Differences between Working stress method and Limit state method

Design of RCC Structures

The design of the components of the RCC structure can be done in the following two ways:

  1. Working Stress Method
  2. Limit State Method
Methods of RCC Design

Methods of RCC Design

Here are some of the design procedures of the components of the RCC structures:

Design of RCC beams

Design of RCC columns

Design of RCC staircase

Design of Foundations

Design of Simply Supported Slabs

In this article, we are going to discuss the major difference between the two important methods of RCC design. This will help us understand the mechanics of the Structural Design and which method is to be adopted for better efficiency.

Working Stress Method

  • The Stresses in an element is obtained from the working loads and compared with permissible stresses.
  • The method follows linear stress-strain behaviour of both the materials.
  • Modular ratio can be used to determine allowable stresses.
  • Material capabilities are under estimated to large extent. Factor of safety are used in working stress method.
  • The member is considered as working stress.
  • Ultimate load carrying capacity cannot be predicted accurately.
  • The main drawback of this method is that it results in an uneconomical section.

Limit State Method

  • The stresses are obtained from design loads and compared with design strength.
  • In this method, it follows linear strain relationship but not linear stress relationship (one of the major difference between the two methods of design).
  • The ultimate stresses of materials itself are used as allowable stresses.
  • The material capabilities are not under estimated as much as they are in working stress method. Partial safety factors are used in limit state method.

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  1. #1 by भालेराव सिद्धेश काशिनाथ शैला on September 14, 2016 - 12:59 pm

    Why only WSM method is used in costruting water tank

  2. #2 by Dhuvaragan on May 25, 2016 - 6:05 pm

    Very useful one

    Thanks to you

  3. #3 by abhijit kumbhar on March 16, 2016 - 2:29 pm

    Thanks for giving the difference in simple meaning & easy to catch up. ..

  4. #4 by Yaregal M. on November 8, 2015 - 6:31 pm

    this is interesting and short description. Thank You very much for uploading it

  5. #5 by Indhirajith on October 11, 2015 - 5:05 pm


  6. #6 by rabin chettri on October 10, 2015 - 7:36 pm

    I’m civil engineering student and I was asked to prepare an assignment on wsm and lsm ,thanks 4 above information..

  7. #7 by GYANA on September 18, 2015 - 2:31 pm

    Thanks very much.

  8. #8 by danish mushtaq on September 9, 2015 - 7:14 pm

    thanks….simple language but effective …quite easy to understood…

  9. #9 by Jazeeba Jamal on May 17, 2015 - 2:39 pm

    easy language,took less tym to understand thngs thnqq!!!!

  10. #10 by PANKAJSINGLA on April 21, 2015 - 10:29 pm


  11. #11 by abhishek kumar on January 17, 2015 - 7:42 pm

    v. mahesh chandar rao. pls use IS : 3370 for detailed designings of water tanks

  12. #12 by abhishek kumar on January 17, 2015 - 7:41 pm

    sbc of the soil is defined as the intentisty of load which can bear on its per unit volume without failure.
    (soil failure is the movement of soil from its actual place)

  13. #13 by Pradeep on December 22, 2014 - 11:19 am

    Concepts are easy to understand by the way they explained here,very helpful

  14. #14 by Hannanur on November 19, 2014 - 6:24 pm

    Thanks, perfect comparison :-):-):-)

  15. #15 by mayuri burhan on November 8, 2014 - 12:05 pm

    I am also civil engg student…
    It is in Very simple and easy language..so i can understand easily than refrenc book and notes…thanq

  16. #16 by sherin on August 9, 2014 - 10:59 pm

    good.could have included the ultimate stress method too…
    i am a civil engg student,my assignment topic was to differentiate these three methods

  17. #17 by V.Mahesh Chander Rao on November 7, 2013 - 3:41 am

    Iam working for civil engineer construction line .we want working methodes Rcc rectangular under ground tanks Pumping Stations and Circulars Pumping stations with column and beam I not geting actual design

  18. #18 by Mukesh on October 8, 2013 - 12:38 am


  19. #19 by Mukesh on October 8, 2013 - 12:37 am


  20. #20 by Sagnik on August 11, 2013 - 10:25 pm

    Nice comparison

  21. #21 by ravi dalal on February 21, 2013 - 5:20 am


  22. #22 by bikash on June 24, 2012 - 5:03 pm


  23. #23 by ramachandran on April 3, 2012 - 8:32 am

    what is meaning of bearing soil capacity details

    • #24 by kapil singh on June 14, 2017 - 2:48 pm

      capacity of soil that can bear the load is known as bearing capacity of soil .

  24. #25 by Dinesh kumar mahto on August 8, 2011 - 4:01 am

    i dinesh kumar amhto working for civil engineer construction line .we want working methodes Rcc work. column and beam I not geting actual design for black coton soil footing , Black coton soil depth is max 1.5 to 2.meter.

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