Shear behaviour and design of LiteSteel beams

Keerthan, Poologanathan (2010) Shear behaviour and design of LiteSteel beams. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


OneSteel Australian Tube Mills has recently developed a new hollow flange channel cold-formed section, known as the LiteSteel Beam (LSB). The innovative LSB sections have the beneficial characteristics of torsionally rigid closed rectangular flanges combined with economical fabrication processes from a single strip of high strength steel. They combine the stability of hot-rolled steel sections with the high strength to weight ratio of conventional cold-formed steel sections. The LSB sections are commonly used as flexural members in residential, industrial and commercial buildings. In order to ensure safe and efficient designs of LSBs, many research studies have been undertaken on the flexural behaviour of LSBs. However, no research has been undertaken on the shear behaviour of LSBs. Therefore this thesis investigated the ultimate shear strength behaviour of LSBs with and without web openings including their elastic buckling and post-buckling characteristics using both experimental and finite element analyses, and developed accurate shear design rules.

Currently the elastic shear buckling coefficients of web panels are determined by assuming conservatively that the web panels are simply supported at the junction between the web and flange elements. Therefore finite element analyses were conducted first to investigate the elastic shear buckling behaviour of LSBs to determine the true support condition at the junction between their web and flange elements. An equation for the higher elastic shear buckling coefficient of LSBs was developed and included in the shear capacity equations in the cold-formed steel structures code, AS/NZS 4600. Predicted shear capacities from the modified equations and the available experimental results demonstrated the improvements to the shear capacities of LSBs due to the presence of higher level of fixity at the LSB flange to web juncture. A detailed study into the shear flow distribution of LSB was also undertaken prior to the elastic buckling analysis study.

The experimental study of ten LSB sections included 42 shear tests of LSBs with aspect ratios of 1.0 and 1.5 that were loaded at midspan until failure. Both single and back to back LSB arrangements were used. Test specimens were chosen such that all three types of shear failure (shear yielding, inelastic and elastic shear buckling) occurred in the tests. Experimental results showed that the current cold-formed steel design rules are very conservative for the shear design of LSBs. Significant improvements to web shear buckling occurred due to the presence of rectangular hollow flanges while considerable post-buckling strength was also observed. Experimental results were presented and compared with corresponding predictions from the current design rules. Appropriate improvements have been proposed for the shear strength of LSBs based on AISI (2007) design equations and test results. Suitable design rules were also developed under the direct strength method (DSM) format. This thesis also includes the shear test results of cold-formed lipped channel beams from LaBoube and Yu (1978a), and the new design rules developed based on them using the same approach used with LSBs.

Finite element models of LSBs in shear were also developed to investigate the ultimate shear strength behaviour of LSBs including their elastic and post-buckling characteristics. They were validated by comparing their results with experimental test results. Details of the finite element models of LSBs, the nonlinear analysis results and their comparisons with experimental results are presented in this thesis. Finite element analysis results showed that the current cold-formed steel design rules are very conservative for the shear design of LSBs. They also confirmed other experimental findings relating to elastic and post-buckling shear strength of LSBs. A detailed parametric study based on validated experimental finite element model was undertaken to develop an extensive shear strength data base and was then used to confirm the accuracy of the new shear strength equations proposed in this thesis.

Experimental and numerical studies were also undertaken to investigate the shear behaviour of LSBs with web openings. Twenty six shear tests were first undertaken using a three point loading arrangement. It was found that AS/NZS 4600 and Shan et al.'s (1997) design equations are conservative for the shear design of LSBs with web openings while McMahon et al.'s (2008) design equation are unconservative. Experimental finite element models of LSBs with web openings were then developed and validated by comparing their results with experimental test results. The developed nonlinear finite element model was found to predict the shear capacity of LSBs with web opening with very good accuracy. Improved design equations have been proposed for the shear capacity of LSBs with web openings based on both experimental and FEA parametric study results.

This thesis presents the details of experimental and numerical studies of the shear behaviour and strength of LSBs with and without web openings and the results including the developed accurate design rules.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 36208
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Mahendran, Mahadeva & Seo, Jung
Keywords: Shear (Mechanics), Girders, Steel, Structural, LiteSteel beams, LSBs, shear flow, shear buckling coefficient, shear buckling, shear yielding, cold-formed steel structures, slender web, hollow flanges, shear strength, shear design rules, direct strength method, DSM, post-buckling, lipped channel beams, LCBs, finite element analysis, FEA, web openings, shear capacity reduction factor, thesis, doctoral
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:04
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2014 06:55

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