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Lateral Torsional Buckling

Lateral Torsional Buckling

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The Open Construction and Building Technology Journal,
2010,
 4,
105-112 105
 
1874-8368/10 2010 Bentham Open
 
Open Access
Critical Lateral-Torsional Buckling Moments of Steel Web-TaperedI-beams
Ioannis G. Raftoyiannis* and Theodore Adamakos
 Department of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens 15780, Greece
Abstract:
This paper deals with the stability of steel web-tapered I-beams subjected to bending loads. Tapered beams cancarry a maximum bending moment at a single location while in the rest of the member the moment carrying capacity isconsiderably lower. This results in appreciable savings in materials as well as in construction. Numerous researchers havefocused on the investigation of the elastic behavior of tapered I-beams and many theoretical findings have been incorpo-rated into the current specifications. According to Eurocode 3, the elastic critical moment is used for determining the de-sign strength against lateral-torsional buckling (LTB) of I-beams with uniform cross-section and a number of coefficientsis employed accounting for the boundary conditions, the cross-sectional geometry and the type of transverse loading,while no detailed information is given regarding non-uniform members. In this work a simple numerical approach is pre-sented for determining the critical lateral-torsional buckling loads of web-tapered I-beams. Modification factors of theelastic critical moment with reference to the mean cross-section are given for various taper ratios. The results presented ingraphical form are compared with those of previous investigations. The approach presented herein can be very easily ap-plied for the design of tapered beams against lateral-torsional buckling.
 
Keywords
: Elastic buckling, lateral-torsional buckling, steel profiles, web-tapered beams.
INTRODUCTION
Steel members with non-uniform cross-section are com-monly used as beams in the design of various structures suchas building frames, cranes, masts etc., due to the effort tominimize the total weight and subsequently the cost of thestructure [1, 2]. The elastic buckling of beams with non-uniform cross-section has been studied by numerous re-searchers. Kitipornchai & Trahair [3] presented analyticaland experimental results for tapered beams under transverseloads. Fraser [4] presented guidelines for the design of portalframes with tapered members, while Mendera [5] proceededto the buckling strength of such members. Ermopoulos [6-9]analyzed buckling of tapered bars under bending and axialloading using the slope-deflection method, while Bradford[10] studied tapered beams subjected to unequal end-moments. Recently, Andrade
et al.
[11] presented a one-dimensional model for studying the lateral-torsional bucklingbehavior of singly symmetric web-tapered cantilevers andsimply supported thin-walled beams, while Zhang & Tong[12] studied the same problem based on a new theory and thevariational principle for buckling analysis. Finally, Khelil &Larue [13] presented simple solutions for the lateral bucklingof beams with restrained flanges employing the Galerkinmethod. Many other researchers not mentioned herein havestudied the tosinal-flexural buckling problem of columnswith variable cross-section under both axial and transverseloads.
*Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil Engi-neering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens 15780, Greece
;
Tel: +30-210-7722454; Fax: +30-210-7722482;E-mail: rafto@central.ntua.gr
A stability analysis of the entire structure is requiredwhen designing such members according to Timoshenko &Gere [14], which leads to the determination of the exactbuckling load of each member as well [15] according to theprovisions of Eurocode 3. The main loading to the beamsconsists of bending moments and shear due to transverseloads or of end-moments. After determining the elastic criti-cal moment of the beam, one may proceed to the design of the member against lateral-torsional buckling by followingthe provisions of Eurocode 3 [15] and computing the LTbuckling strength. This step involves the use of the reductionfactor
LT
, which is out of the scope of this work.Tapered beams are manufactured either from hot-rolledprofiles cut in the web lengthwise and re-welded in a specialarrangement or from assembling steel plates with filletwelds. As a result, the produced beam may also suffer fromdistortional buckling [3] and hence, the so-called taper ratiothat is the ratio of the web heights at the two ends of thebeam is of significant importance in our study. For the abovereason and in order to avoid distortional buckling of thecross-section the taper ratio is kept within a reasonable rangeand thus, distortional buckling is not considered herein.In the present study, the influence of the taper ratio andcross-sectional geometry on the stability of non-uniformsteel members that are subjected to bending loads is thor-oughly investigated. The effect of shear forces is considerednegligible. The problem is studied by focusing on web-tapered I-beams with build-up cross-sections that are usuallymet in steel structures. The methodology is based on theformulation of the total potential energy and the numericalsolution for buckling of beams with constant or variablecross-section [16]. The beams are considered simply sup-
 
106
The Open Construction and Building Technology Journal,
2010
 , Volume 4 Raftoyiannis and Adamakos
ported in bending, while other boundary conditions can beeasily dealt with the approach proposed herein. Some charac-teristic model cases are also analyzed via the finite elementmethod [17] and the corresponding results are presented forcomparison along with the analytical ones in the form of diagrams.More specifically, in this paper special emphasis is givenon analytical models which provide qualitative results of buckling loads for tapered beams and establish the effect of properties’ variation on their buckling behavior. This is veryhelpful for the designer who can easily apply the proposedtechnique to compute with reasonable accuracy the elasticcritical moments and hence, the load carrying capacity of such types of beams. The effect of taper ratio on the bucklingstrength of such beams is not dealt with in detail in the bibli-ography. Employment of a detailed finite element analysisserves herewith for verification purposes only and both ana-lytical and numerical results correlate with reasonable accu-racy. Then, the analytical results for critical loads (obtainedvia the Rayleigh-Ritz method) referring to perfect memberscan be employed to determine the corresponding strength of the member by using the reduction factor
LT
.
ANALYTICAL MODEL
Consider the web-tapered I-beam with length
shown inFig. (
1
). The beam has a doubly symmetric cross-sectionwith variable height h(x), while the width b of the flangesand the thickness t
w
of the web and t
of the flanges are con-stant along the length of the beam. The boundary conditionsregarding the end-rotations of the tapered beam due to tor-sion, which have been considered herein, are shown in Fig.(
2
). These boundary conditions apply simultaneously withthe ones corresponding in bending. More specifically, if 
(x)is the angle of twist along the length of the tapered beam dueto lateral-torsional buckling, the simply supported case cor-responds to fixed rotation and free warping at the beam-end,while the fixed case corresponds to fixed rotation and fixedwarping. The free condition corresponds to free rotation andwarping of the beam-end and applies only to the case of acantilever beam.
Fig. (1).
Geometrical characteristics of a web-tapered I-beam.
Fig. (2).
Boundary conditions for end-rotations of the beam.
The beam is subjected to a transversely applied loadingin the form of uniform load q, concentrated load P or end-moments M
1
and M
2
=
 
M
1
. In Fig. (
3
), one can see a taperedbeam subjected to a uniform load q and the correspondingmoment diagram for simply supported boundary conditionsregarding bending. The moment distribution along the lengthof the beam from the above diagram can be expressed asfollows
])x(x[M4)x(M
20
=
(1)
where M
0
is the maximum moment value given by.
8qM
20
=
(2)
Fig. (3).
Moment diagram for uniform load q.
Fig. (4).
Moment diagram for concentrated load P.
The beam in Fig. (
4
) is subjected to a concentrated load Papplied at the midlength producing the following momentdiagramIn this case, the moment distribution is given by
qM
0
 
PM
0
 
l
/2
l
/2
h
2
h
1
xzaa
l
yh(x) bt
t
w
t
zPzzy
g
è
 
Critical Lateral-Torsional Buckling Moments of Steel The Open Construction and Building Technology Journal,
2010
 , Volume 4
107
 
<<
<<=
x2 / ), x1(M2 2 / x0, xM2)x(M
00
(3)where the maximum moment M
0
is given by
4PM
0
=
(4)In Fig. (
5
), one can see a beam subjected to end momentsM
1
and M
2
producing the corresponding moment diagramIn this case, the moment distribution is given by
]x)1(1[M)x(M
1
 
+=
(5)where in Fig. (
5
), M
2
=
 
M
1
.As a final case study, we consider the cantilever shown inFig. (
6
) that is subjected to a tip load P. The correspondingmoment distribution can be expressed as follows
)x1(M)x(M
0
=
(6)where
PM
0
=
(7)
Fig. (5).
Moment diagram for end-moments M
1
, M
2
.
Fig. (6).
Moment diagram for tip load P.The total potential energy V
T
of the above system isgenerally given by
+=
UV
T
(8)where U is the strain energy and
is the load potential. Thestrain energy for twisting (uniform and non-uniform torsion)can be written as
dx)x(ECdx)x(GJU
20w212021
 
+
 
=
 
(9)where GJ(x) is the torsional stiffness for uniform torsion (St.Venant) and EC
w
(x) is the warping stiffness for non-uniformtorsion. Note that the above terms are not constant since thecross-sectional height is assumed to vary linearly along thelength of the beam as given in the following relation
xh)x1(h)x(h
21
+
=
(10)The cross-sectional properties needed for lateral-torsionalbuckling of the I-section shown in Fig. (
1
) can be determinedfrom the following relations
]t)x(htb[)x(J
3w331
+=
(11)
23241w
t)x(hb)x(C
=
(12)The load potential
can be determined with the assumptionof incompressible axis [16] from the following relation
20g2g2z20
Pzdx]qz EIM[
 
=
(13)where EI
z
is the flexural stiffness about the weak axis, z
g
isthe distance between the point of application of the trans-verse load q or P and the centroid and
0
is the angle of twistin the position of the concentrated load P, i.e. for x=
 /2.Thus, after substitution of eq(9) and eq(13) into eq(8), wearrive at the expression of the total potential energy V
T
, inwhich the only unknown is the angle of twist
(x). Note alsothat secondary effects such as the Wagner effect are negligi-ble for this type of cross-section.We next approximate the buckled shape of the beam tak-ing into account the boundary conditions for rotation withreference to Fig. (
2
). Hence, in the simply supported case asuitable approximation can be taken as follows
x3sinCx2sinCxsinC)x(
321
+
+
=
(14)Note that the three-term approximation for
(x) is provento be sufficient since the accuracy of the results is less than0.1% when keeping more terms. Introducing next the expres-sion for
(x) from eq(14) into the final form of the total po-tential energy eq(8) and after integrating over the length, weobtain an expression of V
T
with respect to the unknown con-stants C
i
(i=1,2,3). Finally, we formulate the following ei-genvalue problem
)3,2,1 j,i(0 CCVdet
 jiT2
==
(15)from which the buckling load and the corresponding mode isderived.Similarly, in the fixed-fixed case we take
)xi2cos1(C)x(
3,2,1i i
=
=
(16)and for the fixed-free case
433221
)x(C)x(C)x(C)x(
++=
(17)

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