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Dynamic Effects of Geometric Nonlinearity on Inelastic Frame Behavior for Seismic Applications



Kevin K. Wong, Matthew S. Speicher


The traditional method of structural analysis with geometric nonlinearity uses a small displacement theory with the linearized method of geometric stiffness or the approximate method of P-Δ stiffness to capture the reduction in stiffness due to axial forces in the columns of the structure. This often raises a stability question on whether such stiffness can accurately predict the large displacement response, such as nearing structural collapse in a major seismic event. In this research, the force analogy method combined with the stability functions formulated for nonlinear dynamic analysis will be used to answer this question. Through this unique combination, the stiffness force is computed by simply multiplying a nonlinear stiffness matrix (due to geometric nonlinearity using stability functions) with a nonlinear displacement vector (due to material nonlinearity using the force analogy method). Although this formulation is still based on small displacement theory, geometric nonlinearity is captured exactly using the stability functions, and therefore it will have a better chance of capturing the large displacement response more accurately. A detailed derivation of the nonlinear dynamic analysis procedure using the state space method considering both geometric and material nonlinearity effects is here presented to demonstrate the simplicity of the combined method in capturing the structural responses during seismic events. Comparison of results with other software packages for a set of example structures will be performed to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method of analysis.
Proceedings Title
2015 SSRC
Conference Dates
March 24-27, 2015
Conference Location
Nashville, TN
Conference Title
Structural Stability Research Council Annual Stability Conference


Earthquake Engineering, Structural Dynamics, Geometric Nonlinearity, Material Nonlinearity


Wong, K. and Speicher, M. (2015), Dynamic Effects of Geometric Nonlinearity on Inelastic Frame Behavior for Seismic Applications, 2015 SSRC, Nashville, TN (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created March 24, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017