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G.17.2.3 Static Geometrically Nonlinear Analysis

In STAAD.Pro, a procedure has been adopted to incorporate the geometric nonlinearities into the analysis by updating the global stiffness matrix and the global geometric stiffness matrix [K+Kg] on every step based on the deformed position. The deformations significantly alter the location or distribution of loads, such that equilibrium equations must be written with respect to the deformed geometry, which is not known in advance. 
Note: This requires a STAAD.Pro Advanced license.
  1. First, the primary deflections are calculated by linear static analysis based on the provided external loading.
  2. Primary deflections are used to calculate member axial forces and plate center membrane stresses. These forces and stresses are used to calculate geometric stiffness terms. Both the large delta effects and the small delta effects are calculated. These terms are the terms of the Kg matrix which are added to the global stiffness matrix K.
  3. Next the deflections are recalculated. Now equilibrium is computed in the deformed position to get out of balance forces. The tangential stiffness matrix is determined from each members new position; the Kg matrix is updated; and the out of balance forces are applied to get the next iteration result.
  4. Repeat until converged. If displacements are much too large, then try using ARC 5 to limit displacements on the first linear static step to 5 inches or some suitable value. The STEP 10 parameter may help by loading the structure over many steps.
  5. The options for Newton-Raphson, Kg, Steps = 1 are usually taken; but these options are available for some difficult cases.
  6. Offset beams, curved beams, cables are not permitted. Tension/compression is not permitted.

Nonlinear effects are calculated for springs, frame members and plate elements only. They are not calculated for solid elements.

The maximum displacement should be reviewed for nonlinear analyses because this analysis type may result in buckling or large displacements.

The following limitations should be noted regarding static, geometrically nonlinear analyses:
  • Large rotations in one step should be avoided by using more steps.
  • Very large displacements, unstable structures, and/or post-buckling should be avoided.
  • Geometrically nonlinear only. No tension/compression or contact is considered. No yield, plastic moment hinges or bilinear behavior is considered.
  • Solids cannot be used for this analysis method.
  • Temperature loads are not supported for geometric nonlinear analysis.