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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 33, Number 1, October10 2019 , pages 37-66

Finite element modelling of back-to-back built-up cold-formed stainless-steel lipped channels under axial compression
Krishanu Roy, Hieng Ho Lau and James B.P. Lim

    In cold-formed steel structures, such as trusses, wall frames and portal frames, the use of back-to-back built-up cold-formed stainless-steel lipped channels as compression members are becoming increasingly popular. The advantages of using stainless-steel as structural members are corrosion resistance and durability, compared with carbon steel. The AISI/ASCE Standard, SEI/ASCE-8-02 and AS/NZS do not include the design of stainless-steel built-up channels and very few experimental tests or finite element analyses have been reported in the literature for such back-to back cold-formed stainless-steel channels. Current guidance by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the Australian and New Zealand (AS/NZS) standards for built-up carbon steel sections only describe a modified slenderness approach, to consider the spacing of the intermediate fasteners. Thus, this paper presents a numerical investigation on the behavior of back-to-back cold-formed stainless-steel built-up lipped channels. Three different grades of stainless steel i.e., duplex EN1.4462, ferritic EN1.4003 and austenitic EN1.4404 have been considered. Effect of screw spacing on the axial strength of such built-up channels was investigated. As expected, most of the short and intermediate columns failed by either local-global or local-distortional buckling interactions, whereas the long columns, failed by global buckling. All three grades of stainless-steel stub columns failed by local buckling. A comprehensive parametric study was then carried out covering a wide range of slenderness and different cross-sectional geometries to assess the performance of the current design guidelines by AISI and AS/NZS. In total, 647 finite element models were analyzed. From the results of the parametric study, it was found that the AISI & AS/NZS are conservative by around 10 to 20% for cold-formed stainless-steel built-up lipped channels failed through overall buckling, irrespective of the stainless-steel grades. However, the AISI and AS/NZS can be un-conservative by around 6% for all three grades of stainless-steel built-up channels, which failed by local buckling.
Key Words
    cold-formed stainless-steel; built-up; screw spacing; back-to-back channels; axial strength; finite element analysis
(1) Krishanu Roy, James B.P. Lim:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand;
(2) Hieng Ho Lau:
Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

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