Effect of random material variability on seismic design parameters of steel frames

A. S. Elnashai, M. Chryssanthopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Whereas an increase in material yield stress beyond the code specified characteristic value enhances plastic capacity, it may cause a reduction in overall ductility and energy absorption capability of steel frames. Since quality control of various shapes of sections used on site is difficult to impose, the effect of this random variability on design response parameters should be accounted for in earthquake‐resistant regulations. Moreover, the required weak‐beam/strong‐column design principle in particular, and failure mode control in general, could be undermined if the yield stresses in beam and column assume two opposite extremes in a random sample. This paper addresses the problem of defining the expected range of response parameters in a steel frame with randomly varying yield stress. A simple portal frame is designed using code specified characteristic values and verified by non‐linear transient dynamic analysis. The influence of yield stress variability, including the degree of correlation between beam and column material properties, on several response parameters is assessed through a Monte Carlo simulation study. Results are presented from both univariate and bivariate statistical analyses that quantify the relationship between input (material) and output (response) parameters. Assessment of the interdependence of output parameters given a particular model for yield stress variability is also undertaken. It is shown that certain response parameters exhibit more favourable statistical properties than others. Thus, the implications for seismic code design are discussed in the light of these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
JournalEarthquake Engineering & Structural Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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