Date of Thesis



This study investigates the feasibility of predicting the momentamplification in beam-column elements of steel moment-resisting frames using the structure's natural period. Unlike previous methods, which perform moment-amplification on a story-by-story basis, this study develops and tests two models that aim to predict a global amplification factor indicative of the largest relevant instance of local moment amplification in the structure. To thisend, a variety of two-dimensional frames is investigated using first and secondorder finite element analysis. The observed moment amplification is then compared with the predicted amplification based on the structure's natural period, which is calculated by first-order finite element analysis. As a benchmark, design moment amplification factors are calculated for each story using the story stiffness approach, and serve to demonstrate the relativeconservatism and accuracy of the proposed models with respect to current practice in design. The study finds that the observed moment amplification factors may vastly exceed expectations when internal member stresses are initially very small. Where the internal stresses are small relative to the member capacities, thesecases are inconsequential for design. To qualify the significance of the observed amplification factors, two parameters are used: the second-order moment normalized to the plastic moment capacity, and the combined flexural and axial stress interaction equations developed by AISC


Structural Engineering, Second-Order Effects, Moment Amplification, Natural Period

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Ronald D. Ziemian