The experimental determination of structural design parameters for roof covering systems

Kretzschmar, Gunnar (2011-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: All structures are designed for a particular set of load combinations. For roof structures the critical loading combinations are predominantly wind actions. The accumulative effect of wind actions, by wind entering through dominant openings to exert pressure on the inside of roof structures together with the suction of wind vortices on the outside of the roof, can contribute to extreme load combinations. Frequently recorded failures on roof structures suggest that either the loads are underestimated or the resisting capacity of the roof coverings is overestimated. The focus of this study is directed on the latter, determining the effective resistance of roof coverings in the form of sheeting against a Uniformly Distributed Load (UDL) such as wind actions. To determine the carrying capacity of a roofing structure, the standard approach used involves experimental tests on certain configurations with two or more spans. The structural test set-up is loaded with sandbags until failure is reached. For the design of roofing systems, design tables are used that list the maximum allowable purlin spacing. The purlin spacing is presented in the form of a fixed value in units of length and is shown independent of a UDL that the roof needs to be designed for. The need to a new approach to determining the resistance of roof covering systems was identified. The resistance of roof coverings for the Ultimate Limit State (ULS) and the Serviceability Limit State (SLS) depends on a number of parameters such as the bending resistance, the stiffness of the sheeting in bending and the carrying capacity of the fastening system. To evaluate these structural parameters, experimental tests were performed. A full-scale experimental test setup, capable of simulating a UDL on roof sheeting, was developed. The experimental test set-up consists of four different configurations, each specifically schematized to evaluate a certain structural design parameter. The magnitude of the structural design parameters depends on the applied UDL and the span length, which is the distance between consecutive supports of the sheeting system. Therefore, by using the structural design parameters determined experimentally, a set of design tables could be generated. The design tables produce the maximum allowable span length of a roofing system that uses a desired UDL as a variable. By using the design tables, the purlin spacing for any roof structure can be calculated given its design loading combination. The calculated purlin spacings are now a function of the basic parameters that determine the resistance of the roof sheeting.


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