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KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering (2015) 19(7):2108-2115 Structural Engineering

Copyright ⓒ2015 Korean Society of Civil Engineers


DOI 10.1007/s12205-015-1221-3 pISSN 1226-7988, eISSN 1976-3808
www.springer.com/12205
TECHNICAL NOTE

Behaviour of Stiffened Cold-Formed Steel Built-up Sections


with Complex Edge Stiffeners under Bending
P. Manikandan* and S. Sukumar**
Received April 30, 2014/Revised August 28, 2014/Accepted September 28, 2014/Published Online April 13, 2015

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with the effect of stiffened element at the flange/web junction and complex edge stiffener in behaviour and
strength of built-up cold-formed steel flexural members. An extensive experimental investigation and a finite element analysis of
stiffened built-up cold-formed beam sections with complex stiffeners under two point loading is presented. A nonlinear finite element
model is developed and verified against test results. All the results are compared with the design strength calculated using the North
American Iron and Steel Institute Specification for cold-formed steel structures (AISI: S100, 2007). Following the validation, an
extensive finite element parametric study is conducted to study the influences of a range of parameters, and the results are compared
with the nominal design strength by AISI: S100 (2007) and suitable recommendation are made.
Keywords: cold-formed steel, flexural members, stiffened element, edge stiffeners, FEA, design curve
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1. Introduction An experimental investigation on the strength and behaviour


of cold-formed steel Z-beams with complex edge stiffeners
Under bending, cold-formed steel beams can exhibit different (consisting of simple and return lip) subjected to major axis
modes of instabilities, namely local, distortional, web buckling, bending was studied by Nguyen et al. (2006). Wang and Zhang
flexural bending, lateral-torsional buckling and interaction between (2009) studied the flexural behaviour of a series of innovative
them or among the above buckling modes. The predominant cold-formed steel C-section beams with upright, inclined and
failure modes of the beam are local and distortional buckling. complex edge stiffeners. Pastor and Roure (2009) presented the
This mode of failure can be delayed/eliminated to have a finite element investigation on cold-formed steel open U-
significant change in strength and behaviour of the flexural section and sigma-section subjected to pure bending.
members. The closed and open sections are the most common in Experimental and numerical analysis of the inelastic bending
the industry. A new design concept for cold-formed built-up steel behaviour of the cold-formed channel section with (upright and
beams is introduced by adding the stiffened element at the flange complex edge stiffeners) or without lips were performed by
/web junction and edge stiffeners at the flanges, to provide a Maduliat et al. (2012). Kankanamge and Mahendran (2012)
significant change in flexural strength and behaviour of the developed a finite element model (ABAQUS) for lateral-
beams. torsional buckling behaviour of cold-formed steel lipped
A series of new flexural tests focused on the role of web channel beams subjected to uniform bending. He gave the
slenderness in local buckling failures of cold-formed steel C, Z guidelines for the maximum and minimum size of lips. They
section flexural members were reported by Yu and Schafer also proposed three design curve based on the moment
(2003). Yu and Schafer (2006) conducted a series of flexural capacities.
tests on industrial standard cold-formed steel C and Z sections Haidarali and Nethercot (2012a; 2012b) conducted a parametric
with an intermediate length of unbraced members. All these study on cold-formed steel beams with edge-stiffened flanges
specimens failed in distortional buckling. Schafer et al. (2006) subjected to pure bending using the finite element analysis
developed a finite element model for the flexural behaviour of software ABAQUS. The results indicated that the lip size-to-
cold-formed steel channel section with complex edge stiffeners flange width ratio and the angle of inclination of the edge
subjected to pure bending and provide suitable recommendations stiffener significantly affected the strength and behaviour of the
on the design of cold-formed steel members that employ specimens. Haidarali and Nethercot (2012) did numerical
complex edge stiffeners. investigations on cold-formed steel beams with both edge and

*Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, K.S. Rangasamy College of Technology, Namakkal-637-215, Tamil Nadu, India (Corresponding Author,
E-mail: lp_mani@yahoo.com)
**Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Government College of Engineering, Salem-636-011, Tamil Nadu, India (E-mail: sukumar_237@yahoo.co.in)

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Behaviour of Stiffened Cold-Formed Steel Built-up Sections with Complex Edge Stiffeners under Bending

intermediate stiffeners in their compression flanges. The shape, 2. Experimental Program


size and position of the intermediate stiffeners significantly
affected the stability of the cold-formed steel members. 2.1 Test Section
The flexural strength and behaviour of cold-formed steel The experimental programme involves fabrication of two
members can be improved in a variety of ways. The predominant series of cold-formed steel built-up section formed from locally
failure mode of the beam is local and distortional buckling. This available 2 mm thick cold rolled steel sheets with a yield stress of
mode of failure can be delayed / eliminated to have a significant 270 MPa, Poisson’s ratio of 0.3 and young’s modulus of 2.04E5MPa.
change in behaviour and strength of the flexural members. It consists of a unstiffened built-up beam with complex edge
Compression flanges with unstiffened edges do not perform well stiffeners (USB-C) and stiffened built-up beam with complex
under flexure due to the vertical displacement of the unstiffened edge stiffeners (SB-C).
edges/distortional buckling. A stiffened element at the flange/
web junction and edge stiffener provides longitudinal support to 2.2 Selection of Section
the compression flange, can increase strength and improve its To eliminate the occurrence of local buckling, the cross-
behaviour. sectional dimensions are fixed based on the AISI specification
Based on the literature review, a limited research work is for the cold-formed steel structures and to cover the practical
available on the flexural behaviour of cold formed steel built- range of channel section beams currently used in the industry.
up sections. The present study is being conducted to analyse The section geometries and dimensions are chosen in such a way
the flexural behaviour of unstiffened and stiffened cold- that all the types of buckling modes are met.
formed steel built-up section with complex edge stiffeners Table 1 shows the cross-sectional dimensions of the cold-
having the same cross-sectional area with different geometric formed steel built-up open section and the nomenclature is
cross-sectional profile. defined in Fig. 1. The primary (USB-C) is an unstiffened built-up
A series of flexural tests focused on the unstiffened and beam with complex edge stiffener (Fig. 1(a)), second (SB-C) is a
stiffened cold-formed steel built-up section with or without stiffened built-up beam with complex edge stiffener (Fig. 1(b)).
edge stiffeners and bending status is reported in this investigation Specimen labelling rules as illustrated in Fig. 2.
(Fig. 1). The study involves both experimental and numerical The built-up members are composed of two cold-formed
investigations (ANSYS). The developed finite element model is sections with or without stiffened channel profile back to back,
validated by the experimental results. Following the validation, a which forms an I-section beam with complex edge stiffeners by
range of influential parameters is investigated to study their effects using bolted connection with a spacing (S) of 150 mm (Fig. 1(c))
on strength and behaviour of the beams under bending. The and to avoid bearing failure, bearing plates are provided at
results obtained from the experiments and finite element supports and loading points as shown in Fig. 3(a). The Length
analyses are compared with the design strength predicted from (L) and height of the web (H) are changed, keeping the position
the North American Iron and Steel Institute Specification for of the stiffened element (θ), size of stiffened element (A), flange
cold-formed steel structures (AISI:S100, 2007). Finally, the width (B) and lip size (C, E) constant. The values for θ, A, B, C,
suitability of the current design methods (AISI) and a suitable E and t are taken as 600, 15 mm, 35, 15 mm, 15 mm and 2 mm
design recommendation for stiffened built-up cold-formed steel respectively. The length (L) and height of the web (H) ranges
section is provided. from 1800 mm to 3000 mm and 150 mm to 300 mm respectively.

2.3 Test Setup and Instrumentation


All the beams are tested in a loading frame of capacity 200 kN
under simply supported end conditions with two point loading.
Specimens are painted and levelled, to apply the load vertically.
The beam is laterally restrained at the supports for the lateral
movement. The overall stability of the experimental setup is
verified and a small amount of preload is applied to seat the

Fig. 1. Cross-section and Definition of Symbols: (a) USB, (b) SB,


(c) Details of Specimen Fig. 2. Specimen Labeling

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P. Manikandan and S. Sukumar

Table 1. Measured Specimen Dimensions and Comparisons of Results


Description of the specimens Flexural Strength (kN.m) MANSYS MAISI Failure
---------------- -----------
-
Test Series Description ID MEXP MANSYS MAISI MEXP MEXP Modes
USB-C-H150W80T2L2300 USB-C1 11.57 11.29 8.53 0.98 0.74 LTB
SB-C-H150W80T2L1800 SB-C1 9.09 9.30 11.02 1.02 1.21 BF
T1
SB-C-H150W80T2L2300 SB-C2 9.89 11.40 12.46 1.15 1.26 BF
SB-C-H150W80T2L3000 SB-C3 4.87 5.58 5.15 1.15 1.06 BF
USB-C-H200W80T2L2300 USB-C2 16.68 12.30 12.37 0.74 0.74 LTB
SB-C-H200W80T2L1800 SB-C4 12.93 11.73 12.24 0.91 0.95 BF
T2
SB-C-H200W80T2L2300 SB-C5 11.29 12.44 13.87 1.10 1.23 BF
SB-C-H200W80T2L3000 SB-C6 6.81 8.16 7.31 1.20 1.07 BF
USB-C-H250W80T2L2300 USB-C3 20.13 21.45 16.51 1.07 0.82 LTB
SB-C-H250W80T2L1800 SB-C7 12.63 13.07 13.79 1.04 1.09 BF
T3
SB-C-H250W80T2L2300 SB-C8 16.41 15.71 16.42 0.96 1.00 BF
SB-C-H300W80T2L3000 SB-C9 9.73 10.88 9.40 1.12 0.97 BF
USB-C-H300W80T2L2300 USB-C4 26.76 23.40 20.92 0.87 0.78 LTB
SB-C-H300W80T2L1800 SB-C10 14.10 14.49 15.21 1.03 1.08 BF
T4
SB-C-H300W80T2L2300 SB-C11 16.59 18.19 20.48 1.10 1.23 BF
SB-C-H250W80T2L3000 SB-C12 10.86 13.65 11.45 1.26 1.05 BF
Mean 1.04 1.02
Standard Deviation 0.13 0.18
(BF-Bending Failure, LTB-Lateral-Torsional Buckling)

specimen in position and released. All the instruments are


initialized and load is applied with a hydraulic jack of 200 kN
capacity. All the necessary data such as the applied load and the
deformation of the specimen are recorded using the data
acquisition system. All the tests are carried out up to failure.

3. Numerical Investigation Using ANSYS Soft-


ware

The finite element non-linear analysis software ANSYS version


12 is used to predict the flexural strength and behaviour of the
proposed built-up beam section. The results obtained from numerical
analysis are validated through the experimental results.
The sections that are experimented under flexure have been
modelled and analysed. To simulate the buckling behaviour of
the built-up section, an approximate and idealized mid-line
model with four node shell-181 elements are chosen. This
element is well suitable for analysing the linear deflection, large
rotation and large strain nonlinear capabilities. In this study,
coupling option is used where the connection is necessary (Ren
et al., 2006; Xu et al., 2009; Pastor and Roure, 2009). The effect
of cold-forming and residual stress is not incorporated in the
Fig. 3. Details of Finite Element Model: (a) Longitudinal View, (b)
model. A series of mesh of convergence studies are carried out to
Connection between Channel Section, (c) Connection
establish a suitable mesh size for the analyses of the proposed between Channel Section and Bearing Plates, (d) Finite
built-up sections (Figs. 3(a), 3(b) and 3(c)). All the specimens are Element Model
analysed under simply supported end condition with two point
loading.
Two types of analysis are carried out. Initially, an eigenvalue model, where as the second is static nonlinear buckling analysis
elastic buckling analysis is performed to obtain the buckling (static with large deflection). The material and geometric
loads and the associated the buckling modes of the specimen nonlinearity are incorporated in the nonlinear buckling analysis.
with the purpose of considering geometric imperfections in the The geometric imperfection is not measured in the experimental

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Behaviour of Stiffened Cold-Formed Steel Built-up Sections with Complex Edge Stiffeners under Bending

program and hence the magnitude of L/1000 is used in the FEA


as suggested by Kankanamge and Mahendran (2012) and Xu et
al. (2009). In order to account for the elastic-perfectly plastic
properties, a bilinear stress-strain curve is adopted, having a
tangent modulus of 20000 N/mm2.

4. Results and Discussions

Results obtained from the experiments and finite element


analysis (ANSYS) are compared with the design strength
calculated by using the AISI Specifications for the cold-formed
steel structures (Table 1).The flexural strength is determined by
the change in slope of the log of load deflection curves. The
same procedure is employed for all the specimens and the results
are tabulated in the Table 1. For example, the load-deflection
curve and failure mode for some of the specimen is shown in
Fig. 4. The load-deflection curves and failure modes obtained
from the finite element analysis are in good agreement with the
test results as demonstrated in Fig. 4 and 5 respectively. Similar
results are obtained for all the other specimens.
Though in T1 series all the specimens have same cross-
sectional area, USB-C1 has failed under lateral torsional buckling
and SB-C1, SB-C2 and SB-C3 have failed under flexural bending.
The maximum flexural strength of these are approximately 77%
of the yield strength of the SB-C2 section, 71% of the yield
strength of the SB-C1 section and 38% of the yield strength of Fig. 5 Failure Mode of Specimen USB-C3
the SB-C3 section.
Similarly, in T2 series all the specimens have an equal cross-
sectional area, in which SB-C4, SBC-5 and SB-C6 are failed by strength in case of SB-C10, SB-C11 and SB-C12 sections and
flexural bending and flexural strength are 70%, 61% and 37% of 85% of yield strength in the case of USB-C4 section.It is
the yield strength respectively. But specimen USB-C2 is failed observed that, keeping the length and cross sectional area is
by lateral torsional buckling and flexural strength is 94 % yield same, by introducing a stiffened element at the flange/web
strength respectively. junction, increases the bending strength and improves the overall
Specimens SB-C7, SB-C8 and SB-C9 are failed by flexural behaviour i.e. Lateral torsional buckling to flexural bending. This
bending and flexural strength are 51%, 66% and 39% of the is due to the increase in the moment of inertia about a
yield strength respectively, while specimen USB-C3 (Fig. 5) is symmetrical axis and the increase in resistance against the
failed by lateral torsional buckling and flexural strength is 83% torsional buckling.
of yield strength but all the specimens have equal cross-sectional The average MANSYS and MEXP ratio is 1.04 with a standard
area. In T2 series, except USB-C4all others have failed by deviation of 0.13. The average MAISI/MANSYS ratio equals to 1.02
flexural bending and USB-C4 has failed under lateral torsional with a standard deviation of 0.18.
buckling. The maximum flexural strength is 52% of the yield
5. Parametric Studies on Stiffened Built-up Beam
with Complex Edge Stiffener

The developed finite element model is used for an extensive


parametric study to investigate the effects of the change in cross-
sectional geometries such as the length of the member (L),
spacing of bolts (S), sectional depth (H), flange width (W) and
thickness (t) of the section on the flexural behaviour of the
stiffened cold-formed steel built-up section with complex edge
stiffener.
The details of the specimen are shown in Fig. 1(b) and
specimen labelling rules are defined in Fig. 2. To delay/minimize
Fig. 4. Load Deflection Curves-USB-C3 the local and distortional buckling and to ensure the flexural

Vol. 19, No. 7 / November 2015 − 2111 −


P. Manikandan and S. Sukumar

bending, the entire parametric study, size of the stiffened element 250 mm, thickness of the sections (t) are taken as 1.6 mm, 2 mm
at the flange/web junction (A), the position of the stiffened and 3 mm.
element (θ) and dimension of the lips (C&E), flange width of the
section (W), length of the member (L) and bolt spacing (S) are 5.1 Effect of Bolt Spacing (S) Variation on Stiffened Beam
taken as 15 mm, 15 mm, 600, 80 mm, 2300 mm and 150 mm with Complex Edge Stiffener
respectively (changes are specified in appropriate places). The Totally 81 finite element analysis are conducted to arriving
depth of the sections (H) are changed to 150 mm, 200 mm and optimum spacing of bolts and the effect of the bolt spacing (S) on

Fig. 6. Variations in Strength Capacities-Parametric Study: (a) Bolt Spacing-1.6 mm Thickness, (b) Bolt Spacing-2 mm Thickness, (c) Bolt
Spacing-3 mm Thickness, (d) Width Variation-2 mm Thickness, (e) Width Variation-3 mm Thickness, (f) Thickness Variation

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Behaviour of Stiffened Cold-Formed Steel Built-up Sections with Complex Edge Stiffeners under Bending

the MANSYS/MY ratio is demonstrated in Figs. 6(a) to 6(c) for nine 5.3 Effect of Thickness Variation (t) on Stiffened Beam with
bolt spacing (50 mm to 450 mm with an increment of 50 mm) and Complex Edge Stiffener
three section thickness (1.6 mm, 2 mm and 3 mm). From Fig. 6(a) In this parametric study, all the beams have a bolt spacing (S) of
to Fig. 6(c), it can be observed that the MANSYS/MY ratio increases 150 mm and flange width (W) of 80 mm while keeping all other
with the increase in the spacing of bolt (S) and MANSYS/MY ratio is parameters are constant. The normalized ratio MANSYS/MY of the
reduced by the increasing spacing of bolt(S). beams are influenced by various parameters and are graphically
From this, it is concluded that the spacing of bolt decreases, the represented in the following subsections. The effect of thickness
predicted flexural strength of the sections increases which may variation (t) and MANSYS/MY ratio is demonstrated in Fig. 6(f) for
be contributed by the reduction of the buckling length of the three depth of the sections (150 mm, 200 mm and 250 mm) and
section and enhancement of load sharing between the two three sectional thickness (1.6 mm, 2 mm and 3 mm). It is observed
stiffened channel sections and improves their overall behaviour. that for a particular sectional thickness, MANSYS/MY ratio increases
The result shows that the flexural strength of the sections is with an increase in the depth of the section and MANSYS/MY ratio is
influenced by the bolt spacing to some extent. From this reduced by increasing the depth of the section.
parametric study, it is concluded that to delay/minimize the local
and distortional buckling and to ensure the flexural bending on 5.4 Effect of Length Variation (L) on Stiffened Beam with
the stiffened cold formed built-up beams with complex edge Complex Edge Stiffener
stiffener, the optimum bolt spacing is 150 mm. The effect of the length of the member and MANSYS/MY ratio is
demonstrated in Fig. 7 for three lengths (1800 mm, 2300 mm
5.2 Effect of Flange Width Variation (W) on Stiffened Beam and 3000 mm) and three depth of the sections (150 mm, 200
with Complex Edge Stiffener mm, 250 mm and 300 mm) with two thickness of the sections
Figures 6(d) and 6(e) demonstrates the relationship between (2 mm and 3 mm). All the beams are failed by flexural bending.
the sectional depth (H) and the normalized ratio of the flexural It is observed that the length of the member has a significant
strength to the yield strength of the beam (MANSYS/MY) for effect on the flexural strength and behaviour of the beams. From
different values of W/t ratio and different thickness (1.6 mm, these figures, it can be observed that for all the sections, MANSYS/
2 mm and 3 mm) while keeping all other factors same for each MY ratio decreases with an increase in the member length i.e
finite element analysis with a bolt spacing of 150 mm. longer the beam length, lower the flexural strength.
From Fig. 6(d), it can be observed that for 2 mm thickness the Also, it is observed that the bolt spacing (S), length of the
MANSYS/MY ratio increases with the increase in the flange width- member (L), flange width-to-thickness ratio (W/t) and depth of
to-thickness ratio (W/t) and MANSYS/MY ratio is reduced by the the section (H) and thickness (t) of the section have a significant
increasing W/t ratio. Because of the increase in the flange width- effect on the flexural strength and behaviour of the stiffened
to-thickness ratio, the local buckling occurs at the flange. But for cold-formed built-up steel beam with complex edge stiffener.
3 mm (Fig. 6(e)) thickness, the MANSYS/MY ratio increases with an MAISI/MEXP (Table 1) and MAISI/MANSYS ratio (Table 2) is greater
increase in the flange width-to-thickness ratio (W/t). From this than unity except for one or two cases, which shows that the
parametric study, it is observed that the flange width-to-thickness AISI design Specifications over estimates the flexural capacity
ratio (W/t) of the section have a significant effect on the flexural of the stiffened cold-formed steel built-up sections with complex
strength and behaviour of the beam. edge stiffener, a new design expression is proposed.

Fig. 7. Effect of Length Variation in Strength Capacities - Parametric Study: (a) Length Variation-2 mm Thickness, (b) Length Variation-3
mm Thickness

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P. Manikandan and S. Sukumar

Table 2. Comparison of FEA and AISI Results


Details of the Specimen MAISI/MANSYS Details of the Specimen MAISI/MANSYS
SB-C-H150W80T1.6L2300 0.83 SB-C-H150W80T3L1800 1.29
SB-C-H200W80T1.6L2300 1.06 SB-C-H200W80T3L1800 1.30
SB-C-H250W80T1.6L2300 1.10 SB-C-H250W80T3L1800 1.06
SB-C-H150W80T2L2300 1.09 SB-C-H150W80T3L3000 1.07
SB-C-H200W80T2L2300 1.11 SB-C-H200W80T3L3000 1.15
SB-C-H250W80T2L2300 1.05 SB-C-H250W80T3L3000 1.12
SB-C-H300W80T2L2300 1.13 SB-C-H150W95T2L2300 1.10
SB-C-H150W80T2L1800 1.18 SB-C-H200W95T2L2300 1.04
SB-C-H200W80T2L1800 1.30 SB-C-H250W95T2L2300 1.35
SB-C-H250W80T2L1800 1.36 SB-C-H150W110T2L2300 0.98
SB-C-H300W80T2L1800 1.22 SB-C-H200W110T2L2300 1.13
SB-C-H150W80T2L3000 0.92 SB-C-H250W110T2L2300 1.31
SB-C-H200W80T2L3000 0.90 SB-C-H150W95T3L2300 1.04
SB-C-H250W80T2L3000 0.86 SB-C-H200W95T3L2300 1.26
SB-C-H300W80T2L3000 0.84 SB-C-H250W95T3L2300 1.21
SB-C-H150W80T3L2300 1.29 SB-C-H300W95T3L2300 1.17
SB-C-H200W80T3L2300 1.11 SB-C-H150W110T3L2300 0.88
SB-C-H250W80T3L2300 1.16 SB-C-H200W110T3L2300 1.02
SB-C-H300W80T3L2300 1.26 SB-C-H250W110T3L2300 1.18
Mean 1.13 Standard Deviation 0.15

Table 3. Verification of the Design Curve Results


Design
Flexural
Strength MDESIGN
S.No Specimen Strength
(MDESIGN) /M
(M) kN.m
kN.m
1 SB-C-H150W80T2L3300-A 6.60 6.00 0.91
2 SB-C-H200W80T2L3300-A 8.50 8.42 0.99
3 SB-C-H250W80T2L3300-A 10.26 9.82 0.96
4 8.5Z073-4E3W-Yu et al. (2003) 15.10 13.21 0.87
5 11.5Z092-1E2W-Yu et al. (2003) 39.80 34.97 0.88
6 8C068-4E5W-Yu et al. (2003) 11.70 9.33 0.80
7 8C054-1E8W-Yu et al. (2003) 6.30 5.52 0.88

Equation (1) is a parabolic fit (Fig. 8) of USB-C and SB-C


experimental results.
Fig. 8. Design Curve for Flexural Strength of Built-up Section The validity of this proposed design equation is further investigated
through additional finite element analysis models and the design
curve results are also verified by the test results available from
5.5 Design Curve literature (Yu and Schafer, 2003) as listed in Table 3 and are
Based on the experiments, finite element analysis and theoretical found to agree well with test results.
investigations, a design curve (Fig. 8) and simplified design
formula are proposed for determining the flexural strength of the 6. Conclusions
stiffened cold-formed steel built-up section with complex edge
stiffener and is thus given in Eq. (1): The following conclusions are drawn from the present
investigation.
My My
MDesign = M y ⎛ 0.460 ----------- - + 2.348⎞
- – 1.98 ----------- (1) 1. Design of stiffened cold-formed steel built-up beams with
⎝ MAISI MAISI ⎠
complex edge stiffeners requires consideration of flexural
where, bending and lateral-torsional buckling.
MAISI = Nominal flexural strength using AISI 2. For a given shape, depending upon slenderness limits, a
MDesign = Design flexural strength variety of failure mode is possible; continuous, purely flex-
My = Yield strength ural bending behaviour and in exceptional cases lateral-tor-

− 2114 − KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering


Behaviour of Stiffened Cold-Formed Steel Built-up Sections with Complex Edge Stiffeners under Bending

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