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# Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885

## Applied Mathematical Modelling

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/apm

## Elastic and inelastic local buckling of stiffened plates subjected to

non-uniform compression using the Galerkin method
E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari *
Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-8311, Iran

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: A solution for the elastic and inelastic local buckling of ﬂat rectangular plates with center-
Received 2 February 2008 line boundary conditions subjected to non-uniform in-plane compression and shear stress
Received in revised form 15 March 2008 is presented. The loaded edges are simply supported, the longitudinal edges may have any
Accepted 25 March 2008
boundary conditions and the centerline is simply supported with a variable rotational stiff-
Available online 11 April 2008
ness. The Galerkin method, an effective method for solving differential equations, is applied
to establish an eigenvalue problem. In order to obtain plate buckling coefﬁcients, combined
trigonometric and polynomial functions that satisfy the boundary conditions are used. The
Keywords:
Local buckling
method is programmed, and several numerical examples including elastic and inelastic
Inelastic buckling local buckling, are presented to illustrate the scope and efﬁcacy of the procedure. The var-
Galerkin method iation of buckling coefﬁcients with aspect ratio is presented for various stress gradient
Centerline stiffener ratios. The solution is applicable to stiffened plates and the ﬂange of the I-shaped beams
Rectangular plates that are subjected to biaxial bending or combined ﬂexure and torsion and shear stresses,
and is important to estimate the reduction in elastic buckling capacity due to stress
gradient.
Ó 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Thin steel plates are widely used as the main structural components of box girders in bridges, plate girders, platforms of
offshore structures, shipbuilding and aircraft industries. In order to lighten the structural systems and come up with an econ-
omy design, plates are often designed with stiffeners. Although a considerable amount of information on the buckling capac-
ity of plates subjected to non-uniform stress is available, however, most solutions primarily involves plates with edge
boundary conditions and do not explicitly consider plates with mid support. The buckling capacity of stiffened plates, such
as the ﬂanges of I-shaped beams, is easily evaluated by separating one side of the plate and assuming ideal (fully restrained
or simply supported) edge conditions when the applied stress is uniform. Solutions for uniform stress cases are widely avail-
able for a variety of edge conditions.
Some other researchers have investigated the buckling behavior of plates subjected to non-uniform compression. Inves-
tigations involving simply supported boundaries on loaded edges and subjected to various boundary conditions on their un-
loaded edges are common. Timoshenko and Gere  calculated the elastic buckling load of simply supported plates
subjected to in-plane bending by energy methods. Johnson and Noel  also used energy methods for plates subjected to
in-plane bending with the tension side simply supported and compression side elastically restrained. Design charts devel-
oped for evaluating the critical stresses included aspect ratio and stress ratio. Walker [3,4] investigated the local instability
of ﬂanges and webs of initially perfect channel sections under eccentric loading along the axis of symmetry. Using the

## * Corresponding author. Tel.: +98 3113913804; fax: +98 3113912700.

E-mail address: Mojtaba@cc.iut.ac.ir (M. Azhari).

S0307-904X/\$ - see front matter Ó 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.apm.2008.03.020
E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885 1875

Nomenclature

a length of plate
b width of plate
D ﬂexural rigidity of the plate
E Young’s modulus of the plate material
Es secant modulus
Et tangent modulus
J the number of terms required for convergence
kcr critical buckling coefﬁcient
[L] stiffness matrix of plate
[M] stability matrix of plate
{M} vector of inﬁnitesimal buckling moments
N0 value of Nx at centerline of plate
m, n integers in the deﬂection series coefﬁcients
r degree of rotational stiffness per unit distance in x direction at centerline of the plate
W displacement of a point of the middle surface of the plate in a direction normal to the undeformed middle sur-
face non-dimensional form of the displacement of a point of the middle surface of the plate in a direction normal
to the undeformed middle surface
x, y Cartesian coordinates
a stress gradient parameter
C non-dimensional form of the degree of rotational stiffness, deﬁned by C ¼ r Db
n, g natural coordinates
m elastic Poisson’s ratio
{q} vector of inﬁnitesimal buckling curvatures
ry yield stress of material
/ aspect ratio of plate, deﬁned by / ¼ ba

Galerkin method, he found that the theoretical approach developed is rational, and provided a good engineering estimating
for the elastic buckling load. A sinusoidal function was used along the loaded edges and polynomial function in the unloaded
edges to approximate the out-of-plane deﬂection. Rhodes and Harvey  used the Ritz method for examining plates sub-
jected to eccentric end displacement in the transverse direction. Lau and Hancock  presented a spline ﬁnite strip method
for analyzing plates subjected to combined bending and compression with boundaries other than simply supported loaded
edges. Bradford  developed non-linear stiffness equations for the buckling capacity of longitudinal stiffeners in girder web
plate subjected to in-plane bending and compression using a ﬁnite strip analysis. Cohen  arrived at an approximate equa-
tion for elastic buckling coefﬁcients of plates subjected to maximum compression at the supported edge and maximum ten-
sion at the free edge using the ﬁnite difference approach. Bedair and Sherbourne  derived an expression for estimating the
buckling capacity of plate/stiffener assemblies under non-uniform edge compression, which was veriﬁed numerically using
the Galerkin method. Saadatpour et al.  investigated buckling of arbitrary quadrilateral plates with intermediate sup-
ports using the Galerkin method. Madhaven and Davidson  studied buckling of centerline-stiffened plates subjected
to uniaxial eccentric compression. Their research included elastic local buckling only. In general, the literature described
above was carried out on elastic buckling of plates.
Although it is possible to obtain the buckling capacity of a non-uniform loaded stiffened plate system by isolating the
higher-stressed half of the plate and applying a rotational stiffness along one edge, the solution is dependent upon the buck-
ling mode. In addition, the buckling mode depends on both the gradient of stress applied and the rotational stiffness pro-
vided by the lesser-stressed half plate.
This paper presents a solution approach that clearly and in detail considers the full width of the stiffened plates and both
elastic and inelastic local buckling of this type of plate are examined. The Galerkin method is used to establish an eigenvalue
problem, and a series solution of the plate buckling coefﬁcients is obtained by using combined trigonometric and polynomial
functions that satisfy the boundary conditions.
The overall objective of the research represented in this paper is to quantify the elastic and inelastic buckling capacity of a
plate subjected to a stress gradient with varying rotational stiffness at the center. The results obtained in the present paper
are useful to design of stiffened plate subjected to combined ﬂexure and compression.

## 2. Geometry of the problem

Fig. 1 shows an isotropic, elastic rectangular plate of length ‘a’ and width ‘b’. Dimensionless coordinates are used to facil-
itate solving the problem. As can be seen, the plate is subjected to non-uniform compression in which ‘a’ represents the gra-
1876 E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885

## Fig. 1. Analytical model: rectangular plate with rotational stiffener.

dient of this compression. Since Azhari and Bradford  proved that the restraint of loaded edges with aspect ratio more
than three has a marginal effect on the buckling stress of long plates, simply supported boundary condition is chosen for
transverse edges. The stiffener provides a deﬁnite rotational stiffness for the plate and there is no out-of plane displacement
across the location of stiffener.
The use of polynomials with trigonometric functions facilitates rapid and easy satisfaction of a wide variety of boundary
conditions. In the present method, a sine function is applied for ‘n’ direction while a polynomial function is used for ‘g’ direc-
tion, because deriving a pure trigonometric function that represents the deﬂected shape is difﬁcult and a combined trigono-
metric and a polynomial function would be suitable.
The theoretical development begins with von Karman plate equations and proceeds to obtain the deﬂection function
using Galerkin series. The Galerkin series corresponds to the deﬂection function in the transverse direction, with an addi-
tional rotational stiffness at the placement of stiffener. This leads to three boundaries with two conditions. Six equations
and a general polynomial with six constants were chosen for the deﬂection function. Section 3 describes the theoretical
development.

## 3.1. Plate subjected to compression

The equation that describes the behavior of a thin elastic plate subjected to in-plane compression in x direction may be
written as
!
o4 w o4 w o4 w N x o2 w
4
þ 2 2 2
þ 4
þ ¼0 ð1Þ
ox ox oy oy D ox2

in which

Et 3
D¼ ; ð2Þ
12ð1  m2 Þ

where ‘E’, ‘t’ and ‘m’ are Young’s modulus, thickness of plate and Poisson’s ratio, respectively.
As shown in Fig. 1 the magnitude of in-plane stress at centerline of plate is N0 and the stress variation imparted such that
the applied load on the higher-stressed edge is N0(1 + a) and the lesser-stressed edge N0(1  a). The stress gradient param-
eter a is a measure of the stress gradient introduced in the plate. For example, a would be the ratio of minor axis bending to
major axis bending stresses in the compression ﬂange plates of an I-girder subjected to combined lateral and vertical bend-
ing. The solution is derived for a from 0 (uniform stress) to 1 (triangular stress), therefore it is limited to applications where
the full width of the plate is subjected to compression
0 6 a 6 1: ð3Þ
The equations of applied loads for the plate illustrated in Fig. 1 may be expressed as
h yi
Nx ¼ N 0 1 þ a  2a : ð4Þ
b
To facilitate the solution of the problem and to preserve clarity of presentation, Eq. (1) is non-dimensionalized by
substituting
E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885 1877

x yþb a w
n¼ ; g¼ ; /¼ ; W¼ ð5Þ
a b b t

in which ‘a’ and ‘b’ are length and width of the plate, respectively, where ‘W’ is non-dimensional form of the displacement of
the middle surface of the plate in a direction normal to the undeformed middle surface.
According to Eq. (5) derivatives of ‘W’ can be written as

o4 w 1 o4 W o4 w 1 o4 W o4 w 1 o4 W
¼ 4 ; ¼ 4 ; ¼ : ð6Þ
ox 4 a on4 oy 4
b og
4 2
ox oy 2 2 2
a2 b ox oy
2

## Eq. (1) may be rewritten as

!
2
1 o4 W o4 W o4 W N0 b o2 W
2 4
þ2 2
þ /2 þ ½1 þ 3a  2ag 2 ¼ 0: ð7Þ
/ on on og2 og4 D on

Eq. (7) can be simpliﬁed to yield a fourth-order partial differential equation with variable coefﬁcients for which a closed form
solution would be difﬁcult if not impossible to obtain. For this reason, the eigenvalue problem was solved using the Galer-
kin’s series method. The loaded edges of the plate are assumed to be simply supported and can be shown that sine functions
satisfy the boundary conditions at the edges
" #
o2 W
¼ 0; ð8Þ
on2 n¼0;1
½Wn¼0;1 ¼ 0: ð9Þ

For edges (g = 1 and g = 2) that can be free, simply supported or clamped, one category of the following equations must be
satisﬁed, respectively.
For free boundary conditions
8h 2 2
i
>
< oogW2 þ /m2 oonW2 ¼ 0;
g¼1;2
h3 i ð10aÞ
>
: o W3 þ ð2mÞ o3 W
¼ 0:
og /2 ogon2 g¼1;2

8
< ½Wg¼1;2 ¼ 0;
h2 i ð10bÞ
: oogW2 ¼ 0:
g¼1;2

## For clamped boundary conditions

8
< ½Wg¼1;2 ¼ 0;
h i ð10cÞ
: oW
og
¼ 0:
g¼1;2

At g = gS there is no out-of-plane displacement and is rotationally stiffened. So the boundary conditions at g = gS are 
8
< ½Wg¼gS ¼ 0;
h2 2
i ð11Þ
: oogW2 þ m2 o W2  C oW
og
¼ 0:
/ on g¼gS

where
b
C¼r ; ð12Þ
D
r is the rotational stiffness per unit length along the centerline stiffens and C is the non-dimensional form of rotational
stiffness.
The solution of Eq. (7) is taken in the form
XX
W¼ qmn fm ðnÞg n ðgÞ; ð13Þ
m n

where

## fm ðnÞ ¼ sin mpn; m ¼ 1; 2; 3; . . . ð14Þ

and
g n ðgÞ ¼ gnþ6 þ An gnþ5 þ Bn gnþ4 þ C n gnþ3 þ Dn gnþ2 þ En gnþ1 þ F n gn : ð15Þ
1878 E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885

The function fm(n) exactly describes the deﬂection of the loaded edges. The function gn(g) is taken as a polynomial with six
constants (six boundary conditions). These constants are evaluated by applying Eqs. (10) and (11).
The constants are substituted into Eq. (15) to get the deﬂection function corresponding to the number of series
X
W¼ qn sin mpn½gnþ6 þ An gnþ5 þ Bn gnþ4 þ C n gnþ3 þ Dn gnþ2 þ En gnþ1 þ F n gn : ð16Þ
n¼1;2;3;...

For simplicity
W ¼ Y  sin mpn; ð17Þ
where
X
Y¼ qn ½g n ðgÞ: ð18Þ
n

The number of half waves ‘m’ in Eq. (17) depends on the aspect ratio of the plate (/), the centerline rotational stiffness (C),
and the applied stress gradient (a). Indeed ‘m’ indicates the mode shape that the plate buckles.
Substituting Eq. (17) into Eq. (7) leads to an expression that is simpliﬁed to a fourth order differential equation. The ﬁnal
form of the governing differential equation is
4 2
d Y m2 p2 d Y m4 p4 m2 p2
2 2 þ Y  Kx ð1 þ 3a  2agÞY ¼ 0; ð19Þ
dg4 / dg2 /4 /2
where
2
N0 b
Kx ¼ ð20Þ
D
in which K is deﬁned by Kx = kcrp2 and kcr is the plate buckling coefﬁcient.
oY
By applying Galerkin method and using oq n
as weigh functions, differential Eq. (19) can be solved
"
Z 2 4 2
#
d Y d Y 2 oY
 2b 2 þ b Y  Kbð1 þ 3a  2agÞY dg ¼ 0; ð21Þ
1 dg4 dg oqn

where
 2
mp
b¼ : ð22Þ
/
Eq. (21) is reduced to Eq. (23) if a typical term of the Galerkin series for Y is taken as qjYj. The expression can then be written
as
Xn¼J Z 2" 4 2
#
d gn d gn 2
qn  2b þ b g n  Kbð1 þ 3a  2agÞg n g j dg ¼ 0 ð23Þ
n¼0;1;... 1 dg4 dg2

in which J is the number of terms required for convergence. It can be seen from the above equations that, as n and j vary over
the range 0 6 (n, j) 6 J a square matrix of coefﬁcients results. The matrix can be represented by
2 32 3
ðL00  KM 00 Þ ðL01  KM 01 Þ ... ðL0J  KM0J Þ q0
6 .. 76 . 7
6 ðL  KM Þ . 76 . 7
6 10 10 76 . 7
6 76 . 7 ¼ 0; ð24Þ
6 .. ... 76 . 7
4 . 54 . 5
ðLJ0  KM J0 Þ ... ... ðLJJ  KMJJ Þ qJ

where
Z " #
2 4 2
d gm d gm 2
Lmn ¼  2b þ b g m g n dg; ð25Þ
1 dg4 dg2
Z 2
Mmn ¼ b ½ð1 þ 3a  2agÞg m g n dg: ð26Þ
1

In Eqs. (25) and (26) [L] and [M] are stiffness and stability matrices, respectively.
The values of K only have meaning for the non-trivial values of qn, i.e. if the determinant of the above matrix is zero. It is
thus possible to obtain the required range of eigenvalues by equating the determinant to zero, expanding it, and solving the
resulting polynomial. The lowest real value would be the K value at which the plate buckles

## j½L  K x ½Mj ¼ 0: ð27Þ

E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885 1879

## 3.2. Plate subjected to shear stress

Local instability analysis of plates with stiffener subjected to shear stresses is important for design of plates and plate
structures.
Fig. 2 shows the stiffened plate subjected to uniform shear stress.
The equations governing the elastic behavior of a buckled elastic plate subjected to shear stress may be written as

o4 w o4 w o4 w 2N xy o2 w
þ2 2 2þ 4 þ ¼0 ð28Þ
ox4 ox oy oy D oxoy
in which Nxy is shear load per unit length.
By using the Eqs. (5) and (6) non-dimensional form of differential equation can be expressed by
2
1 o4 W 2 o4 W o4 W 2N xy b o2 W
4 4
þ 2 2
þ þ / ¼ 0: ð29Þ
/ on / on og2 og4 D onog

## The solution of the above equation is taken in the form

XX
W¼ qmn eimpn g n ðgÞ ð30Þ
m n
pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ
in which i ¼ 1 and gn(g) is presented in Eq. (15).
Eq. (30) can be reduced to
W ¼ Y  eimpn ð31Þ
in which ‘m’ is the number of half waves in the mode shapes. It depends on the aspect ratio of the plate (/) and the centerline
rotational stiffness (C).
Substituting Eq. (31) into Eq. (29) leads to a fourth order ordinary differential as follows:
 4  2 2 4
mp mp d Y d Y mp dY
Y 2 þ þ 2iK SL ¼0 ð32Þ
/ / dg2 dg4 / dg
N b2
in which K SL ¼ xyD , kcr ¼ KpSL2 and Nxy = N0.
Applying Galerkin method an eigenvalue problem can be obtained by
j½L  K SL ½Mj ¼ 0; ð33Þ
where [L], [M] are deﬁned by the following equations, respectively:
Z 2 2 4
!
d gm d gm
Lmn ¼ b2 g m  2b þ g n dg; ð34Þ
1 dg2 dg4
 
pﬃﬃﬃ Z 2 dg m
Mmn ¼ 2i b g n dg: ð35Þ
1 dg
The Galerkin method was used to calculate the relationship between plane normal stresses and shear stresses of plates with
stiffener. In this case, an eigenvalue problem can be obtained by

Fig. 2. Analytical model: rectangular plate with rotational stiffener subjected to shear stress.
1880 E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885

## j½L  K SL ½M  K x ½M 0 j ¼ 0 ð36Þ

in which [M0 ] is deﬁned by the following equation:
Z 2
M 0mn ¼ b Y m Y n dg: ð37Þ
1

## 4. Mathematical formulation of the problem for inelastic buckling

The interaction between plastic behavior and instability is important for stocky plates. The fact of the matter is that in
inelastic initial buckling analysis the stiffness matrix should be modiﬁed to include the effects of the altered stiffness prop-
erties of the material associated with the plastic deformation prior to buckling. The modiﬁcation is affected by altering out-
of-plane stiffness matrices so that they contain coefﬁcients which depend on the state of plasticity in the plate and therefore
on the state of stress. The modiﬁcation adopted depends on the inelastic plate buckling theory being used. The inelastic
buckling behavior of plates is quite sensitive to the plasticity theory deployed . Generally there are two main concepts
for investigating the inelastic instability of plates which are deformation theory and ﬂow theory.
Studies that have been carried out by many researchers such as Ilyushin , Stowell  and Shirvastava  have
shown that deformation theory mainly have a good agreement with experimental results.
In the present paper ‘‘deformation theory” is employed to study inelastic behavior of stiffened plates. The relationship
between internal moments and curvatures is presented by the following equations :

## fMg ¼ hMx ; M y ; M xy iT ; ð38Þ

* +T
o2 w o2 w o2 w
fqg ¼ ; ; 2 ; ð39Þ
ox2 oy2 oxoy
fMg ¼ ½DF P fqg; ð40Þ
2 3
3
Dx D1 0
t 6 7
½DF P ¼ 4 D1 Dy 0 5; ð41Þ
12
0 0 Dxy

where
2Eðk  1 þ 2mÞ
D1 ¼ ; ð42Þ
kð5  4m þ 3eÞ  ð1  2mÞ2
2Eðk þ 3 þ 3eÞ
Dx ¼ ; ð43Þ
kð5  4m þ 3eÞ  ð1  2mÞ2
4Ek
Dy ¼ ; ð44Þ
kð5  4m þ 3eÞ  ð1  2mÞ2
E
Dxy ¼ ð45Þ
2 þ 2m þ 3e
in which
E
k¼ ; ð46Þ
Et
E
e¼ 1 ð47Þ
Es
in which, Es and Et are secant modulus and tangent modulus, respectively. By applying Eq. (40) which related internal mo-
ment to curvatures of plate, the differential equation, governing the inelastic behavior of a buckled plate subjected to in-
plane compression in non-dimensional form may be written as
2
!
Dx o4 W o4 W 4
2o W 12rx b o2 W
þ ð2D1 þ 4Dxy Þ 2 þ Dy / þ ¼ 0: ð48Þ
/2 on4 on og2 og4 t2 on2

The solution of Eq. (48) is similar to Eqs. (13)–(15). Using the Galerkin method, Eq. (48) leads to an eigenvalue problem that
can be written by

## j½L  K In ½Mj ¼ 0 ð49Þ

in which
Z " 4 2
#
2
d gm d gm 2
Lmn ¼ Dy  ð2D1 þ 4Dxy Þb þ Dx b g m g n dg ð50Þ
1 dg4 dg2
E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885 1881

Table 1
Buckling load coefﬁcients kcr for long plate and gS = 1.5

Unloaded edges boundary conditions C kcr for J = 4 kcr for J = 5 kcr for J = 6 kcr 
Simply supported 0 16.00 16.00 16.00 4  4.00 = 16.00
Simply supported 1 22.08 22.07 21.90 4  5.41 = 21.64
Clamped 0 21.64 21.64 21.64 4  5.41 = 21.64
Clamped 1 28.57 28.56 28.28 4  6.97 = 27.88

and
Z 2
Mmn ¼ b g m g n dg; ð51Þ
1

2
where K In ¼ 12rt2x b
As be mentioned before, Et and Es are variable depend on the state of stress rx. In the present paper for deriving numeric
results, mild steel properties adopted were E = 2  105 MPa, ry = 250 MPa, m = 0.3 and based on slip theory in the plastic
regions

E
Et ¼ ; ð52Þ
33
rx
Es ¼ ry   : ð53Þ
11 E þ ðr  ry Þ 33
E

5. Numerical results

5.1. General

A series solution was developed for evaluating the elastic buckling coefﬁcients and critical stress of a plate for initial
inelastic buckling with variable rotational stiffness at the center. The proposed procedure is programmed on the desktop
computer to generate results. The numerical results converged with six terms of the series which demonstrated in Table
1. The accuracy of the solution can be improved by increasing the number of terms.

38 33
35 30
32
27
29
kcr

24
kcr

26
21
23
18
20

17 15

14 12
0 1 2 3 4 5 0 1 2 3 4 5

27 26
24
24
22
20
21
kcr
kcr

18
18 16
=
14
15
12
12 10
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

Fig. 3. Variation of buckling coefﬁcients with aspect ratio for different stress gradient ratios.
1882 E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885

14 12
12
10
10
8
8
kcr

kcr
6
6
4
4
2
2

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

10 8

8
6

kcr
kcr

4
4

2
2

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

Fig. 4. Variation of buckling coefﬁcients with aspect ratio for different stress gradient ratios.

41 38
38 35
35
32
32
kcr

kcr

29
29
26
26
23 23

20 20
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

31 30
29
27
27
25 24
kcr

kcr

23
21 21
19
18
17
15 15
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5

Fig. 5. Variation of buckling coefﬁcients with aspect ratio for different stress gradient ratios.

## 5.2. Stiffened plate subjected to non-uniform compression

To demonstrate the versatility and accuracy of the method deployed herein, local buckling coefﬁcient for upper and lower
limit of rotational stiffness of stiffener are compared with those obtained by Bradford and Azhari  using the ﬁnite strip
method in Table 1.
E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885 1883

Figs. 3–5 illustrate the change in buckling coefﬁcient with aspect ratio for stress gradient ratios varying from a = 0 to 1, for
simply supported, free and clamped unloaded edges, respectively. Each plot indicates the number of half waves at which the
plate buckles for a given aspect ratio. In Figs. 3–5 it can be observed that there is a decrease in the plate buckling coefﬁcient

Table 2
Shear buckling coefﬁcients for ordinary plates

## Boundary condition Present method Plank and Wittrick 

S 5.3363 5.3363

N0

C
N0
8.9779 8.9778

Table 3
Shear buckling coefﬁcients for centerline stiffened plate

S C kcr

N0 0 21.87
10 25.97
20 27.72
1 29.31

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1

Fig. 6. Interaction curve for local elastic buckling in shear and compression (for C = 20).
1884 E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885

1.8

Galerkin method
1.6
F.S.M.
elastic buckling
1.4

1.2

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800

b/t* y

## Fig. 7. Inelastic buckling of square ordinary plate.

Table 4
Critical stress for a centerline stiffened plate with deﬁnite properties

## x t (cm) 1 1.4 1.7 1.9 2.5 3.8

S.S. rcr 3
E  10 3.22 5.55 7.80 9.53 15.94 35.80
Supported
Supported

Stiffener
Simply

Simply

S.S.
r = 270 (kN), a = 80 (cm), b = 20 (cm), and gS = 1.5.

values with an increase in stress gradient. Similarly, for each stress gradient ratio there is an increase in plate buckling coef-
ﬁcient values with increase in centerline rotational stiffness. The rotational stiffness C = 0 represents a simply supported cen-
terline condition and C = 1 represents clamped condition.
The range of values between the two extremes represents partial ﬁxity (i.e. the effect of varying elastic rotational stiff-
ness). The number of half waves in the mode shapes depends on the aspect ratio of the plate (/), the centerline rotational
stiffness (C), and the applied stress gradient (a). With increase in rotational stiffness and aspect ratio, there is an increase in
the number of half waves.

## 5.3. Stiffened plate subjected to shear stress

Firstly, the method deployed to evaluate of local buckling coefﬁcients of ordinary plates without stiffener under shear
stress in order to assess the efﬁcacy of the Galerkin method.
The shear buckling coefﬁcients for long ordinary plates presented in Table 2.
Table 3 shows the local buckling coefﬁcients obtained for a centerline stiffened plate which has simply supported edges.
As the table shows, there is a moderate increase in buckling coefﬁcients by increasing the rotational stiffness provided.
The interaction curve for elastic local buckling of stiffened plate under combined in-plane and shear stresses has been
investigated. Fig. 6 shows buckling stresses rcr and scr normalized with respect to the values rcr 0 and scr 0 in pure compres-
sion stresses and shear only, respectively.

## 5.4. Inelastic initial buckling of stiffened plate

In order to demonstrate the validity and accuracy of the method, the developed method has been used to study inelastic
initial buckling of a square plate without stiffener and results have been compared with ﬁnite strip method which analyzed
by Azhari and Bradford . As it is seen in (Fig. 7), there is a good agreement between two methods.
E. Jaberzadeh, M. Azhari / Applied Mathematical Modelling 33 (2009) 1874–1885 1885

Inelastic initial local buckling for a plate with centerline stiffener (gS = 1.5) was studied. Table 4 shows the values of crit-
ical stress for different thicknesses. It is seen that critical stress increase with increasing of plate’s thickness.

6. Conclusions

The effect of stress gradient on the elastic buckling behavior of plates with centerline boundary conditions was investi-
gated for different boundary conditions. A governing differential equation in Cartesian coordinates for a plate subjected to
stress gradient with a variable rotational stiffness was formulated and solved using the Galerkin method. The solution re-
sulted in a mathematical relationship between buckling capacity and the plate aspect ratio, the applied stress gradient,
and the centerline rotational stiffness. This solution for the buckling capacity of plates with variable eccentric loading com-
bined with variable rotational stiffness at the centerline is applicable for stiffened plates and I-shaped beams.
Differential equation of a plate subjected to shear stress developed and local buckling coefﬁcients obtained for a plate
with centerline stiffener. Also the problem was developed for inelastic initial buckling and results have been presented
for a centerline-stiffened plate.
Applications include stiffened plates for example the ﬂanges of beams that are subjected to major axis bending combined
with signiﬁcant lateral forces (minor axis bending) or torsion (warping normal stresses), which results in a stress gradient
across the width of the ﬂange plates and shear stress can be included. This research shown that the Galerkin method is very
efﬁcient computationally moreover is a very simple procedure.

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