Publication Details

Teh, L. H. (2001). Cubic beam elements in practical analysis and design of steel frames. Engineering Structures, 23 (10), 1243-1255.


This paper discusses various issues in the use of cubic beam elements for computer structural analysis/design of steel frames. It is pointed out that the concern expressed in recent literature regarding the number of cubic elements required to model a steel member is not justified, and that the inaccuracy of one cubic element in Euler buckling analysis of a simply supported column is largely irrelevant to the second-order elastic analysis/design or advanced analysis of steel frames. The sources of inaccuracy of the cubic element are elucidated. It is also explained that the plastic-zone analysis method is not so inefficient as was previously believed. The spatial cubic element is shown to be capable of accurately accounting for the coupling between axial, flexural and torsional deformation modes. It is concluded that for the purposes of second-order elastic analysis/design and advanced analysis of 2D and 3D steel frames, the well-documented cubic element is a versatile and efficient choice.

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