Combination of permanent and variable load is dependent

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This study concerns the combination of the permanent and the variable loads in the structural design. The Eurocodes are used as a reference. Three new findings are presented: (1) In each physical structure, and in every load pair of the permanent load and the variable load, the maximum variable load is the service time load, the 50-year load, i.e., the high value of the variable load. Therefore, no load reduction should be applied in the combination. (2) The governing hypoth-esis is the independent load combination (ILC) with random load pairs and random single loads. However, the load pairs are not independent as normally one variable load occurs simultaneously in multiple structures and in multiple load pairs inducing correlation between the loads, ultimately full correlation, and the dependent load combination (DLC). (3) In the current Eurocodes, the design load combination applies to one load pair only. However, one design load combination virtually always applies to multiple load pairs which demands using the DLC. The authors have explained earlier that the permanent and variable loads should be combined dependently as the ILC contradicts the physics. The new findings support this conclusion. Changing the current codes towards the DLC approach would simplify them and eases their use in the structural design work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4434
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Code
  • Load combination
  • Structural design

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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