Behavior of multi-story steel buildings under dynamic column loss scenarios

  • Hoffman, Seth T. (Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc.) ;
  • Fahnestock, Larry A. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Received : 2010.08.30
  • Accepted : 2011.02.14
  • Published : 2011.03.25


This paper presents a computational study of column loss scenarios for typical multi-story steel buildings with perimeter moment frames and composite steel-concrete floors. Two prototype buildings (three-story and ten-story) were represented using three-dimensional nonlinear finite element models and explicit dynamic analysis was used to simulate instantaneous loss of a first-story column. Twelve individual column loss scenarios were investigated in the three-story building and four in the ten-story building. This study provides insight into: three-dimensional load redistribution patterns; demands on the steel deck, concrete slab, connections and members; and the impact of framing configuration, building height and column loss location. In the dynamic simulations, demands were least severe for perimeter columns within a moment frame, but the structures also exhibited significant load redistribution for interior column loss scenarios that had no moment connectivity. Composite action was observed to be an important load redistribution mechanism following column loss and the concrete slab and steel deck were subjected to high localized stresses as a result of the composite action. In general, the steel buildings that were evaluated in this study demonstrated appreciable robustness.


multi-story buildings;steel frames;structural integrity;progressive collapse;connections;composite beams;dynamic response;finite element method


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