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CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 1

9 CHAPTER 9: COLUMNS
9.1 First-Order versus Second-Order Analysis
A first-order analysis is based on the initial geometry of the structure, assuming elastic
behavior. On the other hand, second-order analysis considers the influence of lateral drift,
cracking, member curvature, shrinkage and creep on the forces in the structure.
9.2 Sway and Nonsway Frames
9.2.1 Nonsway Frames
Structural frames whose joints are restrained against lateral displacement by attachment to
rigid elements or bracing are called nonsway frames, shown in Figure 9.1.
According to ACI Code 10.10.5.1 a column in a structure is nonsway if the increase in
column end moments due to second-order effects does not exceed 5 percent of the first-
order end moments. Moreover, ACI Code 10.10.5.2 assumes a story within a structure is
nonsway if:
c us
u
l V
P
Q

(9.1)
is less than or equal to 0.05, where Q is the stability index which is the ratio of secondary
moment due to lateral displacement and primary moment,
u
P is the total factored
vertical load in the story,
us
V is the factored horizontal story shear,
c
l is length of column
measured center-to-center of the joints in the frame, and
o
is the first-order relative
deflection between the top and bottom of that story due to
us
V .
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 2

Figure 9.1: Nonsway frame
9.2.2 Sway Frames
Structural frames, not attached to an effective bracing element, but depend on the bending
stiffness of the columns and girders to provide resistance to lateral displacement are called
sway frames, shown in Figure 9.2.

Figure 9.2: Sway frame
9.3 Effective Length Factor k of Columns of Rigid Frames
The effective length of column is the length of a column hinged at both ends and having the
same buckling load as the column being considered. Thus, the effective length factor k, is
the ratio of the effective length to the original length of column.
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 3
The ACI Code R10.10.6.3 recognizes the Jackson and Moreland Alignment Charts, shown
in Figure 9.3, to estimate the effective length factor k for a column of constant cross section
in a multibay frame. The effective length factor k is a function of the relative stiffness at
each end of the column. In these charts, k is determined as the intersection of a line joining
the values of at the two ends of the column. The relative stiffness of the beams and
columns at each end of the column is given by Eq. (9.2)

b b b
c c c
l I E
l I E
/
/
(9.2)
where,
c
l = length of column center-to-center of the joints
b
l = length of beam center-to-center of the joints
c
E = modulus of elasticity of column concrete
b
E = modulus of elasticity of beam concrete
c
I = moment of inertia of column cross section about an axis perpendicular to the plane of
buckling being considered.
b
I = moment of inertia of beam cross section about an axis perpendicular to the plane of
buckling being considered.
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 4

(a) (b)
Figure 9.3: Alignment chart; (a) nonsway frames; (b) sway frames

indicates a summation of all member stiffnesses connected to the joint and lying in the
plane in which buckling of the column is being considered.
Consider the two-story frame shown in Figure 9.4. To determine the effective length factor
k for column EF,

Figure 9.4: Two-story frame
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 5
) / ( ) / (
) / ( ) / (
2 1
2 1
L I E L I E
H I E H I E
EH b BE b
EF c DE c
E
+
+

and
) / ( ) / (
) / (
2 1
2
L I E L I E
H I E
FI b CF b
EF c
F
+

ACI Code 10.10.6.3 specifies that for columns in nonsway frames, the effective length
factor k should be taken as 1.0, unless analysis shows that a lower value is justified.
The ACI Code 10.10.4.1 specifies that the influence of cracking along the length of the
member, presence of axial loads, and effects of duration of loads be taken into
consideration when calculating k by using reduced values of moment of inertia as follows:
Beams --------------------------------
g
I 35 . 0
Columns------------------------------
g
I 70 . 0
Uncracked Walls --------------------
g
I 70 . 0
Cracked Walls-----------------------
g
I 35 . 0
where
g
I is the gross moment of inertia.
As an alternate to using alignment charts to determine k, the following simplified equations
are used for computing the effective length factors for nonsway and sway frame members.
For columns in nonsway frames, the smaller of Eq. (9.3) and Eq. (9.4) is used
( ) 0 . 1 05 . 0 7 . 0 + +
B A
k (9.3)
0 . 1 05 . 0 85 . 0
min
+ k (9.4)
where
A
and
B
are the values of at the two ends of the column, and
min
is the
smaller of the two values.
For columns in sway frames restrained at both ends, k is taken as
for 2 <
m

m
m
k

1
20
20
(9.5)
for 2
m

CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 6
m
k + 1 9 . 0 (9.6)
where
m
is the average of values at the two ends of the column.
For columns in sway frames hinged at one end, k is taken as
3 . 0 0 . 2 + k (9.7)
where is the values at the restrained end of the column.
9.4 The ACI Procedure for Classifying Short and Slender Columns
According to ACI Code 10.10.1, columns can be classified as short when their effective
slenderness ratios satisfy the following criteria:
For nonsway frames
( ) 0 . 40 / 12 34
2 1
M M
r
l k
u
(9.8)
or
For sway frames 22 / r l k
u
(9.9)
Furthermore, compression members are considered braced against sidesway when bracing
elements have a total stiffness, resisting lateral movement of that story, of at least 12 times
the gross stiffness of the columns within the story.

where
k = effective length factor
u
l = unsupported length of member, defined in ACI Code 10.10.1.1 as clear distance
between floor slabs, beams, or other members capable of providing lateral support, as
shown in Figure 9.5.

Figure 9.5: Unsupported length of member
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 7
r = radius of gyration associated with axis about which bending occurs. For rectangular
cross sections r = 0.30 h, and for circular sections, r = 0.25 h as specified by ACI Code
10.10.1.2.
h = column dimension in the direction of bending.
1
M = smaller factored end moment on column, positive if member is bent single curvature,
negative if bent in double curvature.
2
M = larger factored end moment on column, always positive.
Chart 9.1 summarizes the process of column design as per the ACI Code.
Chart 9.1: Column Ddesign
Example (9.1):
The frame shown in Figure 9.6 consists of members with rectangular cross sections, made
of the same strength concrete. Considering buckling in the plane of the figure, categorize
column bc as long or short if the frame is:
Column Design
Sway frame Non-sway frame
22
r
kl
u

100 22 <
r
kl
u

100 >
r
kl
u

) M / M ( 12 34
r
kl
2 1
u

,
_

>
2
1 u
M
M
12 34
r
kl
100

100 >
r
kl
u

Neglect
slenderness
(short)
Moment
magnification
method (slender)
Exact P-
analysis
(slender)
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 8
a. Nonsway
b. Sway.

Figure 9.6: Frame and loads on column bc
Solution:
a. Nonsway:
For a column to be short,
( ) 0 . 40 / 12 34
2 1
M M
r
l k
u

cm l
u
340 30 30 400
k is conservatively taken as 1.0.
( )
( )
38 . 32
35 3 . 0
340 1
/ r l k
( ) ( ) 38 . 32 40 as taken 1 . 42 40 / 27 12 34 / 12 34
2 1
> M M
i.e., column is classified as being short.
b. Sway:
The column is classified as being short when 22 / r l k
u

[ ( )( ) ( )]
[ ( )( ) ( )] [ ( )( ) ( )]
406 . 0
750 12 / 60 30 35 . 0 900 12 / 60 30 35 . 0
400 12 / 35 30 7 . 0
3 3
3

CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 9
[ ( )( ) ( ) ] [ ( )( ) ( )]
[ ( )( ) ( )] [ ( )( ) ( )]
945 . 0
750 12 / 60 30 35 . 0 900 12 / 60 30 35 . 0
450 12 / 40 30 7 . 0 400 12 / 35 30 7 . 0
3 3
3 3

+
+

b

Using the appropriate alignment chart, k = 1.14, and
( )
( )
22 91 . 36
35 3 . 0
340 14 . 1
>
r
l k
u

i.e., column is classified as being slender, or long.
could have been evaluated using Eq. (9.5)
675 . 0
2
945 . 0 406 . 0

m

25 . 1 675 . 0 1
20
675 . 0 20
+

k
9.5 Short Columns Subjected to Axial force and Bending
Generally, columns are subjected to axial forces in addition to some bending moments.
These moments are generally due to:
Unsymmetrically placed floors, as shown in Figure 9.7.

Figure 9.7 Unsymmetrically placed floors
Lateral loading such as wind or earthquake loads, shown in Figure 9.8.
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 10

Figure 9.8: Rigid Frame
Loads from eccentric loading such as crane loads acting on corbels.
End restraints resulting from monolithic action between floor beams and columns.
Accidental eccentricity resulting from column misalignment or other execution
deficiencies.
9.5.1 Interaction Diagram
Unlike pure axial or bending loading, where unique strength exists for a particular section,
combined axial load and bending result in an infinite number of strength combinations
evaluated by using equilibrium equations and compatibility of strains. When these strength
combinations are plotted, a strength curve called Interaction Diagram is produced. To
plot an interaction diagram for a particular cross section, at least five strength combinations
are required, as shown in Figure 9.9. All strength combinations located in the area under the
curve are possible safe strength capacities while combinations located outside the curve are
failure cases.
Point A:
This point on the curve represents pure axial compression capacity of the column cross
section, where the eccentricity e is equal to zero. The nominal axial capacity
nA
P is given
by Eq. (9.10)
( )
y sg sg g c nA
f A A A f P + 85 . 0 (9.10)
where
sg
A is total column reinforcement.
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 11

Figure 9.9: Strength interaction diagram
Point C:
This point on the curve represents pure flexural capacity of the column cross section
analyzed as doubly reinforced section, where the eccentricity e is equal to infinity. The
nominal flexural capacity
nC
M is given by Eq. (9.11)
( ) ( ) d d C a d C M
s c nC
+ 2 / (9.11)
Point B:
This point is characterized by its maximum bending strength and represents a balanced
failure of the column section. Crushing of the concrete occurs simultaneously with yielding
of the reinforcement, or
003 . 0
cu c
, and
y t
.
Point D:
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 12
Points along the curve between points A and B are characterized by compression failure of
the section. Failure is initiated by crushing of the concrete before the initiation of yielding
of the reinforcement, or
003 . 0
cu c
, and
y t
< .
The eccentricity e is smaller than the eccentricity at balanced failure
b
e , where the
eccentricity increases when moving from point A towards point B along the interaction
curve.
Point E:
Points along the curve between points B and C are characterized by tension failure of the
section. Failure is initiated by yielding of the reinforcement, or
003 . 0
cu c
, and 005 . 0
t
.
The eccentricity e is larger than the eccentricity at balanced failure
b
e , where the
eccentricity increases when moving from point B towards point C along the interaction
curve.
Point F:
This point on the curve represents pure axial tension capacity of the column cross section
where the eccentricity e is equal to zero. The nominal axial capacity
nF
P is given by Eq.
(9.12)
y sg nF
f A P (9.12)
where
sg
A is total column reinforcement.
9.5.2 Modes of Failure
Three modes of failure are possible for columns subjected to axial force plus bending.
9.5.2.1 Balanced Failure
Figure 9.10 shows a rectangular section subjected to an axial load with eccentricity adjusted
so as to produce a balanced failure using the principle of static equivalence.
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 13

Figure 9.10: Balanced failure
The distance to the neutral axis from the extreme compression fiber is given as
d
f
x
y
b

,
_

6120
6120
(9.13)
The compressive force resisted by concrete is given by
b x f C
b c cb 1
85 . 0
The tensile force resisted by reinforcement in the tension side is
y s b
f A T
The compressive force resisted by reinforcement on the compression side of the cross
section is
( )
c y s sb
f f A C 85 . 0
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 14
In the last of the previous equations, it is assumed that compression reinforcement does
yield, or
y s
. This can be easily checked from similar triangles, or

,
_

b
b
s
x
d x
003 . 0
If yielding of the reinforcement does not occur, where
y s
< , the compressive force in
compression reinforcement is given as ( )
c s s sb
f f A C 85 . 0
where the stress in the compression reinforcement is evaluated using Hooks law, or
s s s
E f
From equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction
b sb cb nb
T C C P + (9.14)
Substituting , ,
sb cb
C C and
b
T in Eq. (9.14), one gets
( )
y s c y s b c nb
f A f f A b x f P + 85 . 0 85 . 0
1
(9.15)
From equilibrium of moments, by taking the moments about the centroid of the cross
section,
( ) ( ) d T d d d C d a d C M e P
b sb cb nb b b
+ + 2 / (9.16)
and
nb
nb
b
P
M
e
The balanced strain condition represents the dividing point between compression-controlled
sections and the transition zone of the strength interaction diagram.
9.5.2.2 Tension Failure
Figure 9.11shows a rectangular section subjected to an axial load with eccentricity chosen
larger than
b
e .
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 15

Figure 9.11: Tension failure
The compressive force resisted by concrete is given by b x f C
c c 1
85 . 0
where
d
x
005 . 0 003 . 0
003 . 0

+
and d 375 . 0 x
The tensile force resisted by reinforcement in the tension side is
y s
f A T
The compressive force resisted by reinforcement on the compression side of the cross
section is ( )
c y s s
f f A C 85 . 0 when
y s
.
If yielding of the reinforcement does not occur, where
y s
< , the compressive force in
compression reinforcement is given as ( )
c s s s
f f A C 85 . 0
where the stress in the compression reinforcement is evaluated using Hooks law, or
s s s
E f
From equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction
T C C P
s c n
+ (9.17)
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 16
Substituting , ,
s c
C C and T in Eq. (9.17), one gets
( )
y s c y s c n
f A f f A b x f P + 85 . 0 85 . 0
1
(9.18)
From equilibrium of moments,
( ) ( ) ( ) ' d d C 2 / a d C ' ' d e P
s c n
+ + is used to evaluate e
The nominal flexural strength e P M
n n
.
9.5.2.3 Compression Failure
When the nominal compression strength
n
P exceeds the balanced nomial compression
strength
nb
P , or when the eccentricity e is less than
b
e or when
t
at the extreme layer
of steel at the face opposite the maximum compression force is less than
y
, the section is
compression controlled.
Figure 9.12 shows a rectangular section subjected to an axial load with eccentricity chosen
smaller than
b
e .

Figure 9.12: Compression failure
The compressive force resisted by concrete is given by
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 17
b a f C
c c
85 . 0
Since the reinforcement does not yield, the tensile force resisted by reinforcement in the
tension side is
( )
,
_

,
_

a
a d
A
x
x d
E A E A f A T
s cu s s s s s s s
1
6120

The compressive force resisted by reinforcement on the compression side of the cross
section is
( )
c y s s
f f A C 85 . 0 for
y s
.
From equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction
T C C P
s c n
+ (9.19)
Substituting , ,
s c
C C and T in Eq. (9.18), one gets
( ) ( )
,
_

+
a
a d
A f f A b a f P
s c y s c n
1
6120 85 . 0 85 . 0

(9.20)
From equilibrium of moments, by taking the moments about the axial load
( ) ( ) ( ) 0 2 / + + + e d T d d e d C d e a d C
s c

( ) ( ) ( ) 0 2 / + + + + + + + + e d T d d e d C d e a d C
s c
(9.21)
Substituting , ,
s c
C C and T in Eq. (9.21), one gets
( ) ( )( )
( ) ( ) 0 6120
85 . 0 2 / 85 . 0
+
,
_

+ + + + + + +
d e
a
a d
A
d d e d f f A d e a d b a f
s
c y s c

(9.22)
Eq. (9.22) which is a cubic equation in terms of a , can be written in the following form:
0
2 3
+ + + D a C a B a A (9.23)
where,
b f A
c
425 . 0
( ) d d e b f B
c
+ 85 . 0
( )( ) ( )( ) e d A d d d e f f A C
s c y s
+ + + + 6120 85 . 0
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 18
( ) ( )d e d A D
s
+
1
6120
Eq. (9.23) can be solved using Newton-Raphson iteration method, or any available
mathematical software. When this iteration method is used,
( ) D a C a B a A a f + + +
2 3
(9.24)
and the first derivative of this function is given by
( ) C a B a A a f + + 2 3
2
(9.25)
Assume a trial value for a , named
o
a
The first iteration value
1
a is given as
( )
( )
o
o
o
a f
a f
a a

1
(9.26)
A second iteration is evaluated using
1
a evaluated from Eq. (9.26). Repeat for more
iterations until you reach a converged value for a . Then, a is substituted in Eq. (9.20) to
get
n
P . The nominal flexural strength is evaluated by multiplying
n
P by e .
Example (9.6):
For the column cross section shown in Figure 9.13, plot a nominal strength interaction
diagram, using five strength combinations at least.
Use
2
/ 250 cm kg f
c
,
2
/ 4200 cm kg f
y
, and ( )
2 6
/ 10 04 . 2 cm kg E
s
.

F
Figure 9.13: Column cross section
Solution:
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 19
d = 55 6.25 = 48.75 cm
d = 6.25 cm
d = (55.0 6.25 6.25)/2 = 21.25 cm
( )
002 . 0
10 04 . 2
4200
6

y

Point A:
This is a case of pure axial compression load, the nominal axial load is
( ) ( ) ( ) [ ] tons P
n
65 . 565 4200 27 . 39 27 . 39 35 55 250 85 . 0
1000
1
+

Point B:
The strength combination at this point corresponds to a balanced failure.
( ) cm x
b
91 . 28 75 . 48
4200 6120
6120

,
_

+

( ) cm a
b
573 . 24 91 . 28 85 . 0
( )( )( ) tons C
cb
76 . 182 1000 / 35 573 . 24 250 85 . 0
tons T
b
49 . 82
1000
4200
64 . 19
,
_

y s
>
,
_

0023 . 0
91 . 28
25 . 6 91 . 28
003 . 0
( ) tons C
sb
31 . 78 250 85 . 0 4200
1000
64 . 19

From equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction,
tons P
nb
58 . 178 49 . 82 31 . 78 76 . 182 +
From equilibrium of moments,
( ) ( )
( ) m t
M
nb
. 97 . 61 25 . 21
100
49 . 82
25 . 21 25 . 6 75 . 48
100
31 . 78
25 . 21 2 / 57 . 24 75 . 48
100
76 . 182
+
+

CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 20
The eccentricity causing balanced failure m e
b
347 . 0
58 . 178
97 . 61

Point E:
005 . 0 003 . 0
003 . 0
d
x
+
and
( ) cm 281 . 18 75 . 48 375 . 0 d 375 . 0 x
y s
00197 . 0
281 . 18
25 . 6 281 . 18
003 . 0
,
_

0254 . 0
66 . 0
25 . 6 66 . 0
003 . 0
,
_

s

( )( )( )( ) tons 57 . 115 1000 / 35 281 . 18 85 . 0 250 85 . 0 C
c

tons T 49 . 82
1000
4200
64 . 19
,
_

( ) tons C
s
31 . 78 250 85 . 0 4200
1000
64 . 19
, assuming that
y s

From equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction,
T C C P
s c n
+
tons 39 . 113 49 . 82 31 . 78 57 . 115 P
n
+
From equilibrium of moments,
( ) ( ) ( ) ' d d C 2 / a d C ' ' d e P
s c n
+ +
( )
( )
( ) 25 . 6 75 . 48 31 . 78
2
281 . 18 85 . 0
75 . 48 57 . 115 25 . 21 e 39 . 113 +
,
_

+
and cm 15 . 51 e
m . t 97 . 56
100
15 . 51
39 . 111 M
n

,
_

Point D:
The eccentricity is set at 0.25 m (smaller than 0.347 m) in order to locate a compression
failure strength combination.
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 21
( )( ) cm kg A / 75 . 3718 35 250 425 . 0
( )( )( ) kg B 75 . 18593 75 . 48 25 . 21 25 35 250 85 . 0 +
( )( )
( )( ) kg.cm
C
5852781.37 25 25 . 21 6120 64 . 19
75 . 48 25 . 21 25 . 6 25 250 85 . 0 4200 64 . 19
+ +
+ +

( )( )( )( ) ( )
2 8
. 10 3035529 . 2 75 . 48 25 25 . 21 85 . 0 6120 64 . 19 cm kg D +

( ) ( )
8 2 3
10 3035529 . 2 37 . 5852781 75 . 18593 75 . 3718 + a a a a f

( ) 37 . 5852781 5 . 37187 25 . 11156
2
+ a a a f
Let
o
a = 25 cm as a first trial
( ) 75 . 37551380 25 f
( ) 12 . 11895750 25 f
The first iteration value
1
a is given as
( )
( )
cm
f
f
a 15 . 28
12 . 11895750
75 . 37551380
25
25
25
25
1
+

( ) 5 . 2619416 15 . 28 f
( ) 13646417 15 . 28 f
( )
( )
cm
f
f
a 96 . 27
13646417
5 . 2619416
15 . 28
15 . 28
15 . 28
15 . 28
2

( ) 75 . 37237 96 . 27 f
( ) 13534547 96 . 27 f
( )
( )
cm
f
f
a 96 . 27
13534547
75 . 37237
96 . 27
96 . 27
96 . 27
96 . 27
3

O.K 0024 . 0
85 . 0 / 96 . 27
25 . 6 85 . 0 / 96 . 27
003 . 0
y s
>
,
_

( )( )( ) ( )
( )
tons
P
n
32 . 228
96 . 27
96 . 27 75 . 48 85 . 0
1000
6120
64 . 19
250 85 . 0 4200
1000
64 . 19
1000 / 35 96 . 27 250 85 . 0

1
]
1

,
_

+

CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 22
( ) m t M
n
. 08 . 57 25 . 0 32 . 228
Point F:
This is a case of pure axial tension load, the nominal axial load is
( ) tons f A P
y sy n
93 . 164 1000 / 4200 27 . 39 .
Point C:
This is a case of pure bending moment where the nominal flexural strength is calculated as
follows:
( )( )( )( ) tons x x C
c
32 . 6 1000 / 35 85 . 0 250 85 . 0
tons T 49 . 82
1000
4200
64 . 19
,
_

( ) tons C
s
31 . 78 250 85 . 0 4200
1000
64 . 19
, assuming that
y s

From equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction,
0 49 . 82 31 . 78 32 . 6 + x , and x = 0.66 cm
0254 . 0
66 . 0
25 . 6 66 . 0
003 . 0
,
_

s
, which means that the compression reinforcement is
stressed in tension, a contradiction to the equilibrium equation.
tons
x x
x
C
s

,
_

1
]
1

,
_

23 . 751
023 . 116 250 85 . 0
25 . 6
6120
1000
64 . 19

From equilibrium of forces,
49 . 82
23 . 751
023 . 116 32 . 6 +
x
x
0 23 . 751 533 . 33 32 . 6
2
+ x x
( ) ( )( )
( )
64 . 12
829 . 141 533 . 33
32 . 6 2
23 . 751 32 . 6 4 533 . 33 533 . 33
2
t

+ t

x
x

x = 8.568 cm, and the other root is negative (rejected)
CHAPTER NINE COLUMNS 23
m t
M
n
. 472 . 36
100
25 . 6 75 . 48
568 . 8
23 . 751
023 . 116
2
568 . 8
85 . 0 75 . 48
100
568 . 8
32 . 6

,
_

,
_

+
1
]
1

,
_

,
_

Figure 9.14 shows the resulting strength interaction diagram for the given cross section.

Figure 9.14: Strength interaction diagram
9.5.3 Design Interaction Diagrams
The design interaction diagram for a tied or spirally-reinforced column is evaluated by
carrying out three modifications on the nominal strength interaction curve, shown in Figure
9.15 as follows:
a. All nominal strength combinations on the curve are multiplied by the strength reduction
factor . This factor is equal to 0.65 for tied columns and 0.75 for spirally reinforced
columns.