Development of more efficient cold-formed steel channel sections in bending

Ye, Jun and Hajirasouliha, Iman and Becque, Jurgen and Pilakoutas, Kypros (2016) Development of more efficient cold-formed steel channel sections in bending. Thin-Walled Structures, 101. pp. 1-13. ISSN 0263-8231 (

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Cold-formed steel (CFS) cross-sections can be optimised to increase their load carrying capacity, leading to more efficient and economical structural systems. This paper aims to provide a methodology that would enable the development of optimised CFS beam sections with maximum flexural strength for practical applications. The optimised sections are designed to comply with the Eurocode 3 (EC3) geometrical requirements as well as with a number of manufacturing and practical constraints. The flexural strengths of the sections are determined based on the effective width method adopted in EC3, while the optimisation process is performed using the Particle Swarm Optimisation (PSO) method. To allow for the development of a new 'folded-flange' cross-section, the effective width method in EC3 is extended to deal with the possible occurrence of multiple distortional buckling modes. In total, ten different CFS channel cross-section prototypes are considered in the optimisation process. The flexural strengths of the optimised sections are verified using detailed nonlinear finite element (FE) analysis. The results indicate that the optimised folded-flange section provides a bending capacity which is up to 57% higher than standard optimised shapes with the same amount of material.