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Steel Structures CE406

(Flexural Members)
By: Engr. Muhammad Noman
DCE, IIU Islamabad
• A beam is generally considered to be any member subjected
principally to transverse gravity or vertical loading.
Introduction (Cont’d)
• Among the steel shapes that are used as beam include:
• W shapes, which normally prove to be the most economical
beam sections and they have largely replaced channels and S
sections for beam usage.
• Channels are sometimes used for beams subjected to light
loads, such as purlins and at places where clearances available
require narrow flanges
• Purlins: Roof Beams running between trusses
Stresses in Beams
• Beams are one of the most fundamental elements in all
• Beam is any system that we can design is bent in one way or
• Therefore, we need to figure out how we can compute
stresses in beams
• Note that, since beams experience both shear and bending
moments, we can generate both normal and shear stresses
Stresses in Beams (Cont’d)
To derive the normal stresses in beams, we’ll assume the
Linear and elastic behavior:
• Material follows Hooke’s law
Strain compatibility:
• Plane section remains plane
• In other words, all of the deformation is linearly proportional
Small deflections:
• That is, we don’t need to consider equilibrium of the displaced
Stresses in Beams (Cont’d)
• For a symmetric section of beam, we get the following:
Stresses in Beams (Cont’d)
• From this relationship, the maximum stresses in this section
from the extreme fibers, or d/2

• We define the denominator as the section modulus, Sx

Stresses in Beams (Cont’d)
• Because the section is doubly-symmetric, there is only one
section modulus
• If the section were singly symmetric, we would need to define
two section moduli:
Yield Moment and Sx
• The relationship will be linear until the extreme fiber stresses
reach Fy.
• Once this occur, this relationship will no longer valid.
• We call this point the yield moment, or My
Yield Moment and Sx (Cont’d)
• Like before, if the section in question is doubly-symmetric,
there is only one yield moment.
• If the section in question were singly symmetric, we would
need to define two yield moments:
• Myc = Yield moment with respect to the compression flange
• Myt = Yield moment with respect to the tension flange
• The lower of these two values would govern.
Plastic Moment Zx
• Lets apply some moment on the steel beam
Plastic Moment Zx (Cont’d)
• The beam will behave elastically until the Yield stress Fy
• This is what we call Yield moment

• So what happens when we keep increasing moment?

Plastic Moment Zx (Cont’d)
• Since the stress cant exceed Fy, yielding would penetrate the

• The maximum capacity of the beam is called the plastic

Plastic Moment Zx (Cont’d)
• Therefore, the plastic moment, or Mp, is the largest moment
that a steel beam can take.
• It is the point at which the entire cross-section has reached Fy.
• After this point, the beam will freely deform under no increase
in load.
• Therefore we need a means to compute this value.
Plastic Moment Zx (Cont’d)
• The elastic Neutral axis of a cross-section is the location of the
• The plastic neutral axis is where the compressive forces equal
the tensile forces
Arent these the same thing? Not necessarily.
• Because of symmetry, the plastic neutral axis might not be in
the same location as the neutral axis.
Problem 1:
• Lets compute Zx for the following section:
• For this section We’ll compute the plastic moment capacity
Mp as well
• All stell in the cross section has Fy = 50ksi
AISC Capacity of Beams
• There are three primary chapters of the AISC Specification of

Chapter F:
• Design of Members for flexure

Chapter G:
• Design of Members for Shear

Chapter L:
• Design for Serviceability (i.e. deflections)
AISC Capacity of Beams
• Table 3-23 is an important table:
AISC local buckling of Beams:
• Before we discuss capacity, recall the concept of local buckling
in columns
• That is, the individual plate elements might buckle before the
global strength of the member is reached
AISC Design Aids
AISC Design Aids
Problem 2:
• Analyze a beam to see if it is adequate
• W16x31 (A992 Steel)
• WD =450 lb/ft (not including self weight)
• WL = 550 lb/ft
• L = 30 ft (Simply supported)

• Calculate moment capacity and shear capacity

Thank You