Title page for ETD etd-07222007-221612

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Seek, Michael Walter
Author's Email Address mseek@vt.edu
URN etd-07222007-221612
Title Prediction of Lateral Restraint Forces in Sloped Z-section Supported Roof Systems using the Component Stiffness Method
Degree PhD
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Murray, Thomas M. Committee Chair
Charney, Finley A. Committee Member
Easterling, William Samuel Committee Member
Setareh, Mehdi Committee Member
Sotelino, Elisa D. Committee Member
  • diaphragm
  • standing seam
  • through-fastened
  • cold-formed
  • component stiffness method
  • finite element method
  • lateral bracing
  • Z-section
  • purlin
  • metal building
Date of Defense 2007-01-29
Availability unrestricted

Z-sections are widely used as secondary members in metal building roof systems. Lateral restraints are required to maintain the stability of a Z-section roof system and provide resistance to the lateral forces generated by the slope of the roof and the effects due to the rotation of the principal axes of the Z-section relative to the plane of the roof sheathing. The behavior of Z-sections in roof systems is complex as they act in conjunction with the roof sheathing as a system and as a light gage cold formed member, is subject to local cross section deformations.

The goal of this research program was to provide a means of predicting lateral restraint forces in Z-section supported roof systems. The research program began with laboratory tests to measure lateral restraint forces in single and multiple span sloped roof systems. A description of the test apparatus and procedure as well as the results of the 40 tests performed is provided in Appendix II.

To better understand the need for lateral restraints and to provide a means of testing different variables of the roof system, two types of finite element models were developed and are discussed in detail in appended Paper I. The first finite element model is simplified model that uses frame stiffness elements to represent the purlin and sheathing. This model has been used extensively by previous researchers and modifications were made to improve correlation with test results. The second model is more rigorous and uses shell finite elements to represent the Z-section and sheathing.

The shell finite element model was used to develop a calculation procedure referred to as the Component Stiffness Method for predicting the lateral restraint forces in Z-section roof systems. The method uses flexural and torsional mechanics to describe the behavior of the Z-section subject to uniform gravity loads. The forces generated by the system of Z-sections are resisted by the "components" of the system: the lateral restraints, the sheathing and Z-section-to-rafter connection. The mechanics of purlin behavior providing the basis for this method are discussed in appended Paper II. The development of the method and the application of the method to supports restraints and interior restraints are provided in appended papers III, IV and V.

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