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Re: Handrail

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There is no question that a 1 1/2 standard pipe A53 will be conservative
and will resist the 200# lateral load. A more refined 3 dimensional
analysis can prove that an 1 1/4 X-strong pipe A53 can resist the 200#
within the allowable stress of .66*35 ksi. The reason the smaller pipe
can work is because of the lateral distribution that the horizontal
rails provide to transfer some of the 200# to the adjacent posts. Of the
course, the most critical post is the end post since the lateral
distribution can only happen in one direction. The lighter handrail
posts do deflect more although I do not know what deflection criteria
should be used if any.

You might also refer to the load distribution chart provided in Sweets
Catalog 2000, 05720/BLL(Julius Blum).  They use  .85 for a end post on a
2 span and .82 for a 3 span condition. For intermediate posts, they use
.65 for 2 span and .60 for 3 span.

Jim Kestner, P.E.
Green Bay, Wi.