Behaviour and design of cold-formed steel compression members at elevated temperatures

Heva, Yasintha Bandula (2009) Behaviour and design of cold-formed steel compression members at elevated temperatures. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Cold-formed steel members have been widely used in residential, industrial and commercial buildings as primary load bearing structural elements and non-load bearing structural elements (partitions) due to their advantages such as higher strength to weight ratio over the other structural materials such as hot-rolled steel, timber and concrete. Cold-formed steel members are often made from thin steel sheets and hence they are more susceptible to various buckling modes. Generally short columns are susceptible to local or distortional buckling while long columns to flexural or flexural-torsional buckling. Fire safety design of building structures is an essential requirement as fire events can cause loss of property and lives. Therefore it is essential to understand the fire performance of light gauge cold-formed steel structures under fire conditions. The buckling behaviour of cold-formed steel compression members under fire conditions is not well investigated yet and hence there is a lack of knowledge on the fire performance of cold-formed steel compression members. Current cold-formed steel design standards do not provide adequate design guidelines for the fire design of cold-formed steel compression members. Therefore a research project based on extensive experimental and numerical studies was undertaken at the Queensland University of Technology to investigate the buckling behaviour of light gauge cold-formed steel compression members under simulated fire conditions. As the first phase of this research, a detailed review was undertaken on the mechanical properties of light gauge cold-formed steels at elevated temperatures and the most reliable predictive models for mechanical properties and stress-strain models based on detailed experimental investigations were identified. Their accuracy was verified experimentally by carrying out a series of tensile coupon tests at ambient and elevated temperatures. As the second phase of this research, local buckling behaviour was investigated based on the experimental and numerical investigations at ambient and elevated temperatures. First a series of 91 local buckling tests was carried out at ambient and elevated temperatures on lipped and unlipped channels made of G250-0.95, G550-0.95, G250-1.95 and G450-1.90 cold-formed steels. Suitable finite element models were then developed to simulate the experimental conditions. These models were converted to ideal finite element models to undertake detailed parametric study. Finally all the ultimate load capacity results for local buckling were compared with the available design methods based on AS/NZS 4600, BS 5950 Part 5, Eurocode 3 Part 1.2 and the direct strength method (DSM), and suitable recommendations were made for the fire design of cold-formed steel compression members subject to local buckling. As the third phase of this research, flexural-torsional buckling behaviour was investigated experimentally and numerically. Two series of 39 flexural-torsional buckling tests were undertaken at ambient and elevated temperatures. The first series consisted 2800 mm long columns of G550-0.95, G250-1.95 and G450-1.90 cold-formed steel lipped channel columns while the second series contained 1800 mm long lipped channel columns of the same steel thickness and strength grades. All the experimental tests were simulated using a suitable finite element model, and the same model was used in a detailed parametric study following validation. Based on the comparison of results from the experimental and parametric studies with the available design methods, suitable design recommendations were made. This thesis presents a detailed description of the experimental and numerical studies undertaken on the mechanical properties and the local and flexural-torsional bucking behaviour of cold-formed steel compression member at ambient and elevated temperatures. It also describes the currently available ambient temperature design methods and their accuracy when used for fire design with appropriately reduced mechanical properties at elevated temperatures. Available fire design methods are also included and their accuracy in predicting the ultimate load capacity at elevated temperatures was investigated. This research has shown that the current ambient temperature design methods are capable of predicting the local and flexural-torsional buckling capacities of cold-formed steel compression members at elevated temperatures with the use of reduced mechanical properties. However, the elevated temperature design method in Eurocode 3 Part 1.2 is overly conservative and hence unsuitable, particularly in the case of flexural-torsional buckling at elevated temperatures.

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ID Code: 29310
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Mahendran, Mahen
Keywords: Light gauge cold-formed steel, local buckling, flexural-torsional buckling, compression members, elevated temperatures, axial compression load, reduced yield strength, reduced elasticity modulus, stress-strain model, fire safety design, fire test, finite element analysis
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 15 Dec 2009 02:15
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2011 13:51

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