A force-based element for direct analysis using stress-resultant plasticity model

Zuo Lei Du, Yao Peng Liu, Siu Lai Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The plastic hinge method and the plastic zone method are extensively adopted in displacement-based elements and force-based elements respectively for second-order inelastic analysis. The former enhances the computational efficiency with relatively less accurate results while the latter precisely predicts the structural behavior but generally requires more computer time. The displacement-based elements receive criticism mainly on plasticity dominated problems not only in accuracy but also in longer computer time to redistribute the forces due to formation of plastic hinges. The multi-element-per-member model relieves this problem to some extent but will induce a new problem in modeling of member initial imperfections required in design codes for direct analysis. On the contrary, a force-based element with several integration points is sufficient for material yielding. However, use of more integration points or elements associated with fiber section reduces computational efficiency. In this paper, a new force-based element equipped with stress-resultant plasticity model with minimal computational cost is proposed for second-order inelastic analysis. This element is able to take the member initial bowing into account such that one-element-per-member model is adequate and complied with the codified requirements of direct analysis. This innovative solution is new and practical for routine design. Finally, several examples demonstrate the validity and accuracy of the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalSteel and Composite Structures
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2018


  • Force-based
  • Initial imperfection
  • Second-order inelastic analysis
  • Steel structures
  • Stress-resultant plasticity model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Metals and Alloys


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