First Advisor

Franz N. Rad

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Applied Science


Applied Science




Reinforced concrete construction, Structural frames, Plastic analysis (Engineering)



Physical Description

1 online resource (99 p.)


In this investigation, the primary objective was to study the nonlinear behavior of unbraced two-bay concrete frames and to determine the extent to which ultimate load theory or limit design can be applied to these structures. The frame behavior was investigated analytically by two methods. In the first method the frame stability equation was derived assuming that members of the frame possess an elasto-plastic moment-curvature relationship. This stability analysis was also carried out by another model consisting of a column attached to a linear spring and carrying the total frame load. The second method was through a computer program which took material and geometric nonlinearities of concrete frames into account. A model concrete frame, with a scale factor of approximately one-third was considered. Variable parameters were loading condition, column reinforcement ratio, and beam to column load ratio. For each frame, the gravity loads were increased proportionally until 75% of the frame ultimate capacity under gravity loads was reached. Then; while these gravity loads were held constant, lateral load was applied and increased to failure. The overall geometry, 21-in high columns and 84-in long beam, were kept the same for all of model frames investigated. The computer study and the stability model analysis indicated that all frames remained stable until four plastic hinges (two in each bay) formed, thus producing a combined sway mechanism. Based on the scope of this study, it appears that limit design may be employed for unbraced reinforced concrete structures.


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