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Design of Beams and Other Flexural Members per AISC LRFD 3rd Edition (2001)

Jose-Miguel Albaine, M.S., P.E.

Beams are structural elements that support principally transverse loads, and are subjected mainly to flexure, or bending. The complete design of a steel rolled-shape beam includes addressing bending strength, shear resistance, deflection, lateral support, web and flange local buckling, and support details. Design for bending is in most cases the primary concern.

There are many terms used for beams in construction, such as girders (larger beams that support smaller beams), joists (beams that are closely spaced), purlins (roof beams spanning between trusses), girts (horizontal wall beams resisting bending caused by wind on the side of industrial building), stringers (longitudinal bridge beams spanning between transverse beams), lintels (beam supporting a wall over window or door openings). Other terms such as header, trimmer, rafter, and ridge, are often used for beams in wood construction.

This course will address the basic concepts steel beam design and other flexural members based on the criteria specified in Part 16, Chapter F of the latest edition of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Manual of Steel Construction, Load and Resistance Factor Design, Third Edition, November, 2001, (herein referred as LRFD). There are many steel elements that can be used as beams, including rolled shapes, cold-formed shapes, and fabricated beams and trusses. The course will emphasize the design of rolled shapes, mainly I-beams (W, M, and S-shapes).

The topics included are: general requirements for flexural strength, bending stress and plastic moment, nominal flexural strength for doubly symmetric shapes and channels, compact and non-compact sections criteria, elastic and inelastic lateral-torsional buckling bent about their major axis, and shear strength of beams.

Members subjected to combined flexure and axial force, and fatigue; and members with tapered-webs, and slender web elements (plate girders) are not in the scope of this course. These members are covered in sections H1, K3, F3, and Appendix G of the LRFD.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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