Practical Design of Complex Stability Bracing Configurations

The analysis and design of bracing systems for complex frame geometries can prove to be an arduous task given current methods. AISC’s Appendix 6 from the 2010 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings affords engineers a means for determining brace strength and stiffness requirements, but only for the most basic cases. This paper aims to shed some light on common aspects of certain bracing systems that lie well outside the scope of Appendix 6 as well as explain why the corresponding structures can be unduly penalized by Specification equations that were never derived for such use. Subsequently, a practical computational tool is proposed that can be used to accurately assess bracing demands while removing the interpretations needed by design engineers to “fit” their frames into the limited scope of AISC Appendix 6. The software tool is described in detail and several benchmark cases are presented to provide validation. Individual beams and complete framing systems are evaluated via the proposed software and compared to refined test simulations. Finally, recommendations are articulated governing the use of this new software as a means to accurately and safely assess bracing demands in complex bracing configurations.

  • Date: 4/16/2013 - 4/20/2013


Bishop, C.D.; Exponent, Inc.; Chicago, IL; White, D.W.; Georgia Institute of Technology; Atlanta, GA

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