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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 2, Number 6, December 2002 , pages 411-428

F. E.-assisted design of the eaves bracket of a cold-formed steel portal frame
J.B.P. Lim and D.A. Nethercot

    Non-linear large-displacement elasto-plastic finite element analyses are used to propose design recommendations for the eaves bracket of a cold-formed steel portal frame. Owing to the thinness of the sheet steel used for the brackets, such a structural design problem is not trivial as the brackets need to be designed against failure through buckling; without availability of the finite element method, expensive laboratory testing would therefore be required. In this paper, the finite element method is firstly used to predict the plastic moment capacity of the eaves bracket. Parametric studies are then used to propose design recommendations for the eaves bracket against two potential buckling modes of failure:rn (1) buckling of the stiffened free-edge into one-half sine wave,rn (2) local plate buckling of the exposed triangular bracket area.rnThe results of full-scale laboratory tests on selected geometries of eaves bracket demonstrate that the proposed design recommendations are conservative. The use of the finite element method in this way exploits modern computational techniques for an otherwise difficult structural design problem.
Key Words
    cold-formed steel; portal frames; eaves joint; finite element analysis.
The Steel Construction InstituternI.C.S.T.M.

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