Nonlinear behavior of steel structures
"Nonlinear behavior of steel structures" is an elective course in the 9th semester for students specializing in structural engineering, offering a deeper understanding of issues of geometrically and material nonlinear structural behavior, in general, but with particular emphasis on steel structures. The objective of the course is to highlight nonlinear structural behavior and how it should be accounted for in analysis and design, in order to reliably calculate the ultimate strength, a concept that is adopted by all modern building codes.
A significant part of the course is dedicated to analytical methods for the calculation of nonlinear response, with application in simple models, aiming at a qualitative understanding of pertinent concepts and methods. Emphasis is placed in geometric nonlinearity, with which students are less familiar, while fundamental concepts of material nonlinearity are briefly discussed, as they have already been taught in a previous course. Then, numerical algorithms for the solution of nonlinear problems are presented, as they are implemented within the finite element method, and applications are solved using an appropriate software. In the last part of the course analytical and numerical solutions of the ultimate strength of steel members and structures are compared to each other and to code provisions, accounting for both types of nonlinearity.
The course is taught by C. Gantes and T. Avraam, following a continuous transition between theory and applications. For the finite element applications software assistance is provided by K. Koulatsou, S. Vernardos and A. Karvelis. There are 3 hours of class per week, for 14 weeks.
The students carry out, alone or in pairs, a term project, comprising both a literature survey and original calculations, on a topic they select in consultation with the faculty. Deliverables include a short technical report and a powerpoint presentation in public, during the last week of classes. In addition, the course has a final examination.
Additional information and educational material (in Greek) is available at the course's web site.