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Chapter 8

Structural Analysis Equations

Lawrence A. Soltis

Contents quations for deformation and stress, which are the

basis for tension members and beam and column
Deformation Equations 81 design, are discussed in this chapter. The first two
sections cover tapered members, straight members, and
Axial Load 81 special considerations such as notches, slits, and size effect.
A third section presents stability criteria for members subject
Bending 81
to buckling and for members subject to special conditions.
Combined Bending and Axial Load 83 The equations are based on mechanics principles and are not
given in the design code format found in Allowable Stress
Torsion 84 Design or Load and Resistance Factor Design specifications.
Stress Equations 84
Axial Load 84 Deformation Equations
Equations for deformation of wood members are presented as
Bending 84
functions of applied loads, moduli of elasticity and rigidity,
Combined Bending and Axial Load 87 and member dimensions. They may be solved to determine
minimum required cross-sectional dimensions to meet de-
Torsion 88 formation limitations imposed in design. Average moduli of
Stability Equations 88 elasticity and rigidity are given in Chapter 4. Consideration
must be given to variability in material properties and uncer-
Axial Compression 88 tainties in applied loads to control reliability of the design.
Bending 89
Axial Load
Interaction of Buckling Modes 810
The deformation of an axially loaded member is not usually
References 811 an important design consideration. More important consid-
erations will be presented in later sections dealing with
combined loads or stability. Axial load produces a change of
length given by
= (81)
where is change of length, L length, A cross-sectional area,
E modulus of elasticity (EL when grain runs parallel to mem-
ber axis), and P axial force parallel to grain.

Straight Beam Deflection
The deflection of straight beams that are elastically stressed
and have a constant cross section throughout their length is
given by

k bWL3 k sWL Tapered Beam Deflection
= + (82)
EI GA Figures 81 and 82 are useful in the design of tapered
beams. The ordinates are based on design criteria such as
where is deflection, W total beam load acting perpendicular span, loading, difference in beam height (hc h0) as required
to beam neutral axis, L beam span, kb and ks constants de- by roof slope or architectural effect, and maximum allowable
pendent upon beam loading, support conditions, and loca- deflection, together with material properties. From this, the
tion of point whose deflection is to be calculated, I beam value of the abscissa can be determined and the smallest
moment of inertia, A modified beam area, E beam modulus beam depth h0 can be calculated for comparison with that
of elasticity (for beams having grain direction parallel to their given by the design criteria. Conversely, the deflection of a
axis, E = EL), and G beam shear modulus (for beams with beam can be calculated if the value of the abscissa is known.
flat-grained vertical faces, G = GLT, and for beams with edge- Tapered beams deflect as a result of shear deflection in addi-
grained vertical faces, G = GLR). Elastic property values are tion to bending deflections (Figs. 81 and 82), and this
given in Tables 41 and 42 (Ch. 4). shear deflection s can be closely approximated by

The first term on the right side of Equation (82) gives the 3WL
bending deflection and the second term the shear deflection. s = for uniformly distributed load
Values of kb and ks for several cases of loading and support are
given in Table 81. (85)
= for midspan-concentrated load
The moment of inertia I of the beams is given by 10Gbh 0
bh 3
I = for beam of rectangular cross section The final beam design should consider the total deflection as
12 the sum of the shear and bending deflection, and it may be
(83) necessary to iterate to arrive at final beam dimensions. Equa-
d 4 tions (85) are applicable to either single-tapered or double-
= for beam of circular cross section
64 tapered beams. As with straight beams, lateral or torsional
restraint may be necessary.
where b is beam width, h beam depth, and d beam diameter.
The modified area A is given by Effect of Notches and Holes
5 The deflection of beams is increased if reductions in cross-
A = bh for beam of rectangular cross section section dimensions occur, such as by holes or notches. The
6 deflection of such beams can be determined by considering
(84) them of variable cross section along their length and appro-
9 priately solving the general differential equations of the elas-
= d 2 for beam of circular cross section
40 tic curves, EI(d 2 y/dx 2) = M, to obtain deflection expressions
or by the application of Castiglianos theorem. (These pro-
If the beam has initial deformations such as bow (lateral cedures are given in most texts on strength of materials.)
bend) or twist, these deformations will be increased by the
bending loads. It may be necessary to provide lateral or
torsional restraints to hold such members in line. (See
Interaction of Buckling Modes section.)

Table 81. Values of kb and ks for several beam loadings

Loading Beam ends Deflection at kb ks

Uniformly distributed Both simply supported Midspan 5/384 1/8

Both clamped Midspan 1/384 1/8
Concentrated at midspan Both simply supported Midspan 1/48 1/4
Both clamped Midspan 1/192 1/4
Concentrated at outer Both simply supported Midspan 11/768 1/8
quarter span points
Both simply supported Load point 1/96 1/8
Uniformly distributed Cantilever, one free, one clamped Free end 1/8 1/2
Concentrated at free end Cantilever, one free, one clamped Free end 1/3 1

0.9 0.8 P
hc L/ 2
h0 Single taper hc
h0 Single taper
0.8 L
0.7 P
L/ 2
h0 hc
h0 Double taper hc
L/2 L/2
0.7 L
W = Total load on beam
(uniformly distributed)
B = Maximum bending deflection
0.5 Single taper
E = Elastic modulus of beam
Bb (hch0)3 E

b = Beam width

Bb (hch0)3 E
h h
= c 0

Double taper
h0 0.4

Single taper

h h
= c 0
0.2 h0
0.2 hch0
Double taper h0 =

0.1 P = Concentrated midspan load

B = Maximum bending deflection
E = Elastic modulus of beam
b = Beam width

0 1 2 3 4 5 0 1 2 3 4 5

Figure 81. Graph for determining tapered beam size Figure 82. Graph for determining tapered beam size
based on deflection under uniformly distributed load. on deflection under concentrated midspan load.

Effect of Time: Creep Deflections Water Ponding

In addition to the elastic deflections previously discussed, Ponding of water on roofs already deflected by other loads
wood beams usually sag in time; that is, the deflection can cause large increases in deflection. The total deflection
increases beyond what it was immediately after the load was due to design load plus ponded water can be closely esti-
first applied. (See the discussion of creep in Time Under mated by
Load in Ch. 4.)
= (86)
Green timbers, in particular, will sag if allowed to dry under 1 S Scr
load, although partially dried material will also sag to some
extent. In thoroughly dried beams, small changes in deflec- where 0 is deflection due to design load alone, S beam
tion occur with changes in moisture content but with little
spacing, and Scr critical beam spacing (Eq. (831)).
permanent increase in deflection. If deflection under longtime
load with initially green timber is to be limited, it has been
customary to design for an initial deflection of about half the Combined Bending and Axial Load
value permitted for longtime deflection. If deflection under
longtime load with initially dry timber is to be limited, it Concentric Load
has been customary to design for an initial deflection of about Addition of a concentric axial load to a beam under loads
two-thirds the value permitted for longtime deflection. acting perpendicular to the beam neutral axis causes increase
in bending deflection for added axial compression and
decrease in bending deflection for added axial tension.

The deflection under combined loading at midspan for 8
pin-ended members can be estimated closely by
= (87)
1 P Pcr
where the plus sign is chosen if the axial load is tension and
the minus sign if the axial load is compression, is mid-

span deflection under combined loading, 0 beam midspan

deflection without axial load, P axial load, and Pcr a constant

equal to the buckling load of the beam under axial compres- 4 b
sive load only (see Axial Compression in Stability Equa-
tions section.) based on flexural rigidity about the neutral 3
axis perpendicular to the direction of bending loads. This 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
constant appears regardless of whether P is tension or com- b/h
pression. If P is compression, it must be less than Pcr to
Figure 83. Coefficient for determining torsional
avoid collapse. When the axial load is tension, it is conser-
rigidity of rectangular member (Eq. (8 11)).
vative to ignore the P/Pcr term. (If the beam is not supported
against lateral deflection, its buckling load should be checked
using Eq. (835).)
Stress Equations
Eccentric Load The equations presented here are limited by the assumption
If an axial load is eccentrically applied to a pin-ended mem- that stress and strain are directly proportional (Hookes law)
ber, it will induce bending deflections and change in length and by the fact that local stresses in the vicinity of points of
given by Equation (81). Equation (87) can be applied to support or points of load application are correct only to the
find the bending deflection by writing the equation in the extent of being statically equivalent to the true stress distri-
form bution (St. Venants principle). Local stress concentrations
must be separately accounted for if they are to be limited in
b + 0 = (88) design.
1 P Pcr

where b is the induced bending deflection at midspan and Axial Load

0 the eccentricity of P from the centroid of the cross section. Tensile Stress
Concentric axial load (along the line joining the centroids of
Torsion the cross sections) produces a uniform stress:
The angle of twist of wood members about the longitudinal
axis can be computed by ft = (812)
= (89) where ft is tensile stress, P axial load, and A cross-sectional
GK area.
where is angle of twist in radians, T applied torque, L
Short-Block Compressive Stress
member length, G shear modulus (use GLR GLT , or ap-
Equation (812) can also be used in compression if the
proximate G by EL/16 if measured G is not available), and K member is short enough to fail by simple crushing without
a cross-section shape factor. For a circular cross section, deflecting laterally. Such fiber crushing produces a local
K is the polar moment of inertia: wrinkle caused by microstructural instability. The member
as a whole remains structurally stable and able to bear load.
D 4
K= (810)
32 Bending
where D is diameter. For a rectangular cross section, The strength of beams is determined by flexural stresses
caused by bending moment, shear stresses caused by shear
hb3 load, and compression across the grain at the end bearings
K= (811) and load points.

where h is larger cross-section dimension, b is smaller cross-

section dimension, and is given in Figure 83.

Straight Beam Stresses Tapered Beam Stresses
The stress due to bending moment for a simply supported For beams of constant width that taper in depth at a slope
pin-ended beam is a maximum at the top and bottom edges. less than 25, the bending stress can be obtained from Equa-
The concave edge is compressed, and the convex edge is tion (813) with an error of less than 5%. The shear stress,
under tension. The maximum stress is given by however, differs markedly from that found in uniform beams.
It can be determined from the basic theory presented by Maki
M and Kuenzi (1965). The shear stress at the tapered edge can
fb = (813)
Z reach a maximum value as great as that at the neutral axis at
a reaction.
where fb is bending stress, M bending moment, and Z beam
section modulus (for a rectangular cross section, Z = bh2/6; Consider the example shown in Figure 84, in which con-
for a circular cross section, Z = D3/32). centrated loads farther to the right have produced a support
reaction V at the left end. In this case the maximum stresses
This equation is also used beyond the limits of Hookes law occur at the cross section that is double the depth of the
with M as the ultimate moment at failure. The resulting beam at the reaction. For other loadings, the location of the
pseudo-stress is called the modulus of rupture, values of cross section with maximum shear stress at the tapered edge
which are tabulated in Chapter 4. The modulus of rupture will be different.
has been found to decrease with increasing size of member.
(See Size Effect section.) For the beam depicted in Figure 84, the bending stress is
also a maximum at the same cross section where the shear
The shear stress due to bending is a maximum at the cen- stress is maximum at the tapered edge. This stress situation
troidal axis of the beam, where the bending stress happens to also causes a stress in the direction perpendicular to the
be zero. (This statement is not true if the beam is tapered neutral axis that is maximum at the tapered edge. The effect
see following section.) In wood beams this shear stress may of combined stresses at a point can be approximately ac-
produce a failure crack near mid-depth running along the axis counted for by an interaction equation based on the Henky
of the member. Unless the beam is sufficiently short and von Mises theory of energy due to the change of shape. This
deep, it will fail in bending before shear failure can develop; theory applied by Norris (1950) to wood results in
but wood beams are relatively weak in shear, and shear
strength can sometimes govern a design. The maximum f x2 f xy f y
2 2

shear stress is + + =1 (815)

Fx2 Fxy2 Fy2
fs = k (814) where fx is bending stress, fy stress perpendicular to the
neutral axis, and fxy shear stress. Values of Fx, Fy, and Fxy are
where f s is shear stress, V vertical shear force on cross sec- corresponding stresses chosen at design values or maximum
tion, A cross-sectional area, and k = 3/2 for a rectangular values in accordance with allowable or maximum values
cross section or k = 4/3 for a circular cross section. being determined for the tapered beam. Maximum stresses in

Values of h0/h
1.0 7/8 3/4 2/3 1/2 1/4

V 7/16
yl y

Particular tapered beam where M = Vx

h = h0 + x tan x1
= 3V 3/4

Figure 84. Shear stress distribution for a tapered beam.

the beam depicted in Figure 84 are given by 1/ m
R1 361.29
= (metric) (818a)
3M R 2 h 1 L 1(1 + ma 1 L 1 )
fx =
2bh02 1/ m
R1 56
f xy = f x tan (816) = (inchpound) (818b)
R 2 h 1 L 1(1 + ma 1 L 1 )
f y = f x tan 2
Example: Determine modulus of rupture for a beam 10 in.
Substitution of these equations into the interaction Equation deep, spanning 18 ft, and loaded at one-third span points
(815) will result in an expression for the moment capacity compared with a beam 2 in. deep, spanning 28 in., and
M of the beam. If the taper is on the beam tension edge, the loaded at midspan that had a modulus of rupture of
values of fx and fy are tensile stresses. 10,000 lb/in2. Assume m = 18. Substituting the dimensions
into Equation (818) produces
Example: Determine the moment capacity (newton-meters)
of a tapered beam of width b = 100 mm, depth 1 / 18
h0 = 200 mm, and taper tan = 1/10. Substituting these
R 1= 10, 000
dimensions into Equation (816) (with stresses in pascals) 2, 160(1 + 6)
results in
= 7, 330 lb/in2
f x = 375M
Application of the statistical strength theory to beams under
f xy = 37.5M uniformly distributed load resulted in the following relation-
f y = 3.75M ship between modulus of rupture of beams under uniformly
distributed load and modulus of rupture of beams under
concentrated loads:
Substituting these into Equation (815) and solving for M
results in 1 / 18

1 =
( )
R u 1 + 18ac Lc hc Lc
M = R c 3.876hu Lu
[ ]
1/ 2
3.75 10 4 Fx2 + 102 Fxy2 + 1 Fy2
where subscripts u and c refer to beams under uniformly
where appropriate allowable or maximum values of the F distributed and concentrated loads, respectively, and other
stresses (pascals) are chosen. terms are as previously defined.

Shear strength for non-split, non-checked, solid-sawn, and

Size Effect
glulam beams also decreases as beam size increases. A rela-
The modulus of rupture (maximum bending stress) of wood tionship between beam shear and ASTM shear block
beams depends on beam size and method of loading, and the strength ASTM, including a stress concentration factor for the
strength of clear, straight-grained beams decreases as size re-entrant corner of the shear block, Cf, and the shear area A,
increases. These effects were found to be describable by is
statistical strength theory involving weakest link hypothe-
ses and can be summarized as follows: For two beams under 1.9C f ASTM
= (metric) (820a)
two equal concentrated loads applied symmetrical to the A1/ 5
midspan points, the ratio of the modulus of rupture of beam
1 to the modulus of rupture of beam 2 is given by 1.3C f ASTM
= (inchpound) (820b)
1/ m
A1/ 5
R 1 h 2 L 2(1 + ma 2 L 2)
= (817) where is beam shear (MPa, lb/in2), Cf stress concentration
R 2 h 1L 1(1 + ma 1 L 1) factor, ASTM ASTM shear block strength (MPa, lb/in2), and
A shear area (cm2, in2).
where subscripts 1 and 2 refer to beam 1 and beam 2, R is
modulus of rupture, h beam depth, L beam span, a distance This relationship was determined by empirical fit to test
between loads placed a/2 each side of midspan, and m a data. The shear block re-entrant corner concentration factor is
constant. For clear, straight-grained Douglas-fir beams, approximately 2; the shear area is defined as beam width
m = 18. If Equation (817) is used for beam 2 size (Ch. 4) multiplied by the length of beam subjected to shear force.
loaded at midspan, then h2 = 5.08 mm (2 in.),
L2 = 71.112 mm (28 in.), and a2 = 0 and Equation (817) Effect of Notches, Slits, and Holes
becomes In beams having notches, slits, or holes with sharp interior
corners, large stress concentrations exist at the corners. The
local stresses include shear parallel to grain and tension

2.0 0.007 Combined Bending and Axial Load
A or B (x10-4 (kPa mm )-1)

0.006 Concentric Load

A or B ((lb/in2 in. )-1)

a h
1.5 B 0.005 Equation (87) gives the effect on deflection of adding an end
load to a simply supported pin-ended beam already bent by
transverse loads. The bending stress in the member is modi-
0.003 fied by the same factor as the deflection:
0.002 f b0
fb = (822)
1 P Pcr
Ac 0.001
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 where the plus sign is chosen if the axial load is tension and
a/h the minus sign is chosen if the axial load is compression, fb
is net bending stress from combined bending and axial load,
Figure 85. Coefficients A and B for crack-
initiation criterion (Eq. (821)). fb0 bending stress without axial load, P axial load, and Pcr
the buckling load of the beam under axial compressive load
only (see Axial Compression in the Stability Equations
section), based on flexural rigidity about the neutral axis
perpendicular to grain. As a result, even moderately low perpendicular to the direction of the bending loads. This Pcr
loads can cause a crack to initiate at the sharp corner and is not necessarily the minimum buckling load of the mem-
propagate along the grain. An estimate of the crack-initiation ber. If P is compressive, the possibility of buckling under
load can be obtained by the fracture mechanics analysis of combined loading must be checked. (See Interaction of
Murphy (1979) for a beam with a slit, but it is generally Buckling Modes.)
more economical to avoid sharp notches entirely in wood
beams, especially large wood beams, since there is a size The total stress under combined bending and axial load is
effect: sharp notches cause greater reductions in strength for obtained by superposition of the stresses given by
larger beams. A conservative criterion for crack initiation for Equations (812) and (822).
a beam with a slit is
Example: Suppose transverse loads produce a bending stress
6M 3V fb0 tensile on the convex edge and compressive on the con-
h A 2 + B = 1 (821)
bh 2bh cave edge of the beam. Then the addition of a tensile axial
force P at the centroids of the end sections will produce a
where h is beam depth, b beam width, M bending moment, maximum tensile stress on the convex edge of
and V vertical shear force, and coefficients A and B are pre- f b0 P
sented in Figure 85 as functions of a/h, where a is slit f t max = +
depth. The value of A depends on whether the slit is on the 1 + P Pcr A
tension edge or the compression edge. Therefore, use either
At or Ac as appropriate. The values of A and B are dependent and a maximum compressive stress on the concave edge of
upon species; however, the values given in Figure 85 are f b0 P
conservative for most softwood species. f c max =
1 + P Pcr A
Effects of Time: Creep Rupture,
Fatigue, and Aging where a negative result would indicate that the stress was in
fact tensile.
See Chapter 4 for a discussion of fatigue and aging. Creep
rupture is accounted for by duration-of-load adjustment in the Eccentric Load
setting of allowable stresses, as discussed in Chapters 4
and 6. If the axial load is eccentrically applied, then the bending
stress fb0 should be augmented by P0/Z, where 0 is
Water Ponding eccentricity of the axial load.
Ponding of water on roofs can cause increases in bending Example: In the preceding example, let the axial load be
stresses that can be computed by the same amplification eccentric toward the concave edge of the beam. Then the
factor (Eq. (86)) used with deflection. (See Water Ponding maximum stresses become
in the Deformation Equations section.)
f b0 P 0 Z P
f t max = +
1 + P Pcr A

f b0 P 0 Z P
f c max =
1 + P Pcr A

Torsion 5

For a circular cross section, the shear stress induced by

torsion is
fs = (823)

D 3 h
where T is applied torque and D diameter. For a rectangular 3
cross section,
fs = (824) 2
hb 2 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0

Figure 86. Coefficient for computing maximum shear

where T is applied torque, h larger cross-section dimension, stress in torsion of rectangular member (Eq. (8 24)).
and b smaller cross-section dimension, and is presented in
Figure 86.

Stability Equations
FPL fourth-power formula


Axial Compression 0.667

For slender members under axial compression, stability is

the principal design criterion. The following equations are for Euler's formula
concentrically loaded members. For eccentrically loaded
columns, see Interaction of Buckling Modes section.
Long Columns
A column long enough to buckle before the compressive 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14
stress P/A exceeds the proportional limit stress is called a Fc
long column. The critical stress at buckling is calculated
3.85 L
r EL
by Eulers formula:
Figure 87. Graph for determining critical buckling
2 EL stress of wood columns.
f cr = (825)
(L r) 2

where EL is elastic modulus parallel to the axis of the mem- where Fc is compressive strength and remaining terms are
ber, L unbraced length, and r least radius of gyration (for a defined as in Equation (825). Figure 87 is a graphical
rectangular cross section with b as its least dimension, representation of Equations (825) and (826).
r = b / 12 , and for a circular cross section, r = d/4). Short columns can be analyzed by fitting a nonlinear function
Equation (825) is based on a pinned-end condition but may to compressive stressstrain data and using it in place of
be used conservatively for square ends as well. Hookes law. One such nonlinear function proposed by
Ylinen (1956) is
Short Columns
Columns that buckle at a compressive stress P/A beyond the Fc f f
proportional limit stress are called short columns. Usually = c (1 c) log e 1 (827)
EL Fc Fc
the short column range is explored empirically, and appro-
priate design equations are proposed. Material of this nature where is compressive strain, f compressive stress, c a
is presented in USDA Technical Bulletin 167 (Newlin and constant between 0 and 1, and EL and Fc are as previously
Gahagan 1930). The final equation is a fourth-power para- defined. Using the slope of Equation (827) in place of EL in
bolic function that can be written as Eulers formula (Eq. (825)) leads to Ylinens buckling
4 equation

4 L Fc
f cr = Fc 1 (826) 2
F + fe F + fe Fc f e
r EL
27 4
f cr = c c (828)
2c 2c c

where Fc is compressive strength and fe buckling stress given Bending
by Eulers formula (Eq. (825)). Equation (828) can be
made to agree closely with Figure 87 by choosing Beams are subject to two kinds of instability: lateral
c = 0.957. torsional buckling and progressive deflection under water
ponding, both of which are determined by member stiffness.
Comparing the fourth-power parabolic function
Equation (826) to experimental data indicates the function Water Ponding
is nonconservative for intermediate L/r range columns. Using Roof beams that are insufficiently stiff or spaced too far apart
Ylinens buckling equation with c = 0.8 results in a better for their given stiffness can fail by progressive deflection
approximation of the solid-sawn and glued-laminated data. under the weight of water from steady rain or another con-
tinuous source. The critical beam spacing Scr is given by
Built-Up and Spaced Columns
Built-up columns of nearly square cross section with the m 4 EI
S cr = (831)
lumber nailed or bolted together will not support loads as L4
great as if the lumber were glued together. The reason is that
shear distortions can occur in the mechanical joints. where E is beam modulus of elasticity, I beam moment of
inertia, density of water (1,000 kg/m3, 0.0361 lb/in3),
If built-up columns are adequately connected and the axial L beam length, and m = 1 for simple support or m = 16/3 for
load is near the geometric center of the cross section, Equa- fixed-end condition. To prevent ponding, the beam spacing
tion (828) is reduced with a factor that depends on the type must be less than Scr.
of mechanical connection. The built-up column capacity is
LateralTorsional Buckling
Fc + f e Fc + f e Fc f e Since beams are compressed on the concave edge when bent
f cr = K f (829) under load, they can buckle by a combination of lateral
2c 2c c
deflection and twist. Because most wood beams are rectangu-
lar in cross section, the equations presented here are for
where Fc, fe, and c are as defined for Equation (828). Kf is rectangular members only. Beams of I, H, or other built-up
the built-up stability factor, which accounts for the efficiency cross section exhibit a more complex resistance to twisting
of the connection; for bolts, Kf = 0.75, and for nails, and are more stable than the following equations would
Kf = 0.6, provided bolt and nail spacing requirements meet predict.
design specification approval.
Long BeamsLong slender beams that are restrained
If the built-up column is of several spaced pieces, the spacer against axial rotation at their points of support but are other-
blocks should be placed close enough together, lengthwise in wise free to twist and to deflect laterally will buckle when the
the column, so that the unsupported portion of the spaced maximum bending stress fb equals or exceeds the following
member will not buckle at the same or lower stress than that critical value:
of the complete member. Spaced columns are designed
with previously presented column equations, considering 2 EL
f b cr = (832)
each compression member as an unsupported simple column; 2
the sum of column loads for all the members is taken as the
where is the slenderness factor given by
column load for the spaced column.
EI y Le h
Columns With Flanges = 2 4 (833)
GK b
Columns with thin, outstanding flanges can fail by elastic
instability of the outstanding flange, causing wrinkling of the where EI y is lateral flexural rigidity equal to EL hb3 12,
flange and twisting of the column at stresses less than those
for general column instability as given by Equations (825) h is beam depth, b beam width, GK torsional rigidity de-
and (826). For outstanding flanges of cross sections such as fined in Equation (89), and Le effective length determined by
I, H, +, and L, the flange instability stress can be estimated type of loading and support as given in Table 82. Equation
by (832) is valid for bending stresses below the proportional
f cr = 0.044E (830) Short BeamsShort beams can buckle at stresses beyond
the proportional limit. In view of the similarity of
where E is column modulus of elasticity, t thickness of the Equation (832) to Eulers formula (Eq. (825)) for column
outstanding flange, and b width of the outstanding flange. If buckling, it is recommended that short-beam buckling be
the joints between the column members are glued and rein- analyzed by using the column buckling criterion in
forced with glued fillets, the instability stress increases to as Figure 87 applied with in place of L/r on the abscissa
much as 1.6 times that given by Equation (830).

Table 82. Effective length for checking lateral 10
torsional stability of beamsa
1 Case 1
Support Load length Le
6 3
Simple support Equal end moments L

Case 2
Concentrated force at
Case 3
12h L
Uniformly distributed force 0.887 L
12h L
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
Cantilever Concentrated force at end 0.783L

1 2h L Figure 88. Increase in buckling stress resulting from

attached deck; simply supported beams. To apply
Uniformly distributed force 0.489L this graph, divide the effective length by .
12h L

These values are conservative for beams with a


width-to-depth ratio of less than 0.4. The load is Interaction of Buckling Modes
assumed to act at the top edge of the beam.
When two or more loads are acting and each of them has a
critical value associated with a mode of buckling, the combi-
nation can produce buckling even though each load is less
and f b cr / F b in place of f cr /Fc on the ordinate. Here F b is than its own critical value.
beam modulus of rupture.
The general case of a beam of unbraced length le includes a
Effect of Deck SupportThe most common form of sup- primary (edgewise) moment M1, a lateral (flatwise) moment
port against lateral deflection is a deck continuously attached M2, and axial load P. The axial load creates a secondary
to the top edge of the beam. If this deck is rigid against shear moment on both edgewise and flatwise moments due to the
in the plane of the deck and is attached to the compression deflection under combined loading given by Equation (87).
edge of the beam, the beam cannot buckle. In regions where In addition, the edgewise moment has an effect like the
the deck is attached to the tension edge of the beam, as where secondary moment effect on the flatwise moment.
a beam is continuous over a support, the deck cannot be
counted on to prevent buckling and restraint against axial The following equation contains two moment modification
rotation should be provided at the support point. factors, one on the edgewise bending stress and one on the
flatwise bending stress that includes the interaction of biaxial
If the deck is not very rigid against in-plane shear, as for bending. The equation also contains a squared term for axial
example standard 38-mm (nominal 2-in.) wood decking, load to better predict experimental data:
Equation (832) and Figure 87 can still be used to check
stability except that now the effective length is modified by fc
f b1 + 6 ( e 1/ d 1) f c (1.234 0.234c1)
dividing by , as given in Figure 88. The abscissa of this +
figure is a deck shear stiffness parameter given by Fc c1Fb1
f b2 + 6 ( e 2 / d 2) f c (1.234 0.234c2 )
+ 1.0
= (834) c2Fb2
EI y
where f is actual stress in compression, edgewise bending, or
where EI y is lateral flexural rigidity as in Equation (833), flatwise bending (subscripts c, b1, or b2, respectively), F
S beam spacing, GD in-plane shear rigidity of deck (ratio of buckling strength in compression or bending (a single prime
shear force per unit length of edge to shear strain), and denotes the strength is reduced for slenderness), e/d ratio of
L actual beam length. This figure applies only to simply eccentricity of the axial compression to member depth ratio
supported beams. Cantilevers with the deck on top have their for edgewise or flatwise bending (subscripts 1 or 2, respec-
tension edge supported and do not derive much support from tively), and c moment magnification factors for edgewise
the deck. and flatwise bending, given by

f S New Foundland: Annual conference, Canadian Society for
c1 = 1 c + (836) Civil Engineering: 118 (June).
Fc1 Scr
Murphy, J.F. 1979. Using fracture mechanics to predict
f f + 6 ( e1 d1 ) fc failure of notched wood beams. In: Proceedings of first inter-
c2 = 1 c + b1 (837) national conference on wood fracture; 1978, Aug. 1416;
c2 Fb1 Banff, AB. Vancouver, BC: Forintek Canada Corporation:
159: 161173.
Fc1 = (838) Newlin, J.A.; Gahagan, J.M. 1930. Tests of large timber
( le1 d1) 2 columns and presentation of the Forest Products Laboratory
column formula. Tech. Bull. 167. Madison, WI: U.S.
0.822E Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products
Fc2 = (839)
( le2 d2 ) 2 Laboratory.
Newlin, J.A.; Trayer, G.W. 1924. Deflection of beams
1.44E d2 with special reference to shear deformations. Rep. 180.
Fb1 = (840)
le d1 Washington, DC: U.S. National Advisory Committee on
where le is effective length of member and S and Scr a r e Norris, C.B. 1950. Strength of orthotropic materials sub-
previously defined ponding beam spacing. jected to combined stresses. Rep. 1816. Madison, WI: U.S.
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