Plastic work methods for determining the collapse load of structures present a promising means of analysing complex geometries subjected to combined loading. Recent work has identified the curvature of a plot of plastic work as a function of the applied load as being indicative of the collapse load that is both accurate and physically based.

Several methods by which the curvature plot can be used to identify the plastic collapse load have been proposed by various authors and there is no consensus as to which method should be used. This paper presents an analysis of these and other methods and concludes with a recommendation for a robust approach that could be used in assessment.

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