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Special Issue Article

Buckling analysis of thin-walled


members via semi-analytical finite strip
transfer matrix method

Advances in Mechanical Engineering


2016, Vol. 8(5) 111
The Author(s) 2016
DOI: 10.1177/1687814016650341
aime.sagepub.com

Yu Zhang, Bin He, Li-Ke Yao and Jin Long

Abstract
Slender thin-walled members are main components of modern engineering structures, whose buckling behavior has
been studied widely. In this article, thin-walled members with simply supported loaded edges can be discretized in the
cross-section by semi-analytical finite strip technology. Then, the control equations of the strip elements will be rewritten as the transfer equations by transfer matrix method. This new method, named as semi-analytical finite strip transfer
matrix method, expands the advantages of semi-analytical finite strip method and transfer matrix method. This method
requires no global stiffness matrix, reduces the size of matrix, and improves the computational efficiency. Compared with
finite element methods results of three different cross-sections under axial force, the method is proved to be reliable
and effective.
Keywords
Buckling, thin-walled members, finite strip method, transfer matrix method, finite element method

Date received: 1 December 2015; accepted: 22 April 2016


Academic Editor: Chuanzeng Zhang

Introduction
Buckling analysis is the most important step during the
design of slender elements which can be applied in different branches of engineering, including mechanical
construction, marine applications, and civil architecture.1 Thin-walled structure, a main kind of slender
structure, is widely utilized to lighten engineering structures as well as save materials.2
The buckling phenomenon is one of the chief failure
models of thin-walled structure, which has been studied
by experimental or mathematical means.3 In the early
works, the stability and vibration of thin flat-walled
structure, acted by compression forces, have been analyzed by a matrix method.4 It is based on energy rule
that the elastic buckling modes of I-section beams has
been studied.5 Up to now, many methods have been
used to analyze the buckling problems of thin-walled
structure, such as finite difference and finite element

methods (FEMs),6 nonlinear FEM,7 generalized beam


theory,8,9 direct strength method,10 semi-analytical
finite strip and spline finite strip methods,11 and constrained finite strip method (cFSM).12 In addition, by
introducing a computer procedure, the calculation of
the stresses and failure models in thin-walled structural
members has been presented.13 And an experimental
program investigating the column behavior of four
sizes of square hollow sections has been introduced.14
Although the FEM has been widely applied in the
analysis of buckling behavior of thin-walled structures,
the choices of the elements and the mesh sizes have
Department of Mechanics, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, China
Corresponding author:
Bin He, Department of Mechanics, Nanjing Tech University, No. 30,
Puzhu Road(S), Nanjing 211816, China.
Email: hebin123@njtech.edu.cn

Creative Commons CC-BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
(http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without
further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/
open-access-at-sage).
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Advances in Mechanical Engineering

significant influences on the results.15 When calculating


the buckling problems of structures which only have
complex geometry shape in their cross-section, finite
strip method (FSM) can be regarded as an efficient and
powerful technology. And using the sub-parametric
mapping concept, the arbitrary-shaped member can be
discretized as many strip elements.16 By introducing the
spline finite strip method, the buckling stresses and natural frequencies of prismatic plate and shell structures
have been predicted.17 If a fictitious shear strain is
adopted, a drilling rotation is introduced in the standard MindlinReissner finite strip for the analysis of
thin-walled sections.18 Based on the concept of the
semi-energy approach, the FSM can be proposed to
analyze the buckling,19 shear buckling,20 and stability
analysis of composite laminated plate and cylindrical
shell structures.21 The longitudinal harmonic series
satisfying the boundary conditions at the longitudinal
ends are generally employed in semi-analytical finite
strip method (SAFSM).22 The SAFSM based on the
shallow shell theory is developed to the buckling analysis of prismatic structures which have curved corners.23
And the SAFSM has been used in computer software
(such as THIN-WALL24 and CUFSM25) to develop
the signature curves26 of the buckling stress versus
buckling half-wavelength for thin-walled members.
Furthermore, the cFSM innovated from SAFSM is
developed and applied in the determination and classification of buckling modes.27 By extending the applicability of the cFSM to the domain of general finite
element analysis, the buckling modal identification of
the thin-walled member has been demonstrated.28
The classical transfer matrix method (TMM) has
been developed as an effective tool for structural analysis, especially for chain connected system from topological perspective.29 By combining the TMM and FEM,
the finite element-transfer matrix method (FE-TMM)
is developed to analyze the static and dynamic of structural problems.30 And then a structural analysis
method, named as boundary element-transfer matrix
method (BE-TMM), is proposed for the vibration analysis of two-dimensional plate acted by uniform31 and
concentrated32 loads. If the numerical integration is
used, the nonlinear dynamics of structures,33 the
dynamics of multi-rigid-body system,34 and multi-rigidflexible-body system35 can be simulated by TMM. And
a new method, named as transfer matrix method of linear multibody system (MSTMM), is developed to study
the hybrid multibody systems dynamics.36 By combining FEM and discrete time transfer matrix method of
multibody system (MS-DT-TMM), the dynamics of
general planar flexible multibody systems including
flexible bodies with irregular shape is studied.37
Nowadays, the buckling analysis of the plate with
built-in rectangular delamination has been implemented
by strip distributed transfer function method.38 And the

TMM can be used to analyze the instability in unsymmetrical rotor-bearing systems39 and tall unbraced
frames.40 The buckling analysis of rectangular thin
plates via semi-analytical finite strip transfer matrix
method (FSTMM), which is enlightened by above three
references, has been developed.41 In this article,
FSTMM can be extended to analyze the buckling problems of thin-walled member with simply supported
loaded edges. This article is organized as follows: in section The Semi-analytical finite strip analysis, the general theorem of the semi-analytical finite strip for
buckling analysis of thin-walled member is shown. In
section Semi-analytical FSTMM for buckling analysis, the FSTMM for buckling analysis is studied. In
section Examples and analysis, some results calculated
by FSTMM and FEM are given to validate the method.
The conclusions are presented in section Conclusion.

The semi-analytical finite strip analysis


Degree of freedom and shape function
In the FSM, a thin-walled member as shown in
Figure 1(a) can be discretized into many strips in longitudinal direction. Two left-handed coordinate systems
are used: global and local. The global coordinate system is denoted as X-Y-Z, with the Y axis parallel to the
longitudinal axis of the member. The local system is
denoted as x-y-z, which is always associated with a
strip and z axis is perpendicular to the strip as shown
in Figure 1(b). We introduce a numbering system of
finite strip model as shown in Figure 1(a). The total
number of strips is s; therefore, the total number of
nodal lines is s + 1 for open cross-section. Each nodal
line i has two membrane degrees of freedom (DOFs) ui
and vi and two bending DOFs wi and ui . This numbering system will be used to depict the state vector of the
nodal line and the transfer matrix of the strip in section
Semi-analytical FSTMM for buckling analysis.
The analytical trigonometric functions of the longitudinal coordinate that satisfy the simply supported
boundary condition of the loaded edges can be used to
represent the strips deformed configuration25,27
Yp (y) = sin

ppy
,
a

p = 1, 2, 3, . . . , n

where p is the half-wave number, which also stands for


certain half-wavelength along the longitudinal direction; y is the longitudinal coordinate in local coordinate
system; and a is the length of the member.
The shape function for the membrane DOFs uses a
linear function along transverse direction. And four
cubic polynomials can be selected as the shape functions to depict the bending displacement of the strip
along transverse direction. Then, the explicit expressions of u, v, and w can be given as follows

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Zhang et al.

Figure 1. Coordinate systems and displacements: (a) discretization and numbering of a member and (b) Degree of Freedom and
loads of a strip.

u=

m h
X
p=1

v=

m h
X
p=1

w=

m 
X
p= 1

1

 
x xi uip
Yp
b b ujp

 
x xi vip
a
Yp9
1
b b vjp
pp

3x2 2x2
2x2 x3 3x2 2x3 x3 x2
+ 2 2  3 2
1 2 + 3 x
b
b
b
b b
b b
b

8 9
wip >
>
>
>
>
=
<u >
ip
Yp
>
wjp >
>
>
>
>
: ;
ujp

where u, v, and w are given in section Degree of freedom and shape function.
As to general linear elastic material, the elastic deformation energy can be expressed as

U=

1 T
1 T
1
e sdV =
e DedV = dT @ BT DBdV Ad
2
2
2
V

m X
m
1X
q
dpT kpq
=
e d
2 p=1 q=1

where subscripts i and j denote two nodal lines of one


strip, and m is the maximum half-wave number
employed in the analysis, which is a finite positive
integer.

Fundamental stiffness matrix


The elastic stiffness matrix of FSM can be established
similar to the deduction of FEM. If the plane stress
assumptions and Kirchhoff plate theory may be
employed, respectively, the total strain e of a strip,
including both the membrane strains eM and the bending strains eB , is expressed as27
9
9
8
8
>
>
=
=
< ex >
< ex >
e = eM + eB = ey
+ ey
>
>
;
;
:g >
:g >
xy
xy
M
B
9
8
9
8
2

w
u
>
>
>
>
>
z 2 >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
5
>
>
>
>
x >
x
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
=
=
< 2 w >
< v
=
+ z 2
y
>
>
>
y >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
2 >
>
>
>
>
u
v
>
>
>
>

w
>
>
: + ;
;
: 2z
y
x M
xy B

where e and s denote strain and stress vectors, respectively; V is the volume of the material; D is the elastic
constant matrix of the material; B defines the relationship between the strain vector and the displacement vector; d = d1T d2T    dmT T is the displacement vector;
and d p = uip vip ujp vjp wip uip wjp ujp T . The elastic stiffness matrix of the strip can be concisely expressed as

7
ke = BT DBdV
v

The (8 3 8) block elements kpq


e of the elastic stiffness
matrix ke given in above equation can be expressed as
the combination of membrane and bending terms,
namely
kpq
e

kpq
= eM
0

0
kpq
eB


8

pq
where kpq
eM and keB are the (4 3 4) membrane and bending elastic stiffness matrices, respectively.
As shown in Figure 1(b), the strip is loaded with linearly varying edge tractions. The membrane compressive
loads can be expressed as

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x
tx = ti  ti  tj
b

Advances in Mechanical Engineering

where ti , tj are the forces in two nodes of the strip, b is


the width of the strip as shown in Figure 1(b), and x is
the transverse coordinate in local coordinate system.
Similar to the deduction of the elastic stiffness matrix,
the potential energy induced by the membrane compressive loads can be expressed as
"

2
2 #
1
u 2
v
w
tx
dV
+
+
W=
2
y
y
y
V
0
1
10

m X
m
X
1 T@
1
T
pT
pq
q
tx G GdV Ad =
d kg d
= d
2
2 p=1 q=1

Rp = Ppi Qpi Ppj Qpj Fip Mip Fjp Mjp T

where Pp and Qp are the generalized internal forces


associated with the membrane deflection u and v, F p is
the generalized internal force associated with the transverse deflection w, M p is the generalized internal force
associated with the y-axiss rotation u, and the subscripts i and j denote two nodal lines of one strip.
Assuming t0 (x) as the initial axial force, the real
axial force in the geometric stiffness matrix can be
expressed as

kpq
g

of the geometric stiffThe (8 3 8) block elements


ness matrix kg given in above equation can be expressed
as the combination of membrane and bending terms,
namely
kpq
g =

kpq
gM
0

0
kpq
gB

15

t(x) = lt0 (x)

where G defines the relationship between the secondorder strain components and the displacement vector.
The geometric stiffness matrix of the strip element can
be expressed as

11
kg = tx GT GdV

where l is the buckling coefficient. Therefore, the geometric stiffness matrix kpp

g can be rewritten as the func
tion of the initial geometric stiffness matrix kpp
g
t0
caused by initial axial force t0 (x), namely

pp
kpp
=
lk
g
g

16

t0

By substituting equation (16) into equation (13), the


control equations of the buckling strip can be rewritten
as follows


pp
pp
ke  lkg dp = Rp
t0


12

pq
where kpq
gM and kgB are the (4 3 4) membrane and bending geometric stiffness matrices, respectively.

14

17

To simplify the equation, the coefficient matrix of


the nodal line displacement vector dp in above equation
can be expressed as

pp

lk
K = kpp
e
g

t0

18


pp
where both coefficient matrices kpp
e and kg are cont0
stant when the loads determined by equation (15)
vary.

Semi-analytical FSTMM for buckling


analysis
Control equations of strip element
In both FE-TMM and BE-TMM, the transfer equations of the given sub-structure can be deduced by the
control equations of this sub-structure which consider
the interaction forces between this sub-structure and
other structures. As to the proposed FSTMM, the strip
element can be regarded as the sub-structure.
pq
If the orthogonal conditions about kpq
e and kg given
41
by Yao et al. can be used, the control equations of the
buckling strip can be obtained by virtual work principle, which are



pp
p
p

k
kpp
e
g d =R

13

where kpp
e is the elastic stiffness matrix of equation (8),
is
the
geometric stiffness matrix as shown in equakpp
g
tion (11), dp is the nodal line displacement vector, and
Rp is the generalized internal forces acting on the strip,
which can be expressed as

State vector, transfer equations, and transfer matrix


During the deduction of transfer matrix of the system,
the state vector of the nodal line is an important concept that includes two parts: one part describes the generalized displacement of the nodal line, and the other
part gives the generalized internal forces acting on the
nodal line by other members in the system. For example, the state vector of the nodal line l can be defined as
2

3
dB, l
6 RB, l 7
p p p
p p p p
p T
7
Zl, n = 6
4 dM, l 5 = ul vl Pl Ql wl ul Fl Ml n (l = i, j)
RM, l n
19
where the first subscript l denotes the number of the
nodal line, the second subscript n denotes the number
of the strip, dB, l = upl vpl T and dM, l = wpl upl T can be

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Zhang et al.

regarded as the generalized displacement vectors of the


nodal line l, and RB, l = Ppl Qpl T and RM, l = Flp Mlp T
are the generalized internal force vectors acting on the
nodal line l correspondingly.
Using the block forms of equation (19), the control
equations (17) can be rewritten as the form of the transfer equations of this strip, namely
20

Zj, n = Un Zi, n

Figure 2. Transformation at the nodal line.

where the transfer matrix of the strip n is


2

K1
12 K11
6 K21  K22 K1 K11
12
Un = 6
4
0

K1
12
K22 K1
12

0
K1
34 K33
K43  K44 K1
34 K33

K1
34
K44 K1
34

7
7
5
n

21
where the subscript n denotes the number of the strip,
Kij (i, j = 1, 2, 3, 4) are the (2 3 2) block sub-matrices
that can be determined by equation (18). Actually, coefficient matrix of equation (18) can be denoted as
2

K11 K12
6 232 232
6 K21 K22
6
K = 6 232 232
6
4
0

2
3
ui
cos a
6 vi 7
6 0
6 7
6
6 Pi 7
6 0
6 7
6
6 Qi 7
6 0
6 7
6
=
6 wi 7
6 sina
6 7
6
6 ui 7
6 0
6 7
6
4 Fi 5
4 0
Mi n + 1
0

Zj, s = Uall Zi, 1

26

Uall = Us Ts1 Us1 Ts2    U2 T1 U1

27

where the subscript s is the total number of strips.

3
0
K34
232
K44
232

K33
232
K43
232

7
7
7
7
7
5

Examples and analysis


22
n

According to the condition of displacement continuum and the law of action and reaction, the transformation of the state vector from strip n to strip n + 1 at
nodal line jn (in + 1 ) which is shown in Figure 2 at an
angle a is governed by the following transformation
2

Using the same procedure used in classical TMM,


the overall system transfer equation and the overall
transfer matrix Uall , which relates the state vectors at
two edges of the member, can be assembled and calculated. That is

0
0
1
0
0 cosa
0
0
0
0
0
0
0 sina
0
0

0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0

sina
0
0
0
cosa
0
0
0

0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0

For the buckling analysis of open cross-section members with simply-simply (SS) supported boundary condition of loaded edges in this dissertation, the two
unloaded edges are free, which can be expressed by
SSff. Here, the capital letters and lowercase letters
denote the loaded edges and unloaded edges
correspondingly.

0
0
sina
0
0
0
cosa
0

3 2 3
uj
0
6 vj 7
0 7
7 6 7
6 7
0 7
7 6 Pj 7
7
7
0 7 6
6 Qj 7
6
7
0 7 6 wj 7
7
6 7
0 7
7 6 uj 7
0 5 4 Fj 5
1 n Mj n

24
u

where Tn is the transformation matrix of strip n and


strip n + 1 at nodal line jn (in + 1 ). Therefore, the transfer equations between particular nodal lines of conjunctional strips can be obtained by multiplying equations
(20) and (24), namely
Zi, n + 1 = Tn Un Zi, n

23

Take the boundary condition SSff into analysis, the


total transfer equations can be deduced as follows

This can be simplified as the following form


Zi, n + 1 = Tn Zj, n

Illustrations of open cross-section members

25

u 0

v 0

= Uall u

0 0

0 TL
u

0 0 TF

28

where subscripts F and L denote the first and last nodal


lines of the member and Uall is the overall transfer
matrix of the member. The non-zero variables in the
state vector of the first nodal line of the member have
the relationship that can be deduced by equation (28)

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Advances in Mechanical Engineering

Figure 3. Cross-section: (a) C-section member and (b) its FSM


mesh.

2
3
U31
0
6 U41
607
4 0 5 =6
4 U71
0 L
U81
2

U32
U42
U72
U82

U35
U45
U75
U85

3
U36 2
U46 7
76
4
U76 5
U86

3
u
v 7
w5
u F

29

Figure 4. Classic signature curves of FSTMM and FSM of Csection member.

where U31 , U32 , . . . , U85 , U86 are the elements of Uall .


To make the non-zero solutions of equation (29) possible, the following condition must be satisfied
02

U31
B6 U41
6
detB
@4 U71
U81

U32
U42
U72
U82

U35
U45
U75
U85

31
U36
C
U46 7
7C = 0
U76 5A
U86

30

Above equation is the characteristic equation of the


buckling of open cross-section member by the
FSTMM, which can be used to calculate the buckling
coefficients. If we combine equation (29) with equation
(25), the buckling mode can be obtained. In order to
demonstrate the method, two typical examples are considered: a C-section member and a Z-section member.
Illustrations of C cross-section member. The dimensions of
the C-section member are presented in Figure 3(a). The
section height is 200 mm, the flange width is 80 mm, the
flange lip length is 20 mm, the plate thickness is 2 mm,
and the initial axial force t0 (x) = 50 N=mm2 . The material properties through this article are as follows:
Youngs modulus E = 2 3 105 N=mm2 , Poissons ratio
n = 0:3, and shear modulus G = E=2(1 + n).
Along the loaded edge, the member is divided into
11 strips, as shown in Figure 3(b). Figure 4 shows the
classic signature curve, which can be used to determine
and classify the buckling modes, by both FSTMM and
conventional FSM for the section in axial compression.14 We notice that two curves have good agreements. The relationship schema between buckling
coefficient l and length a of the member is obtained by
the proposed FSTMM and FEM. FSTMMs results
are compared with FEMs results under the boundary

Figure 5. Buckling curves of C-section member.

conditions of SSff, as shown in Figure 5. It should be


noticed that the buckling shape transfers from local to
global modes at a = 3750 mm. And since the length of
the thin-walled member increase, two kinds of global
buckling modes, torsion and bending, can be found.
When the member length is relatively small, a little difference between the two curves of both FSTMM and
FEM can be observed as shown in Figure 5. That is
because the shear strain is included in the finite element
analysis but neglected in the finite strip transfer matrix
analysis. Figure 6 gives the local, global torsion and
global bending buckling shape of C-section member
when the length is 1000, 3750, and 8000 mm,
respectively.
Illustrations of Z cross-section member. Another example to
validate the theory is a Z-section member. The

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Zhang et al.

Figure 6. Buckling shapes of C-section member: (a) a = 1000 mm, local buckling; (b) a = 3750 mm, global torsion and
(c) a = 8000 mm, global bending.

Figure 7. Cross-section : (a) Z-section member and (b) its


FSM mesh.

dimensions are presented in Figure 7(a), the section


height is 180 mm, the flange width is 60 mm, the flange
lip length is 20 mm, and the plate thickness is 2 mm.
The member is divided into 10 strips along the loaded
edge, as shown in Figure 7(b). In this section, the
numerical results concerning the buckling behavior of
the Z-section member subjected to axial compression
and axial bending are presented.
Figure 8 shows the relation between the buckling
coefficient l and the length a by FSTMM and FEM of
the Z-section member under the initial axial force
t0 (x) = 50 N=mm2 . The buckling shape transfer from
local to global buckling modes at the length
a = 2500 mm. Only one kind of global buckling mode,
bending, occurs in the analysis. Figure 9 shows the
local and global buckling shapes for Z-section member
at a = 500 mm and a = 2500 mm.
For the member under Z-Z axial bending moment
MZZ = 106 N mm shown in Figure 10(a), the stress distributions in the cross-section can be calculated by
thin-walled structure mechanics, which can be found in
Figure 10(b). It should be attended that the positive
(negative) number denotes the compressional (tensional) stress here. The buckling coefficient l versus
length a by both FSTMM and FEM are plotted in
Figure 11. Note that the distortional region exists in

Figure 8. Buckling curves of Z-section member in axial


compression.

Figure 9. Buckling shapes of Z-section member in axial


compression: (a) a = 500 mm, local buckling; (b) a = 2500 mm,
global buckling.

this loading condition. The buckling shapes corresponding to local, distortional, and global modes with
lengths 250, 2000, and 10,000 mm, respectively, are
shown in Figure 12.

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Advances in Mechanical Engineering

Figure 10. Z-section member in Z-Z axial bending: (a) direction of bending moment and (b) stress distributions.

section is studied, as shown in Figure 13. Different


from open cross-section members illustrated in section
Illustrations of open cross-section members, there is
no unloaded edge in a closed cross-section member. In
other words, the first and last nodal lines are the same
nodal line in the analysis. To satisfy the closed forms,
equation (28) can be modified as follows
u v

P Q w

= Ts Uall u

M TF

F
Q

u F

M TF

31

where the subscript F denotes the first nodal line of the


member, Uall is the transfer matrix of the member, and
Ts is the transformation matrix of strip s and strip 1 at
nodal line js (i1 ). Equation (31) can be rewritten as
follows
Figure 11. Buckling curves of Z-section member in Z-Z axial
bending.

Illustrations of closed cross-section member


In order to demonstrate the efficiency of FSTMM to
analyze closed cross-section, a rectangular hollow

Ts Uall  E u v

P Q w

M TF = 0 32

where E is a (8 3 8) unit matrix. To make the non-zero


solutions of equation (32) possible, it must satisfy the
following condition

Figure 12. Buckling shapes of Z-section member in Z-Z axial bending: (a) a = 250 mm, local buckling; (b) a = 2000 mm, distortional
buckling; and (c) a = 10,000 mm, global buckling.

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Zhang et al.

9
detTs Uall  E = 0

Figure 13. Cross-section: (a) rectangular hollow section


member and (b) its FSM mesh.

33

The geometrical properties of the member (Figure


13(a)) are as follows: the height is 100 mm, the width is
60 mm, the plate thickness is 1.5 mm, and the initial
axial force t0 (x) = 50 N=mm2 . The member is divided
into 10 strips along the loaded edge, as shown in
Figure 13(b). Figure 14 gives the buckling coefficient l
versus length a of FSTMM and FEM. The buckling
shape transfer from local to global buckling modes at
a = 2550 mm. Figure 15 shows the local and global
buckling shapes for rectangular hollow section member
at a = 800 mm and a = 2550 mm, respectively.

Precision analysis

Figure 14. Buckling curves of rectangular hollow section


member.

As a general rule, the computational precision can be


improved by increasing the number of elements. By
comparing the results calculated from FEMs shell
model and FSTMM of buckling problems of C-section
member, the influence of the strip number to the computational precision can be analyzed. The buckling
behaviors can be obtained by the FSTMM with the
strip numbers 5, 8, and 11, respectively, shown in
Figure 16(a)(c). Figure 16(d) shows the FEMs shell
model which is used for comparative analysis.
Figure 17 compares the influence of the strip number to the computational precision in FSTMM. When
the number of strips n = 8 in FSTMM is selected, the
computational results have good agreement with the
FEMs results. It can be confirmed that the proposed
FSTMM has good efficiency for the buckling analysis
of thin-walled members under the boundary condition
of simply supported loaded edges.

Conclusion

Figure 15. Buckling shapes of rectangular hollow section


member: (a) a = 800 mm, local buckling; (b) a = 2550 mm, global
buckling.

In this article, the semi-analytical FSTMM is proposed


to analyze the buckling problems of open and closed
cross-section members under the boundary condition
of simply supported loaded edges. In order to validate
the method, the examples of the open and closed crosssection members can be designed and analyzed by the
different methods in section Examples and analysis.
It may be found that the method holds several highlights: (1) demands no global stiffness matrix and

Figure 16. FSTMM and FEM meshes: (a) five strips; (b) eight strips; (c) eleven strips and (d) FEM mesh.
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10

Advances in Mechanical Engineering

7.
8.
9.
10.

11.

12.

Figure 17. Comparison between different models.

13.

reduces the size of matrix in the system analysis by


combining the semi-analytical finite strip and the transfer matrix technologies, (2) both open and closed crosssections can be calculated by the method in the same
way, and (3) the method has the advantages of determination and classification of buckling modes same
as FSM.

14.

Declaration of conflicting interests

17.

15.

16.

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with


respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
article.
18.

Funding
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
article: The research is financed by National Key Science
Foundation Program (51624001) and Natural Science
Foundation of Jiangsu Province, China (BK20130911).

19.

20.

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