Determining the transverse shear stiffness of steel storage rack upright frames
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The stability of steel storage racks in the cross-aisle direction is typically ensured by cold-formed steel bolted upright frames. Sensitive to second-order effects, accurately determining the shear stiffness of these frames is essential for seismic design and for ensuring the stability of the rack, especially for high-bay racks and racks supporting the building enclosure, where the outer rack frames must withstand cross-aisle horizontal actions due to wind loading. The main international racking specifications adopt different approaches to determining the shear stiffness of cold-formed steel storage rack upright frames. The Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) specification conservatively uses Timoshenko and Gere's theory. The European Specification EN 15512 recommends testing, however it is not clear whether the shear stiffness obtained using the recommended test procedure is correct. The newly revised Australian Standard AS 4084 adopted the European approach but also introduced an alternative test method for determining the combined bending and shear stiffness of upright frames in the transverse direction. This paper reviews and analyses the factors influencing the shear deformation of cold-formed steel bolted upright frames and introduces the alternative test set-up adopted in the revised Australian Standard. 36 upright frames have been tested using the two test methods, and experimental results are presented, discussed and compared with finite element analysis results. Recommendations on how to use the test outcomes in design are also provided. Based on these recommendations, the paper shows that the two test methods are not equivalent and yield different results for the transverse shear stiffness of upright frames.
Journal of Constructional Steel Research
© 2012 Elsevier Inc. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.