Publication Date

March 2014

Journal or Book Title

Structure and Infrastructure Engineering


This paper deals with the progressive collapse analysis of a tall steel frame following the removal of a corner column according to the alternate load path approach. Several analysis techniques are considered (eigenvalue, material nonlinearities, material and geometric nonlinearities), as well as 2D and 3D modelling of the structural system. It is determined that the collapse mechanism is a loss-of-stability-induced one that can be identified by combining a 3D structural model with an analysis involving both material and geometric nonlinearities. The progressive collapse analysis reveals that after the initial removal of a corner column, its two adjacent columns fail from elastic flexural-torsional buckling at a load lower than the design load. The failure of these two columns is immediately followed by the failure of the next two adjacent columns from elastic flexural–torsional buckling. After the failure of these five columns, the entire structure collapseswithout the occurrence of any significant plastification. The main contribution is the identification of buckling-induced collapse mechanisms in steel frames involving sequential buckling of multiple columns. This is a type of failure mechanism that has not received appropriate attention because it practically never occurs in properly designed structures without the accidental loss of a column.