Design of stainless steel cross-sections with outstand elements under stress gradients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • University of Wolverhampton

Abstract

A significant amount of research has been reported on stainless steel tubular sections, while studies on I- and C-sections remain relatively limited. This paper presents a comprehensive numerical study on the response of stainless steel I- and C-sections subjected to minor axis bending, with outstand flanges subjected to stress gradients. Numerical models are developed and validated against reported test data on austenitic stainless steel sections under minor axis bending. Subsequently, parametric studies using standardised material properties on austenitic, duplex and ferritic stainless steel grades, covering a wide variety of cross-section slendernesses, are carried out to expand the structural performance data. The results are used to assess the applicability of the Eurocode slenderness limits, revealing that the Class limit 3 for outstand flanges under stress gradient is overly conservative. Moreover, Eurocode underestimates the predicted bending strengths, whereas the level of accuracy and consistency improves for stocky sections, when the Continuous Strength Method is used. Aiming to address the lack of accuracy and consistency in the design predictions of slender sections, particular focus is placed on their performance. It is demonstrated that outstand elements under stress gradients exhibit significant inelastic behaviour after the compression flanges have locally buckled. Inelastic buckling behaviour is not considered in current design guidance, thus resulting in overly conservative and fundamentally incorrect strength predictions. An alternative design method based on the plastic effective width concept is proposed for slender stainless steel I- and C-sections in minor axis bending, which leads to more favourable and less scattered strength predictions.

Bibliographic note

Publisher Copyright: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number106491
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Volume179
Early online date9 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Design, Local buckling, Numerical modelling, Outstand elements, Plastic effective width, Stainless steel