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Second-order analysis for semirigid steel frame

Lei Xu

Abstract: This paper presents an analysis method in which both the nonlinear rotational behaviour of beam-to-column
connections and second-order (P–D and P–d) effects of beam–column members are explicitly taken into account. By
adopting the concept of an end-fixity factor, the proposed method is comprehensive regardless of the end rotational
conditions of beam–column members and applies to frames with any combination of pinned, semirigid and rigid beam-
to-column connections. In addition, the end-fixity factor simplifies the analysis procedure for semirigid frames. More
importantly, the end-fixity factor may be valuable to the design of such structures because it provides a physical inter-
pretation of the extent of rigidity available in a connection. Thus, it provides a convenient way for designers to com-
pare the structural responses of a semirigid member to that of a rigid one. Examples are presented to demonstrate the
validity and efficiency of the proposed approach. With only minor modifications, the proposed method is readily imple-
mented in existing rigid frame analysis and design computer programs.

Key words: steel frame, semirigid connection, second-order analysis, P–D effect.

Résumé : Cet article présente une méthode d’analyse dans laquelle le comportement en rotation de la connexion
poutre-colonne et les effets de second ordre (P–D et P–d) des membres poutre-colonne sont explicitement considérés.
En adoptant le concept d’un facteur de stabilité à l’extrémité, la méthode proposée est complète peu importe les condi-
tions en rotation de l’extrémité des membres poutre-colonne et s’applique à des cadres avec n’importe quelle combinai-
son de connexions poutre-colonne à jointure, semi-rigides ou rigides. De plus, le facteur de stabilité à l’extrémité
simplifie la procédure d’analyse des cadres semi-rigides. Plus important encore, le facteur de stabilité à l’extrémité peut
être de valeur pour la conception de telles structures, car il fournit une interprétation physique de l’étendue de la rigi-
dité disponible dans une connexion. Donc, il fournit aux concepteurs un moyen commode pour comparer la réponse
structurale d’un membre semi-rigide à celle d’un membre rigide. Des exemples sont présentées afin de démontrer la va-
lidité et l’efficacité de l’approche proposée. Avec seulement des modifications mineures, la méthode proposée
s’implante aisément dans les programmes informatiques d’analyse et de conception de cadres rigides existants.

Mots clés : cadre d’acier, connexion semi-rigide, analyse de second ordre, effet P–D.

[Traduit par la Rédaction] Xu 76

Introduction quite unrealistic compared with that of the actual structure.

This is because most connections used in current practice
In the current practice of analysis and design of steel- actually exhibit semirigid deformation behaviour that can
framed building structures, the actual behaviour of beam-to- contribute substantially to overall displacements of the struc-
column or beam-to-girder connections is generally simpli- ture and to the distribution of member force. Numerous ex-
fied to the two idealized extremes of either fully rigid behav- perimental investigations on connection behaviour have
iour or ideally pinned behaviour. The first case implies clearly demonstrated that a pinned connection possesses a
displacement and slope continuity between the column and certain amount of rotational stiffness, while a rigid connec-
the beam, together with the full transfer of bending mo- tion possesses some degree of flexibility. Neglecting realis-
ments. The latter case, on the other hand, implies that the ro- tic connection behaviour may lead to unrealistic predictions
tation continuity is nonexistent; consequently, no bending of the response and strength of structures and, therefore, to
moment may be transmitted to the column by the beam. Al- approximations in design. In reality, beam-to-column con-
though the adoption of such idealized joint behaviour simpli- nections should be treated as semirigid connections in the
fies the analysis and design processes, it by no means analysis and design of steel frames.
represents the actual behaviour of the structure. Therefore,
the predicted response of the idealized structure may be An effort to incorporate semirigid connection behaviour
into frame analysis was first made more than 50 years ago
Received December 9, 1999. Revised manuscript accepted
(Pippard and Baker 1936). Over the past three decades, engi-
July 17, 2000. Published on the NRC Research Press Web neers and researchers have shown great interest in computer-
site on January 19, 2001. based analysis of semirigid frames. Consequently, a large
number of studies on the influence of semirigid connection
L. Xu. Department of Civil Engineering, University of behaviour on frame response such as displacements and
Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada. forces have been reported (Monforton and Wu 1963; Romstad
Written discussion of this article is welcomed and will be and Subramaniam 1970; Lightfoot and Le Messurier 1974;
received by the Editor until June 30, 2001. Frye and Morris 1975; Ang and Morris 1984; Lui and Chen
Can. J. Civ. Eng. 28: 59–76 (2001) DOI:10.1139/cjce-28-1-59 © 2001 NRC Canada
60 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 28, 2001

Fig. 1. Moment–rotation behaviour for various connections. 1986; Kato et al. 1988). (The panel-zone effect is not con-
sidered in this study, as it is only the rotational deformation
of connections that is of concern.)
As shown in Fig. 1, M–q curves obtained for various con-
nection types exhibit nonlinear behaviour even at the service
load level. The nonlinearity is mainly because a connection
is an assemblage of several components that interact differ-
ently at different levels of applied loads. It is difficult to ana-
lyze this nonlinear behaviour by rigorous and exact
mathematical procedures; hence, the analysis of connection
behaviour in practical design is usually approximate in na-
ture with drastic simplifications. Tests of prototype connec-
tions are commonly carried out to obtain actual moment–
rotational behaviour, which is then modelled approximately
by mathematical expressions. The simplest model is the sin-
gle-stiffness linear model that uses the initial stiffness to rep-
resent the connection behaviour:
[1] R=
where M, R, and q are the moment, stiffness, and rotation of
a connection, respectively (Monforton and Wu 1963;
Lightfoot and Le Messurier 1974).
Another approach to determine the connection stiffness,
1986; Goto and Chen 1987; Gerstle 1988; Nethercot 1985; R, in eq. [1] is by using the so-called beam line method
Deierlein et al. 1990; Hsieh 1990; Barakat and Chen 1991; (McGuire 1968). Figure 2 shows the relationship between
Xu 1992; King and Chen 1994; Xu and Grierson 1993; and the moment and the rotation at the ends of a uniformly
Lo and Stiemer 1995, among others). loaded beam. Note that the rotation is zero for a fully rigid
In the current Canadian Standards Association Standard beam with resulting end-restrained moment of wL2/12, and
CAN3-S16.1 “Limit states design of steel structures” (CSA the moment is zero when the ends of the beam are pinned
1994), the two types of constructions specified are continu- with resulting end rotation of wL3/24EI. The beam line is a
ous construction with rigid connections and simple construc- straight line connecting these two extreme connection condi-
tion with pinned connections. The Standard mandates that tions. The connection stiffness R is then determined by the
second-order (P–D) effects be accounted for explicitly while intersection of the beam line and moment–rotation curve of
designing framed structures. The proposed second-order the connection. However, as indicated by Kennedy (1969),
analysis method accounts for both semirigid connection be- the beam line does not represent the attainment of yield
haviour and second-order effects explicitly and can easily be stress on the beam for any condition other than for a simply
implemented in currently used rigid frame analysis and de- supported beam and a fix-ended beam, i.e., the two end
sign computer programs. points of the line. Thus, a beam line, to represent the condi-
tion of attainment of yielding at some point on the beam, at
the centre or the ends, must consist of two parts. A bilinear
Connection behaviour and modelling
model of the beam line as that shown in Fig. 2 was proposed
Beam-to-column connections play an important role in the for evaluating connection stiffness (Kennedy 1969).
resistance of structural frames. The major functions of these The modelling of connections is a fundamental require-
connections are to transfer the beam and floor loads to the ment for any study of the interaction of connection and
columns and to maintain the integrity of the frames. In gen- frame behaviour. Although the single-stiffness linear model
eral, the forces transmitted through the connections can be (eq. [1]) is the least-complicated model and is easy to use, it
axial and shearing forces and bending and torsional mo- does not represent the true behaviour of the connections over
ments. The effect of torsion is usually neglected for planar the entire load range. Piecewise linear and nonlinear models
frames. Furthermore, axial and shearing deformations in were proposed to provide a better approximation of connec-
connections are also neglected because they are generally tion behaviour (Romstad and Subramaniam 1970; Frye and
small compared with the bending deformation of most con- Morris 1975; Moncarz and Gerstle 1981; Razzaq 1983).
nections. However, experimental studies show that beam– For practical analysis and design applications, the adop-
column joint panels that are inadequately designed for resis- tion of a model for semirigid connections in this research is
tance against high axial and shear forces can yield, resulting based on the following considerations: First, the model
in excessive panel-zone deformation that will affect the should provide a unique analytic solution for frames with
strength and serviceability performance of the frame when semirigid connections under monotonic loading (Ariaratnam
subjected to repeated loads (Fielding and Huang 1971; and Xu 1996). Second, the model should be relatively sim-
Bertero et al. 1972; Krawinkler 1978). Different models ple and easy to use. Third, the model should provide an ac-
have been proposed to study the effect of panel-zone defor- ceptable approximation of the behaviour of a variety of
mation on frame response (Chronicler 1978; Lui and Chen connections. Fourth, the model should be able to generate
© 2001 NRC Canada
Xu 61

Fig. 2. Bilinear model of beam line. Fig. 3. Semirigid connection model.

Fig. 4. Semirigid beam–column member.

nonlinear M–q curves that closely correspond to existing ex-
perimental data.
Based on the above considerations and the review of other
modelling studies, the four-parameter power model adopted
herein to simulate the moment–rotation relationship of
beam-to-column connections is
( R e - R p) q
[2] M= + Rp q
{1 + [( R e - R p) q/ M 0 ] n}1/ n

where, as shown in Fig. 3, Re is the initial stiffness of the

connection, Rp is the strain-hardening stiffness of the con- convenient for practical use because one has to specify ex-
nection, M0 is a reference moment, and n is a shape parame- plicitly how the members are connected to the connection el-
ter. In the determination of these four parameters, Hsieh ements. Another major drawback is the difficulty of
(1990) applied an unconstrained optimization technique to designers in obtaining a physical interpretation of the stiff-
obtain the “best” curve fit for different types of connections. ness of each connecting member, since the beam–column
All of the curve-fitting results were reported to be in agree- member is separated from the attached end-connections. In
ment with the experimental results. In the case when only the second approach, which is adopted herein, each beam-to-
the geometrical and physical properties of the connection are column connection is modelled as a rotational spring of zero
known, some of these parameters for several types of con- length. Therefore, as shown in Fig. 4, each semirigid beam–
nections may also be predicted by analytical methods under column member comprises a finite-length beam–column
certain conditions (Yee and Melchers 1986; Hsieh 1990). It member with a zero-length rotational spring at each end
is noted that the four-parameter model in eq. [2] represents where the symbol @ represents the zero-length rotational
simpler models, such as the linear model by setting Re = Rp, spring. The connection flexibilities are modelled through ro-
the elastic-plastic model by setting Rp = 0, and the bilinear tational springs of stiffness R1 and R2 at the two ends of the
model when n becomes large. beam. The approach does not introduce any extra linear ele-
To facilitate the nonlinear analysis of semirigid framed ments to the system and can easily be implemented in a rigid
structures, connection databases have been established as a frame analysis program. To reflect the relative stiffness of
collection of experimental test results for different types of the beam–column member and the rotational end-spring con-
steel beam-to-column connections (Goverdhan 1983; nections, the following “end-fixity factor” is adopted:
Nethercot 1985; Kishi and Chen 1986). The data usually aj 1
collected are the corresponding details and dimensions of [3] rj = = ( j = 1, 2)
the connection, beam and column. The connection databases fj 1 + ( 3 EI / R j L)
provide the necessary information for the determination of
the moment–rotation characteristics of beam-to-column con- where Rj is the end-connection spring stiffness and EI/L is
nections frequently used in steel construction. the flexural stiffness of the attached beam–column member
(Monforton and Wu 1963). The end-fixity factor rj defines
Model of semirigid beam–column member the stiffness of each end-connection relative to the attached
member and can be interpreted as the ratio of the rotation
In general, there are two different approaches to incorpo- a j of the end of the member to the combined rotation fj of
rate connection flexibility into computer-based frame analy- the member and the connection due to a unit end-moment,
sis. The first approach is to introduce an extra “connection as shown in Fig. 5 (Cunningham 1990). For flexible or so-
element” to model each beam-to-column connection (Hsieh called pinned connections, the rotational stiffness of the con-
1990). The method introduces one additional degree of free- nection is idealized as zero and thus the value of the end-
dom and one additional element at each connection. It is in- fixity factor is zero (rj = 0). For fully restrained or so-called
© 2001 NRC Canada
62 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 28, 2001

Fig. 5. Definition of end-fixity factor. Fig. 7. Moments of uniformly loaded beam vs. ratio RL/EI.

Fig. 6. Relationship between connection stiffness and end-fixity


Fig. 8. Deflection of a uniformly loaded beam vs. ratio RL/EI.

rigid connections, the end-fixity factor has a value of one

(rj = 1) because the connection rotational stiffness is taken to By eq. [3], the relationship between the end-fixity factor
be infinite. A semirigid connection has an end-fixity factor and the connection stiffness is nonlinear, as shown in Fig. 6.
between zero and one (0 < rj < 1). It is also clear that the relationship between the connection
By using the end-fixity factor, different member-end re- stiffness and the end-fixity factor is almost linear when the
straint conditions, such as rigid–pinned, rigid–semirigid, connection is relatively flexible with a value of the end-
pinned–semirigid, are readily modelled simply by setting the fixity factor between 0.0 and 0.5. However, as the end-fixity
end-fixity factors at the two ends of the member to appropri- factor approaches 1.0, the required increase of connection
ate values. Therefore, the proposed analysis method is com- stiffness becomes substantial. Therefore, designers should
prehensive regardless of member end-rotational conditions keep in mind that with the same percentage increase in the
and can be applied to the analysis of frames with any combi- end-fixity factor, the corresponding increment in connection
nation of pinned, rigid, and semirigid connections. This stiffness may be quite different depending on whether the
comprehensive feature cannot be achieved by introducing an connection is relatively flexible or rigid. Gerstle (1988) re-
additional “connection element” instead of the end-fixity ported that the stiffness ratio, RL/EI for “rigid” connections,
factor r to model the semirigid member because numerical ranges from 10 to 50 in typical building design, which im-
difficulties are encountered when the connection stiffness plies that the end-fixity factor ranges from 0.77 to 0.94.
approaches infinity, as a rigid connection requires infinite The end-fixity factor is a better indicator of how connec-
stiffness. tions affect the structural behaviour than the connection
The end-fixity factor also simplifies the analysis proce- stiffness. The latter has little direct meaning in analysis. Fig-
dure for semirigid framed structures. As demonstrated sub- ures 7 and 8 illustrate the variation of mid-span moments,
sequently, the formulations of stiffness matrices, end- end-reaction moments, and mid-span deflection of the beam
reactions, span deflections, and effective-length factors of with respect to the connection stiffness ratio, RL/EI, for a
beam–columns can all be expressed in terms of the end- uniformly loaded semirigid beam with identical connection
fixity factors. The end-fixity factor has further value in de- stiffnesses at both ends. Figures 9 and 10 show the same in-
sign because it provides a physical interpretation of the ex- formation in terms of the end-fixity factor, r. Figures 7 and 8
tent of rigidity available in a connection. It also provides show that the relationships of the moments and the deflec-
designers with a convenient way to compare the structural tion to the connection stiffness ratio of the beam are highly
responses of a member with semirigid connections to that of nonlinear when the ratio is between 0 and 20, and almost
one with rigid or pinned connections. linear when the ratio is between 20 and 50. On the other
© 2001 NRC Canada
Xu 63

Fig. 9. Moments of a uniformly loaded beam vs. end-fixity factor. Fig. 10. Deflection of a uniformly loaded beam vs. end-fixity

Thus, the rotational deformation of a connection is as-

hand, as shown in Figs. 9 and 10, the relationships of the sumed to be concentrated at a point, which is the end of
moments and the deflection to the end-fixity factor, for its semirigid member.
full range of zero to one, are approximately linear. Thus, it 5. The effects of eccentricity at joints are neglected.
is advantageous to characterize semirigid behaviour using
the end-fixity factor rather than the connection stiffness. First-order nonlinear analysis of semirigid
It is observed from Fig. 6 that when the connection stiff- steel frames
ness is large, very significant changes in stiffness produce
only very small changes in the end-fixity factor. Conse- The implementation of the concept of the end-fixity factor
quently, from Figs. 9 and 10, such change has a negligible into the frame analysis is straightforward. For an existing
influence on both moments and deflection of the beam. Con- rigid frame analysis computer program, only minor modifi-
versely, from Fig. 6 with low values of connection stiffness, cations to the member stiffness matrix and the evaluation of
small increases in the stiffness result in appreciable in- member end-reactions due to applied member loads are re-
creases in the end-fixity factor. Therefore, as shown in quired. The elastic stiffness matrix of a member i with two
Figs. 9 and 10, there is a considerable effect on the bending semirigid end-connections having stiffness moduli R1 and
moments and the deflection. Thus, in practice, when a real R2, as shown in Fig. 4, can be represented by the stiffness
pinned connection has some stiffness, a considerable re- matrix for the member taken to have rigid end-connections
straining moment may develop to the benefit of the struc- modified by a semirigid correction matrix (Monforton and
ture. At the other extreme, attempting to achieve further Wu 1963), i.e.,
increase in connection stiffness beyond that of a nearly rigid [4] K SR = S i C e-i
connection is not efficient and economical because it in-
volves only a small change in the end-fixity factor. Conse- where KiSR is the stiffness matrix of member i with
quently, it has little effect on the response of the structure. semirigid end-connections taken into account, Si is the stiff-
Because the end-fixity factor r is not sensitive to the con- ness matrix of the member taken to have rigid ends, and Ce-i
nection stiffness R, only an approximate moment–rotation is the required correction matrix. For a planar beam–column
relationship is required. A series of comprehensive formula- element with six degrees of freedom, the matrices Si and Ce-i
tions for calculation of both end-reactions and span deflec- have the following form:
tions for a semirigid member in terms of end-fixity factors
under different types of loads are derived and are listed in é Ea - Ea ù
Appendix A. ê L 0 0 0 0 ú
To incorporate the behaviour of semirigid connections ê 12 EI 6 EI -12 EI 6 EI ú
based on the concept of the end-fixity factor into steel frame ê 0 ú
analysis, the following assumptions and idealizations are ê L3
L 2
L3 L2 ú
made: ê 4 EI -6 EI 2 EI ú
ê 0
1. All members are prismatic and straight. Si = ê L L2 L ú
Ea ú
2. Only the moment–rotation behaviour of connections is ê 0 0 ú
considered, whereas axial and shear deformation in a ê L ú
connection are ignored. ê 12 EI -6 EI ú
3. Members display linear-elastic or second-order-elastic ê sym ú
ê L3 L2 ú
behaviour, while the connections display nonlinear mo- 4 EI
ment–rotation behaviour. ê ú
4. Connection dimensions are assumed to be negligible êë L úû
compared to the lengths of the beams and columns.
© 2001 NRC Canada
64 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 28, 2001

Fig. 11. Member and end-springs (10 DOF). Fig. 12. Member and end-springs (8 DOF).

é ù
ê1 0 0 0 0 0 ú
ê ú
ê0 4r 2 - 2r 1 + r 1 r 2 -2Lr 1(1 - r 2 ) ú
0 0 0
ê 4 -r 1r 2 4 -r 1r 2 ú
ê 6( r 1 - r 2 ) 3r 1( 2 - r 2 ) ú
ê0 0 0 0 ú
L( 4 - r 1 r 2 ) 4 -r 1r 2
[6] C e-i =ê ú
ê ú
ê0 0 0 1 0 0 ú
ê ú
ê0 4r 1 - 2r 2 + r 1 r 2 2Lr 2 (1 - r 1) ú
0 0 0
ê 4 -r 1r 2 4 -r 1r 2 ú
ê 6( r 1 - r 2 ) 3r 2 ( 2 - r 1) ú
ê0 0 0 0 ú
ë L( 4 - r 1 r 2 ) 4 -r 1r 2 û

where E is Young’s modulus and L, A, and I are the length, the structure. Therefore, second-order analysis is necessary
cross-sectional area, and moment of inertia of the member, for the stability consideration of framed structures.
respectively. The end-fixity factors r1 and r2 in eq. [6] are Goto and Chen (1987) derived the closed-form stiffness
defined by eq. [3]. Knowing the semirigid beam–column equations with consideration of geometrical nonlinearity for
member stiffness matrix from eq. [4] for specified values of the semirigid member by incorporating of connection stiff-
end-fixity factors reflecting connection stiffness, the analysis ness with beam–column stability functions. The coefficients
of frames with semirigid connections can then be carried out of these functions are expressed either as hyperbolic func-
directly using the conventional displacement method. To tions or as trigonometric functions according to whether the
take the nonlinear behaviour of semirigid connections into axial forces are tensile or compressive. However, numerical
account, an iterative procedure is applied to obtain the solu- instability was found to be caused by singularity when the
tion. In each iteration, the member stiffness matrix KiSR is axial force approaches zero. A power-series expansion with
modified using the correction matrix Ce-i with updated end- regard to the axial forces was introduced to avoid the singu-
fixity factors r. As well, when there are member loads on larity. With the adoption of the end-fixity factor, the second-
semirigid members, the equivalent joint loads that facilitate order rigid frame analysis was revised for semirigid cases
matrix analysis of the structure are updated, since member (Dhillon and Abdel-Majid 1990; Dhillon and O’Malley
end-reactions are also functions of the end-fixity factors. 1999). However, the connection flexibility was taken into ac-
count only for the elastic stiffness matrix and not for the
Second-order nonlinear analysis of geometrical stiffness matrix that represented second-order
semirigid steel frames effects. When geometrical nonlinearity (second-order) ef-
fects are taken into account in the analysis and design of
For all steel frames, it is required by CSA S16.1-94 to semirigid framed structures, the connection flexibility must
conduct second-order analysis to ensure the lateral stability be taken into account for both of the elastic and geometrical
of the frames. Unlike the first-order analysis, in which the stiffness matrices of beam–column members. In this section,
equilibrium and kinematic relationships of a frame are estab- the geometrical stiffness matrix of the semirigid beam–
lished with respect to the undeformed geometry of the struc- column member is developed, then a method is presented for
ture, the relationships in the second-order analysis are the analysis of semirigid frames with both geometrical non-
associated with the deformed geometry of the structure. For linearity (second-order) and material nonlinearity (semirigid
that reason, the second-order elastic analysis is referred as connection behaviour) effects taken into account.
geometrical nonlinear analysis. By inducing additional In Fig. 11, a planar beam–column member and two end
stresses in the member and by causing the frame member to connections are shown as three separate elements, for a total
deform more, the second-order effects, which are often re- of 10 degrees of freedom. The moment–rotation relation-
ferred as P–D and P–d effects, have a destabilizing effect on ships for the two connections can be expressed as

© 2001 NRC Canada

Xu 65

é F7 ù é R 1 -R 1 ù éu 7 ù é F9 ù é R 2 -R 2 ù é u 9 ù
[7] ê ú =ê ú ê ú; ê ú =ê úê ú
êë F8 úû êë-R 1 R 1 úû êëu 8 úû êë F10 úû êë-R 2 R 2 úû êëu10 úû
where F7, F8, F9, and F10 are the moments in the connections; u7 – u8 = q1 and u9 – u10 = q 2 are the rotations of the connec-
tions; and R1 and R2 are the stiffnesses of connections 1 and 2, respectively. The relationship between member-end displace-
ments and forces for the beam–column member i, with second-order (P–D and P–d) effects taken into account, is
[8a] Fi = ( S i + G i ) ui
In expanded form,
æ é Ea - Ea ù é ù ö÷
çê 0 0 0 0 ú ê0 0 0 0 0 0 ú÷
é F1 ù ç ê L L
ú ê ú éu1 ù
ê ú çê 12 EI 6 EI -12 EI 6 EI ú L ú÷ ê ú
0 ê 6 L 0 -
ê F2 ú ç ê L2 ú ê 5 10
÷ êu 2 ú
ê ú çê
L3 L2 L3 5 10 ú ÷ ê ú
4 EI -6 EI 2 EI ú ê 2L2 2 ú
êF ú ç ê 0 ú ê 0 -
L L ÷
- ú÷ êu ú
[8b] ê 3 ú =çê L L2 L ú N
+ ê 15 10 30 ú ê 3ú
ê ú çê Ea ú L ê ú
÷ ê ú
ê F4 ú ç ê 0 0
ú ê 0 0 0 ú÷ êu 4 ú
ê ú çê L ÷ ê ú
ê F5 ú ç ê 12 EI -6 EI ú ê 6 L ú÷ êu 5 ú
ú ê - ú÷
ê ú çê L3 L3 ú ê 5 10 ú ÷ ê ú
êë F6 úû ç ê 4 EI ú ê 2L2 ú ÷ êëu 6 úû
çê ú
ç êë 15 úû ÷ø
èë L û

where Si and Gi are the elastic and geometrical stiffness matrices, respectively, for a fully rigid beam–column member and N
is the axial force in the member. Therefore, from eqs. [7] and [8] the force–displacement relationship for all three elements in
Fig. 11 is
é F6´1 ù é( S i + G i ) 6´6 ù éu6´1 ù
ê ú ê úê ú
ê F7 ú ê R1 -R 1 ú ê u7 ú
ê ú ê úê ú
[9a] ê F ú =ê -R 1 R1 úêu ú
ê 8 ú ê úê 8 ú
ê ú ê úê ú
ê F9 ú ê R2 -R 2 ú ê u 9 ú
ê ú ê úê ú
êë F10 úû êë -R 2 R 2 úû êë u10 úû

In compact form,
[9b] F10´1 = K10´10 u10´1
Consider, now, the hybrid element shown in Fig. 12 that connects together the two end-springs and the member such that
there are only 8 degrees of freedom. The relationship between the 10 degrees of freedom of the three elements in Fig. 11 and
the 8 degrees of freedom in Fig. 12 is defined by the transformation matrix:

1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
 
0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
[10] T10× 8 = 
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
 
0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
 
 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

© 2001 NRC Canada

66 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 28, 2001

Therefore, from eqs. [9] and [10], the stiffness matrix of the [11a] K 8¢ ´8 = T8T´10 K10´10 T10´8
hybrid element in Fig. 12 can be found from that for the
three separated elements in Fig. 11 as that is,

é S11+G11 0 0 S14+G14 0 0 0 0 ù
ê ú
ê0 S 22 +G 22 0 0 S 25+G 25 0 S 23+G 23 S 26+G 26 ú
ê ú
ê0 0 R1 0 0 0 -R 1 0 ú
ê ú
ê ú
ê S 41+G 41 0 0 S 44+G 44 0 0 0 0 ú
[11b] K 8¢´8 =ê ú
ê0 S 52 +G 52 0 0 S 55+G 55 0 S 53+G 53 S 56+G 56 ú
ê ú
ê0 0 0 0 0 R2 0 -R2 ú
ê ú
ê0 S 32 +G 32 -R 1 0 S 35+G 35 0 S 35+G 35 + R 1 S 63+G 63 ú
ê ú
ê0 -R 2 + R 1 úû
ë S 62 +G 62 0 0 S 65+G 65 S 63+G 63 S 66+G 66

where Skl and Gkl (k = 1, 2, …, 6; l = 1, 2, …, 6) are the ele- Each element of KiSR in eq. [16] involves nonlinear frac-
ments of the elastic and geometrical stiffness matrices, re- tional functions in terms of the parameter, NL2/EI, where N
spectively, given in eq. [8b] for a rigid-end member. is the member axial force. A Taylor’s series is used to ex-
Finally, to obtain the stiffness matrix of the semirigid pand the nonlinear fraction matrix into a polynomial matrix
beam–column element in Fig. 4 involving only 6 degrees of in terms of NL2/EI. The elastic stiffness matrix is obtained as
freedom, static condensation is employed to eliminate the the constant matrix of the Taylor’s series and is the same as
degrees of freedom 7¢ and 8¢ in Fig. 12. To that end, the that presented by Monforton and Wu (1963). The geometri-
force–displacement relationship for the element in Fig. 12 is cal stiffness matrix GiSR is obtained as the first-order terms
expressed as of the polynomial matrix. For the analysis and design of
semirigid steel-framed structures, it is convenient to express
é F6´1 ù é K 6´6 K 6´2 ù é u6´1 ù the member geometrical stiffness matrix in terms of the end-
[12] ê ú =ê úê ú fixity factor and the geometrical stiffness matrix of a fully
êë F2 ´1 úû êëK 2 ´6 K 2 ´2 úû êëu2 ´1 úû rigid beam–column member in order to readily simulate dif-
ferent end-conditions for the member. To this end, a sem-
where F6×1 and u6×1 are end forces and displacements corre- irigid correction matrix is derived by decomposition of the
sponding to the exterior degrees of freedom 1¢ to 6¢, and F2×1 first-order terms of the polynomial matrix as
and u2×1 are end forces and displacements corresponding to
[17] G SR
i = G i Cg -i
the interior degrees of freedom 7¢ and 8¢. Knowing that
F2×1 = {0, 0}T, from the second set of equations in eq. [12]
where Gi is the geometrical stiffness matrix of a rigid beam–
[13] K 2 ´6 u 6´1 + K 2 ´2 u 2 ´1 = 0 column member in eq. [8b] and Cg-i is the semirigid correc-
tion matrix for the geometrical stiffness of the member and
thus, is given by
é0 0 0 0 0 0 ù
[14] u 2 ´1 = -K 2-´12 K 2 ´6 u 6´1 ê ú
ê0 1 0 0 0 0 ú
and by substituting eq. [14] into the first set of equations in ê ú
ê0 G 32 G 33 0 G 35 G 36 ú
eq. [12], we have ê ú
[18] C g -i =ê ú
[15] F6´1 = ( K 6´6 - K 6´2 K 2-´12 K 2 ´6 ) u 6´1 ê0 0 0 0 0 0 ú
ê ú
Therefore, from eq. [15], the stiffness matrix for the ê0 0 0 0 1 0 ú
semirigid member i in Fig. 4 can be expressed as ê ú
êë0 G 62 G 63 0 G 65 G 66 úû
[16] K SR
i = K 6´6 - K 6´2 K 2-´12 K 2 ´6
© 2001 NRC Canada
Xu 67

Fig. 13. Flowchart of proposed second-order semirigid frame analysis.

G 32 = -G 35 = (8r 12 r 2 -13r 1 r 22 - 32r 12 - 8r 22 + 25r 1 r 2 + 20)
5L( 4 - r 1 r 2 ) 2
G 33 = (16r 22 + 25r 1 r 22 - 96r 1 r 2 + 128r 1 - 28r 2 )
5( 4 - r 1 r 2 ) 2

4r 2
G 36 = (16r 12 + 5r 12 r 2 + 9r 1 r 2 - 28r 1 + 8r 2 )
5( 4 - r 1 r 2 ) 2

© 2001 NRC Canada

68 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 28, 2001

Fig. 14. K factors for columns of braced frame vs. r factors of Fig. 15. Three-bay three-storey braced frame.

G 62 = -G 65 = (8r 1 r 22 -13r 12 r 2 - 32r 22 - 8r 12 + 25r 1 r 2 + 20)
5L( 4 - r 1 r 2 ) 2

G 63 = (16r 22 - 5r 1 r 22 + 9r 1 r 2 + 8r 1 - 28r 2 )
5( 4 - r 1 r 2 ) 2
G 66 = (16r 12 + 25r 12 r 2 - 96r 1 r 2 - 28r 1 + 128r 2 )
5( 4 - r 1 r 2 ) 2

where r1 and r2 are end-fixity factors of the member defined assign connection stiffnesses Rij(k) = Re, and set member ax-
in eq. [3] and L is the length of the member. ial forces Ni(k) = 0. Generate elastic stiffness matrix from
Having obtained the second-order geometrical stiffness eq. [5] for each member.
matrix GiSR, the overall stiffness matrix for a semirigid Step 2. Iteration index k = k + 1, update the end-fixity fac-
beam–column member i in which both the first- and second- tors rij using eq. [3] for each semirigid member i; evaluate
order elastic properties have been considered can be ex- member equivalent joint loads; calculate the correction ma-
pressed as trices Ce-i and Cg-i using eqs. [6] and [18], respectively. Eval-
uate geometrical stiffness matrix Gi based on the axial force
[19] K SR
i = S i C e-i + G i C g -i Ni(k–1) from previous iteration. Generate the member stiff-
ness matrix KiSR according to eq. [19] for each semirigid
where the matrices Si and Ce-i are as defined in eqs. [5] and
[6] and Gi and Cg-i are given by eqs. [8] and [18]. Since the
Step 3. Assemble the structure stiffness matrix and solve
correction matrices Ce-i and Cg-i, which take into account the
for nodal displacements, member axial forces Ni(k), and con-
semirigid connection behaviour, are expressed by the end-
nection moments Mij(k).
fixity factor instead of connection stiffness, the stiffness ma-
trix KiSR is comprehensive regardless of member end rota- Step 4. Calculate connection rotations q ij ( k ) = Mij(k)/Rij(k)
tional conditions and applies to a beam–column member and obtain the corresponding moments M(q ij ( k ) ) from
with any combination of pinned, semirigid, and rigid con-
eq. [2].
The iterative procedure for the second-order analysis of Step 5. Check for convergence by comparing the connec-
semirigid frames with nonlinear behaviour of connections tion moments Mij(k) obtained through analysis with the mo-
taken into account is described in the following (where the ments M(q ij ( k ) ) calculated in step 4, and also by comparing
subscript i denotes the index number of a semirigid member, the member axial forces Ni(k) with the forces Ni(k–1) from the
and the subscript j denotes one of the two ends of the mem- previous iteration; if |Mij(k) – M(q ij ( k ) )| £ e1 and |Nij(k) –
Nij(k–1)| £ e 2 , then stop; otherwise go to step 6.
Step 1. Set small constants e1 and e 2 for convergence cri-
Step 6. Update connection secant stiffness Rij(k) =
teria, input the data, including the parameters for the speci-
fied connections from eq. [2]. Set the iteration index k = 0, M(q ij ( k ) )/q ij ( k ) and go back to step 2.

© 2001 NRC Canada

Xu 69

Table 1. Maximum moments of one-bay two-storey semirigid steel frame.

Second-order semirigid analysis
Exact King and Barakat and Ratio
analysis Chen (1993) Chen (1991) Proposed
Member (kN·m) (kN·m) (kN·m) (kN·m) B/A C/A D/A
col-1 29.04 24.86 22.71 30.84 0.86 0.78 1.06
col-2 61.80 66.44 65.08 60.22 1.08 1.05 0.97
col-3 59.43 62.37 62.93 57.06 1.05 1.06 0.96
col-4 91.86 92.42 91.63 90.39 1.01 0.99 0.98
beam-1 169.13 161.68 162.02 176.6 0.96 0.96 1.04
beam-2 106.21 104.17 104.29 108.58 0.98 0.98 1.02
Mean (m) 0.990 0.970 1.005
Standard deviation (n) 0.077 0.101 0.041

Fig. 16. One-bay two-storey semirigid steel frame. Fig. 17. Moment–rotation curves for TSAW-17 connection.

ended member of length KL, subject to axial load only, by

means of K factor
With the adoption of the end-fixity factor defined in [20] K=
eq. [3], and the derivation of the member stiffness matrix Pcr
through eq. [19] accounting for both second-order effects
and semirigid connection behaviour, it is a straightforward where Pcr is the critical load of the end-restrained column,
matter to modify linear elastic analysis computer programs and Pe is the Euler load given by
for rigid frames to perform second-order analysis for semi-
rigid frames. Figure 13 illustrates the modified program p 2 EI
[21] Pe =
flowchart of the proposed second-order analysis method for L2
semirigid frames.
in which L is the length of the column and I is the moment
of inertia of the column section about the axis of buckling.
Modification of column effective-length For an unbraced frame (sway permitted), the current Ca-
factor nadian standard CSA S16.1 (CSA 1994) suggests using K =
1.0 for columns and performing a second-order geometric
The determination of column strength of a framed struc- analysis under actual and notional loads so as to take sway
ture is of primary importance in structural design. The effects into account directly. For the case of semirigid
strength and stability of a frame and its columns are interre- frames, the second-order nonlinear analysis procedure pro-
lated. The effective length concept for evaluating column posed in the previous section accounts for both frame sway
strength in a frame used to be the primary design method to and connection behaviour effects for K = 1.0.
evaluate the stability interaction effect of columns and For braced frames (sway prevented), the effective-length
beams of the frame. According to this concept, the strength factor K is determined by the following equation (CSA
of a column of length L is equated to an equivalent pin- 1994):

© 2001 NRC Canada

70 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 28, 2001

Table 2. Lateral drift of 2-bay 11-storey steel frame.

Stiffness Connection Lateral drift Lateral drift
End-fixity ratio, stiffness D1 1st-order D 2 2nd-order D2
factor, r RL/EI ( N ×mm -1 ×rad -1 ) analysis (mm) analysis (mm) D1
1.0 ¥ ¥ 125 140 1.12
0.9 27.00 4.723 × 1011 145 165 1.14
0.8 12.00 2.099 × 1011 168 196 1.17
0.7 7.00 1.225 × 1011 197 237 1.20
0.6 4.50 7.872 × 1010 235 293 1.25
0.5 3.00 5.248 × 1010 286 377 1.32
0.4 2.00 3.499 × 1010 358 514 1.44
0.3 1.29 2.249 × 1010 478 780 1.66
0.2 0.75 1.312 × 1010 675 1531 2.27

Fig. 18. Two-bay eleven-storey semirigid steel frame. Fig. 19. Lateral drift increase due to second-order effects of 11-
storey frame.

[23] G=
å (I c / Lc )
å (I g / Lg )
where the summation is taken over all members connected
to the joint, Ic is the moment of inertia of the column section
corresponding to the plane of buckling, Lc is the unsupported
length of column, Ig is the moment of inertia of the
beam/girder section corresponding to the plane of buckling,
and Lg is the unsupported length of the beam/girder.
To take connection flexibility into account in the determi-
nation of the effective-length factor K for columns of
semirigid frames, Chen and Lui (1985) proposed the follow-
ing procedure recommended by the AISC specifications
(AISC 1989; AISC 1994) for calculating the K factor for
rigid frames and modifying the values of the moment of in-
ertia of the restraining beams. Following this procedure for
columns connected to beams at both ends by semirigid con-
nections with rotational stiffness R, the stiffness distribution
factor G at each end of the column is calculated as
GUGL æ p ö
GU +GU æ p/ K ö G=
å (I c / Lc )
[22] ç ÷ + çç1 - ÷÷ [24]
4 èKø 2 è tan( p/ K) ø å (a g I g / Lg )
æ tan( p/ K) ö where a g is a semirigid modification factor applied to the
+ 2 çç ÷÷ = 1
è p/ K ø moment of inertia Ig of the restraining beams of length Lg.
For braced frames,
where GU and GL are the stiffness factors for the upper and 1
lower ends of the column. The stiffness factor G is defined [25] ag =
as (CSA 1994) 1 + ( 2 EI g / RL g )

© 2001 NRC Canada

Xu 71

The modification factor a g in eq. [25] applies only when the frame with a rigid connection at “near end” (r1 = 1) and
connection stiffnesses at both ends of the semirigid beam are pinned connection at “far end” (r2 = 0).
identical. The modification factor a g was then derived to Equation [29] does not apply, however, for the case when
consider the different values of connection stiffness at the the “far end” of the member is rigidly attached to a fixed
ends of the beam (Kishi et al. 1997; Christopher and support for which rotation f2 = 0. From eqs. [26] and [28],
Bjorhovde 1999). However, different expressions, which de- the corresponding modification factor a g becomes
pend on the rotational conditions of the ends of the beam
6r 1
such as pinned for the “near end” and semirigid for the “far [30] ag =
end” or semirigid and rigid, were used for each of the modi- 4 -r 1r 2
fication factors a g . No general formulations were available
for the modification factor, since the semirigid modification In both eqs. [29] and [30], the corresponding modification
factor was defined based on the stiffness ratio RIg/ELg. With factor a g becomes zero if the “near end” connection is a
the adoption of the concept of the end-fixity factor, compre- pinned connection (r1 = 0), which indicates the beam will
hensive expressions of the modification factors can be de- not be able to provide any rotational restraint to the con-
rived regardless of the rotational conditions at each end of nected column.
the beam for braced frames. Once the modification factor a g being evaluated based on
Consider the semirigid member shown in Fig. 4 with dif- the end condition of the beams, the stiffness factors for the
ferent values of connection stiffnesses R1 and R2 at ends 1 upper and lower ends of the column can be calculated ac-
and 2, respectively. Ends 1 and 2 refer to the “near end” and cording to eq. [24]. The corresponding column effective-
“far end,”, respectively. The slope–deflection equation for length factor is then obtained from the alignment chart ap-
such a member can be expressed in terms of the end-fixity proach recommended by design specifications (CSA 1994;
factors r1 and r2 as AISC 1994). Unlike the ideally rigid or pinned case, in
which the effective-length factor of a column is evaluated ir-
3r 1 æ 4 EI g 2 EI g ö respective to the applied loads, the connections in the semi-
[26] M1 = ç f1 + r 2 f2 ÷
4 -r 1r 2 ç L Lg ÷ rigid frame behave nonlinearly and are interrelated to the
è g ø
loads. As a frame is loaded, the connection stiffness, and
where f 1 and f 2 are end-rotations of the semirigid beam thus the restraint provided to the columns, gradually de-
member. M1 is the end-moment at the “near end” of the creases, causing the column effective-length factor to in-
member. crease. Consequently, the effective-length factor of the
For a braced frame, the symmetric deformation of the col- column in the semirigid frame has to be evaluated for each
umns that are connected at the two ends of the semirigid applied load case. To illustrate the influence of connection
member results in f 1 = -f 2 (counterclockwise rotation is stiffness to column K factor, Fig. 14 shows the correspond-
positive) for the end rotations of the semirigid member. Sub- ing K factors of interior columns due to the variation of the
stituting this relationship into eq. [26], it is found for a end-fixity factor of the beam from zero to one in a three-
semirigid member in a braced frame that storey braced frame shown in Fig. 15.

3r 1( 2 - r 2 ) 2 EI g
[27] M1 = f1 Examples
4 -r 1r 2 Lg
Using the method outlined in the previous sections, a rigid
Therefore, when M1 in eq. [27] is compared with the corre- steel frame computer program (Grierson and Cameron 1994)
sponding moment for a fully rigid member in a braced was modified to incorporate semirigid connection behaviour
frame, i.e., into frame analysis by introducing end-fixity factors defined
in eq. [3] and modification matrices in eqs. [6] and [18] for
2 EI g
[28] M1 = f1 the semirigid beam–columns. Two semirigid steel frames
Lg were analyzed with the second-order effects taken into ac-
count. The purpose of the first example is to validate the
It is readily noted that the moment of inertia modification proposed analysis approach by comparison of the analysis
factor for a braced frame is with results obtained by other researchers, while the intent
of the second example is to illustrate the frame behaviour
3r 1( 2 - r 2 )
[29] ag = due to the interaction of second-order effects and semirigid
4 -r 1r 2 connections.
where the end-fixity factors r1 and r2 in eq. [29] correspond One-bay two-storey frame
to the “near end” and “far end,”, respectively. The simple steel frame shown in Fig. 16 has identical
Comparing eq. [29] with eq. [25] for semirigid frames, the beam-to-column connections consisting of top and seat an-
former has more general forms that allow the beam to have gles with web stiffeners (TSAW-17) (Barakat and Chen
different end connection stiffnesses. Moreover, because 1991; King and Chen 1993). The nonlinear moment–rotation
eq. [29] is expressed by the end-fixity factors, beams with curve for the connection is shown in Fig. 17. Kim and Chen
any combination of pinned, semirigid, and rigid connections (1993) conducted a so-called “exact” second-order analysis
are also applied. For instance, eq. [29] will yield a value of (Lui and Chen 1987; Goto and Chen 1987) for the frame by
1.5 for the modification factor a g for a beam in a braced using a power model to represent the nonlinear moment–ro-

© 2001 NRC Canada

72 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 28, 2001

tation behaviour of the TSAW-17 connection. To take into haps indicates that a value of the end-fixity factor less than
account the change in bending stiffness due to the presence 1.0 should be used in mid- to high-rise rigid steel frame de-
of axial forces, the stiffness matrix of each semirigid mem- sign.
ber was derived using the stability stiffness functions that
are generally used to calculate the elastic buckling load of
beam–column members. Due to the complexity of these Conclusions
functions, each element of the stiffness matrix was only A practical method for analysis of semirigid steel frames
given in symbolic form rather than being explicitly ex- is presented with both nonlinear behaviour of the connection
pressed in terms of member and connection properties. and the second-order effects of the beam–column members
Barakat and Chen (1991) and later King and Chen (1993) taken into account. The concept of the end-fixity factor is in-
have proposed an alternative approach to simplify the analy- troduced to characterize the behaviour of semirigid connec-
sis process. tions. This factor defines the stiffness of a connection
Results from the analyses outlined in the foregoing are relative to the attached member. The lower and upper
compared with the analysis results from this study in order bounds of the factor are zero and one, which correspond to
to verify the proposed approach for the second-order analy- the ideally pinned and fully rigid connections, respectively.
sis of semirigid frames. For all analyses, the maximum col- Thus, a semirigid connection has an end-fixity factor value
umn and beam moments serve as the basis of comparison. somewhere between zero and one. This narrow range of val-
As shown in Table 1, the results obtained for the present ues gives engineers a physical interpretation of the extent of
study are in good agreement with those reported by Barakat available rigidity provided by a connection. The importance
and Chen (1991) and King and Chen (1993). The mean ratio and significance of this factor in simplifying the analysis and
of the maximum moments based on the proposed approach design of semirigid structures cannot be emphasized enough.
to those reported for the “exact” second-order analysis is Empowered by the concept of the end-fixity factor, the
1.00 with a coefficient of variation of 0.041. elastic stiffness matrix, member end-reactions, and span de-
flections for a semirigid member are presented in terms of
Two-bay eleven-storey frame the end-fixity factors. The geometrical stiffness matrix of a
The 11-storey unbraced frame shown in Fig. 18 was ana- semirigid member is derived for conducting second-order
lyzed under proportional gravity and wind load by Morris et analysis of semirigid frames. An iterative procedure is pre-
al. (1995) to illustrate the amplification of lateral drift of the sented for the analysis of semirigid frames with both nonlin-
frame due to connection deformation. All of the beam-to- ear moment–rotation connection behaviour and second-order
column connections of the frame were assumed to be identi- effects of the structure taken into account. For the purpose of
cal. The three cases of connection types studied were rigid design, general formulations for restraining-beam inertia
connection, rigid-semirigid connection, and semirigid con- modification factors that allow the connection flexibility to
nection. be taken into account when calculating the effective-length
To trace the effect of semirigid behaviour on geometric factor K for column members were developed for both
second-order effects, nine analyses were conducted for the braced and unbraced frames.
frame with the end-fixity factor decreasing by decrements of Examples were presented to demonstrate the validity of
0.1 from the rigid connection (r = 1.0) to a flexible connec- the method. The interaction of semirigid connection behav-
tion (r = 0.2). The frame was analyzed with and without iour and second-order effects was investigated by means of
considering second-order effects for each case. The lateral the analysis of an 11-storey frame. By comparing the lateral
drift obtained at the roof level for each case is presented in drift of first-order semirigid analysis with values for the end-
Table 2. Increasing the NBCC (NRC 1995) drift limit for fixity factor of 0.8 and 0.9 to that of second-order analysis
serviceability, H/500, by a factor of 1.35 to account for fac- of the rigid frame (r = 1), it is suggested that a value of the
tored loads gives a roof drift of 125 mm. The values of the end-fixity factor less than 1.00 should be used in mid- to
end-fixity factor, the corresponding stiffness ratio RL/EI and high-rise rigid steel frame design.
the connection stiffness are listed in Table 2. Figure 19 The analysis procedure is relatively straightforward. With
shows that as the end-fixity factor decreases, the lateral drift only minor modifications, the proposed approach is easy to
due to second-order effects increases significantly, thus in- implement into existing rigid frame analysis and design
tensifying the second-order effects considerably. computer programs. Therefore, it is suitable for design office
It is noticed that lateral drifts of the frame are 145 and use.
160 mm based on the first-order semirigid analysis with val-
ues of end-fixity factor as 0.9 and 0.8, respectively. Both Acknowledgement
drifts are greater than 140 mm obtained when the second-
order effects are considered in the rigid frame case (r = 1.0). This work was supported financially by the Natural Sci-
The corresponding values of stiffness ratio RL/EI for r = 0.8 ences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
and r = 0.9 are 12 and 27, respectively. Because both values
are, according to Gerstle (1988), within the range for rigid
connections used in typical building design, this demon-
strates that the influence of the beam-to-column connection AISC. 1989. Specification for structural steel buildings — allow-
on the frame behaviour may be more significant than the able stress design and plastic design. 9th ed. American Institute
second-order effects even for rigid frames. In turn, this per- of Steel Construction, Chicago, Ill.

© 2001 NRC Canada

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© 2001 NRC Canada

74 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 28, 2001

Appendix A. End-reactions and deflections of a semirigid member

Distributed load with linear variation

Fig. A1. Semirigid member with distributed load.

Fig. A2. Semirigid member with a concentrated force. Fig. A3. Semirigid member with a concentrated moment.

Consider a semirigid member under the action of a partially distributed external load with a linear variation as shown in
Fig. A1. The end moment reactions of a semirigid member due to the load shown in Fig. A1 are derived through this study
and readily expressed as follows:
r1 æ L2 ö
M1 = ç ÷
ç 60 ÷ ( n - m ){w a ( 2 + r 2 )[ 3( n - m ) + 15m ( n + m )] + 10w a ( 4 - r 2 )( n + 2m )
3 2 2
4 -r 1r 2 è ø
- 30w a [( n + m ) 2 + 2m 2 ] + w b ( 2 + r 2 )[ 3(m - n) 3 + 15n(m 2 + n 2 )]
+ 10w b ( 4 - r 2 )(m + 2n) - 30w b [(m + n) 2 + 2n 2 ]}

r2 æ L2 ö
M2 = ç ÷
ç 60 ÷ ( n - m ){w a ( 2 + r 1)[ 3( n - m ) + 15m ( n + m )] - 20w a (1 - r 1)( n + 2m )
3 2 2
4 -r 1r 2 è ø
- 15r 1w a [( n + m ) 2 + 2m 2 ] + w b ( 2 + r 1)[ 3(m - n) 3 + 15n(m 2 + n 2 )]
- 20w b (1 - r 1)(m + 2n) -15r 1w b [(m + n) 2 + 2n 2 ]}

where m = La/L and n = Lb/L are the ratios of distance from where the load starts and ends, respectively, to the length of the
beam; wa is the load density at where the load starts; and wb is the load density at where the load ends. The end shear reac-
tions of the member under such load can be obtained by static equilibrium as follows:
M 1 + M 2 ( n - m) L
[A3] V1 = + [w a ( 3 - 2m - n) + w b ( 3 - m - 2n)]
L 6
M 1 + M 2 ( n - m) L
[A4] V2 = + [w a ( 2m + n) + w b (m + 2n)]
L 6
For the member deflection curves, let d M (x) represent the deflection due to the end-reactions (moments) M1 and M2. Then, the
vertical deflections at the location of x = x/L of the semirigid beam shown in Fig. A1 due to the applied distributed load can
be expressed as follows:

© 2001 NRC Canada

Xu 75

L4 x
[A5] d1 ( x) = d M ( x) + ( n - m ){[ x 2 - n 2 ( 3 - 2n)][w a ( 3 - 2m - n) + w b ( 3 - m - 2n)]
36 EI
L4 x
- 2(1 - n) 3 [w a ( 2m + n) + w b (m + 2n)]} + ( n - m ) 3 [5(1 - n)(w b + 3w a ) + ( n - m )(w b + 4w a )], 0 £ x £m
120 EI

L4 é w -w a ù
[A6] d 2 ( x) = d1 ( x) - ( x - m ) 4 ê5w a + b ( x - m) ú , m <x£n
120 EI ë n -m û

L4 (1 - x)
[A7] d 3 ( x) = d M ( x) + ( n - m ){[(1 - x 2 ) - (1 - n 2 )(1 + 2n)][w a ( 2m + n) + w b (m + 2n)]
36 EI
L4 (1 - x)
- 2n 3 [w a ( 3 - 2m - n) + w b ( 3 - m - 2n)]} - ( n - m ) 3 [( n - m )(w b + 4w a ) + 5n(w b + 3w a )], n £ x £1
120 EI

M 1 L2 x M L2 x
[A8] d M ( x) = (1 - x)( 2 - x) - 2 (1 - x 2 )
6 EI 6 EI

is the deflection due to the end-reactions M1 and M2. The end-reactions and member deflections given in eqs. [A1]–[A7] ap-
ply for either fully or partially distributed load with linear variation in magnitudes such as uniform, triangular, and trapezoidal
Concentrated loads
For the case of concentrated force load as shown in Fig. A2, the end-reactions are
[A9] M1 = mn[ 2( 2 - m ) - r 2 (1 + m )]PL
4 -r 1r 2

[A10] M 2 = mn[ 2(1 + m ) - r 1( 2 - m )]PL
4 -r 1r 2

[A11] V 1 = ( M 1 + M 2 )/ L - Pn

[A12] V2 = -( M 1 + M 2 )/ L - Pm

The deflections of the semirigid member under such loads are then obtained as
L3 x
[A13] d 1 ( x) = [(1 - x 2 ) M 1 - ( x 2 - 3x + 2) M 2 - PLn(1 - x 2 - n 2 )], 0 £ x £m
6 EI

L3 (1 - x)
[A14] d 2 ( x) = [(1 + x) xM 1 - ( 2 - x) xM 2 - PLm ( 2x - x 2 - m 2 )], m < x £1
6 EI

For the case of concentrated moment load as shown in Fig. A3, the end-reactions and deflections are
[A15] M 1 = [ n( 2 - 3n)( 4 - r2 ) - 2m ( 2 - 3m )(1 - r 2 )]M
4 -r 1r 2

[A16] M 2 = [ 2n( 2 - 3n)(1 - r 1) - m ( 2 - 3m )(1 - r 1)]M
4 -r 1r 2

[A17] V 1 = -V2 = ( M + M 1 + M 2 )/ L

L2 x
[A18] d 1 ( x) = [(1 - x 2 ) M 1 - ( x 2 - 3x + 2) M 2 - M ( x 2 - 6m + 3m 2 + 2)], 0 £ x £m
6 EI

L2 (1 - x)
[A19] d 2 ( x) = {(1 + x) xM 1 - ( 2 - x) xM 2 - M [(1 - x) 2 - 6n + 3n 2 + 2]}, m < x £1
6 EI
© 2001 NRC Canada
76 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 28, 2001

Appendix B. List of symbols Lg beam length

M flexural moment
A member cross-sectional area M0 reference moment of connection
Ce-i correction matrix n shape function parameter
E Young’s modulus N axial force
Gi geometrical stiffness matrix with rigid ends Pe Euler buckling load
GiSR geometrical stiffness matrix of semirigid member r end-fixity factor
Gkl element of geometrical stiffness matrix of rigid member R connection stiffness
GL, GU stiffness factors of column Re initial stiffness of connection
I moment of inertia Rp strain-hardening stiffness of connection
Ic moment of inertia of column Si elastic stiffness matrix of rigid member
Ig moment of inertia of beam Skl element of elastic stiffness matrix of rigid member
K effective-length factor a member end rotation
KiSR stiffness matrix of semirigid member ag modification factor for Ig/Lg
L member length f combined rotation of member and connection
Lc column length

© 2001 NRC Canada