ICCBT2008
Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS
M. H. Abu Hassan*, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, MALAYSIA
H. 
M. A. AlMattarneh, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, MALAYSIA 
A. 
Ibrahim, Universiti Teknologi MARA, MALAYSIA 
H. 
Abdul Hamid, Universiti Teknologi MARA, MALAYSIA 
B. 
S. Mohammed, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, MALAYSIA 
ABSTRACT
The behaviour of steel girders with profiled web under shear load has been simulated using the finite element method. Three different buckling modes, namely local, zonal and global were, observed and discussed. The typical failure mode of a girder with profiled web is that it is initially in the local buckling mode occurring either at the top, middle or bottom of one flat rib upon reaching a peak load. Beyond the peak load, the ripple propagates into adjacent folds transforming the local to zonal or the ripple extends across a number of ribs forming a global buckling mode in a diagonal direction of the tension field action beyond the peak load (postbuckling load) and gradually buckled due to crippling of the web and subsequently buckled till the flanges yielded vertically into the web. In the process of buckling, the load displacement relationship of the girder switched to a sudden and steep descending branch. The buckling can reduce the postbuckling shear capacity up to 60% of the ultimate shear capacity.
Keywords: Profiled Web, buckling, plate Girder, Finite Element
*Correspondence Authr: Md. Hadli Abu Hassan, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia. Email: hadli@live.com.my
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Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS
1. INTRODUCTION
For many structures all of the beams may be selected from among the standard range of rolled sections. Certain industrial buildings have girders called gantry girders that carry rails for largecapacity overhead cranes. Normal (gantry) girders are made up of builtup sections, called plate girders. Nowadays it is a common practice to fabricate such sections simply by welding together three plates to form the top and bottom flanges, and the web. From time to time, a new generation of optimised steel girders is developed. In general, innovated girder systems would require less material and result in a lighter structure when compared to a conventional girder system having webs reinforced with vertical/horizontal stiffeners.
Reviewing the previous research the use of profiled webs is a possible way of achieving adequate outofplane stiffness out of webs without using stiffeners. The use of profiled web girder also leads to a structural system of high strengthtoweight ratio. This finding agreed with Khalid et al. [1], Chan et al. [2] and Khalid [3] who had reported that a profiled web weighed 10.6% less than the equivalent conventionally stiffened flat web. Recent research by Abdul Hamid et al. [46] on intermittent rectangular profiled web girders showed that, the ribs are able to act as stiffeners, anchoring the tension field zone. The web buckled in typical shear mode and developed large strain of inclined tension. It was also noted that if the depth and the width of the ribs are increased further, the tension field action would develop in the ribs instead, causing them to behave as subpanels.
2. BUCKLING BEHAVIOUR OF PROFILED WEB GIRDER
In the early 1960s, the first attempt to establish a method to predict the ultimate load of girder of civil engineering proportions was made by Basler [7]. He assumed that flanges in practical plate girders do not possess sufficient flexural rigidity to resist the diagonal tension field. The diagonal tension field does not develop near the webflange juncture and the web collapses after development of yield zone. In 1970s Rockey et al. modified these theories to achieve a better correlation between theory and tested results [8, 9]. They assumed that the flanges were able to anchor the diagonal tension field. They also established that the collapse mode of plate girder involved the development of plastic hinges in tension and compression flanges from after development of yield zone and finally web panel fails in sway mechanism. The different of this two model as shown in Figure 1.
However, developments of tension field and collapse behaviour of profiled web girder are similar to conventional flat web girder but the mode of buckling are different. According to Elgally et al. [10], buckling modes are categorized as either local or global but Lou and
Edlund [11] were categorised as local, zonal or global buckling mode. Figure 2 illustrates the three different buckling modes described by Lou and Edlund [11] occuring in a corrugated web. They are:
a. Local buckling: shear buckling occurs in the plane part of the folds and is restricted to this region only
b. Global buckling: shear buckling involves several folds and may give rise to yield lines crossing these folds
c. Zonal buckling: an intermediate type of shear buckling (between local buckling and global buckling), which involves several folds but only occurs over a part of the girder depth
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τ
τ
V
u
Figure 1(c). Collapse Behaviour by Basler
M. H. Abu Hassan et. al.
Figure 1(d). Collapse Behaviour by Rockey et al (Cardiff Model)
Figure 1: Failure Mechanism of Shear Web Panel
(a): Local Buckling
(b): Zonal Buckling
(c): Global Buckling
Figure 2. Buckling Modes of Corrugated Web by Lou and Edlund [8]
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3. FINITE ELEMENT MODELLING OF PROFILED WEB GIRDER
Finite element models were developed for the specimens tested and nonlinear analysis was performed using LUSAS a finite element software to simulate the combined geometric and materials nonlinear response of the girders. Figures 3 show the dimensions of the typical girder tested and the profiled steel sheet used. In this paper, all the dimensions are kept constant except web and flanges thickness and the others dimensions are tabulating in Table 1.
Applied
Load, P
(a): Experimental setup
d = 550
22.5
3.5
45
(b): Dimensions of profile steel sheets of PEVA 45
Figure 3. Dimensions of Test Girder and Profiled Steel Sheet in mm
Table 1. Dimensions and Properties of Profiled Web Girder
_{M}_{o}_{d}_{e}_{l} _{N}_{a}_{m}_{e} 
Web Thickness (mm) 
Flange Thickness 
Flange Width 
Yield Stress 

(mm) 
Flange 
Web 

S550t0.8Fe 
0.8 
9.0 

*S550Fe 
1.0 
9.0 

S550t1.2Fe 
1.2 
9.0 

S550t2.0Fe 
2.0 
9.0 

S550T3Fe 
1.0 
3.0 

S550T6Fe 
1.0 
6.0 
125 
302 
405 
S550Fe 
1.0 
9.0 

S550T12Fe 
1.0 
12.0 

S550t2.0Fe 
2.0 
9.0 

S550t2.0T20Fe 
2.0 
20.0 
Note: *Same in the experimental
All models were created in a 3D surface element where the entire plate components such as flanges, web and stiffeners were modelled with quadrilateral thin shell elements (QSL8) of different density and distribution. The material response was assumed to be elasticperfectly plastic and nonlinear geometry of the girder used Total Lagrangian approach. An isotropic stress potential with von Mises yield condition was adopted for the material attribute. The load
was applied on to the line feature along the width of the top flange to ensure that the load was transferred through the bearing stiffeners and to avoid the top flange from locally buckled into the web due to the concentrated patch load, thus simulating the experimental settingup as shown in Figure 3.
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_{a}_{.} _{E}_{x}_{p}_{e}_{r}_{i}_{m}_{e}_{n}_{t}_{a}_{l} _{S}_{e}_{t}_{u}_{p}
M. H. Abu Hassan et. al.
Global Axis
Z
b. Finite Element Model
Figure 3. Simulating Experimental Setup using Finite Element
Since initial imperfection was not measured, a halfsine wave geometric imperfection was assumed, and applied to both web panels with the same magnitude and direction with a maximum initial imperfection of 0.1% of web depth. However, the arclength control using Crisfiled arclength procedure used in advanced nonlinear incremental parameters solution did not refer to the current stiffness. The sign of the current stiffness parameter was good at coping with bifurcation points, but would always fail when a snapback situation was encountered. According to Lou and Edlund [11], the snapback phenomena generally occurred on numbers subject to shear loading. Lou and Edlund also used Crisfield arclength procedure in ABAQUS, commercial finite element software, where it was able to efficiently handle snapthrough situations. Notably in the presence of strainsoftening, the arclength method may converge on alternative and unstable equilibrium paths. To ensure the girder did not buckle prematurely due to unstable of geometry deformation and/or lateral torsional buckling, the flanges were pinned in global Xdirection as shown in Figure 3.
4. 
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 
4.1 
Validation of Finite Element Analysis against Experimental Results 
Figure 4 shows comparison of load deflection curves of analytical and experimental results for different test specimens. The elastic buckling (first slope) part of each curve shows that the entire finite element results were so stiff compared to the experimental results. The effect of the first slope of the load deflection curve could be due to the initial setting of experimental the setup. Loading, the specimens were not fully rested on the supports. Another reason effecting the first slope of the load deflection curve was because initial imperfection of the flanges (warping) due to welding, was not included in the finite element analysis. Initial imperfection was modelled only using half sine wave for web panels which was not exactly like the experimental specimens. However, comparison of their ultimate shear loads was
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Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS
satisfactory. Table 2 shows the comparison of ultimate shear loads using finite element analysis against experimental results. Beyond the peak load for each load deflection curve there existed a snap back situation. Nonlinear finite element study done by Lou and Edlund [11] also indicated this snap back situation as shown in Figure 5.
Deflection (mm)
Figure 4. Load Deflection Curves for S550 Series
Table 2. Comparison of Ultimate Shear Loads of Finite Element against Experimental Results
V 
U 
(exp) 

Experiment 
V u (exp) 
V u (FE) 
V 
U 
(FE) 
S5501 
130.00 
0.94 

S5502 
119.10 
122.29 
1.03 

S5503 
124.50 
0.98 
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Figure 5. Loaddeflection Curves for Corrugated Web Girder Investigated by R. Lou and Edlund [11] under Shear with Different Corrugation Depths
4.2 Influence of Web Thickness
Figure 6 show plots of load deflection respond obtained using the nonlinear analysis. Each curve shows that the load reduced suddenly after reaching the peak which was about 50% of the ultimate capacity. Table 3 shows the results for different web thickness. All of the models buckled in zonal buckling mode as shown in Figure 7. Models with web thickness 1.0 mm and 1.2 mm had the same failure mode as shown in Figure 7(b) and (c). No peak and dale occurred in the load deflection response as could be seen from Figure 6. When the models with web thickness 0.8 mm, 1.2 mm and 2.0 mm were compared to the model with web thickness 1.0 mm the ultimate shear capacity reduced by 24% or increased by 21% and 106% respectively.
Shear, V
Deflection (mm)
Figure 6. Load Deflection Curves for Different Web Thickness
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Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS
Table 3. Results of NonLinear Analysis for Different Web Thickness
Comparison of Ultimate Shear
Capacity with
t =1.0 mm
Ultimate
Post
Web 
Shear 
Buckling 

Model 
Thickness 
Capacity, 
Capacity, 
(mm)
V
u
V
b
V
b
V
u
V
(kN) 
(kN) 
V u (t 
= 
u 1.0 mm) 

S550t0.8Fe 
0.8 
92.41 
50.15 
0.54 
0.76 

S550Fe 
1.0 
122.29 
58.90 
0.48 
 

S550t1.2Fe 
1.2 
148.13 
68.88 
0.46 
1.21 

S550t2.0Fe 
2.0 
252.24 
140.36 
0.56 
2.06 
(a): Web Thickness 0.8 mm
(c): Web Thickness 1.2 mm
_{(}_{b}_{)}_{:} _{W}_{e}_{b} _{D}_{e}_{p}_{t}_{h} _{5}_{5}_{0} _{m}_{m}
(d): Web Thickness 2.0 mm
Figure 7. Buckling Modes Obtained at the End of the Analysis for Model with Different Web Thickness
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4.3 Influence of Flange Thickness
M. H. Abu Hassan et. al.
All the models showed the flanges were buckle into the web as shown in Figure 8. For the flanges thickness 3.0 mm, the top flange was buckled sharply into the web and it looked like patch loading behaviour. This is because the flanges were very thin to anchor the tensile force from the web. That also showed that the tensile force was developing in the small region flat part of corrugation fold.
Figure 9 and Figure 10 show the load deflection curves with different flange thickness for constant web thickness 1.0 mm and 2.0 mm respectively. In both figures the flanges did not have great influence in term of strength. Compared to the thinnest flanges (T =3.0 mm), the ultimate shear strength increased only about 4% for web thickness 1.0 mm. For web thickness 2.0 mm, the ultimate shear strength only increased about 2%. The results in Table 4 show that when the slenderness of the flange element changed from slender to plastic, the influence on ultimate shear strength was insignificant.
However, the use flanges thickness of T = 3.0 mm could lead to a more abrupt reduction in the postbuckling shear capacity. Figure 8. (a) shows the flange was buckled into the web such as concentrated patch loading. Table 4. show the reduction of postbuckling shear capacity up to 86% of ultimate shear capacity for model S550T3Fe (where the flanges thickness is 3.0 mm).
(a): S550T3Fe
(b): S550T6Fe
_{(}_{c}_{)}_{:} _{S}_{5}_{5}_{0}_{}_{F}_{e}
(e): S550T12Fe
(f): S550t2.0Fe
^{(}^{g}^{)}^{:} ^{S}^{5}^{5}^{0}^{t}^{2}^{.}^{0}^{T}^{2}^{0}^{}^{F}^{e}
Figure 8: Buckling Modes Obtained at the End of the Analysis for Model with Different Flange Thickness
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Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS
Shear, V
Deflection (mm)
Figure 9: Load Deflection Curves for Different Flange Thickness, T with Web Thickness 1.0 mm
Shear, V
Deflection (mm)
Figure 10: Load Deflection Curves for Different Flange Thickness, T with Web Thickness 2.0 mm
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Table 4: Results of NonLinear Analysis for Different Flange Thickness
Comparison of Ultimate Shear Capacity
for
Comparison of Ultimate Shear
Capacity for
t =2.0 mm
Ultimate
Post
Web
Model 
Thickne 
Name 
ss 
Shear 
Buckling 
Capacity, 
Capacity, 
V
b
V
u
(mm) 
V 
u 
V 
b 
t =1.0 mm 

(kN) 
(kN) 
V 
u 
V 

V u (T 
= 
3.0 mm) 
V 
u 

u (T 
= 
9.0 mm) 

S550T3Fe 
1.0 
117.79 
17.00 
0.14 
 
 

S550T6Fe 
1.0 
123.07 74.97 
0.61 
1.04 
 

S550Fe 
1.0 
122.29 61.00 
0.50 
1.04 
 

S550T12Fe 
1.0 
122.79 54.25 
0.44 
1.04 
 

S550t2.0Fe 
2.0 
252.24 140.36 
0.56 
 
 

S550t2.0T20Fe 
2.0 
256.04 
 
 
 
1.02 
4.3 Buckling Behaviour of Profiled Web Girder
All of the tested specimens did not buckle in a symmetrical manner. Only one side panel buckled and pulled the flanges due to tension field action globally in a web panel or zonally in a few web subpanels. The finite element study also found the same buckling phenomena. Figure 11 shows the unsymmetrical deformed mesh of the profiled web specimens using finite element analysis. However, local buckling mode only occurred after the load reached peak and transformed to zonal or global buckling mode. This kind of deformation behaviour was clearly observed with finite element analysis, where the web started to buckle in one flat part of the fold or in a few folds and then developed large deformation crossing fold lines over a part of panel width. Then, it subsequently buckled till the flanges yielded vertically into the web. The load deflection behaviour changed to what was referred to as a sudden and steep descending branch after reaching peak. That confirmed the load sudden and steep descending branch due to local buckling of flat part of corrugation fold.
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Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS
a. Specimen S5501 after testing
c. Specimen S5503 after testing
b. Specimen S5502 after testing
a. FE model S550FE at load terminated
Figure 11. Experimental and FE buckling behaviour of profiled web girder
5.
CONCLUSIONS
From the results obtained, the following conclusions could be made of present investigation:
• Buckling modes of profiled web girder were categorized in three different buckling modes i.e. local, zonal or global. Local buckling mode occurs at the first stage of buckling generally after the load reaching the peak. Zonal or global buckling mode occurred at failure load terminated (final failure). From observation, the buckling phenomenon started locally in flat part of web subpanel (local buckling) and propagated to another flat part of web subpanel which then transformed to zonal or global buckling mode. Local flange buckling occurred depending on the web buckling modes. This behaviour occurred because the contribution of stress field in web was small and restricted only in these corrugation folds.
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• Three buckling modes had been found in this investigation but after initially buckled, no matter what kind of buckling modes it had to abrupt reduction of the postbuckling shear capacity. The buckling could reduce the postbuckling shear capacity in average about 30% to 50% of the ultimate shear capacity.
• Increasing the flange thickness did not influence the ultimate shear capacity but the use of thinner flanges would reduce the postbuckling capacity.
REFERENCES
[1]. 
Khalid, Y. A., Chan, C. L., Sahari, B. B. and Hamouda, A. M. S., “Bending behaviour of corrugated web beam”. Journal of Materials Processing Technology; Vol. 150, 2004, pp. 242 – 254. 
[2]. 
Chan, C. L., Khalid, Y. A., Sahari, B. B. and Hamouda, A. M. S., “Finite element analysis of corrugated web beams under bending”. Journal of Construction Steel Research; Vol. 58, 2002, pp 1391 – 1406. 
[3]. 
Khalid, Y. A., “Bending strength of corrugated web beams”. ASEAN Journal on Science Technology for Development; Vol. 20, 2003, Issue 2, pp 177 – 186. 
[4]. 
Abdul Hamid, H., Ibrahim, A. and Abu Hassan, M.H, “Intermediately stiffened webbed welded plate girder”, Proceeding 7 ^{t}^{h} International Conference on Steel and Space Structures, Singapore, October 2002, pp. 267 – 274. 
[5]. 
Abdul Hamid, H., Ibrahim, A. and Abu Hassan, M.H, “Plate girder under shear load”, Proceeding of the 5 ^{t}^{h} AsiaPacific Structural Engineering Conference, Johore Bahru, Malaysia, August 2003, pp. 451 – 466. 
[6]. 
Abdul Hamid, H., Ibrahim, A. and Abu Hassan, M.H, “Buckling of singly and doubly webbed corrugated web girders under shear loading”, Technical Post Graduate Symposium, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 2003, pp. 627 – 
629. 

[7]. 
Basler, K., “Strength of Plate Girder in Shear”, Journal of Structural Division, ASCE, 
[8]. 
Vol. 87 No. 7, pp 151 – 180, 1961. Rockey, K. C., Evan, H. R., and Porter, D. M., “A design method for predicting the 
[9]. 
collapse behaviour of plate girders”, Proc. Inst. Civil Engrs., Part 2, pp.85 – 112, 1978 Rockey, K. C., Valtinat, G., and Tang, K. H., “The design of transverse stiffeners on 
[10]. 
webs loaded in shear – an ultimate load approach”, Proc. Inst. Civil Engrs., Part 2, pp.1069 – 1099, 1981 Elgaaly, M., Himilton, R. W. and Seshadri, A., “Shear strength of beam with corrugated webs”, Journal of Structural Engineering; Vol. 122, No. 4, 1996, pp. 390 – 398. 
[11]. 
Lou, R. and Edlund, B., “Shear capacity of plate girders with trapezoidal corrugated webs”, ThinWalled Structures; Vol. 26, No. 1, 1996, pp 19 – 44. 
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