This paper presents a solution for the problem concerning the behaviour of a steel lattice girder subjected to dynamic load pulses. The theory of shakedown is used in the analysis. It is assumed that such loads cause a non-elastic response which includes dissipation of energy causing deformations and residual forces developed in the structural members of the girder. At a certain intensity of these forces, the girder can react to subsequent load pulses without further dissipation of energy, behaving in the elastic region after shakedown. This condition is referred to as adaptation of the structure to assumed cyclic loading. Elastic shakedown limit is determined through a direct analysis of the girder's dynamic behaviour, i.e. by checking if energy dissipation decreases with loading cycles. This gives the number of load applications after which no further increase of the energy dissipation is observed. The existing permanent deformations persist and residual forces remain in the same state. The analysis takes into account the possibility that compressed members can buckle which may result in non-elastic, longitudinal and transverse vibrations of these members. Non-linear geometry of members is taken into account. Then a perfectly elastic-viscoplastic model of the material is used. The main goal is to determine the state of the non-elastic movements of the girder joints and the residual internal forces developed in the girder members after each load application. The values obtained in this way serve as the basis for describing the next loading cycle. It is possible to use the approach presented in the paper to evaluate the effects of accidental loads. Then it is checked whether a small number of repetitions of accidental load would result in exceeding the serviceability limit state criteria of the maximum permanent deformation or displacement and/or strain amplitudes. If so, the magnitude of accidental load is greater than the elastic shakedown limit. Some examples are given to illustrate the application of the theory of shakedown.
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