Robustness of light steel frames and modular constructions

Lawson, P.M., Byfield, M.P., Popo-Ola, S.O. and Grubb, P.J. (2008) Robustness of light steel frames and modular constructions Proceedings of the ICE - Structures and Buildings, 161, (1), pp. 3-16. (doi:10.1680/stbu.2008.161.1.3).


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The robustness or structural integrity of light steel framing and modular constructions is important because these are relatively new structural forms, in which the components have different forms of inter connectivity in comparison with primary steel frames. There is also an increased need to understand the sensitivity of these forms of construction to so called ‘accidental actions’ including terrorist threats. Various forms of construction using light steel and modular technologies are identified and their implications for ‘robustness’ are reviewed. For light steel framing, multiple inter connections provide robustness by tying action and alternative load paths in the event of one or more elements being severely damaged. For modular construction, a scenario based approach is required in which modules are selectively removed and the horizontal and vertical forces in the connections between the modules can be calculated explicitly. Load tests on modular units demonstrate the torsional and ‘deep beam’ action of the modules. Stressed skin tests are presented which show that modules are able to span as deep beams with one longitudinal support removed with minimal displacements, indicating that the torsional stiffness of the ‘box’ provides a high level of robustness. Removal of a corner support again demonstrated the role that torsional action of the box plays in redistributing loads away from damaged sections of a structure.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1680/stbu.2008.161.1.3
Keywords: design methods & aids, beams & girders, buildings, structures & design, steel structures
Organisations: Infrastructure Group
ePrint ID: 53351
Date :
Date Event
1 February 2008Published
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:50
Further Information:Google Scholar

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