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Steel truss bottom chord in compression
5

Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
Hello,

I have this truss that has the bottom chord in compression. The length between the truss supports is 90ft and the section is HSS. The joints in the truss are every 8 ft. The trusses are spaced 20ft.

When I check for compression in the bottom chord, the length is 90ft so my HSS fails. Can I use gusset plates in the joints so I can provide for out of plane rigidity and thus reduce the length of analysis?. If the length was 8ft my member wouldn’t fail. Or is it necessary to provide bracing by connecting the trusses in the joints.

What do you think?

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

IMO, you should first reduce the truss spacing by half, if possible. At present arrangement, both options could be difficult to deliver good result.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
Sorry it was 20ft. So do you think the gusset plates would work instead of lateral bracing?

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Even at 20' spacing, bracing member can be quite massive/heavy and possess it's own problems. Try strengthen the chord if you can.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Can you please post a sketch of how the gusset plate you note (combined with the rest of your system) is intended to provide bracing to the bottom chord to decrease its effective length for compression about both axes? I'm struggling to envisage how a gusset plate might be directly equivalent to discrete bracing of the chord here?

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

What is causing compression in the bottom chord?

BA

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

I believe it is fixed end truss with top chord braced.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
The truss is a custom truss And it is getting compression simply from gravity but also in the wind load case. It looks something like this without the gusset plates as the whole system is welded.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Difficult to see the bottom chord in compression for gravity load. Is this a truss for vaulted roof, or bridge?

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
This is not the truss. It is similar to this one. I can’t upload the real configuration. What I am asking is: given that I provide gusset plates in the joints, would you think it would provide enough fixity for out of plane compression buckling? I think it needs to be braced for out of plane and that the gusset plate is not enough. The top chord is beaded with the purlins.

This is for a vaulted roof.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

I am not familiar with it, but a buckling analysis may be is a good approach for this situation. I think Agent666 might have something to offer.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

A simply supported truss should not have compression in the bottom chord. Double check your statics.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

While it helps weak axis bending, the gusset plates would not improve buckling strength much, and you still have the same problem to deal with. As suggest by Rick, you shall double check your model. If nothing wrong with it, the best is to perform a buckling analysis on the model, if you know how, and your program can handle the task. You can try to size brace for 2%/2.5% of the gravity load though.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
Thank you @TheRick109 for your suggestion. I checked my model and it indeed had a problem. Now it only has compression due to wind.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

It needs to be braced.

BA

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Wind uplift, presumably for a roof, is a real thing. Don't even think about leaving out the bracing.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Adding gussets does virtually nothing to enhance the buckling capacity of the chord as others have eluded to.

It may create some additional restraint against rotation of the chord relative to the web members. But you already had a fully welded connection, how is making it more 'fully welded' going to help, and adding rotational restraint alone does not provide restraint against buckling in compression. You need lateral restraint of the member to drive a higher mode of buckling in compression.

The restraint in your situation may come from the bending stiffness of the web members as bottom chord tends to move laterally engaging the web members about their minor axis out of the plane of the truss, and the connection of the top chord to something that can resist the twist inherent in this method of bracing. i.e. moment connection to sufficiently stiff purlins if a roof.

Surely even if you cannot post the exact arrangement you can sketch something up that shows the general intent of the truss and the elements restraining it. You still have not mentioned anything about what is restraining the truss to know if the above method might be viable or if you need to provide either a larger chord, bracing or combination of all of the above.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Gusset plates do not brace chords, they just connect members. Even brace forces have load paths. Make sure you can run yours all the way to ground.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Is this is a new construction, or existing? Can you add weight to the roof?

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Quote (LJ)

Or is it necessary to provide bracing by connecting the trusses in the joints.

Certainly sounds like a good option if your bottom chord isn't passing buckling checks. Adding gusset plates will do nothing. To limit buckling you would need to add significant MOI in the direction of buckling. Bracing the trusses out of plane sounds like the most efficient solution.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

I'm dealing with a similar problem at the moment with a quite shallow truss starting at 10 deg at the ends. A good structural analysis program should be able to calculate effective length for you. The main problem is buckling in the horizontal plane. Gusset plates probably won't do much to fix this. You are likely to get some restraint from the top chord which will reduce the effective length of the bottom chord. How much depends on how well the top chord is restrained and member sizes. If you can, put in a bracing system which will restrain the bottom chord laterally; that would be the most effective.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

1) If there's no highly compelling reason to avoid bracing in the plane of the bottom chord, that would definitely be my recommendation. Such bracing will be highly efficient, very reliable, and may well benefit your building in other valuable ways such as bracing the tops of end walls etc.

2) If there IS a compelling reason to avoid bracing in the plane of the bottom chord, the mechanism shown below is often the way to get it done and, indirectly, does make use of the gussets in the sense that the gussets are part of the structure that effectively converts pure lateral buckling into something more akin to constrained axis bucking about the top chord. This is just semantics though; in conventional design, the gussets perform no meaningful bracing function as the other folks have made clear.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Quote (SDZ)

I'm dealing with a similar problem at the moment with a quite shallow truss starting at 10 deg at the ends.

In similar situations, I've used the scheme below to brace the bottom chord without introducing ceiling plan bracing.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

The reason I've shied away from recommending bracing in my original response is the size effect (L=25', changed to 20' later), also the notion that the truss bottom chord shouldn't be in significant compression, thus, strengthen the chord may be the optimum option. I am not quite certain on the strengthen now, as it turns out to be a bowstring truss, for which uplift due to wind could be hard to handle. But I am still concerned with the effectiveness of a long bracing. I am thinking it may be viable that to brace the end bas only, and use lighter tension ties in the middle bays to engage all trusses in the action. Just a random thinking though.

We need inputs and responses/comments from the OP.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
I was thinking that HSS filed tubes would be enough to handle de compression the total span of the truss is 100ft. So I think If I fill 10ft at each end It will reduce the buckling potential of the bottom chord. Also I think it will reduce the bottom chord out of plane unbraced length down to 80ft.
https://files.engineering.com/getfile.aspx?folder=...

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
Hello @kootK. Thank you for your response.

How do you calculate the new k in the bottom chord for the kL given that I provide the moment frame connection at the top of the truss.

Also, the purlins are welded to the top chord. They are channels. So they might be able to provide the moment frame rigidity. I wonder if the need to be the same section types as the truss members which is HSS.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
Hello @retired13,

This is a new construction but a lot of issues are happening in the construction phase. The design needs to be revisited because the specified material is not available. Also, Seems like no wind check was made previously and now it is failing. I am trying to avoid bracing in the perpendicular direction of the bottom chord because it will need trusses as the distance is 20ft.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Quote (LJ_)

This is a new construction but a lot of issues are happening in the construction phase. The design needs to be revisited because the specified material is not available. Also, Seems like no wind check was made previously and now it is failing. I am trying to avoid bracing in the perpendicular direction of the bottom chord because it will need trusses as the distance is 20ft.

Use fly bracing. Like everyone has said the bottom flange needs to be braced. Fly bracing is the common solution for the bottom chord of truss. Perpendicular bracing is less ideal.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

With sturdy purlin, human's idea get a vote here.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Yep. A purlin check is needed though it is generally not onerous and should generally pass unless you have really got the purlins light. Using fly braces both side will half your load, spacing them more frequently along the truss than is required by the truss will also reduce the brace load (I presume your code allows this.)

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Pairing is even a better idea, as one will get into tension, if the compression brace deforms slightly.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Quote (LJ)

How do you calculate the new k in the bottom chord for the kL given that I provide the moment frame connection at the top of the truss.

There are a number of ways but mine would probably be this:

1) Decide what you want KL to be in your truss and introduce bracing frames to match that spacing.

2) Imagine that you have a discrete, lateral spring at each brace point on your bottom chord and use something like AISC Appendix 6 to work out what strength and stiffness that spring needs to have in order to serve as competent bracing.

3) Design the moment frames, including the beams, connections, and truss webs to have the strength and stiffness determined in [2] at the level of the truss bottom chord.

This is really the exact same procedure that I'd use for fly bracing. And that makes sense given that the fly bracing is really another version of a moment frame wherein the diagonal creates a superior version of the purlin to truss web moment connection.

Quote (LJ)

I wonder if the need to be the same section types as the truss members which is HSS.

I see no need for them to be the same section and, frankly, would be surprised if they were in practice.

Quote (LJ)

I was thinking that HSS filed tubes would be enough to handle de compression the total span of the truss is 100ft. So I think If I fill 10ft at each end It will reduce the buckling potential of the bottom chord. Also I think it will reduce the bottom chord out of plane unbraced length down to 80ft.

I would be very careful with that. The concrete fill will increase member stiffness where the fill exists but, given that you only plan to introduce it at the ends of the truss, I'd be surprised if it really had a significant impact on overall buckling capacity at all. And it definitely will not simply reduce KL by the length that is concrete filled.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

what about the bottom chord providing sufficient bracing for the compression truss verticals? if the bottom chord is too limber it could be a problem for that condition.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

The Importance of Tension Chord Bracing.

Yeah, that's always a thing. One nice thing about a "real" uplift demand is that it give you an excused to cover tension chord buckling concerns at, usually, no extra cost.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
Hello again,
I revised the AISC Design Guide 24 and the hollow structural section book by Packer and the latter explains the procedure to calculate the K for the bottom chord given top chord and web elements and it also states that this K can be as low as 0.3 ir even less. Unfortunately this doesn’t work for my design either so I need to do fly bracing.
Now fly bracing round HSS is very expensive so I will ask the owner if it can be changed to round hss because the connection details will be difficult.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

I am skeptical about the analysis that showed this type of truss to have compression in the bottom chord for gravity load. Did you just build an FEM model and run it, or did you do a hand calculation?

One common mistake I see a lot of people make with truss analysis is that they build a model where both ends of the truss are pinned. When they really should have made one end pinned and the other end a roller.

If you compare the two analysis results, (pinned-pinned vs pinned-roller) you will usually see that a large compression reaction appears at each support for the pinned-pinned model. Then, the pinned-roller model barely (which obviously can't develop the compression reaction) is allowed to move, but it only moves a tiny fraction of an inch. So, if there is any give in the bolt connections, or the support, then the reactions causing compression will never develop.

Of course, there are ways in which I could see wind causing compression in the bottom chord. But, I'd start off making sure the analysis results are correct by further investigating the gravity load case.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Can you use lighter truss at a closer spacing to minimize the difficulty in bracing?

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
No unfortunately the spacing is set as 20ft.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
@joshplumSE The supports are welded to a base plate and then the base plate is anchored to a column. This is why I think it should be pinned pinned and not pinned roller

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

It's quite likely that your column will be flexible enough to move and create the roller intent.

As Josh indicated, run an analysis with a pin-roller and see how much lateral movement needs to occur for that to be true, and then see whether you feel that amount of movement could be achieved based on connections and member flexibility. If yes, then use the pin-roller results, if no, then pin-pin it is.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Quote (LJ_)

The supports are welded to a base plate and then the base plate is anchored to a column. This is why I think it should be pinned pinned and not pinned roller

LOL What do others think? Has he done this analysis correctly?

If you do what I suggested (compare the results for pinned-pinned vs pinned-roller). If so, what do you get for deflection that would allow it to be considered pinned-roller vs reaction the support has to be able to resist for it to be considered pinned-pinned?

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
What I actually did was to add columns as supports instead of a fully fixed pinned connection. This gives a result in between both conditions. But pinned roller is not okay in this case unless you design/detail for that.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

I agree with JoshPlum - pinned-roller.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

How is the baseplate anchored to the column? Is that plat welded to the column, or are you using bolts between a column cap plate and the truss base plate? If bolts, I'd expect there to be some slip in that connection as well that wouldn't be captured by the model which would likely push it closer to true pin-pin.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
The truss is welded to a plate and the plate is anchored to the column. The anchoring is an embedded plate in the column and the anchors are welded to the bottom surface of the base plate.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Model the truss frame with truss pinned to the column.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
Okay, even if it didn’t have that fixity which I also considered. The problem is the bottom chord compression under wind load not gravity load as a pinned roller support.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Quote (LJ)

I revised the AISC Design Guide 24 and the hollow structural section book by Packer and the latter explains the procedure to calculate the K for the bottom chord given top chord and web elements and it also states that this K can be as low as 0.3 ir even less.

Can you direct me to where the Packer book says that? I have that reference and am curious to check that out.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

KootK: Section 2.3.3 "Long laterally unsupported compression chords"

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

For the special shaped truss ends, I am thinking it is possible to make a rigid truss-column joint by extending the truss end gusset plates on both faces down to the column. The rigid joints will reduce the unbraced length, and help for lateral drift.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

(OP)
Thank you @Retired13 that’s actually what solved this. A solid rod connected to the hss and the rod to the plate that connects to the column. I don’t get compression in the bottom chord anymore due to wind. I also modeled the column instead of the pinned support.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Glad that you got it resolved. Thanks for let us know.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

I have the strong suspicion that the results from this latest model will almost exactly match the pinned-roller model that I had suggested. wink

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

I agree Josh. Hinge and roller supports are typically used in the analysis of a truss.

BA

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

And have been for long before computers were used for analysis. And yet we are still coming out with similar sizing and detailing even with the advent of these new fancy computer programs.

It's amazingponder

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

If you design an pin-roller supports, you need to design a support that is free to move laterally. It is not likely/easily achieved in the beam-column connection though.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Not true. You can safely neglect the stiffness of the columns as they have virtually no effect on the forces on truss members. Furthermore, you cannot rely on "fixed" bases for columns.

BA

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

BA,

We did went though that exercise though other posts. You can model a simple frame to verify it.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

2

Quote (Retired13)

If you design an pin-roller supports, you need to design a support that is free to move laterally. It is not likely/easily achieved in the beam-column connection though.

No offense intended, but that's actually quite incorrect in reality. I know why you think it's correct. But, it's just due to the fact that you haven't seen cases like this nearly as often as I have.

Classic example is this case. Why did modeling in the columns solve his problem? Well the lateral stiffness of the column is relatively low. So, as soon as the guy models that, the behavior of the truss reverts to pinned-roller behavior that we expect. I spent 16 years in tech support for RISA. Every time someone called up with a truss modeled as pinned-pinned, they got funny answers that just couldn't be true (typically the bottom chord in compression for most load cases).

Telling them to move towards pinned-pinned to pinned-roller would solve the problem virtually every time. Some people (like you and the OP) would object. So, I'd tell them to do one of two things to prove them wrong:
1) Compare the lateral reaction (R) in the pinned-pinned model to the lateral deflection (delta_r) in the pinned-roller model. Typically they would have very large lateral reactions and extremely small deflections. So, much so that they immediately realized the rigid lateral restraint was not realistic.
2) If they still didn't accept my argument, I would tell them to model in whatever supports the truss on both ends. This would solve the problem, because the stiffness of their lateral support would have to be much greater than R/delta_r for the model to behave as pinned-pinned rather than pinned-roller.

The reality is that all situations are between pinned-roller and pinned-pinned. But, the real world result is virtually always much, much closer to the pinned-roller case.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Quote (retired13)

BA,

We did went though that exercise though other posts. You can model a simple frame to verify it.

I understand what you are saying, but we make certain simplifications when designing a truss. One such simplification is we assume all members are pinned at every node when in fact, the chords are usually continuous. The other simplification we make is that columns offer negligible lateral restraint to the truss, so it is usual to neglect column stiffness.

There may be circumstances where these assumptions are questionable and when that is the case, continuity should be properly considered, but for the vast majority of cases, the above simplifications are warranted.

BA

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

It sounds like OP may have these trusses bearing on concrete columns/pilasters - there was talk of embeds... Depending on the top restraint of the columns/pilasters (i.e., concrete slab (for some reason...) tying in to the top of the column/wall, just above the truss bearing), I could see that leaning towards a pin-pin support system. Any other situation (bearing on steel columns/beams/other trusses/etc) that's a pin-roller - all day long. For what it's worth, I've done my fair share of piddling around in RISA, etc., modeling trusses and other 'exerimental' setups. It does matter, even though many programs only run linear analysis. Non-linear analysis would only amplify this effect. See pic below. Even though we're not seeing bottom chord compression (which I suspect might have been caused by either: 1) fully fixed supports and fixed members or, 2) some sort of restraint at bottom chord in plane of the truss), we do see significant differences in top chord axial forces. So, food for thought. This does not address any buckling, etc. Just a discussion about fixity.

OP, it would be very helpful (even just for our curiosity) if you provided more information: sketch, bearing condition detail, screenshot of your model, etc.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Josh,

Here is a simple verification model (using RISA2D). The first two models are Pin-Roller support trusses with external gravity load, and lateral load respectively. The third is the superposition of results obtained above. The fourth is Pin-Pin support truss with the identical external gravity load as in model 1. (Red - applied load; D: deflection)

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Retired13 -

1) Your gravity load of 2 kips vertical causes a 1 kip lateral reaction at the pinned-pinned supports. Does feel right to you? And, a no force in the bottom chord. Still feel right?
2) Whereas if you make it pinned-roller, you get a deflection of 0.003 inches. 3 mils. If I were to apply a 1 kip force to the top of a 12ft tall W18x97 column (which should be pretty stiff in the strong axis) then I get a deflection of 0.021 inches. 7 times the deflection you'd get from the pinned roller model. 14 times when you consider that the 1 kip reactions happen on both sides of the truss.

Does that make it more clear why the pinned-roller model should be much much closer to the real results than the pinned-pinned? If not, then create a model that includes the supporting columns and compare the forces in the truss compared to what you get with your pinned-pinned and pinned-roller models. You'll see that the results are much, much closer to the pinned-roller model.

I hope that clarifies things.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Well said JoshPlum, hopefully that puts to bed all the misinformation and pursuit of incorrect fantasy theories regarding infinitely rigid support fixity being a real thing!

Retired13, you're trying to prove a solution/theory for a problem that just doesn't exist in reality. Please stop, you've tried multiple times to convince people of your views but no one is in agreement as you can see.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

My first three models are on pin-roller support. A horizontal load (1 in this case) was introduced on model 2 to close the gap, then model 1 is imposed on model 2 to yield model 3, which in turn agrees with model 4 that was supported by pin at both end. The thing I want to point out is the lateral deflection play an important role in truss analysis, as it will alter the result.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Agent,

This is simple engineering mechanics.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Quote (retired13)

This is simple engineering mechanics.

And yet, you (retired13) are having a really, really tough time understanding it. Let's put it another way:

a) In your Pinned-pinned model you have an INFINITELY stiff lateral support. Right?
b) We know that's not correct, we know that it has to be somewhere between a pinned and a roller.
c) If the truss were allowed to deflect 0.003 inches, then the lateral reaction at the support would be zero. But, your pinned-pinned model shows a lateral reaction of 1 kip.
d) Therefore, in order for your pinned-pinned model to be correct, the actual lateral stiffness at each end would have to be significantly greater than 2* 1kip / 0.003 inches. That's a lateral stiffness significantly greater than 667 kips per inch. What support is going to give you a stiffness like that? If the column support were a 12 ft tall W44x335, then that lateral stiffness of each support would be about 714 k/in. Probably still not stiff enough. But, at least it's in the ball park. However, I don't think the lateral stiffness of your column support for this truss will (in reality) be anywhere near that stiff.

e) By all means, I accept the argument that modeling in the actual lateral stiffness of your column supports is going to be the most accurate solution. All I'm saying is that if you actually do this, you will find out that the truss forces will be almost identical to the Pinned-Roller case. I'll follow this up with a similar type of truss modeled this way to show you how good the pinned-roller model really is.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Josh,

This confirms your point. Thanks.



See revised diagram below.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

[Correction] I found a glitch on my previous model. The forces remain the same, but deflection differs, which is anticipated.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Josh,

I think my original model is more useful in truss sitting on rigid abutment, the type of support will alter the results, so the physical support must in agreement with the analysis. However, your thinking is correct for truss supported by typical frames, or walls. Very good point, I appreciate your effort in clearing up the air.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Retired13 -

No problem.... I appreciate that you didn't take my attempts at correcting you as a personal attack.

For trusses on a rigid abutment, you may be correct. However, my tendency would be to envelope the design for both methods. I just tend to think that in the field there is often some give in the connections or bolts or such. That's where engineering gets tough. When the real world doesn't want to cooperate with our design / modeling assumptions.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Josh,

Envelop is a good/sound practice, no doubt there. I accept and appreciate pointed comments, nobody knows every tricks until enlightened by others. I think this is the most important feature/purpose of this forum. Thanks again, as I really didn't think about it until your comments.

RE: Steel truss bottom chord in compression

Looking back at dold's truss, it is top chord bearing. With a pin at each end, the total strain in the top chord must be zero. Green lines represent compression, blue lines tension. The thickness of the lines indicates magnitude to some scale. Interior panels are in compression but the end panels are in tension, a necessary outcome to satisfy the boundary conditions.

If the truss had been bottom bearing, there would be a similar stress reversal in the bottom chord with the end panels in compression and interior panels in tension.

BA

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