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Design of circular hollow section base plates

Article · August 2011


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3 authors:

Kamila Cabová František Wald

Czech Technical University in Prague Czech Technical University in Prague


Zdeněk Sokol
Czech Technical University in Prague


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EUROSTEEL 2011, August 31 - September 2, 2011, Budapest, Hungary


Kamila Horová a, František Wald a and Zdeněk Sokol a
Czech Technical University in Prague, Dept. of Steel and Timber Structures, Prague

This paper describes the mechanical behaviour of steel column base of circular hollow section
(CHS) composed of a base plate and anchor bolts subjected to bending moment and an axial force.
The analytical model based on component method, uses the behaviour of each part of the joint to
build a realistic picture of a connection’s characteristic, the resistance and rotational stiffness, is
introduced. By component method the connection is disintegrated into two parts: base plate in
bending and concrete in compression and base plate in bending and anchor bolts in tension. The
effective length of T-stub in tension is described analytically (by the yield line theory) and
evaluated by finite element simulation in ANSYS with non-linear behaviour of material. The
influence of bolt position on the propagation of yield line patterns is compared by the help of four
simulations. Formulas for all possible failure cases which can arise thanks to different bolt position
for CHS column base are stated. Finally, the distribution of yield line mechanism depending on
position of bolt is summed into one figure. Procedure of base plate design follows rules in Eurocode
3, Part 1–8: Design of joints.


1.1 Component method of base plate connection

Joints as well as base plates are solved by the help of component method. This method is based on
classical evaluation of resistance and stiffness, which are derived from the resistance and stiffness
of each parts of joint. The first step of the component method is an identification of individual
connection parts (components). The base plate connection is disintegrated into two parts: base plate
in bending and concrete in compression and base plate in bending and anchor bolts in tension
(column web and flange in shear and compression as well as bolts in shear are neglected, the work
is focused on the base plate only).
1.2 Base plate in bending and concrete block in compression
The components concrete in compression and base plate in bending represent the behaviour of the
compressed part of a column base. The strength of these components depends primarily on the
bearing resistance of the concrete block, see [5]. The deformation of concrete is important only in
case of dominant axial compressive force. This paper is focused on the flexible base plate which
can be considered as the area Ap. This area of the plate can be replaced by an equivalent rigid plate
with area Aeq which consists of the column area and a width c which lies around the column as
shown in Fig. 1. Then the resistance of the component, expecting the constant distribution of the
bearing stresses under the effective area is given in Eq. (1).
FRd ,u = Aeq ⋅ f jd (1)

where FRd,u is the strength of the component, fjd is the design value of the bearing strength.

The proposed design model for resistance of the components base plate in bending and concrete in
compression as well as all needed formulas are given in [5].
The proposed design model for stiffness of the components base plate in bending and concrete in
compression is given also in [5]. From the deformation of the component the formula to calculate
the stiffness coefficient given in Eq. (2) can be derived.
E c a eq.el L
kc = (2)
1,275 E
where Ec is the Young's modulus of concrete, aeq,el is the equivalent width of the T-stub, L is length
of the T-stub, E is the Young's modulus of steel.
1.3 Base plate in bending and anchor bolts in tension
The base plate in bending and anchor bolts in tension are the main components of the base plate
connection [4]. The behaviour of these parts is described similarly to the beam to column end plate
connection, by the help of T-stub model. The design model of this component for resistance as well
for stiffness is given in [4]. When the base plate is in contact with concrete surface, the prying of
bolts appears and on the contrary no prying forces occur in the case of separated base plate from the
concrete block due to the deformation of long bolts. In [1] prying forces are neglected. When the
column base is loaded by bending moment as it is shown in Fig. 2, anchor bolts transfer tensile
forces. This case of loading leads to elongation of anchor bolts and bending of the base plate.
Deformed bolts can cause failure as well as reaching of the yield strength of the base plate.
Sometimes failure in this tensile zone is caused by both, see [6]. The design resistance of a T-stub
of flange in tension of effective length ℓeff is determined as minimum resistance of three possible
plastic collapse mechanisms. Because of the long anchor bolts and thick base plate different failure
mode arises compare to an end plate connection. When the T-stub is uplifted from the concrete
foundation (there is no prying), new collapse mode mode 1-2 is obtained. In cases where no prying
forces develop, the design resistance of the T-stub is given in Eq. (3) [6].
FRd = min( F1−2.Rd , F3.Rd ) (3)

where F1− 2.Rd is minimum resistance of mode 1-2, F3.Rd is minimum resistance of mode 3.
The equivalent length of T-stub leff, which is very important for the resistance determination, is
calculated by the help of the yield line method.

Fig. 1. Flexible base plate as a rigid plate of Fig. 2. Tensile zone – equivalent T-stub after
effective area with effective width c loading by bending moment
Table 1. Failure cases of CHS column base plate

 b (a − a1 ) 

b1 +  1 
l eff ,1 = π m l eff , 2 = b − b  b1 − e b a1 − e a 
 1 
2 l eff ,.3 =  + 
4  a1 − e a b1 − e b 

 a (b − b1 ) 

a1 +  1 
l eff , 7 = π m l eff ,6 =  ( a − a )   b1 − eb a1 − ea 
 
2 l eff , 4 = +
4  a1 − ea b1 − eb 

a1 + b1  eb e a
2 2

l eff ,5 =  +  Partition of the yield line mechanism for different bolt positions
4  e a eb 

1.4 Yield line method

The yield line method is based on work (or energy) method which gives an upper-bound solution to
the critical load at which the slab, with a certain ultimate resisting moment, fails. A particular
configuration, in this case the effective length leff of a T-stub, is searched from a family of possible
yield-line patterns which gives the lowest value of the ultimate load. The solution is based on the
principle of virtual work. In [1] there are taken into account only the modes without the contact of
the edge of the base plate to the concrete foundation. According to calculation procedure of the
effective length of the T-stub given in [4] and [6] all possible failure cases for CHS column base
plate are derived and summarized. With modes without prying of the anchor bolts, seven cases of
failure shown in Table 1 could be reached. The effective length of the base plate T-stub is given as
the smallest one as given in Eq. (4).
l eff = min (l eff ,1 ; l eff , 2 ; l eff ,3 ; l eff , 4 ; l eff ,5 ; l eff , 6 ; l eff ,7 ) (4)

The calculation of the effective length is a function of the position of the anchor bolt. By moving
the anchor bolt around the column corner (changing ea and eb), distribution of the yield line
mechanism, which is also summed up in Table 1, is obtained.
The prediction of the base plate stiffness is based on [4]. In case of no prying the stiffness of the
component of base plate in bending and bolts in tension is summarised in Eq. (5).

1 kT = 1 k b.i + 1 k p.i (5)

where kT is the stiffness of the T-stub, kb is the stiffness of the bolt, kp is the stiffness of the plate.
1.5 Resistance and stiffness of CHS base
The calculation of the column base resistance, based on the force equilibrium on the base plate, is
given in [3]. In case the connection is loaded by axial force NEd and bending moment MEd, the
equilibrium of internal forces is shown in Fig. 3. The position of the neutral axis is calculated
according to resistance of the tension part FT,Rd. Then the bending resistance MRd can be determined
providing the plastic distribution of internal forces. The effective area Aeff under the base plate,
which is demonstrated in Fig. 3 like an active part of equivalent rigid plate, is calculated from an
equivalent T-stub, with an effective width c. The compression force is assumed to act at the centre
of the compressed part. The tensile force is located at the anchor bolts or in the middle when there
are more rows or bolts [3].

Fig. 3. Force equilibrium for CHS column base

For circular hollow section formulas given in Eq. (6), (7), (8) are used.
Aeff = 2θ ⋅ r ⋅ c (6)
z c = r ⋅ cos (7)
Fc ,rd = π .r.c (8)

where geometry is described in Fig. 3.

The calculation of stiffness of the base plate is compatible with beam to column stiffness
calculation. According to the eccentricity two possible basic collapse modes can arise: with
activation of anchor bolts, without tension in anchor bolts. The stiffness coefficients can be revised:
bolt in tension kb, base plate in bending kp, concrete in compression kc.


2.1 Base plate in bending and anchor bolts in tension

The propagation of plastic areas depending on different position of the anchor bolt and its
correlation with the yield line theory introduced in analytical part are verified by CHS column. By
the help of ANSYS, the component base plate in bending and anchor bolt in tension with non-
elastic behaviour of material is studied. Four simulations with different position of anchor bolt of
quarter of the component which is in tension and loaded by tension force are introduced. The
propagation of plastic zone, this area is defined by white line, is shown in Fig. 6 – 9.
In these models it is possible to trace the location of plastic zones as well as their shapes. By
comparing with Table 1 in analytical part, it can be stated, that the numerical simulation of CHS
column base plate confirms the prediction of the analytical model. It confirms the fact that the yield
line depends, among other things, on position of bolt. For the range of effective lengths there are
also small difference between finite element simulation and analytical model. It is caused by the
fact that the yield line is not a straight and continuous line.

Fig. 6. Max. stress area with bolt in [80; 80] Fig. 7. Max. stress area with bolt in [260; 80]
Fig. 8. Max. stress area with bolt in [210; 80] Fig. 9. Max. stress area with bolt in [210; 40]

The introduced analytical model shows a good prediction of the behaviour of CHS column base
plates. It allows the prediction of resistance and stiffness for engineering purposes. The yield line
patterns which can arise thanks to different bolt position are summed up to show its partition better.
In case of no-prying, the yield line mechanisms of CHS column base plate are evaluated by the help
of software. The materially non-linear analysis, worked out in ANSYS, shows good agreement with
results obtained from analytical model.

[1] Horova, K, “Base plates of hollow sections”, Diploma thesis, Prague, 2010.
[2] EN 1993-1-8, Eurocode 3, Design of steel structures, Part 1-8, Design of Joints, CEN, Brussels 2005.
[3] Wald, F, Sokol, Z, Steenhouis, M, Jaspart, JP, “Component Method for Steel
Column Bases”, Heron. 2008, vol. 53, no. 1/2, s. 3-20, ISSN 0046-7316.
[4] Wald, F, Sokol, Z, Jaspart, JP, “Base Plate in Bending and Anchor Bolts in
Tension”, Heron. 2008, vol. 53, no. 1/2, s. 21-50, ISSN 0046-7316.
[5] Steenhouis, M, Wald, F, Sokol, Z, Stark, JWB, “Concrete in Compression and Base Plate in Bending”,
Heron. 2008, vol. 53, no. 1/2, s. 51-68, ISSN 0046-7316.
[6] Gresnight, N, Romeijn, A, Wald, F, Steenhouis, M, “Column Bases in Shear and Normal Force”, Heron.
2008, vol. 53, no. 1/2, s. 87-108, ISSN 0046-7316.
[7] Wald, F, Bouguin, V, Sokol, Z, Muzeau, JP, “Effective length of T-stub of RHS column base plates”.
[8] Wald, F, “Column bases”, CTU Prague, June 1995.
[9] Wald, F, Sokol, Z, “Navrhování styčníků”, Vydavatelství ČVUT, 1999.
[10] Wardenier, J, Dutta, D, Yeomans, N, Packer, JA, Bucak, O, “Design guide for structural hollow section
in mechanical applications”, CIDECT, Construction with hollow section steel sections, Verlag TUV
Rheinland Gmbh, Köln, 1995.
[11] Bouguin, V, “Column Bases of the Rectangular Hollow Sections Columns”, Diploma theses, Clermont
Ferrand, 2000.
[12] Manenc, G, “Base plates of circular hollow sections”, Diploma thesis, 2004.
[13] Wardenier, J, “Rectangular Hollow Section Joints”, Delft University of Technology, Oslo Course 2009.
[13] ANSYS Release 11.0: Documentation for Ansys.

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