n Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese - A rational approach to predicting the buckling length of compression chords in prefabricated timber truss roof structures braced by means of diagonal bracing : technical paper




In South Africa, timber-trussed roofs supporting concrete tiles have for many years often been braced solely by means of diagonal braces. Failures have shown that the diagonal brace was inadequate for larger span roofs, and the use of diagonal bracing has subsequently been limited to spans of less or equal to 10 m. When designing the compression chords of a timber truss in a braced roof, SANS 10163:1 (2003) recommends a minimum effective length for out-of-plane buckling of not less than 15 x b, which is 540 mm for a 36 mm wide member. This effective or out-of-plane buckling length of the top chord was later assumed to be equal to the spacing of the trusses. With the availability of PC-based packages that are able to perform three-dimensional buckling analyses, it is perhaps useful to investigate the validity of using the effective length equal to the truss spacing, and then also the 10 m limit on span for roofs braced by means of diagonal braces.


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