An application of large displacement limit analysis to frame structures

  • Challamel, Noel (Laboratoire de Genie Civil et Genie Mecanique (LGCGM), INSA de Rennes, Universite Europeenne de Bretagne)
  • Received : 2007.07.18
  • Accepted : 2009.07.20
  • Published : 2009.09.30


The aim of this paper is to give a rigorous framework for the interpretation of limit analysis results including large displacements. The presentation is oriented towards unidimensional media (beams) but two-dimensional (plates) or three-dimensional media are also concerned. A single-degree-of-freedom system is first considered: it shows the basic phenomena of large displacement limit analysis or second-order limit analysis. The results are compared to those of a continuous system and the differences between both systems are discussed. Theoretical results are obtained using the kinematical approach of limit analysis. An admissible load-displacement plane is then defined, according to the yield design theory. The methodology used is applied to frame structures. The presented results are nevertheless different from those already published in the literature, as the virtual displacement field can be distinguished from the displacement field at collapse. The simplicity of large displacement limit analysis makes it attractive for practical engineering applications. The load-displacement upper bound can be used for instance in the optimal design of steel frames in seismic areas.


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