Design of sway frames

  • Subhi Okdeh

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The aim of the work presented in this thesis is to produce a direct method to design structures subject to deflection constraints at the working loads. The work carried out can be divided into four main parts. In the first part, a direct design procedure for plane steel frames subjected to sway limitations is proposed. The stiffness equations are modified so that the sway in each storey is equal to some specified values. The modified equations are then solved by iteration to calculate the cross-sectional properties of the columns as well as the other joint displacements. The beam sections are selected initially and then altered in an
effort to reduce the total material cost of the frame. A linear extrapolation technique is used to reduce this cost. In this design, stability functions are used so that the effect of axial loads in the members are taken into consideration. The final reduced cost design is checked for strength requirements and the members are altered accordingly.
In the second part, the design method is applied to the design of reinforced concrete frames in which the sway in the columns play an active part in the design criteria. The second moment of area of each column is obtained by solving the modified stiffness equations and then used to calculate the mlnlmum column depth required. Again the frame has to be checked for all the ultimate limit state load cases.
In the third part, the method is generalised to design pin-jointed space frames for deflection limitatlions. In these the member areas are calculated so that the deflection at a specified joint is equal to its specified value.
In the final part, the Lagrange multiplier technique is employed to obtain an optimum design for plane rigidly jointed steel frames. The iteration technique is used here to solve the modified stiffness equations as well as derivative equations
obtained in accordance to the requirements of the optimisation method.
Date of AwardMay 1980
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorK.I. Majid (Supervisor)


  • sway frames
  • steel
  • concrete
  • space frames
  • optimum

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