Flexural behaviour and design of the new LiteSteel beams

Kurniawan, Cyrilus Winatama (2007) Flexural behaviour and design of the new LiteSteel beams. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

The flexural capacity of the new hollow flange steel section known as LiteSteel beam (LSB) is limited by lateral distortional buckling for intermediate spans, which is characterised by simultaneous lateral deflection, twist and web distortion. Recent research based on finite element analysis and testing has developed design rules for the member capacity of LiteSteel beams subject to this unique lateral distortional buckling. These design rules are limited to a uniform bending moment distribution. However, uniform bending moment conditions rarely exist in practice despite being considered as the worst case due to uniform yielding across the span. Loading position or load height is also known to have significant effects on the lateral buckling strength of beams. Therefore it is important to include the effects of these loading conditions in the assessment of LSB member capacities.

Many steel design codes have adopted equivalent uniform moment distribution and load height factors for this purpose. But they were derived mostly based on data for conventional hot-rolled, doubly symmetric I-beams subject to lateral torsional buckling. In contrast LSBs are made of high strength steel and have a unique crosssection with specific residual stresses and geometrical imperfections along with a unique lateral distortional buckling mode. The moment distribution and load height effects for LSBs, and the suitability of the current steel design code methods to accommodate these effects for LSBs are not yet known. The research study presented in this thesis was therefore undertaken to investigate the effects of nonuniform moment distribution and load height on the lateral buckling strength of simply supported and cantilever LSBs.

Finite element analyses of LSBs subject to lateral buckling formed the main component of this study. As the first step the original finite element model used to develop the current LSB design rules for uniform moment was improved to eliminate some of the modelling inaccuracies. The modified finite element model was validated using the elastic buckling analysis results from well established finite strip analysis programs. It was used to review the current LSB design curve for uniform moment distribution, based on which appropriate recommendations were made.

The modified finite element model was further modified to simulate various loading and support configurations and used to investigate the effects of many commonly used moment distributions and load height for both simply supported and cantilever LSBs. The results were compared with the predictions based on the current steel code design rules. Based on these comparisons, appropriate recommendations were made on the suitability of the current steel code design methods. New design recommendations were made for LSBs subjected to non-uniform moment distributions and varying load positions. A number of LSB experiments was also undertaken to confirm the results of finite element analysis study.

In summary the research reported in this thesis has developed an improved finite element model that can be used to investigate the buckling behaviour of LSBs for the purpose of developing design rules. It has increased the understanding and knowledge of simply supported and cantilever LSBs subject to non-uniform moment distributions and load height effects. Finally it has proposed suitable design rules for LSBs in the form of equations and factors within the current steel code design provisions. All of these advances have thus further enhanced the economical and safe design of LSBs.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16674
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Mahendran, Mahadeva & Pokharel, Narayan
Keywords: lateral distortional buckling, lateral torsional buckling, LiteSteel beam, moment distribution effect, moment gradient, load height effect, finite element analysis, elastic buckling analysis, non-linear static analysis, flexural behaviour, structural stability
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Cyrilus Winatama Kurniawan
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:08
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:50

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