Structural behaviour and design of cold-formed steel beams at elevated temperatures

Dolamune Kankanamge, Nirosha (2010) Structural behaviour and design of cold-formed steel beams at elevated temperatures. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Cold-formed steel members are extensively used in the building construction industry, especially in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. In recent times, fire safety has become important in structural design due to increased fire damage to properties and loss of lives. However, past research into the fire performance of cold-formed steel members has been limited, and was confined to compression members. Therefore a research project was undertaken to investigate the structural behaviour of compact cold-formed steel lipped channel beams subject to inelastic local buckling and yielding, and lateral-torsional buckling effects under simulated fire conditions and associated section and member moment capacities. In the first phase of this research, an experimental study based on tensile coupon tests was undertaken to obtain the mechanical properties of elastic modulus and yield strength and the stress-strain relationship of cold-formed steels at uniform ambient and elevated temperatures up to 700oC. The mechanical properties deteriorated with increasing temperature and are likely to reduce the strength of cold-formed beams under fire conditions. Predictive equations were developed for yield strength and elastic modulus reduction factors while a modification was proposed for the stressstrain model at elevated temperatures. These results were used in the numerical modelling phases investigating the section and member moment capacities. The second phase of this research involved the development and validation of two finite element models to simulate the behaviour of compact cold-formed steel lipped channel beams subject to local buckling and yielding, and lateral-torsional buckling effects. Both models were first validated for elastic buckling. Lateral-torsional buckling tests of compact lipped channel beams were conducted at ambient temperature in order to validate the finite element model in predicting the non-linear ultimate strength behaviour. The results from this experimental study did not agree well with those from the developed experimental finite element model due to some unavoidable problems with testing. However, it highlighted the importance of magnitude and direction of initial geometric imperfection as well as the failure direction, and thus led to further enhancement of the finite element model. The finite element model for lateral-torsional buckling was then validated using the available experimental and numerical ultimate moment capacity results from past research. The third phase based on the validated finite element models included detailed parametric studies of section and member moment capacities of compact lipped channel beams at ambient temperature, and provided the basis for similar studies at elevated temperatures. The results showed the existence of inelastic reserve capacity for compact cold-formed steel beams at ambient temperature. However, full plastic capacity was not achieved by the mono-symmetric cold-formed steel beams. Suitable recommendations were made in relation to the accuracy and suitability of current design rules for section moment capacity. Comparison of member capacity results from finite element analyses with current design rules showed that they do not give accurate predictions of lateral-torsional buckling capacities at ambient temperature and hence new design rules were developed. The fourth phase of this research investigated the section and member moment capacities of compact lipped channel beams at uniform elevated temperatures based on detailed parametric studies using the validated finite element models. The results showed the existence of inelastic reserve capacity at elevated temperatures. Suitable recommendations were made in relation to the accuracy and suitability of current design rules for section moment capacity in fire design codes, ambient temperature design codes as well as those proposed by other researchers. The results showed that lateral-torsional buckling capacities are dependent on the ratio of yield strength and elasticity modulus reduction factors and the level of non-linearity in the stress-strain curves at elevated temperatures in addition to the temperature. Current design rules do not include the effects of non-linear stress-strain relationship and therefore their predictions were found to be inaccurate. Therefore a new design rule that uses a nonlinearity factor, which is defined as the ratio of the limit of proportionality to the yield stress at a given temperature, was developed for cold-formed steel beams subject to lateral-torsional buckling at elevated temperatures. This thesis presents the details and results of the experimental and numerical studies conducted in this research including a comparison of results with predictions using available design rules. It also presents the recommendations made regarding the accuracy of current design rules as well as the new developed design rules for coldformed steel beams both at ambient and elevated temperatures.

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ID Code: 33221
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Mahendran, Mahadeva
Keywords: light gauge cold-formed steel, lateral-torsional buckling, section moment capacity, flexural members, ambient temperature, elevated temperatures, tensile coupon tests, reduced yield strength, reduced elastic modulus, stress-strain model, fire safety design, 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: 22 Jul 2010 04:12
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:56

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