On the lateral-torsional elastic post-buckling and strength of channel steel beams

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This paper aims at shedding new light on the elastic post-buckling behavior and strength (elastoplastic collapse) of steel channel section beams undergoing lateral-torsional (LT) buckling. This new insight is acquired using a two-node geometrically exact beam finite element developed by the author, which can handle large displacements, including torsion-related warping, Wagner effects, plasticity, residual stresses and arbitrary initial configurations (namely geometrical imperfections). Several cross-sections and loading/support conditions are analyzed. The results obtained show that the LT buckling behavior of channels is asymmetric, meaning that the direction of the geometric imperfection can influence significantly the strength of the beams. Moreover, it is demonstrated that the loading and support conditions play a major role, leading to a significant scatter of results which hinder the definition of a single buckling curve for design purposes. Nevertheless, in all cases considered, the buckling strengths obtained fall significantly above those predicted by the current version of Eurocode 3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2050135
JournalInternational Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Channels
  • Eurocode 3
  • Geometrically exact beam theory
  • Lateral-torsional buckling
  • Post-buckling


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