Flexural behaviour and design of hollow flange steel beams

Anapayan, Tharmarajah (2010) Flexural behaviour and design of hollow flange steel beams. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The LiteSteel Beam (LSB) is a new hollow flange channel section developed by OneSteel Australian Tube Mills using a patented Dual Electric Resistance Welding technique. The LSB has a unique geometry consisting of torsionally rigid rectangular hollow flanges and a relatively slender web. It is commonly used as rafters, floor joists and bearers and roof beams in residential, industrial and commercial buildings. It is on average 40% lighter than traditional hot-rolled steel beams of equivalent performance. The LSB flexural members are subjected to a relatively new Lateral Distortional Buckling mode, which reduces the member moment capacity. Unlike the commonly observed lateral torsional buckling of steel beams, lateral distortional buckling of LSBs is characterised by simultaneous lateral deflection, twist and web distortion. Current member moment capacity design rules for lateral distortional buckling in AS/NZS 4600 (SA, 2005) do not include the effect of section geometry of hollow flange beams although its effect is considered to be important. Therefore detailed experimental and finite element analyses (FEA) were carried out to investigate the lateral distortional buckling behaviour of LSBs including the effect of section geometry. The results showed that the current design rules in AS/NZS 4600 (SA, 2005) are over-conservative in the inelastic lateral buckling region. New improved design rules were therefore developed for LSBs based on both FEA and experimental results. A geometrical parameter (K) defined as the ratio of the flange torsional rigidity to the major axis flexural rigidity of the web (GJf/EIxweb) was identified as the critical parameter affecting the lateral distortional buckling of hollow flange beams. The effect of section geometry was then included in the new design rules using the new parameter (K). The new design rule developed by including this parameter was found to be accurate in calculating the member moment capacities of not only LSBs, but also other types of hollow flange steel beams such as Hollow Flange Beams (HFBs), Monosymmetric Hollow Flange Beams (MHFBs) and Rectangular Hollow Flange Beams (RHFBs). The inelastic reserve bending capacity of LSBs has not been investigated yet although the section moment capacity tests of LSBs in the past revealed that inelastic reserve bending capacity is present in LSBs. However, the Australian and American cold-formed steel design codes limit them to the first yield moment. Therefore both experimental and FEA were carried out to investigate the section moment capacity behaviour of LSBs. A comparison of the section moment capacity results from FEA, experiments and current cold-formed steel design codes showed that compact and non-compact LSB sections classified based on AS 4100 (SA, 1998) have some inelastic reserve capacity while slender LSBs do not have any inelastic reserve capacity beyond their first yield moment. It was found that Shifferaw and Schafer’s (2008) proposed equations and Eurocode 3 Part 1.3 (ECS, 2006) design equations can be used to include the inelastic bending capacities of compact and non-compact LSBs in design. As a simple design approach, the section moment capacity of compact LSB sections can be taken as 1.10 times their first yield moment while it is the first yield moment for non-compact sections. For slender LSB sections, current cold-formed steel codes can be used to predict their section moment capacities. It was believed that the use of transverse web stiffeners could improve the lateral distortional buckling moment capacities of LSBs. However, currently there are no design equations to predict the elastic lateral distortional buckling and member moment capacities of LSBs with web stiffeners under uniform moment conditions. Therefore, a detailed study was conducted using FEA to simulate both experimental and ideal conditions of LSB flexural members. It was shown that the use of 3 to 5 mm steel plate stiffeners welded or screwed to the inner faces of the top and bottom flanges of LSBs at third span points and supports provided an optimum web stiffener arrangement. Suitable design rules were developed to calculate the improved elastic buckling and ultimate moment capacities of LSBs with these optimum web stiffeners. A design rule using the geometrical parameter K was also developed to improve the accuracy of ultimate moment capacity predictions. This thesis presents the details and results of the experimental and numerical studies of the section and member moment capacities of LSBs conducted in this research. It includes the recommendations made regarding the accuracy of current design rules as well as the new design rules for lateral distortional buckling. The new design rules include the effects of section geometry of hollow flange steel beams. This thesis also developed a method of using web stiffeners to reduce the lateral distortional buckling effects, and associated design rules to calculate the improved moment capacities.

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ID Code: 36210
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Mahendran, Mahadeva & Seo, Jung
Keywords: Buckling (Mechanics), Girders, Steel, Structural, LiteSteel beams, hollow flange beams, hollow flange steel beams, lateral distortional buckling, lateral buckling tests, section moment capacity tests, inelastic reserve bending moments, finite element analysis, FEA, cold-formed steel structures, flexural members, web stiffeners, transverse web stiffeners, 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: 24 Oct 2013 03:44

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