A design rule for web crippling of cold-formed steel lipped channel beams based on nonlinear FEA

M. Macdonald, M.A. Heiyantuduwa
Thin-Walled Structures, Volume 53, April 2012


This paper presents the details of a research study conducted with the aim of developing an alternative design rule to predict the web crippling strength of cold-formed steel lipped channel beams. Current empirical web crippling design rules are perceived to be only accurate for the type of sections and the section dimensions that have been tested. A large number of experiments are often necessary to validate these design rules for a wider range of section types and dimensions, and these experiments are often expensive and impractical. Hence, a design rule which is based on a theoretical or numerical model has been attempted through this work.

Four series of tests, replicating the four web crippling loading conditions namely: Interior-One-Flange (IOF), Interior-Two-Flange (ITF), End-One-Flange (EOF) and End-Two-Flange (ETF), were performed to predict the ultimate strength of one hundred and eight specimens. The test specimens were manufactured to include three distinct corner radii and two different web heights, and the specimens were tested using three different lengths of load bearing plates. Two additional loading scenarios which could arise due to the loading flange restraint namely—fixed-flange and free-flange were also examined. Finite element models were developed to numerically simulate the tests performed in the experimental investigations. Load-deformation curves were obtained from both the tests and FE models, and the FE models were validated using the test results. The validation showed a close agreement of FE results with the test results which provided the confidence of using the FE model for a parametric study beyond the limits of the experiments. Based on the results of the parametric study, a design rule was developed which is much more flexible to adapt for new types of sections and ranges of dimensions.

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