Force Limiting Devices in Space Trusses

by Lewis C. Schmidt, (M.ASCE), Reader; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia,
Ariel Hanaor, Research Student; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 5, Pg. 939-951

Document Type: Journal Paper


The notion of a force-limiting device that has the characteristic of ideal elastic-plastic behavior is introduced and applied to the compressive chords of a two-layer parallel-chord space truss. Examples are used to illustrate the usefulness of force-limiting devices in providing a desirable overall truss load-deflection characteristic. The results illustrate the variation of load capacity of the trusses depending on the load level chosen for the force-limiting device. An analysis is given of the problem of scatter of pin-ended column peak loads, the scatter of forces in these trusses from the theoretical values, and the possible scatter in load capacities of force-limiting devices. The end result is that the brittle-type characteristic that is usually associated with strut buckling in trusses is replaced by the elastic-plastic characteristic of the member force-limiting device, with a consequent beneficial effect on overall truss behavior in the inelastic range.

Subject Headings: Load bearing capacity | Load factors | Space truss | Elastic analysis | Structural behavior | Compressive strength | Displacement (mechanics) | Columns

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