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Effect of Reduced Brace Section on Behavior of SCBF Bracings

Rasoul Mirghaderi and Sanaz Ahlehagh


Citation: AIP Conference Proceedings 1020, 1044 (2008); doi: 10.1063/1.2963720
View online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2963720
View Table of Contents:
http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/proceeding/aipcp/1020?ver=pdfcov
Published by the AIP Publishing

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Effect of Reduced Brace Section on Behavior of


SCBF Bracings
Rasoul Mirghaderi^ and Sanaz Ahlehagh^
"Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran
^MSc. Student, Civil Engineering Department, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran, ahlehagh@yahoo.com
Abstract. Energy dissipation in concentrically braced frames is achieved by successive cycles of
inelastic buckling in compression and yielding in tension and force controlled elements, such as
beams, columns and connections should remain elastic to ensure the gravity load resistance of
the frame. Braces are usually designed for compression which results section areas that are more
than required by tension, while due to tension action of brace the connections and other members
should be designed for tensile strength of brace element. In chevron braced frames, the beams in
bracing frame should possess adequate strength to resist the unbalanced vertical forces due to
unequal axial capacity of braces in tension and compression. This result in very big size beams,
much stronger than would be required for other brace configurations. In this paper effect of
Reduced Brace Section on behavior of displacement control braces, which intend to decrease the
difference between tensile and post-buckling strength of braces, is described. Decreasing area of
the steel section in a limited length and at a specific location will result in a reduction in tensile
yielding capacity of the brace while it's buckling load and post buckling behavior is not affected
significantly. Tensile yielding force is related to the reduced area of the brace while its post
yielding tensile capacity is also related to the length of the reduced section. Minimum change in
buckling and post buckling response was derived from the proposed arrangements of reduced
sections. Linear and nonlinear response of the reduced section braces in tension and compression
is studied by analytical methods under monotonic and cyclic loading. Braces with reduced
section are considered as a type of balanced bracing which results smaller design forces for
gusset plates and beams in chevron bracings.
Keywords: Special Concentric Braced Frame, Buckling, Post buckling. Brace local buckling,
Pushover analysis.

INTRODUCTION
Currently Special Concentrically Braced Frames (SCBF) are considered as
effective structural systems to resist lateral loads due to earthquake. Braces are the
main source of energy dissipation in these structural systems. Energy dissipation of a
brace is achieved by excessive cycles of inelastic buckling in compression and
yielding in tension. Therefore the governing failure modes shall be yielding in tension
and global buckling in compression (ductile failure modes) and shall occur prior to
brittle limit states such as net section rupture and local buckling of elements. Brace
hysteretic behavior exhibits unsymmetrical properties in tension and compression and
typically shows significant strength deterioration when loaded into the inelastic range
in compression.
CP1020, 2008 Seismic Engineering Conference Commemorating ttie 1908 l\^essina and Reggio Calabria Earttiquai<e,

edited by A. Santini and N. Moraci


2008 American Institute of Physics 978-0-7354-0542-4/08/$23.00

1044
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All other components of the braced frames, such as columns, beams and their
connections are force control elements that are designed to remain elastic while braces
go through inelastic cycles buckling and tensile yielding. Braces are usually designed
for compression which results section areas that are more than required by tension,
while due to tension action of brace the force controlled elements shall be designed for
tensile strength of brace element. The braced bay beam in chevron braced frames is a
force controlled element which has significant effect on the overall behavior of the
braced frame and shall be designed elastically for maximum credible action in braces.
The unbalanced vertical force which usually governs the design of braced bay beam in
chevron braced frames happens when one brace has yielded in tension and the
compressive brace has experienced significant loss of capacity due to entering the post
buckling range. This unbalanced vertical force cause a great increase in height of this
beam.
Many of the potential performance difficulties associated with concentrically
braced frames rise from the difference between the tensile and compression capacity
of the brace, extensive research has been devoted to reduce this unbalanced force and
develop braces with more ideal inelastic behavior. Buckling Restrained Braced Frames
(BFBF) are one of the systems developed to improve the seismic behavior of braced
frames. In BRBFs, the unbalanced force is diminished by eliminating buckling of the
brace, i.e. increasing the compressive capacity.
In this paper the idea of reducing the unbalanced force by decreasing the tensile
capacity of the brace by means of reducing brace area in a limited length is studied.
Decreasing area of the steel section in a limited length and at a specific location will
result in a reduction in tensile yielding capacity of the brace while it's critical buckling
load and post buckling behavior is not affected significantly. Tensile and compressive
behavior of braces with reduced brace section is studied by means of analytical
methods and the effect of their implementation on global behavior of a braced frame is
shown.

BRACING WITH REDUCED BRACE SECTION


Reducing the brace area in a limited length will decrease the yielding capacity of
the brace in tension while it's buckling and post buckling behavior is not affected
much. This kind of bracing is called brace with Reduced Brace Section or Balanced
Bracing in this paper. Several detailing for reducing the area of the brace are
investigated, one of which will be discussed here. Longitudinal profile of this brace,
named RB-5, is shown in FIGURE 1. Total length of reduction is 500 mm, located at
both ends of the brace. Reduced section is also shown in FIGURE 1. Cross sectional
area of the complete section is 2775 mm^ and it reduces to 1875 mm^ in the reduced
sections.
2000
1450

,100, 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50

, n n

f^l

1
.gd

n
(a)

1045
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if

^
35

30

35

r,Td
-+-\L'J\il
(b)
FIGURE 1. Balanced Brace RB-5, a) Longitudinal profile b) cross section

The analysis of the braces are done with the aid of hand calculations using
theoretical formulae, OpenSEES program using frame elements and ABAQUS finite
element program, using quadrilateral shell elements. Yield strength of steel material is
assumed to be 254 MPa.

Tensile Behavior of balanced braces


Reduction in brace area will reduce the tensile capacity of the element, and this
reduction is directly related to the reduced area, but the post yield behavior is also
related to the length of reduced section as shown in FIGURE 2. After yielding of the
reduced section, the strain in the yielded region will increase significantly but the
displacement which is the multiply of strain and length, will not increase much
because the length of the reduced area is limited. The curves shown in FIGURE 2 are
calculated with the aid of strength of material relations. Using the OpenSEES program
with nonlinear beam column elements and fiber section will yield to the same results.
As can be seen in this figure the post yield slope of the curves will reduce with
increasing the length of the reduced area.

Lrecluced=0
-" Lreclucecl=200mm
"-Lreduced=400mm \
'^Lreduced=100mm ,
,
P^

FIGURE 2. Force-Displacement diagram for a brace with reduced section and with different lengths of
reduction.

In FIGURE 3 the axial force-displacement diagram in tension, for braces with


different reduced areas and total reduced length of 400 mm is plotted. Final difference
between the tensile capacity of a complete and reduced brace is also dependant on the
reduced area of the brace.

1046
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Areduced/A=1
Areducecl/A=0.8
Areduced/A=0.5
Areduced/A=0.3

FIGURE 3. Force-Displacement curve for a brace with different reduced areas and an equal reduced
length.

The amount of reduction in tensile capacity is also dependant on the post yield
stiffness of steel material. In FIGURE 2 and FIGURE 3 the ratio of plastic stiffness (E')
to elastic stiffness (E) is assumed equal to 0.01. Reducing this ratio will increase the
reduction in tensile capacity.
The tension force reduction for brace RB-5, in different axial displacements is
shown in FIGURE 4. It can be seen that by 30% reduction of the area in less than 15%
of the length, the tensile strength will be reduced by about 10%) at displacements more
than 50 mm.

FIGURE 4. Tensile strength reduction of brace RB-5 at different displacements

According to the above discussion, it is preferred to have longer reduced lengths


but on the other hand this length shall be limited because the buckling behavior shall
not be affected much.

Compressive Behavior of Balanced Braces


Compressive behavior of balanced braces is studied in order to identify the effect of
reduced area on critical buckling load, post buckling behavior and possibilities of local
buckling. FIGURE 5 shows the ratio of critical elastic buckling load of balanced brace
to complete brace, when the location of the reduced length changes through the brace.
The curves are calculated with the aid of energy method and assuming a shape
function given in Eq. 1.
w(x) = C,Sin{) + C^Sin{)
1J

1J

(1)

1047
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0.95

0.85

0.75

0.65

FIGURE 5. Elastic buckling of balanced braces

The above figure shows that the reduction in elastic buckling load minimizes when
the reduced length is at the ends of the brace. When reducing the moment of inertia by
50%, maximum reduction in elastic buckling load is less than 20%.
To study the global and local buckling behavior of braces with reduced brace
section using finite element programs, an initial imperfection is applied to the model,
which can be obtained from the eigen value buckling analysis. For global buckling
mode, which is the dominant mode for braces without imperfection, the first mode of
eigenvalue buckling, which has the maximum amplitude in the middle of the brace,
gives good estimation of buckling behavior.
In FIGURE 6 the axial force-displacement of RB-5 in nonlinear buckling is plotted.
The response of a complete brace is also included in this figure for comparison. The
diagrams are drawn with the aid of OpenSEES program giving an initial imperfection
with maximum amplitude equal to 1/500 of length at the middle. Therefore if the local
buckling does not govern the response of balanced braces, the buckling behavior does
not change significantly with reducing the area at the ends of the brace.

FIGURE 6. Nonlinear Buckling response of RB-5

Amplitude of the initial imperfection in global buckling modes just changes the
critical buckling load and does not affect the post buckling behavior.
To consider the possibility of local buckling in balanced braces, an initial
imperfection proportional to local buckling modes, calculated in an eigenvalue
1048
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analysis, is applied to the brace. Also the combination of local and global buckling
modes is considered. The results show that the amplitude of local buckling modes has
significant effect on compressive behavior of balanced braces. By increasing the
amplitude of initial imperfection of local buckling modes, local buckling may govern
the compressive behavior of the brace which is not desirable. FIGURE 7 shows the
force-displacement diagram of brace RB-5 in compression with a combination of
local and global buckling modes as initial imperfection with different amplitudes. The
ABAQUS finite element program has been used for this study. When the amplitude of
local buckling mode is equal to 1.5 times the thickness, the local buckling mode
becomes dominant and the maximum lateral displacement occur in the region of
reduced section leading to significant increase in stresses of this region. But for brace
RB-5 and in the range of allowable initial imperfections stated by standards, the global
buckling governs the behavior. As the length of the reduced area increases, local
buckling happens with lower amplitudes of initial imperfection.

FIGURE 7. Buckling behavior of RB-5 for a combination of local and global initial imperfections with
different amplitudes.

Therefore providing special details for the reduced area, the compressive behavior
will not change much by using the idea of balanced braces. This means that the
difference between tensile and compressive strength of braces can be reduced to an
amount of about 10%, resulting use of less steel material for connections and braced
bay beam in chevron braced frames and a better behavior of the braced frame. In
FIGURE 8 cyclic behavior of balanced brace RB-5 is shown, calculated with the aid of
OpenSEES program.

FIGURE 8. Cyclic behavior of brace RB-5

1049
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EFFECT OF BALANCED BRACES ON FRAME BEHAVIOR


In this section the behavior of a 6 story SCBF with and without balanced braces are
studied by a pushover analysis. Height of each story is 3 m and width of the braced
bay is 6 m. The structure is designed according to AISC seismic provisions and then
the pushover analysis is performed with OpenSEES. The pushover curves for the
structure with complete braces and with reduced braces are shown in FIGURE 9.
' ^ " " ~ " ^ " ""^

...^,.....

..

,
!
,
^
I

CompleteBrace

" ^ " " ^ Reduced Brace ;

FIGURE 9. Pushover curve of 6-story building with and without balanced braces

The axial force of braces in first for stories versus control node displacement is
shown in FIGURE 10 and FIGURE 11 for ordinary and balanced braces respectively.
From these figures, it can be seen that tension yielding of balanced braces occurs in
smaller displacement demands, leading to better behavior of structure, more energy
dissipation and smaller size of connections and beams.

FIGURE 10. Axial force of braces vs. control node displacement of a 6-story SCBF

In chevron braced frames after buckUng of compressive brace, the tensile brace
may not yield significantly in tension until it fractures. This is in part due to flexibility
of the beam which deflects downward in the plane of the frame, and the tensile
capacity of the brace along with the strength of the beam is sufficient to resist
elastically the forces developed by the brace in compression. Using balanced braces,
first yielding of the tensile brace occur in displacement demands near those required
for buckling of the compressive brace.

1050
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In the above figure it can be seen that for example the first story brace buckles at a
displacement of about 40 mm but tensile yielding occur at a displacement of about
70 mm. Using balanced braces these values change to 40 mm and 50 mm respectively.

story 1-Tens ions


Story 1-Comp. |
- - Story2-Tensionl
-~ Story2-Connp. I
Story3-Tension|
Story3-Comp. I
Story4-Tension|
Story4-Comp. j

86

ia#

2m

2m

FIGURE 11. Axial force of braces vs. control node displacement of a 6-story SCBF with balanced
bracing

CONCLUSION
Extensive analytical investigation on buckling of balanced braces with different
initial imperfections and different amplitudes has been undertaken. Results show that
the local buckling modes can be prevented by choosing an appropriate length for the
reduced area and special details, thus resulting minor changes in buckling behavior of
balanced braces in comparison to ordinary complete braces.
Use of braces with Reduced Brace Section, reduces the demand on force controlled
elements, by decreasing the tensile capacity of the brace and not changing the
compressive capacity (buckling and post buckling). Yielding of tensile brace in
smaller displacement demands leads to more participation of tensile brace in energy
dissipation and improve the nonhnear behavior of the frame.

REFERENCE:
1. AISC, "Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings including Supplement No.l", AISC-341,
American Institute of Steel Construction, 2005.
2. S. Mazzoni, F. McKenna, G. L. Fenves, OpenSEES Command Language Manual, 2005.
3. P. Uriz and S. Mahin, "Summary of Test Results for UC Berkeley Special Concentric Braced Frame
Specimen No.l (SCBF-1)", Preliminary Observations, University of California, Berkeley,
November 2004.
4. R. Sabelli, S. Mahin, C. Chang, "Seismic demands on steel braced frame buildings with buckling
restrained braces". Engineering Structures, Elsevier, Vol.25, No.5, April 2003.

1051
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