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COMPUTERS AND STRUCTURES, INC.

, BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA SEPTEMBER 2002


STEEL FRAME DESIGN BS 5950-2000
Technical Note
Classification of Sections

This Technical Note explains the classification of sections when the user se-
lects the BS 5950-2000 design code. The parameters r1, r2 and and the
slenderness ratios are the major factors in classification of section.

Overview
The nominal strengths for axial compression and flexure are dependent on
the classification of the section as Class 1 (Plastic), Class 2 (Compact), Class
3 (Semi-Compact), or Class 4 (Slender). The program checks the sections ac-
cording to Table 1 (BS 3.5.2, Table 11, Table 12). The section dimensions
used in the tables are given in Figure 1. The parameters r1, r2 and along
with the slenderness ratios are the major factors in classification of sections.

r1 and r2 are the two longitudinal stress ratios. r1 is the ratio of the aver-
age longitudinal compressive stress to yield stress, assuming only the web
is effective. r2 is the ratio of the average longitudinal stress to yield stress,
assuming the whole gross area is effective. In calculating r1 and r2, com-
pression is taken as positive and tension is taken as negative. r1 and r2 are
calculated as follows:

P
d t p for I and Channel sections,
y
r1 = (BS 3.3.5)
P
for Box and Double-Channel sections, and
2 d t py

P
r2 = for all sections. (BS 3.3.5)
Ag py

The absolute values of P1 and r2 are taken as limited by 1.

-1 < r1 <1 (BS 3.5.5)

-1 < r2 <1 (BS 3.5.5)

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Steel Frame Design BS 5950-2000 Classification of Sections

is defined as follows:

1
275 2
= (BS 3.5.2, Table 11, Table 12)
py

The section is classified as either Class 1 (Plastic), Class 2 (Compact), or


Class 3 (Semi-Compact) as applicable. If a section fails to satisfy the lim-
its for Class 3 (Semi-Compact) sections, the section is classified as
Class 4 (Slender). Currently, the program does not check stresses for
Slender sections.

Table 1 Limiting Width-Thickness Ratios for Classification of Sections


Based on BS 5950-2000
Description Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
of Section Ratio Checked (Plastic) (Compact) (Semi-Compact)
bf / 2tf (rolled) 9 10 15
bf / 2tf (welded) 8 9 13
For r1 1.0,
unconditional,
For r1 1.0, For r2 0.5,
I-SHAPE for 1.0 < r1 0.0,
unconditional, unconditional,
d / tw for r1 1.0, 100 for r2 > 0.5,
1 + r1
800 1 for r1 > 0.0, 120
1 + r1 1 + 2r 2
100 1

1 + 1.5 r1
28 32 40
b / t (bending)
80 d / t 62 0.5 d / t
b/t
40
(compression only)
BOX For r1 1.0, For r1 1.0, For r2 0.5,
unconditional, unconditional, unconditional,
d/t for r1 > 1.0, for r1 > 1.0, for r2 > 0.5,
64 80 120
1 + 0.6r1 1 + r1 1 + 2r 2

b f / tf As for I Shapes As for I Shapes As for I Shapes


CHANNEL
d / tw 40 40 40
bf / 2tf 8 9 18
T-SHAPE
d/t 8 9 18
DOUBLE ANGLE b/t 15

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Steel Frame Design BS 5950-2000 Classification of Sections

Table 1 Limiting Width-Thickness Ratios for Classification of Sections


Based on BS 5950-2000
Description Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
of Section Ratio Checked (Plastic) (Compact) (Semi-Compact)
(separated) h/t 15
(b + h) / t 24
DOUBLE ANGLE b/t 9 10 15
(in contact) h/t 9 10 15
b / t, h / t 15
ANGLE
(b + h) / t 24
D / t (bending)
40 2 50 2 140 2
r2 0.5
PIPE
D / t (compression)
80 2
r2 > 0.5
SOLID CIRCLE Assumed Compact
SOLID RECTANGLE Assumed Semi-Compact
GENERAL Assumed Semi-Compact

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Steel Frame Design BS 5950-2000 Classification of Sections

b b

d D d d
tw tw tw

tf tf tf

c c b

b
b B

b tf r
b = - 3c
d D D
tw tw
t = tw = tf
tf

d = -h - 3t

b b

tf
t D t
h D

BS 5950: Axes Conventions 2, z

2-2 is the cross section axis parallel to the webs,


the longer dimensions of tubes,
3, y 3, y
the longer leg of single angles, or
the side-by-side legs of double-angles.
This is the same as the z-z axis.
2, z
3-3 is orthogonal to 2-2. This is the same as the y-y axis.

Figure 1: BS 5950-2000 Definition of Geometric Properties

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