Ultimate Limit States of Plate- and Box-Girders

  • R. Maquoi
Part of the CISM International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 358)


The design of steel plated structures (for buildings and possibly for bridges) is presently based on the philosophy of limit states. This series of six lectures is aimed at giving the basic concepts on which such an ultimate limit state design for plate- and box-girders is founded.

The two first lectures are devoted to examine the behaviour of plate elements. In Lecture 1, the plate element is considered as an ideal structure made of an indefinitely elastic material and the concept of elastic critical plate buckling load is introduced. In contrast, the actual behaviour is briefly examined in Lecture 2, where the concept of ultimate load is opposed to the elastic critical buckling load.

The design criteria for flanges and webs are the scope of Lecture 3. They are examined at a general viewpoint; more detailed information regarding the resistance to direct and shear stresses is given in Lectures 4 to 0.

The tension field models for webs subject to shear, which exploit the postbuckling strength reserve, are reviewed in Lecture 4. A special emphasis is put on the tension band model and on the simple postcritical model, which are both the basis of the present specifications of Eurocode 3 for buildings.

The resistance to direct stresses, which is determined based on the concept of effective width, is the subject of Lecture 5.

Last, Lecture 6 is devoted to stiffened compression flanges of box-girders. Some specific aspects are highlighted.

These lectures are aimed at delivering a scientific background rather than design specifications. The reader is begged to use and exploit the material accordingly.


Tension Band Effective Width Ultimate Limit Ultimate Limit State Gusset Plate 


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    C.E.N.: Eurocode 3 — Calcul des structures en acier — Partie 1.1.: Règles générales et règles pour les bâtiments. ENV 1993–1 – 1, July 1992.Google Scholar
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    E.C.C.S.: European Recommendations for the Design of Longitudinally Stiffened Webs and of Stiffened Compression Flanges. Publication n° 60, E.C.C.S., Brussels, 1990.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Maquoi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiègeLiègeBelgium

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