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ABSTRACT
Coldformed steel box columns have two obvious modes of failure;
they can reach the ultimate capacity either by overall column buckling
or local buckling.
This paper is concerned with a numerical method to
predict the ultimate loadcarrying capacity of coldformed steel box
columns subj ected to axial force and unequal end moments.
The method
accounts
for
the
effect
of
local
plate
buckling and
ini tial
imperfections
upon
the
ul timate
strength
of
columns.
Momentcurvaturethrust relationships are developed by using piecewise
linear stressstrain curves;
they are incorporated into the column
analysis in which the differential equation of bending is numerically
integrated. Use of a suitable failure criterion and numerical procedure
makes it possible to obtain column curves.
For design purposes, column
curves from which ultimate strength of column under axial or eccentric
loading conditions can be easily obtained are presented.
INTRODUCTION
Thinwalled
stiffened
compression
elements
are
commonly
encountered in coldformed steel box columns.
When such columns are
subj ected to compressive loading, with the onset of buckling the growth
of out of plane deflections in the plate elements results in changes in
the stress pattern which in turn reduces the plate stiffness.
This
reduction causes the failure of the column at a load less than its
classical Euler buckling load.
The design of coldformed steel box
columns, therefore, requires the consideration of local plate buckling,
overall column buckling and the interaction between the local and
overall buckling. A closeform evaluation of ultimate strength of such
columns is well nigh impossible and the use of numerical procedure,
therefore, becomes necessary.
Numerous investigators (6,8,11,17) have studied the effect of
local buckling on the strength of plate elements subjected to
compressi ve loading.
Rigorous methods using large deflection theory
coupled with finite difference methods (12,14) and elastoplastic finite
1.
2.
3.
Senior
Lecturer,
Department
of
Ci viI
Engineering,
National
University of Singapore, Kent Ridge, Singapore 0511.
Structural Engineer, T.H. Chuah and Associates (Pte) Ltd, 190 Middle
Road, Fortune Centre, #1104, Singapore 0718.
Professor and Head, Department of Civil Engineering, National
University of Singapore, Kent Ridge, Singapore 0511.
129
130
element formulations (5,7) have been proposed for the ultimate strength
analysis of plate elements.
For design office use, however, simple
methods using the effective width concept were presented by Von Karman
(16) and Winter (18).
Ilimy of the design specifications (1,2,4) for
coldformed steel structural elements have accepted the effective width
principle and it has been proved to yield satisfactory results.
A simple analytical method was presented recently by the authors
(10,15) for predicting the strength of thinwalled welded steel box
columns subjected to axial load and end moments.
The method accounts
for local buckling of component plates, welding residual stresses and
ini tial
column imperfections.
The method is
extended for
the
analysis of coldformed
steel box columns in the present study.
Homentcurvaturethrust relationships are developed by using piecewise
linear stressstrain curves.
They are incorporated into the column
analysis in which the differential equation of bending is numerically
integrated. Use of a suitable failure criterion and numerical procedure
makes it possible to obtain the ultimate strength.
Results are
presented in the form of column curves which can be used readily by
designers.
THEORY
An exact analysis for ultimate strength of coldformed steel box
columns is complicated because of the local buckling of component plates
and the nonlinearity of the stressstrain curves.
However, the
solution can be greatly simplified by adopting approximate linearised
stressstrain curves.
Box columns can be treated as an assemblage of
long plates supported along the longitudinal edges as shown in Figure 1.
Local
buckling of
the
component plates,
which
are under axial
compression, is allowed for by applying an appropriate loadshortening
curve,
while
those
under
tension
are
treated
by assuming
an
elasticperfectly plastic stressstrain curve.
Simplified piecewise linear stressstrain curves (Figure 2b) based
on approximations
of
stressstrain
curves
by Moxham,
Crisfield,
Harding et al. and Little (3) were proposed by Shanmugam et al. (15).
These curves represent unwelded plates having slenderness ratios equal
to 80, 55, 40 and 30 or less, and initial imperfection of b/1 000, 'b I
being the width of the plate in a direction normal to the compressive
loadings. These curves have been used to account for the local buckling
of the component plates of box columns and the momentcurvaturesthrust
(H~P)
relationships for column crosssections were developed as
explained in the following sections.
MOMENTCURVATURETHRUST RELATIONSHIPS
It becomes imperative to formulate the momentcurvaturethrust
relationships for individual crosssections in order to determine the
equilibrium curves defining the domain of stable equilibrium of moment,
thrust and
column length.
The M~P
relationship is computed
numerically using the method similar to that adopted by Nishino et al.
(13). The following assumptions are made in the analysis which follows:
131
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
(v)
(vi)
(vii)
(1 )
in which e:.
e:
<j>
curvature
nondimensionalised
by
the
initial yielding for bending, ~ ; 2e: y /d
Yi
e:.
e: y
yield strain
r~
curvature
at
132
2 (a)
i~1
where
n
E
2(b)
i~1
p
m
n
area of crosssection
M.
area of element i
Py
squash load
My
plastic moment
ayz
55
mf
Ar
Z
(pw + qx)
2r
(4) + 4>i) d
(3 )
(4)
133
in which mf
Mf/My
;g
Q/P
x;;f;,
y
Y
w
W/r
and
~i
~i/~y'
(5)
134
z
q = Ar
m(1  K)
'ITA
(7)
4.
The results for K = 0.0 and 1.0 clearly show the effect of
unequal end moments upon the strength of axially loaded box columns.
For all values of m the column strength increases with the decrease in K
values.
For example consider column curves in Figures 11 (a) and 13(a)
in which K = 1.0 and 1.0 respectively.
For A = 0.6 and m = 0.3 the
strength of column for K equal to 1.0 is 0.56 and the corresponding
value for K equal to 1.0 is 0.72 an increase of about 29 percent. It
is also observed that the columns under single curvature bending
(K = 0.0, 1.0) are normally weaker than those under double curvature
bending (K = 1.0). This effect is found to be more significant in the
case of intermediate column range. Similar observations can be made for
all values of K in the case of columns with other slenderness values
also.
It is obvious from the figures that the column strength drops
significantly as the plate slenderness increases.
For axially loaded
short columns this reduction is approximately 20 percent when the
slenderness ratio of the component plate is increased from 30 to 55.
The figures also show that the column strength is independent of A in
the lower range of column slenderness, this range increasing with plate
slenderness.
At low bit ratio the interactive buckling failure occurs
for the whole range of A, whereas for larger bit ratios the failure is
mainly due to local buckling upto a certain value of A. The interactive
buckling becomes predominant thereafter.
CONCLUSIONS
A simple analytical method to the analysis of coldformed steel
box columns pinned at their ends and subjected to axial load and unequal
135
end moments has been presented. The method is capable of predicting the
loadcarrying capacity of these columns which experience local buckling
of component plates and may have initial column imperfections. Results
presented in the form of column curves clearly show the adverse effect
of. the local buckling of component plates.
The ultimate ca.pacity of
these columns is reduced significantly for larger bit ratios of
component plates.
The columns subjected to double curvature bending
ha'le been found to be stronger than those under single curvature
bending.
The column curves provide the means for estimating the
ultimate strength of coldformed steel box columns subjected to loads
with unequal eccentricity at the ends.
They should be useful design
tools and intermediate values can be obtained by interpolation.
APPENDIX I  REFERENCES
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
AISI,
"Specification
for
the design
of
coldformed steel
structural
members",
American
Iron
and
Steel
Institute,
Washington D C, 1983, 46 pp.
Australian Standard "Rules for the use of coldformed steel in
structures", AS 15381974.
Bradfield,
C.D. and Chladmy, E.
(1979),
"A review of the
elasticplastic analysis of steel plates loaded in inplane
compression", Report CUED/D
Struct/TR 77, Dept. of Engrs. ,
Cambridge Univ., Cambridge, U.K.
British Standard "Structural use of steelwork in building" Part 4
Code of Practice for design of floors with profiled sheeting, BS
5950: Part 4: 1982.
Crisfield, M.A. (1975), "Fullrange analysis of steel plates and
stiffened panels under uniaxial compression, "Proc. Instn. Civ.
Engrs., Part 2, 59, 595625.
Dwight, J .B. and Moxham, K.E. (1969), ''Welded steel plates in
compression", The Structural Engineer, 47(2), 4966.
Frieze, P.A., Dowling, P.J. and Hobbs, R.E. (1975), "Steel box
girder bridges
parametric study of plates in compression",
CESLIC Report BG39, Engrg. Structures Lab., Civ. Engrg. Dept.,
Imperial CoIl., Londong, U.K.
Harding,
J.E.,
Hobbs,
R.E.
and
Neal,
B.G.
(1977),
"The
elastoplastic analysis of imperfect square plates under inplane
loading", Proc. Instn. Civ. Engrs., Part 2, 63, 137158.
Horne, M.R. (1956), "The elasticplastic theory of compression
members", Jl. Mech. Phys. Solids, Vol. 4, 104120.
Lee, S.L., Shanmugam, N.E. and Chiew, S.P. (1988), "Thinwalled
box columns under arbitrary end loads", Jl. Struct. Engrs., Am.
Soc. Civ. Engrs., 114, in press.
Li ttle, G.H. (1974), "Rapid analysis of plate collapse by live
energy minimisation", Int. J. Mech. Sci., 19, 725244.
Moxham, K.E. (1971), "Theoretical determination of the strength of
welded steel plates in compression",
Report No. CVED/C
StructjTR2
Nishino, F., Kanchanalai, T. and Lee, S.L. (1972), Ultimate
strength of wide flange and box columns", Proc. Colloq. on
Centrally Compressed Struts, Paris, France, IABSE, 254265.
Rhodes, J. and Harvey, (1971), "Plates in uniaxial compression
with various support conditions at the unloaded boundaries, .!!!!!..
136
15.
16.
17.
18.
APPENDIX II  NOTATION
Mf
My
axial force,
Py
radius of gyration,
transverse deflection,
Xl
X2
Yi
137
6A i
area of element i,
normal strain,
EC
Ei
Eri
Ey
moment ratio,
normal stress,
arc
ay
yield stress,
~i
initial curvature,
~y
curvature
at
initial
yielding
for
pure
bending moment
and
~\
ti
~i/~y
nondimensionalised
column,
A1
(X1/nr)~,
A2
(X2/nr)~.
slenderness
ratio
of
simplysupported
II] I I I I J 0
PLATE 3
TENSION
~
.!L
T t::::=::::.::::::::IPI.=A~TE=1:::C::Z::::l U1COMPRESSION
TENSION
COMPRESSION
TENSION
COMPRESSION
1I J II J 1111
15
052
048
for all
bit
25
bIt =aD
b/t,.;30
b/t=40
I bit = 55
E')
20
0016 (b/t}!l
:t
E' +
(a) Tension
10
15
E'=E/Ey
(b) Compression
E':E/Ey
0.5
CT"
05
;:t
fT'= 1
b
b 1.0
b
15
C;:>
00
......
~
centroid"t
Ibl longitudinal
section showing
loading
tI
~.
"2",
ax~
lb
c
.
bending
,~
~P~';'".
r~~j
weld
tension
'Xis
_~,
~
I,
1& '
~c
'11
~I'i
~b=I'i
I ~mpressive
la] crosssection
plate 2
plat. J
plat. ,
ten~te
D'
oV,
D'
02
b /I =10
bit = 55
bit =40
M~P
,I
Curves
M
~:::::::
 ~
~P
.. X
FIG 5  Typical
1/J:41I41y
,.,
Iii i i i iii I
__
02 D] 04 05 06 07 08 09'
p=P/P,=O.]
t
.;:::p~=
M,
0.4
03
II
05
~0.6
07
08
09
.....
<D
cc
,..
 0.2
0.4
iii
iii
iii
Lower Envelope
Xl
10
;;;;;;;;;" ......
11 ,
PE~
til
tM
~7P
1 0I
11
< 1 0 I
<
X2
I tM
~7P
11 ~
X =(X/rIlEY
02 04 06 08 1 12 14 16 18 2 22 24 26 2B 3 32
iii
jl !l.l l l l l l i~ ~
I
PE~
1
 0806
01
:::E
:::E
p=P/P,=03
bit "" 30
q = 015
~i= CJ;c = 00
16
12
OB
bit "" 30
q = 015
~i =  CJr'c =o 0
A =(X/n;rl
04
fEY
04
08
12
16
06
06
,.. 04
:::E 02
:::E
0
01
e 02
 04
 06
 OB
1
12
12
.....
>..'
>..
la)
>"0.'
p.
p
left
Cantil~
>"0.3
q=..L mIltel
Ar 1t >..
>..
I d)
correct column
curve can be
constructed
>..
I b)
q =ql
,tRight Cantilever
I'
H>
I'
06
06
06
08
lal
VEY
A= (Lhtrl
08
'2
'2
'4
'4
,6
,6
,8
'8
Q..
,.
02
0.. 0.4
II
Q..
......
Q..
(K
1.0)
06
08
08
M=D
01
D]
(b)
'2
I
= ao
'6
14
f"'.....
'6
,8
.J
"""'
'8
1::::::::=1
Ie = 10 _
bit
'4
I ,
'2
v'Y
f\ ....
A =(Llml
(d)
04
06
Ie)
02
04
A=(LlTullEy"
02
A =(LlmllEy"
o
o
02 
e.04
II
~ 06
04
04
06
02
02
021
_08
II
0..04 II++I~
_ oa
'2
O 2
0.. O 4
II
Q..
......
Q..
_08
'2
.,.......
143
v~
I......I
~c:;:,~
II
II
>:::::
....
!.l
I'
..:.
./~J
7A7
co .
co
II
.I
II
!w!
:;;;
V
I'
~~
\::!
v'
itlII
1...1
u;o
j VJ/
V ""'..,
...
.0
... ...J
c.
t='_~
II
II
::E"''''
C.
...
II
..,t<.
C.
o
o
'"
C.
~
u;o
IJ
co
~d/d = d
z
CD
C.~dI~ =d
...
C>
~
"?
1 1 Il
..,
t
...
Ln
c::"
"''''
.. ..
j I) ,J
I ~!w!
..:.~
l/
L/
'":'...J
"'
:~
~"'.
. . ...J
0'
!J I
""t<.
II
f.O
C.
C>
...
'"
'"
c.
..
c.
c. ""
c.
~d/d =d
'"
V "''.!..,
\::!
,J
II
"'II
..:.
\::!
'"
c:::t
'"
6
~
=~d Id = d
CD
CD
z
.....
c::.
t<.
144
I~~
_
t oJ
~ ~
II

II
:;; u
...
c::oc::o
..,:.
II
II
:;; u
V
1"
? l~'!Ii
l/
.......
1=
lill~
..........
6'
=...
It
II
.,
c::.
...c::.
of
7
I
.....
CIQ
c::.
Ad I d =d
r
~>
....
1=
.......
"''
6_
II
... r<.
....
6
~
..,.
c::o
...
c::.
.., .....
c::.
Ad Id =d
c::.
00
00
1/
Ion
..,
c:'
I
/1~
iVI. VI
V ~V
II
_::;;;
II
::i
c::o
I
II
oJ
r:'
til
Q)
>
j..o
::l
tJ
...
c::.
#
(0
Ad Id =d
...
::E=C::O
,,?r<.
1/
,.'
vIJ
I
c
/IA
1/
I I
.!!
.fl..!.
II
::E==
<::
.i
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