Engineering Journal

Critical Evaluation of Equivalent Moment Factor Procedures for Laterally Unsupported Beams

Critical Evaluation of Equivalent Moment Factor Procedures for Laterally Unsupported Beams

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Critical Evaluation of Equivalent Moment Factor Procedures for Laterally Unsupported Beams

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Wong, Edgar; Driver, Robert G. (2010). "Critical Evaluation of Equivalent Moment Factor Procedures for Laterally Unsupported Beams," Engineering Journal, American Institute of Steel Construction, Vol. 47, pp. 1-20.

This paper compares the numerous approaches to determining equivalent moment factors used in evaluating the elastic critical moment of laterally unsupported beams for a wide variety of moment distributions. The investigation revealed that the procedure used currently in the Canadian design standard produces unacceptable results for the majority of the common bending moment distributions considered. Large abrupt changes in Cb values with only slight changes in the shape of the moment diagram were observed in six out of the 12 moment distribution comparisons, which contributes to the overall poor performance of the procedure.The study also revealed drawbacks inherent in other methods. Overall, the quarter-point moment equations developed for general moment distributions capture the trends of the numerical data reasonably well. However, for example, the evaluations show that the 2005 AISC equation produces non-conservative results in some situations, while the British equation, although generally conservative, produces comparatively less accurate results. Other equations examined capture the trends of the numerical data more consistently by implementing a square root format in the quarter-point moment method. However, they produce results that exceed the numerical data in several cases, implying that they are too aggressive for design purposes.To capture the best features of the various methods investigated, yet improve the overall suitability for general design purposes, a modified quarter-point moment equation using the square root format is proposed. Not only does it simulate the trends of the numerical solutions closely, but it also produces reasonable and conservative equivalent moment factors, even in cases where other methods do not. Like all quarter-point moment methods, the proposed equation does not produce good results in some situations where concentrated moments are applied. Nevertheless, it is believed to be appropriate for the vast majority of typical design cases.

  • Published: 2010, Quarter 1

Author(s)

Edgar Wong; Robert G. Driver