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In the arrangement of triangulated framework in truss structures, it is more economical to design longer members as ties while shorter ones as struts (e.g. Pratt truss). As such, the tension forces are taken up by longer steel members whose load carrying capacities are unrelated to their lengths. However, the compression forces are reacted by shorter members which possess higher buckling capabilities than longer steel members.
For heavy loads on a truss structure, the depth of the truss is intentionally made larger so as to increase the bending resistance and to reduce deflection. With the increase in length of the vertical struts, buckling may occur under vertical loads. Therefore, K-truss is designed in such as way that the vertical struts are supported by compression diagonals.