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UBC Theses and Dissertations

SEITRON SEIsmic elecTRONic handbook : a knowledge based systems approach to structural steel design Siu, Lillian S. F.


The Canadian steel code, CAN3-S16.1-M89, has become increasingly complex with the introduction of new seismic provisions, Clause 27, in its 1989 edition of the Handbook of Steel Design. The implementation of these provisions is meant to provide the necessary ductility and redundancy requirements for the basic types of steel frame construction. Prior to the 1989 changes, it was reasoned within the industry that the inherent mechanical properties of steel and the standard design practices provided adequate ductile frame behaviour. However, tests performed in the 1970's and 80's have shown successful behaviour of some frames and less desirable characteristics in other. The purpose of Clause 27 is to quantify design practices such that an adequate level of ductility and redundancy is reached for the basic types of steel frames. Further to the concept of steel member design, there are numerous software packages available for structural analysis using finite elements, static and dynamic elastic theory; however, there are very few design packages which transpose the forces from the analysis software into quantifiable results of beam, columns and connections. The objectives of this thesis is to clarify and illustrate the design principles as stated in Clause 27 of the HSC Edition 91 and to expand the engineer's toolkit with elemental design tools. This is done in three ways: 1) Provide an electronic reference system for Clause 27, along with electronic links to commentary and references. 2) Quantify the critical elements of each frame system and provide the corresponding code design requirements through the use of graphics. 3) Provide design templates as engineering design tools which utilize Clause 27 other CAN3-S16.1-M89 design requirements. The approach taken in the design of SEITRON, (from SEIsmic ElecTRONic Handbook), is to utilize the present state-of-the-art computer technology in order to provide the qualifying relationships and links that are inherent in the new code. Also, the creation of a WINDOWS environment coupled with the use of graphics is intended to effectively illustrate the application of the code with respect to the particular frame element and frame type. In terms of expanding the engineer's toolkit, SEITRON bridges this gap with structured spreadsheet templates which incorporate the CAN3-S16.1-M91 steel design code. The resultant forces from structural analysis can be placed in the templates for automatic or user defined member selection and elemental strength and stability checks. The structured templates increase the engineers efficiency and decreases the time spent on design. The development of SEITRON promises many benefits to the steel design industry as an engineering tool or as a teaching aid. Productivity and efficiency of design is inherent with the use of the structured templates, especially when member selection or member verification is desired for structures that are composed of hundreds to thousands of elements. SEITRON also provides greater comprehension as to the application and rationale of the seismic provisions with respect to ductility design through its electronic referencing system. SEITRON can play an important role for the education of students as well as practicing engineers who would like to become familiar with the new seismic code. It can provide a practical tool for elemental design.

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