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LUSAS

H. M. A. Al-Mattarneh, 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

(post-buckling 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 post-buckling shear capacity up to 60% of the ultimate shear

capacity.

*Correspondence Authr: Md. Hadli Abu Hassan, Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia.

E-mail: hadli@live.com.my

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

large-capacity overhead cranes. Normal (gantry) girders are made up of built-up 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 out-of-plane stiffness out of webs without using stiffeners. The use of profiled web

girder also leads to a structural system of high strength-to-weight 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. [4-6] 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 sub-panels.

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 web-flange 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

M. H. Abu Hassan et. al.

τ τ − τ cr

σt

τ − τ cr

τ τ τ τ d τ − τ cr

σt

135° θi

45°

τ − τ cr

τ

a

Figure 1(a). Unbuckled Figure 1(b). Post-buckled

Behaviour of Shear Web Panel Behaviour of Shear Web Panel

Vu Plastic hinge

W X

θi

Vu

Vu σ t

y

Vu Vu

Yield Zone

Y

Z φ

Vu

Basler by Rockey et al (Cardiff Model)

Figure 2. Buckling Modes of Corrugated Web by Lou and Edlund [8]

Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS

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 non-linear 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

83.5 45

d = 550 123.2°

45

22.5

Flange Yield Stress

Web Thickness Flange

Model Name Width

(mm) Thickness

(mm) Flange Web

S550t0.8-Fe 0.8 9.0

*S550-Fe 1.0 9.0

S550t1.2-Fe 1.2 9.0

S550t2.0-Fe 2.0 9.0

S550T3-Fe 1.0 3.0

125 302 405

S550T6-Fe 1.0 6.0

S550-Fe 1.0 9.0

S550T12-Fe 1.0 12.0

S550t2.0-Fe 2.0 9.0

S550t2.0T20-Fe 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 elastic-perfectly

plastic and non-linear 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 setting-up as shown in Figure 3.

M. H. Abu Hassan et. al.

Global Axis

Y

X

Since initial imperfection was not measured, a half-sine 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 arc-length control using

Crisfiled arc-length procedure used in advanced non-linear 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 snap-back situation was

encountered. According to Lou and Edlund [11], the snap-back phenomena generally occurred

on numbers subject to shear loading. Lou and Edlund also used Crisfield arc-length procedure

in ABAQUS, commercial finite element software, where it was able to efficiently handle

snap-through situations. Notably in the presence of strain-softening, the arc-length 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 X-direction as shown in Figure 3.

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

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. Non-linear finite element study done by Lou and Edlund

[11] also indicated this snap back situation as shown in Figure 5.

140 120

120

100

100 2 2.5

Shear, V (kN)

80

60

40

S550-Fe S550-1 (Exp)

20 S550-2 (Exp) S550-3 (Exp)

0

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

Deflection (mm)

against Experimental Results

VU (exp)

Experiment Vu (exp) Vu (FE)

VU (FE)

S550-1 130.00 0.94

S550-2 119.10 122.29 1.03

S550-3 124.50 0.98

M. H. Abu Hassan et. al.

R. Lou and Edlund [11] under Shear with Different Corrugation Depths

Figure 6 show plots of load deflection respond obtained using the non-linear 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

(kN)

260 t = 0.8 mm

240

t = 1.0 mm

220

200 t = 1.2 mm

180 t = 2.0 mm

160

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Deflection (mm)

Figure 6. Load Deflection Curves for Different Web Thickness

Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS

Comparison of

Ultimate Post- Ultimate Shear

Web Shear Buckling Vb Capacity with

Model Thickness Capacity, Capacity, Vu t =1.0 mm

(mm) Vu Vb Vu

(kN) (kN) V u (t = 1.0 mm)

S550-Fe 1.0 122.29 58.90 0.48 -

S550t1.2-Fe 1.2 148.13 68.88 0.46 1.21

S550t2.0-Fe 2.0 252.24 140.36 0.56 2.06

Figure 7. Buckling Modes Obtained at the End of the Analysis for Model with

Different Web 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 post-buckling shear capacity. Figure 8. (a) shows the flange was buckled into the web such

as concentrated patch loading. Table 4. show the reduction of post-buckling shear capacity up

to 86% of ultimate shear capacity for model S550T3-Fe (where the flanges thickness is 3.0

mm).

Figure 8: Buckling Modes Obtained at the End of the Analysis for Model with

Different Flange Thickness

Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS

Shear, V

(kN)

140

120

100

80

T = 3 mm T = 6 mm

60 T = 9 mm T = 12 mm

40

20

0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Deflection (mm)

Web Thickness 1.0 mm

Shear, V

(kN)

260

240

220

200

180

160

140

120

100

80

60 T = 20 mm

40

T = 9 mm

20

0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Deflection (mm)

Figure 10: Load Deflection Curves for Different Flange Thickness, T with

Web Thickness 2.0 mm

M. H. Abu Hassan et. al.

Comparison

Comparison

of Ultimate

of Ultimate

Ultimate Post- Shear

Web Shear

Shear Buckling Capacity

Model Thickne Vb Capacity

Capacity, Capacity, for

Name ss Vu for

Vu Vb t =1.0 mm

(mm) t =2.0 mm

(kN) (kN) Vu

Vu

Vu (T = 3.0 mm)

Vu (T = 9.0 mm)

S550T6-Fe 1.0 123.07 74.97 0.61 1.04 -

S550-Fe 1.0 122.29 61.00 0.50 1.04 -

S550T12-Fe 1.0 122.79 54.25 0.44 1.04 -

S550t2.0-Fe 2.0 252.24 140.36 0.56 - -

S550t2.0T20-Fe 2.0 256.04 - - - 1.02

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 sub-panels. 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.

Effect of Web and Flange Thickness of Profiled Web Girder using LUSAS

c. Specimen S550-3 after testing

terminated

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 sub-panel (local buckling) and

propagated to another flat part of web sub-panel 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.

M. H. Abu Hassan et. al.

• 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 post-buckling

shear capacity. The buckling could reduce the post-buckling 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 post-buckling 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 7th 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 5th Asia-Pacific 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,

Vol. 87 No. 7, pp 151 – 180, 1961.

[8]. Rockey, K. C., Evan, H. R., and Porter, D. M., “A design method for predicting the

collapse behaviour of plate girders”, Proc. Inst. Civil Engrs., Part 2, pp.85 – 112, 1978

[9]. Rockey, K. C., Valtinat, G., and Tang, K. H., “The design of transverse stiffeners on

webs loaded in shear – an ultimate load approach”, Proc. Inst. Civil Engrs., Part 2,

pp.1069 – 1099, 1981

[10]. 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”, Thin-Walled Structures; Vol. 26, No. 1, 1996, pp 19 – 44.

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