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# Concepts of Plastic Analysis

LECTURE 8
Concepts of Plastic Analysis
Plastic design utilizes the ductility of steel.
less than
or equal
to
Design
strength,
py,
N/mm2
Minimum
yield
stress, Ys
Minimum
ultimate
strength, Us
Minimum
elongation on
gauge length of
5.65S
0
43 16 275 275 410 20-22%
40 265 265 410
63 255 255 410
100 245 245 410
50 16 355 355 490 20-22%
40 345 345 490
63 335 335 490
100 325 325 490
55 16 450 450 550 19%
40 430 430 550
63 415 430 550
100 400 415 550
In BS5950 , The design strength py should be
taken as 1.0Ys but not greater than Us /1.2
=0.833..U
S
where Ys and Us are respectively
the minimum yield strength ReH and the
minimum tensile strength Rm
Requirements of steel for plastic
design
Stress strain diagram has a plateau at the yield
stress extending for at least 6 times the yield
strain
Ratio of the specified minimum ultimate
tensile strength to specified minimum yield
strength is not less than 1.2
The elongation on a gauge length of 5.65S
0
is
not less than 15% where S
0
is the original cross
sectional area of the gauge length
Structure must be robust to achieve a mechanism of
collapse without instability
Local instability: limits given in table 11
For rolled section b/T 9
For built up welded section: b/T 8
For webs generally :d/t
Lateral instability
Frame instability
Basis of plastic design
Structures are assumed to collapse by the
formation of sufficient plastic hinges to create
a collapse mechanism
Fundamental problems of plastic design
Prediction of the correct collapse mechanism
Determination of load factor at collapse
Determination of BMD at collapse
Fundamental requirements for
different methods of solving problems
Equilibrium condition: the bending moments must
represent a state of equilibrium between internal
forces in the structure and applied loads
Mechanism condition: At collapse, the bending
moment must be equal to the full plastic moment of
resistance of the cross section at a sufficient number of
sections of the structure for the associated plastic
hinges to constitute a mechanism involving the whole
structure or some part of it
Yield condition: At every cross section of the structure,
the bending moment must be less than or equal to, the
full plastic moment of resistance.
It is not necessary to consider continuity
This makes plastic analysis considerably easier
than the elastic analysis of any given structure
Plastic theory
In many structures, there a number of
alternative collapse mechanisms
The correct mechanism is not immediately
obvious
It is necessary to approach correct solution in
a series of steps
The following theorems help in arriving at an
acceptable solution
No proofs are given as proofs are complicated
Method 1:Upper Bound Theorem
Also called Kinematic theorem or Minimum Principle
In the analysis of a structure, an arbitrary choice of
collapse mechanism will lead to an estimate of the
collapse load which is greater than or equal to the
correct one
If the correct collapse mechanism is not known and a
guess is made, then the solution will give an upper
c
and is potentially
unsafe.
Methods based on assumed collapse mechanism
generally satisfy only the equilibrium and mechanism
condition
Method 2: Lower bound theorem
Or Static theorem or maximum Principle
An arbitrary equilibrium condition which also
satisfies the yield condition will lead to an
estimate of the collapse load which is less
than or equal to the correct one
Satisfying the equilibrium and yield condition
without necessarily obtaining a mechanism is
essentially safe procedure
Uniqueness theorem
The value of the collapse load which satisfies
the three conditions of equilibrium,
mechanism and yield is unique.
Applications
Fixed beam subject to two concentrated load
Continuous beams
Portal frames

Fixed beam subject to two concentrated load

The beam shown in figure is fixed at both ends. It is subject to
loads 20kN and 30 kN. If the full plastic moment capacity Mp
is 78.0kNm, then determine the load factor against collapse.
Method 1: Steps:
(1) Consider all possible collapse mechanisms
4 m 4 m 2 m
20kN 30 kN
4 m 4 m 2 m
20kN 30 kN
20kN 30 kN
20kN 30 kN
20kN 30 kN
Equilibrium between bending moments and applied loads is satisfied by
using the virtual work method
20 30

78
78
78

4 m 6 m
First collapse mechanism
The method considers a virtual displacement of
the mechanism that is under investigation
assuming that all internal strain is concentrated in
the plastic hinges
The members between the plastic hinges are
assumed to be perfectly rigid and make no
contribution to the internal work
For compatibility 4 = 6
By principle of virtual work, work done by
external load = work done internally
20x 4 + 30 x 4 =78(2+2)
20x 6 + 30 x 4 =78(3+2)
=390/240=1.625

Second collapse mechanism 20kN 30 kN
78
78
78

For compatibility 4 = 6
By principle of virtual work, work done by external load = work done internally
30x 4 + 20 x 4 =78(2+2)
30x 6 + 20 x 4 =78(3+2)
=390/260=1.5

All possible collapse mechanisms have been considered. Using minimum principle, we can
confidently choose the mechanism with the lowest load factor.
Therefore =1.5
6 m
4 m
Method 2
Method 2 combines free and reactant bending
moment diagram to obtain solution that
satisfies the equilibrium and yield condition.
Continuous beams
One of the advantages of plastic theory is that
there are no compatibility conditions in the
analysis
As plastic hinges form, they destroy the
continuity of the deflection profile and an
important consequence of this in continuous
beams is that the collapse of any span is
Continuous beams
Consider a uniform beam of several equal spans.
Let w be the unfactored load acting on it.
It is required to find the load factor at collapse.
There are only 2 collapse cases to consider namely
midspan and endspan.
Internal span
Each of the internal span has exactly the same collapse
mechanism.
L/2 L/2
Mp
Mp Mp

Udl
For the interior span using the work
equation method (free and reactant
bending moments is equally simple)

wL x L/4 = Mp(+2+)

Mp = wL
2
/16

=16Mp/ wL
2

The left side of work equation
represents the virtual work done by
the udl. Here a virtual mechanism is
considered in which the members
remain perfectly straight between
can therefore be considered to be
concentrated at the centroids of the
straight lengths of the members.

Derivation of external work term
L/4
L/4

wL/2 wL/2
L/4
L/4
L/4
External span
The collapse condition in the end span is not so
obvious because it is not clear where the internal
plastic hinge is located.
The kinematic theorem implies that all possible
locations of the hinge must be considered.
Choose one which gives the lowest load factor (or
the highest value of Mp in a design calculation).
This can be conveniently done by choosing an
arbitrary hinge position defined by variable x, and
using the method of calculus.
The rotations and are related by considering the
vertical deflection at the hinge position
x = (L-x)
The work equation can be written down as
x L-x
Mp
Mp Mp

Udl
wL .X/2=Mp(2+)=Mp(2+x/(L-x))
I.e . Mp=wL.x(L-x)/(2(2L-x)
The critical value of x is that which maximises Mp
i.e dMp/dx=0
Solving, x=L(22)
This gives a unique root within the span 0 to L
x=L(2-2)=0.586L
Backsubstituting
Mp = wL
2
/11.66 or =11.66Mp/wl2
The end bay condition occurs frequently in practical
design
Note that if a beam is designed to be fully
continuous over several spans, the end bays require
a considerably stronger section than the internal
bays (Mp = wL
2
/11.66 compared to =16Mp/ wL
2

)
The fabrication of connections that are adequate to
ensure full continuity is expensive and a fully
continuous uniform bean may well not be the
optimum practical solution

Plastic analysis of portal frames
The collapse mechanism in portal frames is
not obvious
Necessary to consider several possibilities
Two types of portal frames
Rectangular portal frames
Pitched portal frames
RECTAGULAR PORTAL FRAMES
The rectangular frame shown in figure has a
uniform full plastic moment of 20knm. The loads
shown are unfactored. Find the load factor
against collapse. Use the work equation method
10Kn
5 M
5KN
3.75M
3.75M
A
B
C
D
E
RECTAGULAR PORTAL FRAMES
The only possible locations for plastic hinges
are at A,B,C, D and E where there is a change
of slope in the bending moment diagram
It is impossible for plastic hinges to form
between these points which are termed as
CRITICAL SECTIONS
Thus THERE ARE ONLY 3 VALID MECHANISMS
shown below:
Different collapse mechanisms
10

5
Sway mechanism
10

5
Beam mechanism
2
10

5
Combined mechanism

2
2
For a small, rigid-link movement of the mechanism, the beam
moves bodily sideways and there is no downward movement
Work equation is 5 x 5=20(+++)
=80/25=3.2
In plastic collapse mechanism, the bending moment at a
plastic hinge is always related to the direction of rotation of
that hinge with the result that plastic hinges always do
positive virtual work.
10

5
Sway mechanism
For a small movement of the mechanism, the stanchion remain
vertical and there is no movement of the 5 kN load. The work
equation is therefore 10x 3.75 = 20(+2+)
Therefore =80/37.5=2.13
10

5
Beam mechanism
2
Combined mechanism: this a combination of 1 and 2. It is essential to
carry out this combination in such a way that the hinge at B is eliminated
and replaced by a rigid joint. If this were not the case , it would be
impossible to relate all movements in the virtual mechanism to a single
variable
5x 5 + 10x3.75=20(+2+2+)
=120/62.5=1.92
10

5
Combined mechanism

2
2
All possible mechanisms have been
considered. It follows from the minimum
principle that the combined mechanism with
the lowest load factor is the correct collapse
mechanism.
The load factor against collapse is 1.92
References
Plastic design to BS 5950, Davies, J.M. and
B.A.Brown, Blackwell Science, Steel
Construction Institute, 1996.