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Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

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Effect of hole reinforcement on the buckling behaviour of thin-walled beams MARK

subjected to combined loading

Arif E. Oruna, Mehmet A. Gulerb,
TUBITAK UZAY Space Technologies Research Institute, ODTU Yerleskesi, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
Department of Mechanical Engineering, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Ankara 06560, Turkey


Keywords: In this study, the effect of hole reinforcement on the buckling behaviour of thin-walled structures mostly used in
Buckling stress aircrafts is investigated under combined loads. A fuselage floor beam with real dimensions is used for the
Hole reinforcement buckling analysis, and a parametric study based on several loading scenarios is considered. Investigated
Finite element analysis structures include different ratios of hole diameter to reinforcement width (d/w), ratios of reinforcement height
Thin-walled beam
to web plate thickness (h/t), and the aspect ratio of the web plate (a/b). The material of the thin walled structure
Combined loading
is Al 7075 series. The commercial finite element analysis program, ABAQUS, is used for buckling analysis. The
Opening web
Cutout-strengthening loading scenarios such as compression, shear, and bending, as well as combined loading are considered using a
validated finite element model. For the selected range of geometrical parameters, buckling loads and allowable
buckling stresses are computed. Furthermore, compression, shear and bending rates are calculated, and the
interaction curves are plotted with the help of data obtained from the finite element studies. The effect of loading
scenario on the buckling strength is compared for beam without a hole, with a hole and with a hole plus
reinforcement cases. The main goal of this study is to provide engineers graphical data that can be used to check
whether or not a structure will fail under several defined load cases including combined loading.

1. Introduction sion. They have created a parametric buckling formula for plates simply
supported on 3 or 4 sides and validated their formula using FEM and
Thin-walled structures are widely used in aerospace and defense classical engineering approximations. Panedpojaman et al. [22] have
industry applications. Since the reserve factor is kept low in this type of developed a practical approach for estimating the shear strength of non-
structure, it tends to show easy buckling. Moreover, due to various composite symmetric and asymmetric cellular beams, based on failure
design requirements such as power cables, hydraulic tubes, fresh and by local web-post buckling. They investigated the influence on buckling
waste water pipes, a web of open holes need to be created in the strength and buckling mechanisms of geometric web-post parameters,
structure [21,26]. A structure weakened by open holes can be such as section size, opening depth ratio, spacing ratio and tee depth
reinforced by local support around the hole [3,8,16]. Thus, it becomes with a validated finite element (FE) web-post model. Tsavdaridis and
stronger with respect to buckling and has a lighter design than a D'Mello [28] have presented an experimental and analytical study on
perforated plate. the behaviour of perforated steel beams with closely spaced web
Different hole types such as rectangular [2,17], hexagonal [31] or openings to investigate the failure mode and load strength of a web-
circular [11] and different number of holes [23–25] have been used in post between two adjacent web openings. They developed numerical
the literature [1]. One circular hole on web is considered for this study. test specimens and verified their analyses using FEM and compared
Many researchers have studied the buckling behaviour of beams their results with full-scale experiments. They considered the effects of
[20,29] or plates [33]. Some of these studies have been undertaken for web opening depth and web thickness in order to understand the
thin plates with holes using specific technical methods such as stability of a web post subjected to vertical shear load.
theoretical hand calculations, the Finite Element Method (FEM) and Cheng and Zhao [5] studied the cut out-strengthening of perforated
testing procedures. Moen and Schafer [19] focused on closed-form steel plates subjected to uniaxial compressive loads. They considered
expressions for approximating the influence of single or multiple holes that each of the square plates that have a centrally placed circular hole
on the critical elastic buckling stress of plates in bending or compres- and four simply supported edges in the out-of-plane direction. They

Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: (A.E. Orun), (M.A. Guler).
Received 7 December 2016; Received in revised form 31 March 2017; Accepted 2 April 2017
Available online 09 May 2017
0263-8231/ © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

used FEM to analyze the elastic and elasto-plastic buckling behaviours different geometrical parameters are considered. The ranges of the
of strengthened with different types of stiffeners and unstrengthened geometrical parameters are selected as:
perforated plates. They found out that the inelastic buckling stress and
elasto-plastic ultimate strength are closely related to stiffener types as (i) Ratio of reinforcement width to hole diameter w/d,
well as plate geometric parameters. Eiblmeier and Loughlan [9] 0.033 ≤ w / d ≤ 0.150 .
investigated the influence of cut-out diameter and circular reinforce- (ii) Ratio of reinforcement height to web thickness h/t, 1.5 ≤ h /t ≤ 4.5.
ment ring width on the buckling stability of square panels under pure (iii) Ratio of web length to web height (aspect ratio) a/b,
shear or under pure compression loads. The results of their study 1.5 ≤ a /b ≤ 7.0 .
showed the influence of cut-out diameter and reinforcement ring width
on the buckling stability of simply supported panels. The increments for the parameter ranges are designated to be
Although, in the literature, there are many buckling loads types 0.0167, 0.5 and 0.5 for w/d, h/t, and a/b, respectively. Web thickness,
studies performed on beams such as plates under only compression t, flange thickness, tf, flange width, wf, hole diameter, d, and web
[4,6,33], only pure shear load [7,12,30], pure bending loads [34,19], height, b are fixed at 2, 5, 48, 60 and 120 mm respectively. Web length,
both of each pure loads [32] or lateral torsional [13,21], combined a, is taken to be 330 mm as a reference value. The geometry
loading applications have not been considered. The most important investigated in the study and parameters w, h, a, b, t, tf and wf can be
feature that makes this article different from the previously published seen in Fig. 2.
studies is that the study is conducted under combined loads (compres-
sion, shear and bending). 2.2. Material properties
This paper is organized as follows: parametric geometry criteria
[10] and material properties are provided in Section 2. In Section 3, we In general aerospace structures, aluminum 2000 series is chosen for
presented the validation of the finite element model using the result of skin elements and aluminum 7000 series is preferred for frames,
experimental [28], finite element analysis [22] in the literature and stringer, and beam components. Following these practices, 7075 T651
theoretical hand calculations [14]. Buckling analysis results and the aluminum alloy material is selected for the aircraft fuselage floor beam
critical buckling stress curves with respect to the geometric parameters used in this study. Details of the material properties are taken from
are given for pure compression, shear and bending loads in Section 4. Military Handbook [18], and required details are tabulated in Table 1.
More than 400 models were analyzed with the validated finite element The plastic strain value to be used in non-linear buckling for finite
model to determine the buckling interaction curves. Section 5 provides element study is determined from the stress-strain curve displayed in
a parametric buckling analysis study conducted under combined Fig. 3. Values of stress-strain between yield and ultimate stress are
loading using the variables mentioned above. A numerical example imported to the FEA program's non-linear material properties module.
for usage the interaction curve so that engineers can use our graphical
data to check whether their system buckles or not is given in Section 6. 3. Validation of the finite element model
Finally the conclusion drawn from this study is presented in Section 7.
In this section, the value of the critical buckling stresses obtained
from the finite element model are compared with those from theoretical
2. Floor beam
hand calculations for plate structures under several loading conditions
(such as pure compression, pure shear and pure bending loadings). The
2.1. Geometry
second validation step is conducted by comparing FEA results by
studies of Panedpojaman et al. [22] and Tsavdaridis and D'Mello [28].
The structural body of an aircraft consists of three parts: the skin,
the frame and the longitudinal beams (longeron and stringer). The
structures subjected to passenger weight are called floor beam and floor 3.1. Flange support test
panels, as shown in Fig. 1. There are many holes in web section of the
beam because of various design principles and the need to alleviate the The buckling stress formulas taken from J. Huet [14] can be applied
overall structure weight. Structures weakened by hole opening can be only for the plate structures. If the flange supports the web in a beam,
strengthened by two different methods. If a beam is produced by the the flange can be removed and the structure can be modeled as a four-
sheet metal method, it is reinforced with a bending sheet on the sided, simply supported plate. This flange support test can be checked
perimeter of the hole. If a beam is produced by CNC machining, the using the following inequality:
weakened regions can be reinforced using the cutout-strengthening It At
2.73 − ≥ 5,
method. The aerospace industry primarily uses the second method for ha ea3 ha ea (1)
hole reinforcement. The geometry used in this study is an I-type floor
beam with a circular hole produced by a CNC machining method. Three where It is the moment of inertia of the flange, At is the cross-sectional
area of the flange, ha is the web height and ea is the web thickness. In
our reference geometry, the left-hand side of inequality Eq. (1) becomes
approximately 60, which is much higher than the required value of 5.
Therefore, theoretical hand calculations can be applicable for this study
under different loading conditions.

3.2. Theoretical hand calculations

The reference plate geometry values given in Section 2.1 are used in
the theoretical hand calculations. The allowable stress formulas under
pure compression, pure bending and pure shear loading conditions can
be computed as follows [14]:

⎛ t ⎞2
Fccr = Kc Ec ⎜ ⎟ ≤ Fcy,
Fig. 1. The skeleton of the aircraft and floor beam structure.
⎝b⎠ (2)

A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

Fig. 2. Geometry of the beam with lighting hole and hole reinforcement.

Table 1
Aluminum 7075 T651 material properties.

ρ, Density [g/mm3 ] 2.81 × 10−9

E, Modulus of Elasticity [MPa] 71,700
Fty, Tensile Yield Strength [MPa] 502
Ftu, Ultimate Tensile Strength [MPa] 572
ν, Poisson's Ratio 0.33
Es, Shear Modulus [MPa] 26,900
Fsu, Shear Strength [MPa] 331

Fig. 4. Boundary conditions for using at theoretical calculation validation.

(a / b ) and the boundary conditions. The four-side simple supported

boundary condition used in this study is shown in Fig. 4.
Kc, Kb and Ks can be calculated from Eqs. (5)–(7), respectively.
π 2kc
Kc = ,
12(1 − νe2 ) (5)

π 2kb
Kb = ,
12(1 − νe2 ) (6)

π 2ks
Ks = ,
12(1 − νe2 ) (7)
Buckling factors in compression, kc, in bending, kb and in shear ks
included in the buckling coefficient formulas (Eqs. (5)–(7)) are com-
Fig. 3. Stress-strain curve for 7075-T651 aluminum alloy [18]. puted using the expression given in Table 2. The coefficients of aspect
ratio in the expressions given in Table 2 the buckling factors are taken
⎛ t ⎞2 from “Buckling of Thin Plates and Shells” section of reference J. Huet
Fbcr = Kb Ec ⎜ ⎟ ≤ Fcy,
⎝b⎠ (3) [14].
For our reference geometry, Kc is calculated to be 3.62 using Eq. (5).
⎛ t ⎞2 The critical compression buckling stress is found from Eq. (2) to be
Fscr = Ks Ec ⎜ ⎟ ≤ Fsy, 73.53 MPa. Similarly, from Eq. (6), Kb is calculated as 22.06, and the
⎝ min(a; b ) ⎠ (4)
critical bending buckling stress is calculated from Eq. (3) to be
where Fccr is the critical buckling stress under compression, Fbcr is the 433.90 MPa. Also, Ks is calculated as 5.40 from Eq. (7) and the critical
critical buckling stress under pure bending, Fscr is the critical buckling shear buckling stress is found from Eq. (4) to be 107.58 MPa.
stress under pure shear, Fcy is the compression yield strength, Fsy is the
shear yield strength, Ec is the compression elastic modulus of elasticity, 3.3. Finite element modelling
t is the web thickness, b is the web height, and a is the web length. Kc,
Kb and Ks are the buckling coefficients for compression, bending, and 3.3.1. Finite element mesh
shear loading, respectively. They are dependent on the aspect ratio The elastic buckling behaviour of simply supported plates with

A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

Table 2
Buckling factor calculation for a /b = 2.75 [14].

Buckling factors k's, formula C Constant Buckling factors

C1 = 1.00 Lim=1.0
Compression ⎧ ⎛ ⎞2 ⎛ b ⎞2 C2 = 1.00 k∞ = 4.0 k c = 4.00
⎪ a a
⎪C1 ⎜ ⎟ + C2 ⎜⎝ ⎟⎠ + C3 if 0 ≤ ≤ Lim
kc = ⎨ ⎝ b ⎠ a b
⎪ a
⎪ k∞ if ≥ Lim
⎩ b
C3 = 2.00
C4 = 3.33 Lim=0.6

Bending ⎧ ⎛ ⎞2 ⎛ b ⎞2 C5 = 1.66 k∞ = 23.9 k b = 23.90

⎪ a a
⎪C4 ⎜⎝ ⎟⎠ + C5 ⎜⎝ ⎟⎠ + C6 if 0 ≤ ≤ Lim
kb = ⎨ b a b
⎪ a
⎪ k∞ if ≥ Lim
⎩ b
C6 = 18.10

Shear ⎛ ⎧ a b ⎫2 ⎞ C7 = 3.80 ks = 5.85

ks = C7 ⎜⎜min ⎨ ; ⎬ ⎟⎟ + C8
⎝ ⎩b a⎭ ⎠
C8 = 5.35

Fig. 5. Finite Element modelling and FEA results (a) FE modelling, (b) Converge using mesh refinement, (c) 2D beam model FEA results, (d) 2D plate model FEA results.

holes and reinforcements are simulated using shell formulation in the order to more accurately observe buckling around the hole, the mesh
eigen-buckling analyses module. All finite element models use eight- around the holes is made finer and meshed with all quad elements
noded S8R5 element type with reduced integration. The S8R5 element around the hole as seen in Fig. 5a. This process is usually referred to
was shown to predict the critical elastic buckling stress of thin plates washer mesh type.
more accurately than the S4 and S4R four-noded elements [27]. In A mesh study is conducted to observe the convergence of buckling

A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

compression and pure bending boundary conditions are considered

based on the available literature [19]. The other two loading cases,
including shear loading, are verified by theoretical hand calculations.
The details of the four different types of boundary conditions are
described below.

(i) Pure Compression

Pure compression loading is applied to the short edges (in the x
direction) in the form of the shell edge load module [27]. This
technique is described as a force per unit thickness, with units of
[N/mm]. Symmetry boundary conditions are applied to the x=0
and y=0 planes, where the longitudinal mid-line is constrained in
the x direction and the transverse mid-line is constrained in the y
direction [19], as shown in Fig. 7a.
(ii) Pure Shear
Pure shear loading is performed in the direction of the shear
Fig. 6. Comparison of load-deflection curves between Panedpojaman et al. [22], surfaces of the four sides in the form of a shell edge load. The
Tsavdaridis and D'Mello [28] studies and the results of current study for different center point of the hole is constrained to nodes on the perimeter of
the hole by using RB3 module, and the center point is fixed as
shown in Fig. 8a.
stress as the mesh size increases. Eigenvalues with respect to element
(iii) Pure Bending
numbers depended on mesh size, as shown in Fig. 5b. The curve starts
Pure bending loading is applied as a linear function of x at the
to converge after an element number of 2000. At that element number,
short edges in the form of a shell edge load. Symmetry boundary
the mesh size is about 5 mm. In order to reduce computational time,
conditions are applied, as in pure compression loading. The
5 mm mesh size is adopted in the subsequent buckling FE analysis.
longitudinal mid-line is constrained in the x direction and the
short edge center point is fixed in the y direction [19], as shown in
Fig. 9a.
3.3.2. Boundary conditions
(iv) Combined Loading
The plates in this study are modeled with simply supported
Combined loading is the summation of the previously mentioned
boundary conditions on four sides. Application scenarios for pure

Fig. 7. The buckling coefficient, kc, curves under pure compression loading. (a) Boundary conditions, (b) kc versus a /b ratio, (c) kc versus h /t ratio, (d) kc versus w /d ratio.

A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

Fig. 8. The buckling coefficient, ks, curves under pure shear loading (a) Boundary conditions, (b) ks versus a /b ratio, (c) ks versus h /t ratio, (d) ks versus w /d ratio.

loading conditions (pure compression, pure bending and pure the compression buckling stress to be 73.52 MPa. The difference
shear). All loadings are applied at the same time for the combined between the theoretical hand calculation and the plate finite element
loading condition. The hole is constrained in the same way as it is model is 0.02%. Since the error is much less than the beam model, plate
in pure shear loading, as shown in Fig. 10a. model will be used hereinafter.
The critical buckling stress for a simply supported plate under pure
3.3.3. Finite element analysis (FEA) results shear is found to be 107.78 MPa from finite element analysis. Thus, the
Two different design types are discussed for validating FEA results difference between the theoretical hand calculation and the FEA result
with the theoretical hand calculations. is calculated to be 0.2% under pure shear loading. The critical buckling
stress for a simply supported plate under pure buckling is found to be
Beam model 433.94 MPa. The theoretical hand calculation result and FEA result are
The first analysis is done for the beam model compressed uniformly approximately the same under pure bending loading (the difference is
from the short beam edges. Since the shell edge load is applied for the 0.008%).
FE analysis, the eigenvalue (compression buckling stress for unit As a result of these three comparisons, it can be said that the finite
thickness) is found to be 236.57 [MPa·mm], shown in Fig. 5c, which element model has been shown to give very close results to the
must be divided by the effective beam cross-section thickness (3.33 mm theoretical hand calculation for buckling analysis.
for the web-flange joint) in order to obtain the compression buckling
stress. The full beam compression buckling stress is calculated to be
71.07 MPa. Note that the theoretical hand calculation value was found 3.4. Method validation with literature
to be 73.53 MPa in Section 3.2. The difference between the beam FEA
result and the theoretical hand calculation is 3%. Since the variation The FE model is validated using the experimental results of
between the FEA and the theoretical hand calculation is less than 5% Tsavdaridis and D'Mello [28] and the FEA results of Panedpojaman
and the current approach predicts a conservative value for buckling et al. [22]. Note that Panedpojaman et al. [22] used ANSYS finite
stress, beam model is applicable to predict buckling stress. element program for buckling analysis. There are four sets of figures
corresponding to different geometries, and the loading conditions
Plate model shown in Fig. 6a. The results obtained in this study show good
The second analysis is performed for a simply supported plate. The agreement with those obtained by literature studies [22,28].
FEA result is found to be 147.03 [MPa·mm], as shown in Fig. 5d. By
dividing the eigenvalue with the plate thickness (2 mm), FEA predicts

A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

Fig. 9. The buckling coefficient, kb, curves under pure bending loading (a) Boundary conditions, (b) kb versus a /b ratio, (c) kb versus h /t ratio, (d) kb versus w /d ratio.

Table 3 Table 5
Geometric parameters and critical buckling stresses under pure compression, bending and Compression, shear and bending loads and compression, shear and bending rates for
shear loadings. RS /RC =0.8.

a [mm] b [mm] d [mm] h [mm] w [mm] Fccr [MPa] Fbcr [MPa] Fscr [MPa] Specimen code C S B σall [MPa] RC RS RB

330.0 120.0 60.0 4.0 5.0 79.67 451.42 90.94 KRS416 1.10 1.0 0.5 65.947 0.911 0.725 0.073
KRS417 1.10 1.0 1.0 64.502 0.891 0.709 0.143
KRS418 1.10 1.0 2.0 60.321 0.833 0.663 0.267
KRS419 1.10 1.0 3.0 55.584 0.767 0.611 0.369
Table 4
KRS420 1.10 1.0 4.0 50.977 0.704 0.561 0.452
Compression, shear and bending loads and compression, shear and bending rates for
KRS421 1.10 1.0 5.0 46.767 0.646 0.514 0.518
RS /RC = 1.0 .
KRS422 1.10 1.0 6.0 43.023 0.594 0.473 0.572
KRS423 1.10 1.0 8.0 36.834 0.509 0.405 0.653
Specimen code C S B σall [MPa] RC RS RB
KRS424 1.10 1.0 10.0 32.041 0.442 0.352 0.710
KRS400 0.88 1.0 0.4 78.962 0.872 0.868 0.070 KRS425 1.10 1.0 13.0 26.688 0.368 0.293 0.769
KRS401 0.88 1.0 1.0 76.286 0.843 0.839 0.169 KRS426 1.10 1.0 17.0 21.740 0.300 0.239 0.819
KRS402 0.88 1.0 2.0 69.930 0.772 0.769 0.310 KRS427 1.10 1.0 22.0 17.601 0.243 0.194 0.858
KRS403 0.88 1.0 3.0 63.208 0.698 0.695 0.420 KRS428 1.10 1.0 28.0 14.303 0.197 0.157 0.887
KRS404 0.88 1.0 4.0 57.023 0.630 0.627 0.505 KRS429 1.10 1.0 35.0 11.726 0.162 0.129 0.909
KRS405 0.88 1.0 5.0 51.610 0.570 0.568 0.572 KRS430 1.10 1.0 45.0 9.319 0.129 0.102 0.929
KRS406 0.88 1.0 6.0 46.954 0.519 0.516 0.624
KRS407 0.88 1.0 7.0 42.962 0.475 0.472 0.666
KRS408 0.88 1.0 8.0 39.530 0.437 0.435 0.701 4. Buckling analysis results
KRS409 0.88 1.0 9.0 36.563 0.404 0.402 0.729
KRS410 0.88 1.0 10.0 33.981 0.375 0.374 0.753
In Section 3.1, it is shown that beam can be modeled as a four-sided
KRS411 0.88 1.0 12.0 29.728 0.328 0.327 0.790
KRS412 0.88 1.0 15.0 24.969 0.276 0.275 0.830 simply supported plate by removing flanges and retaining the web only.
KRS413 0.88 1.0 19.0 20.534 0.227 0.226 0.864 Note that this assumption can be used if the flange support test is
KRS414 0.88 1.0 25.0 16.182 0.179 0.178 0.896 successful. In Figs. 7–9, we present three different loading scenarios
KRS415 0.88 1.0 32.0 12.960 0.143 0.143 0.919 (pure compression, pure shear and pure bending) of buckling coeffi-
cients for three different geometric parameters. These geometric
parameters are a / b , h / t and w / d (see Fig. 2 for the definitions of
geometrical parameters). The range of the geometrical parameters are
given in Section 2.1.

A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

Table 6 strengthening height to plate thickness (h / t ) under pure compression

Compression, shear and bending loads and compression, shear and bending rates for loading is given in Fig. 7c. kc value for a non-perforated structure has
RS /RC = 0.6 .
been calculated as 4.0. As shown in Fig. 7c, the compression buckling
Specimen code C S B σall [MPa] RC RS RB coefficient for geometric parameters mentioned in Section 2.1 is greater
than 4.0 at h / t > 1.2 . That means that a plate with a lighting hole where
KRS431 1.46 1.0 0.7 51.436 0.943 0.566 0.080 h / t > 1.2 performs as well as a non-perforated structure with respect to
KRS432 1.46 1.0 1.0 50.969 0.934 0.560 0.113
buckling. The calculation for weight gain is shown below:
KRS433 1.46 1.0 2.0 48.739 0.893 0.536 0.216
KRS434 1.46 1.0 3.0 45.967 0.842 0.505 0.305
VP = abt = 79200mm3
KRS435 1.46 1.0 4.0 43.058 0.789 0.474 0.382 VH = πd 2t ÷ 4 = 5654.866mm3
KRS436 1.46 1.0 5.0 40.230 0.737 0.442 0.446 VS = (h − t ) π ((d + 2w )2 − d 2 ) ÷ 4 = 408.407mm3
KRS437 1.46 1.0 6.0 37.586 0.689 0.413 0.500 VG = VH − VS = 5246.459mm3
KRS438 1.46 1.0 8.0 32.965 0.604 0.363 0.584
Weight Gain ratio=VG / VP = 6.6%
KRS439 1.46 1.0 11.0 27.566 0.505 0.303 0.672
KRS440 1.46 1.0 15.0 22.449 0.411 0.247 0.746 where VP, VH and VS are the volume of plate, hole, strengthening
KRS441 1.46 1.0 20.0 18.126 0.332 0.199 0.803 respectively and VG is the volume gain. As h / t increases, the compres-
KRS442 1.46 1.0 26.0 14.676 0.269 0.161 0.845 sion buckling coefficient, kc converges to 4.52 for h / t > 3.5.
KRS443 1.46 1.0 35.0 11.390 0.209 0.125 0.883
The compression buckling coefficient, kc with respect to ratio of
KRS444 1.46 1.0 45.0 9.110 0.167 0.100 0.908
KRS445 1.46 1.0 60.0 7.000 0.128 0.077 0.930 reinforcement width to hole diameter (w / d ) under pure compression
loading is shown in Fig. 7d. The w / d curve starts to converge at
w / d > 0.15. After this value, the increasing of width of reinforcement is
Table 7 not logical since after this width ratio, kc does not increase a lot and the
Compression, shear and bending loads and compression, shear and bending rates for beam would become heavier than weight of the corresponding perfo-
RS /RC =0.4.
rate d plate.
Specimen code C S B σall [MPa] RC RS RB
The shear buckling coefficient, ks with respect to the ratio of length
to web width (a / b ) under pure shear loading is given in Fig. 8b. Unlike
KRS446 2.19 1.0 1.0 35.283 0.970 0.388 0.078 compression loading case (see 7b), ks curve does not oscillate. ks is to be
KRS447 2.19 1.0 2.0 34.510 0.949 0.380 0.153 about 2.85 after rate of a / b is 2. The descent and elevation occur on
KRS448 2.19 1.0 3.0 33.422 0.919 0.368 0.222
KRS449 2.19 1.0 4.0 32.153 0.884 0.354 0.285
plate at each a / b unit in buckling analysis for pure compression loading.
KRS450 2.19 1.0 5.0 30.800 0.847 0.339 0.341 This shape is named as concave-convex behaviour. Since the buckling
KRS451 2.19 1.0 7.0 28.089 0.772 0.309 0.436 stress is localized around the hole under shear load, the concave-convex
KRS452 2.19 1.0 10.0 24.432 0.672 0.269 0.541 behaviour on plate does not appear.
KRS453 2.19 1.0 14.0 20.548 0.565 0.226 0.637
The shear buckling coefficient, ks with respect to the ratio of
KRS454 2.19 1.0 19.0 16.989 0.467 0.187 0.715
KRS455 2.19 1.0 25.0 13.986 0.384 0.154 0.775 strengthening height to the plate thickness (h / t ) under pure shear
KRS456 2.19 1.0 35.0 10.745 0.295 0.118 0.833 loading is shown in Fig. 8c. ks value is calculated to be 5.85 for a non-
KRS457 2.19 1.0 48.0 8.231 0.226 0.091 0.875 perforated structure under pure shear loading. As shown the curve,
KRS458 2.19 1.0 65.0 6.294 0.173 0.069 0.906 after the h / t ratio reaches the value of 2.4, a stronger design with
KRS459 2.19 1.0 80.0 5.208 0.143 0.057 0.923
KRS460 2.19 1.0 100.0 4.234 0.116 0.047 0.938
respect to buckling can be obtained, although the structure has a d / b
hole ratio of 0.5. The h / t curve converges later to a ratio of 3.0 at ks is
7.35. Increasing the reinforcement height after reaching this value is
Table 8 not sensible.
Compression, shear and bending loads and compression, shear and bending rates for The shear buckling coefficient, ks with respect to the ratio of
RS /RC = 0.2 . reinforcement width to hole diameter (w / d ) under pure shear loading
Specimen code C S B σall [MPa] RC RS RB
is shown in Fig. 8d. The w / d curve stars to converge at a ratio of 0.13.
After this value, increasing reinforcement width is not reasonable
KRS461 4.38 1.0 2.0 17.954 0.987 0.197 0.080 because both progress to convergence, and the system would be heavier
KRS462 4.38 1.0 4.0 17.586 0.967 0.193 0.156 than in the first no-hole case.
KRS463 4.38 1.0 6.0 17.045 0.937 0.187 0.227
The bending buckling coefficient, kb with respect to the ratio of
KRS464 4.38 1.0 8.0 16.400 0.902 0.180 0.291
KRS465 4.38 1.0 15.0 13.962 0.768 0.154 0.464 length to web width (a / b ) under pure bending loading is given Fig. 9b.
KRS466 4.38 1.0 20.0 12.407 0.682 0.136 0.550 Like with shear loading, the curve for bending load buckling coefficient
KRS467 4.38 1.0 27.0 10.626 0.584 0.117 0.636 does not oscillate, and kb is closer to the value of 17.9 after a / b ratio is
KRS468 4.38 1.0 35.0 9.064 0.498 0.100 0.703
3. Buckling is concentrated only around the hole under bending load.
KRS469 4.38 1.0 45.0 7.615 0.419 0.084 0.759
KRS470 4.38 1.0 60.0 6.112 0.336 0.067 0.812
The bending buckling coefficient, kb with respect to the ratio of
KRS471 4.38 1.0 80.0 4.823 0.265 0.053 0.855 strengthening height to plate thickness (h / t ) under pure bending
KRS472 4.38 1.0 105.0 3.812 0.210 0.042 0.887 loading is shown in Fig. 9c. kb value is calculated as 23.9 for a non-
KRS473 4.38 1.0 135.0 3.044 0.167 0.033 0.910 perforated structure under pure bending loading. As shown in the
KRS474 4.38 1.0 170.0 2.464 0.135 0.027 0.928
curve, after the h / t ratio reaches 1.7, a stronger design can be obtained,
KRS475 4.38 1.0 210.0 2.023 0.111 0.022 0.941
although the structure has holes with a d / b ratio of 0.5. The h / t curve
converges later to a ratio of 2.0 at kb is 24.8. Increasing the reinforce-
The compression buckling coefficient, kc with respect to the ratio of ment height after this value is not practical.
length to width for the web (a / b ) under pure compression loading is The bending buckling coefficient, kb with respect to ratio of width of
given Fig. 7b. In a non-perforated structure, for each integer value of reinforcement to hole diameter (w / d ) under pure bending loading is
the a / b ratio (1, 2, 3.), the curve is tangential to a certain minimum shown in Fig. 9d. Under bending loading, the system starts to converge
value [15]. Likewise, for the opening web, the curve starts to converge more sharply than it does under compression and shear loads after
at the odd number (3, 5, 7) for the range considered plate with hole due reaching a w / d ratio of 0.08. After this start value converges, increasing
to the hole effect. the reinforcement width is not reasonable.
The compression buckling coefficient, kc with respect to the ratio of With the help of these nine parametric buckling coefficient curves
obtained from the finite element analysis, it is possible to obtain the

A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

Fig. 10. Interaction curve under combined loading reinforcement (a) Boundary conditions and combined load application, (b) curve for plate with no hole, (c) curve for plate with hole,
(d) curve for plate with hole reinforcement (d /b = 0.5, h /t = 2 and w /d = 0.083).

5. Combined loading

First, geometric input variables have been determined, as indicated

in Table 3. For these parameters, compression, shear, and bending
critical buckling stresses (Fccr, Fbcr and Fscr) have been calculated for
each pure loading case from buckling coefficient curves with respect to
geometric parameters in Figs. 7–9 and are tabulated in Table 3.
A total of 75 analyses are performed in order to investigate buckling
behaviour under combined loading. There are 5 subcases for each shear
to compression ratio, RS / RC = 1.0 , 0.8, 0.6, 0.4, 0.2 which are tabulated
in Tables 4–8, respectively. For each subcase, 15 analyses are conducted
for various values of bending loads, keeping the shear and compression
loads constant. The applied compression load rate, applied shear load
rate, and applied bending load rate are denoted as C, S, and B,
respectively, in Tables 4–8. Shear load rate, S is taken as 1.0 during
all computations and compression load rate, C is calculated from shear
load rate. The allowable buckling stress, σall , has been calculated for
each combined loading scenario.
Finally, the parametric analyses are displayed as allowable interac-
tion rate curves as shown in Fig. 10. The compression rate, RC, shear
rate, RS, and bending rate, RB, can be calculated from Eqs. (8)–(10) by
using critical buckling stress, allowable buckling stress, and load rate:
RC = C
Fccr (8)
Fig. 11. Flow chart for interaction curve methodology. σ
RS = S all
Fscr (9)
critical buckling stress value for the desired design. σall
RB = B
Fbcr (10)

A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

Table 10
Applied forces, moment and calculated stresses and loads for numerical example.

F [N] V [N] M [N·mm] σC [MPa] τxy [MPa] σB [MPa] C S B

31680 9310 7990000 44 40 240 1.1 1.0 6.0

Fig. 13. Example for interaction curve study.

6. A numerical example for usage of the interaction curve

An example has been given so that users can more easily make sense
of the interaction curve.

1. The user defines the beam geometry (a, b,h, w and d) and cross-
sectional parameters (t, tf and wf) of the specific region of interest as
Fig. 12. Example for cross-section study for floor beam of passenger aircraft. shown in Fig. 12. For this specific example, the beam geometry and
the cross-sectional properties are given in Table 9. The material of
In order to use the interaction curves, the applied rates are needed the beam is selected to be Al 7075 T651 (E is 71,700 [MPa] and ν is
and found as follows: 0.33). The normal force, F, shear force, V and moment, M acting at
the cross-section (see the sketch in Fig. 12) are obtained by using
RCA = FEM and tabulated in Table 10.
Fccr (11)
2. From the geometric parameters (see in Table 9), the compression,
τmax shear and bending buckling coefficients, kc, ks and kb are found to be
RSA = 4.33, 4.95 and 24.56 by using Fig. 7c, Fig. 8c and Fig. 9c,
Fscr (12)
respectively. Using Eqs. (5)–(7), Kc, Ks and Kb are calculated to be
σB 4.00, 4.57 and 22.67, respectively. Critical buckling stress under
RBA = pure compression, Fccr, pure shear, Fscr and pure bending, Fbcr are
Fbcr (13)
determined to be 79.67 MPa 90.94 MPa and 451.42 MPa using Eqs.
where RCA is applied compression rate, RSA is applied shear rate and (2)–(4), respectively.
RBA is applied bending rate. 3. In order to find the applied compression, shear and bending stresses
Following this process, interaction curves are drawn using the (σC, τmax and σB) using the following formulas:
calculated RB and RC with respect to various RS / RC ratios. Three F
different interaction curves, which are for a plate with no hole, an σC =
A (14)
opening web, and a web with hole reinforcement, are shown in
Fig. 10b, c and d, respectively. Load scenarios and the corresponding
buckling results are shown in Tables 4–8.
Flowchart for interaction curve methodology is given in Fig. 11. τmax =
Ix t (15)
First, one generates an interaction curve using geometric parameters
such as the interaction curve for combined loading shown in Fig. 10.
The user locates the compression and bending rates on the interaction
graph, according to the applied load. If the value is below this curve, it Mc
σB =
can be determined that the system is reliable in terms of buckling. Ix (16)

Table 9
Geometric parameters and moment of inertia for numerical example.

a [mm] b [mm] d [mm] h [mm] w [mm] t [mm] t f [mm] wf [mm] A [mm2] Q [mm3] Ix [mm4] Iy [mm4]

330.0 120.0 60.0 4.0 5.0 2 5 48 720 18600 2164000 92240

A.E. Orun, M.A. Guler Thin-Walled Structures 118 (2017) 12–22

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[1] A.Z. Abidin, B. Izzuddin, Meshless local buckling analysis of steel beams with