The University of Sheffield
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Improving The Structural Efficiency Of Steel Trusses

Supervisor: Prof Buick Davison

Structural hollow sections possess many advantages over open sections; structural efficiency when subjected to compression, reduced surface area, absence of sharp corners, aesthetic appeal. However, the structural efficiency of trusses formed from tubular steelwork may be compromised by the design of the joints between the chords and the bracing (web diagonal) elements. In order to prevent local failure at a node, the size/thickness of the chords and/or bracing elements may need to be increased above that required to resist the axial force in the member. Thus the amount of material used along the whole length of individual members is increased to avoid a local capacity problem. Strengthening joints between hollow sections is problematic as access to the inside of the tube is not possible. The design approach that has been adopted for many years is to size the members to resist the axial forces generated in the truss members and then check that the joints between the chords and braces have sufficient capacity without stiffening.

This project is NOT FUNDED, although Departmental/University scholarships are available for applicants who can demonstrate strong evidence of research potential.