Development of optimum cold-formed steel beams for serviceability and ultimate limit states using Big Bang-Big Crunch optimisation

Mojtabaei, Seyed Mohammad and Ye, Jun and Hajirasouliha, Iman (2019) Development of optimum cold-formed steel beams for serviceability and ultimate limit states using Big Bang-Big Crunch optimisation. Engineering Structures, 195. pp. 172-181. ISSN 0141-0296 (

[thumbnail of Mojtabaei-etal-ES-2019-Development-of-optimum-cold-formed-steel]
Text. Filename: Mojtabaei_etal_ES_2019_Development_of_optimum_cold_formed_steel.pdf
Accepted Author Manuscript
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 logo

Download (1MB)| Preview


Cold-formed steel (CFS) elements are increasingly used as main structural members in modern construction practice. While flexibility of CFS cross-sectional shape allows achieving higher load carrying capacities by using more efficient shapes, obtaining optimum design solutions can be a challenging task due to end-use constraints and complex behaviour of CFS elements controlled by local, global and distortional buckling modes. This study aims to develop a practical methodology for optimum design of CFS beam sections with maximum flexural strength and minimum deflection under ultimate and serviceability load conditions, respectively, in accordance with Eurocode 3 by taking into account manufacturing and end-use design constrains. Population-based Big Bang–Big Crunch Optimisation method is employed to obtain optimum design solutions for twelve different CFS cross-sectional prototypes. To verify the flexural strength and stiffness of the optimum beam sections, detailed nonlinear finite element (FE) models are developed using ABAQUS by considering both material nonlinearity and initial geometrical imperfections. It is shown that the optimised sections based on serviceability limit state (SLS) and ultimate limit state (ULS) can provide, respectively, up to 44% higher effective stiffness and 58% higher bending moment capacity compared to a standard lipped channel beam section with the same plate width and thickness. Using plain channel and folded-flange sections generally leads to the best design solutions for SLS and ULS conditions, respectively. Finally, the results of detailed FE models are used to evaluate the adequacy of EC3 proposed procedures to estimate CFS beam capacity and deflection at ULS and SLS, respectively.