing – Structural members that are configured between columns and beams that
stabilized a frame from lateral loads that are applied in both directions
• Deflection – The deformation or bowing of a structural member when subjected to a load
• Knee Bracing – A type of bracing used in frames that strengthens the joints and prevents
them from lateral deformation
• Moment Resistant Joints – Rigid joints that resist horizontal and vertical forces and
moments
• Post and Beam Frames – A frame in which the horizontal and vertical members of the
frame are connected with simple joints
• Rigid Frames – A frame in which the horizontal and vertical members are connected with
moment resistant joints that prevent independent action of the beam element from the
columns
• Rigid Diaphragms (Panels) – Structural systems that act as thin horizontal beam elements
spanning between vertical shear planes
• Shear Walls – Walls that are organized in the short dimension of a building that provide
lateral stability
• Single Bay Frames – Frames that are one story in height and one single unit spanned
along the ground plane
• Stacked Frames – A series of single bay frames repeated in the vertical and horizontal
direction producing a multi-story frame
• Statically Determinate Frame – A frame that has only three reaction components
• Statically Indeterminate First Degree – A frame that has four unknown reaction
components
• Statically Indeterminate Third Degree – A frame that has five or six unknown reaction
components
• Three Hinged Frames – A frame with three hinged connections; develops higher moments
and higher deflections than a two hinged frame
• Two Hinged Frames – A frame with two hinged connection

Cables
• Cables – Flexible structural elements often made of steel, polypropylene, nylon, or
• Cable Net Systems – A category of cable systems that includes cable-stayed systems and
double cable systems; refers to a system of cables designed to resist lateral loads
• Cable Stayed Systems – A structure in which a series of linear cables directly support
• Cold Stretching – a process that produces high strength steel
• Double Cable Systems – A cable system that contains a linear main cable carrying the
gravity load that is stiffened by secondary cables
• Parabolic Cables – A cable that is subjected to a uniformly distributed load
• Single Bolt Clam – A connection used for joining cables in a net
• Strand – A composition of a number of wires that are helically formed around a central
wire
• Two Force Member - A structural member that is hinged or pinned at each end and does
not carry any loads between the ends
• U-Bolts – A connection used for joining cables in a net
Arches
• Arch – a structural element that carries loads by developing compressive forces
• Axial Thrust
• Counter-Front Walls
• Fixed Ended Arches – Arches that have fixed end connections
• Flying Buttress – an external bracing system that resists the effect of outward thrust
• Ideal Arch – An arch that carries loads by compression only and cannot resist any lateral
forces
• Shear Force
• Statically Determinate Arches – Arches with three or less number of reactions
• Statically Indeterminate Arches – Arches with greater than three reactions, including both
two-hinged and fixed arches
• Struts
• Three Hinged Arch – An arch with three hinge connections
• Tied Arch – An arch that resists outward thrust by tying the two supports below the floor
level
• Two-Hinged Arch (Parabolic Arch) – An arch with two hinges at the supports that transfers
the axial thrust and the shear force as horizontal and vertical forces to the foundation

Surface Structures
• Surface Structures – non linear rigid or soft structural elements that are continuous in two
axes
• Fabric Structure – a soft surface spanning structure that can only resist tensile forces
• Slab – a monolithic surface spanning structure usually made of concrete that carry loads
by bending
• One-Way Slab – a reinforced concrete plate that is supported at two opposite edges and
that carries loads by bending in one direction only
• Two-Way Slab – a reinforced concrete plate that is supported at four corners and that
carries loads in two directions perpendicular to each other
• Flat Plates – a category of reinforced concrete two-way slabs that are reinforced in two
directions and transfer loads directly to vertical supporting elements without using beams
or girders
• Folded Plates – a type of two-way slab that is folded or corrugated thus providing stiffness
and a high moment of inertia
• Shells – thin, lightweight, curved structures that resist axial and shear forces
• Cylindrical Shells – a shell structure that is extended in the longitudinal direction
• Shell Dome – an arch that is revolved about its vertical axis forming a hemispherical shell
• Hyper-bolic Paraboloids – a structure that is composed of a double contour curved plane
that can carry surface tension, compression, and shear stress
• Tension Structures – structures that are composed of light weight materials such as
cables and fabrics
• Cable Nets – a type of tension structure that is composed of cable segments that are
connected to form a three dimensional framework
• Fabric Structure – a tensile structure where fabric is curved and stretched between
supporting elements to provide a continuous surface for the flow of tension forces
• Air Supported Structures – a tensile structure that uses air pressure to support and
stabilize fabric or other membranes
• Basic Concepts

• The basic concepts section contains terms that are fundamental in understanding statics,
strength of materials, and structural behavior. Many of the terms and definitions include
images, animations, and tabulated information to communicate the concepts.

## Connections Lateral Systems Foundations

Statics
Statics is one of three branches of mechanics that deals with the study of forces that are in a state
of balance. Topics that are examined in statics include force characteristics, equilibrium,
moments and reactions, and structural properties of areas.

• Forces
• Force Systems
• Support Conditions
• Cross-Sectional properties of areas
• Moment and Couples
• Forces

Internal Forces

## the applied forces that cause an object to translate rotate or stay at

External Forces
rest

Components of a a single force can be replaced by two or more forces that produce the
Force same effect. These forces are called components of the force.

Resultant of a single force that replaces a32.- system of concurrent forces is called a
-
Forces resultant force

law that states that the point of application of an external force acting
Transmissibility of on a body can be moved anywhere along the line of action of the force
-
Forces without creating a change in the overall external forces applied on the
body

Reaction Forces equal and opposing forces that resist applies forces

Force Systems

## Type Description Image

the state when the net effect of all the forces acting on an object equal
Static Equilibrium
zero

Free Body a simplified and conceptual diagram that isolates a structural member
Diagram under investigation from the rest of the structure

Concurrent
forces that pass through the same point or intersect at a common point
Forces

Non-Concurrent forces that do not pass the same point or do not intersect. Parallel forces
Forces are an example of non-concurrent forces

Collinear Forces forces that act along the same line of action

Non-Collinear
two or more forces that act along different lines of action.
Forces

## Coplanar Forces forces that act along the same plane

Non-Coplanar forces that do not lie in the same plane and have a have a three
Forces dimensional arrangement

Support Conditions

Free-Body
Type Description Image
Diagram

## a fixed support resists translation and rotation of a member

Fixed at the connection point. The reactions of a fixed support
Support compose three unknown forces, including both a vertical and
a horizontal component and a resisting moment.

## a rocker support resists translation of a structural member

Rocker in the perpendicular direction to the contact surface. This
Support reaction of a rocker connection represents one unknown
force component.

## pinned/hinged support – A pin or a hinge support resists

Pin/Hinge translation of a structural member in both horizontal and
Support vertical directions. The reactions of a pin support represent
two unknown force components

## a roller support resists translation of a structural member in

Roller the perpendicular direction to the contact surface. This
Support reaction of a roller connection represents one unknown force
component.

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Cross-Sectional Properties of Areas

Type Description

Center of a point of balance where the tendency of forces to rotate one side of an object are
Gravity countered by equal and opposite forces located on the other side of the object

## Centroid the center of gravity for a two-dimensional shape

Composite refers to a combination of 2 or more structural shapes that compose a structural member’s
Shapes cross section

Moment of a mathematical concept that incorporates the effect of cross sectional shape and
Inertia orientation to study the strength of a structural member

a mathematical method by which the moment of inertia of a shape with respect to its
Parallel Axis
centroidal axis can be transferred to a prescribed parallel axis which is normally the
Theorem
centroidal axis of the composite shape

Radius of defined as the square root of the moment of inertia divided by the cross sectional area of
Gyration the shape; a shape factor that measures the resistance to bending about a defined axis

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Moment and Couples

## Moment the tendency of a force to make an object or a point rotate

Moment the perpendicular distance between the line of the action of the force and the
Arm point about which the moment is produced.

## Couples the of action and opposite sense

Moment
Moment Arm

Couples
Structural loads are defined as forces that tend to produce deformation in a structure. This
section includes concepts dealing with the classification and analysis of loads and how
structures withstand the effect of the applied loads with safety and adequacy.

## Loads that consist of the weight of permanent and fixed components of a

structure

Gravity Load Loads that are the result of the earth’s gravitational pull -

## A gravity live load caused from the accumulation of snow on a horizontal

surface

Occupancy Gravity live loads that consist of the weight of people, furniture, equipment, and

Live load produced in Earthquakes that result from the slippage of rock plates
along the fault line

Description Image

## Loading that is applied on a particular portion of a structural

member

Uniformly Increasing
A load that is increased at a constant rate

Uniformly Distributed Loading that occurs along a portion or the length of a structural

## A uniform load that acts across the entire area or surface of a

structural member

Description Animations

## Structural failure caused from the effect of lateral forces on inadequately

Sliding
designed foundation systems

Deflection

## A structural failure that is normally associated with tall and slender

Overturning
buildings with relatively small foundations

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Mechanics of Material
• Forces and Stress
• Stress/Strain

Animation/
Type Description
Image

## stress produced by a tension or compression force that acts perpendicular

(or normal) to the surface area under stress. Normal stress is calculated
Axial Stress --
by dividing the tension or compression force by the cross-sectional area
resisting the force.

## stress produced by the pressure or intensity of a force at the contact point

Bearing Stress
of two bodies or structural members

Compression
a force that pushes the fibers of a material closer to each other
Force

## Normal (axial) stress produced by a tension or compression force acting perpendicular

---
Stress to the surface area under stress
an effect that produces shifting of horizontal or vertical parallel plains of
Shear Force
a material

## stress that is produced by a force applied parallel to the stressed area.

Shear stress Shear stress is calculated by dividing the shear force by the parallel area ---
resisting the force.

## describes the intensity of a force and is expressed by the amount of force

Stress
acting per unit of area

Stress
the accumulation of stress on a small section or area of an object ---
Concentration

a force that pulls or stretches the fibers of a material away from each
Tension Force
other

Thermal Strain the change in material dimensions as a result of temperature changes ---

Thermal Stress the expansion and contraction of a material due to thermal change ---

Torsion
Stress/Strain

## The maximum point in which a material can elongate; the point at

Breaking Point which a material fails or breaks when subjected to a stress

## Temporary deformation of a material where the material

Elastic Deformation subjected to a load or force, returns to its original dimensions
once the load or force is removed

## Range on the stress/strain curve in which a material will return to

Elastic Range
its original state once the stress is removed

Law named after Robert Hook in 1678 that describes the stress-
Hook’s Law strain relationship in elastic materials is linear and proportional

Modulus of Elasticity The ratio of the stress inflicted on an element to the strain that is
(Young’s Modulus) produced

## Permanent deformation in a material subjected to load that

Plastic Deformation
remains in place after the load is removed

## Range on the stress/strain curve where a material permanently

Plastic Range
deforms and remains deformed after the stress is removed

## Measure of a material’s rigidity; a material’s ability to withstand

Stiffness
deformations under stress; slope of the stress/strain curve
Deformation of the physical dimensions of an object subjected to a
Strain
stress

## A stage beyond yield stress where steel goes through structural

Strain Hardening changes that result in increased strength and resistance to further
deformation

## Describes the intensity of a force and is expressed by the amount

Stress
of force acting per unit of area

## The maximum force that can be applied to a material without

Ultimate Strength
breaking the material

## The point at which stress causes a material to permanently

Yield Stress
deform
Connections
Connections are key elements that bind one or more structural elements together. Connections
can be used to allow or disallow certain types of motion and vary according to material and/or
system.

• Connection Types
• Connection Type Matrix
• Wood Connections
• Steel and Concrete Connections

Connection Types

## Type Description Animations

Simple (Shear) a type of structural joinery that resists shear forces but does not
Connection resist bending moments

## Semi-Rigid a type of structural joinery that restrains translation and permits

Connection partial rotation of the connecting members

Rigid (Moment) a type of structural joinery that resists both shear forces and
Connection bending moments
Connection Types
Type Wood Steel Concrete

Simple

## Rigid Not Available

Steel and Concrete Connections

## a welding process to connect steel elements. An electric

current passes through a metal electrode producing intense
Arc Welding -
heat that melts and fuses the electrode rod as well as a small
portion of the connecting elements

## a type of fastener that can resist withdrawal and lateral loads

Bolt -
significantly more than nails and screws

Common Bolts
structural steel bolts composed of low carbon steel that have a
(Unfinished Bolts, ASTM -
smaller load capacity than high strength bolts
A307)

Corbel -
rest on

## a type of high strength steel bolt that releases silicone that is

Direct Tension Indicator
embedded in the depressions of the washer when the desired -
Bolts
amount of torque is applied

## structural bolts composed of high strength steel that are

High Strength Bolts
tightened with an impact wrench to produce friction type
(A325, A490)
connections
a structural steel section cast in a column that provides an
Haunch -
overhanging bracket for beam attachment

## a wrench that can be calibrated to apply a specific amount on

Impact/Torque Wrench -
torque

## a smooth, screw like fastener that is pushed through adjacent

members and pneumatically hammered and heated to
Rivet -
produce an anchoring head on the opposite side of the rivet

## a sleeve that is used to join reinforcement steel bars to provide

Rebar Jacket -
a continuous connection between two structural elements

Twist Off/Tension a type of high strength bolt that releases the splined extension
Controlled Bolts of the bolt when the optimum amount of torque is applied

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Lateral Systems
Lateral Systems are structural devices that supplement the primary components of a structure to
provide additional stability against lateral forces

Animation/
Type Description
Image

## Truss structures that provide diagonal paths for transferring

Braced Frames lateral loads through a structure in vertical planes. Examples
include cross bracing and knee bracing.

Building the form, geometry, scale, arrangement of the building mass and
Configuration structure

Cross Bracing bracing used in frames that resist lateral forces in two or more
directions

## structural elements that resist and collect lateral forces in the

Diaphragms horizontal planes of a structure and transfer them to the vertical
bearing elements

## Drift deflection of a building under lateral loads

Earthquake lateral forces caused by the shifting of plates below the earth’s
(Seismic) Forces surface that act mostly at the base of a structure

## short diagonal bracing linking horizontal and vertical members

Knee (K) Bracing that effectively makes a rigid connection where two members are
connected
Moment Resistant structural frames that are constructed with rigidly connected
Frames joints

Re-Entrant
differential stiffness in a structure caused by irregular geometries
Corners

## structural walls made of rigid materials that resist lateral loads in

Shear Walls
the vertical plane

## the result of insufficient strength and stiffness of a specific floor

Soft Story
structure that is inconsistent with the rest of the building floors

## a twisting effect that results when applied loads located at the

Torsion center of mass of a structure do not coincide with the center of
stiffness

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Foundations
Foundations consist of the array of structural elements that connect a structure to the ground.
The design of foundations is affected by several factors, including the size and shape of the
structure, and geological and geographical conditions of the site.

## • Shallow and Deep Foundations

• Retaining Walls

## Shallow and Deep Foundations

Foundation
the interface of a building structure with the ground

Shallow a type of foundation that is used when the earth directly beneath a structure has sufficient
Foundation bearing capacity to sustain the loads from the structure

Deep Foundation a type of foundation that is used when the soil near the ground surface is weak
Shallow Foundations
Type Description Images

a type of foundation wall that consists of a stem and a base slab that is held
Cantilever
in equilibrium by self-weight, horizontal soil pressure, and the reaction of
Wall
the base structure acting upward

## a footing that is used under two or more vertical elements to prevent

Combined

Mat/Raft a large slab foundation that is used instead of multiple spread footings
Foundation

the most widely used type of shallow foundation that is designed to receive
Spread Footing the concentrated loads directly on the centroid to prevent unequal pressure
distribution and overturning of the footing

an extended footing used under foundation walls; strip footings are used in
Strip Footing
basements, crawlspaces, and for slabs-on grade.

Wall Footing
footings are used in substructures such as slabs-on-grade, crawlspaces and
basements.
Deep Foundations
Type Description Images

Battered
an inclined pile that is used that can resist lateral forces as well as vertical
Piles forces

Bearing
a type of pile that is used to resist lateral loads and uplift forces
Piles

Caissons a type of deep foundation that is achieved by casting concrete into drilled holes

a type of pile that resists loads by friction and transfers loads to the
Friction
surrounding soil using the adhesive resistance between the pile surface and its
Piles
surrounding soil

Pile -
a long and slender deep foundation that is driven pushed into the ground

Retaining Walls
Type Description Images

Crib Wall a retaining wall used for outdoor earthworks and landscaping
Foundation a structural element that is constructed below grade to support the earth
Wall and resist water pressure

foundation wall that relies on its own weight to resist overturning forces
Gravity Wall
from soil and water pressure

Key extrusion on the base of a cantilevered retaining wall that prevents sliding

Sheeting temporary walls that hold back the soil during excavation

## type of sheeting that consists of vertical planks of wood, steel, or reinforced

Sheet Pile
concrete that are driven into the earth

## a type of sheeting that consists of trenching the ground, reinforcing the

Slurry Wall
trench, and filling the trench with concrete.

Soldier
a type of sheeting that uses vertical piles tied together by lagging
Beams

Stem portion of foundation wall that extends or cantilevers into the soil