This paper describes the development of economical, tapered steel portal frame structures for industrial buildings in the United Kingdom, by a project team consisting of a firm of industrial steel building manufacturers, a consulting engineering partnership, and a university. It discusses the advantages of this structural form, the role of slender webs in the economy of these structures, and the complexities of structural behaviour arising from the slender cross-section. The design method is described, and its experimental verification by full-scale testing is
summarised. The paper concludes with a description of the implementation of this new development in the drawing office and fabrication shop, making extensive use of computerisation and automated fabrication techniques.
Professor P.J. Dowling, T.F. Mears, G.W. Owens and G.K. Raven