This work presents and discusses numerical results of an ongoing investigation concerning the elastic post-buckling behaviour and imperfection sensitivity of regular convex polygonal cross-section (RCPS) tubular columns affected by local-distortional (L-D) interaction. This investigation is conducted by means of geometrically non-linear Generalized Beam Theory (GBT) analyses, extending the knowledge on the “pure” local and distortional post-buckling behaviours of RCPS tubes recently reported by Martins et al. . Due to their inherent modal nature, the GBT analyses make it possible to acquire in-depth knowledge on the structural behaviour of RCPS tubes and also to include, in a straightforward fashion, arbitrary member initial geometrical imperfections. Columns with distortional-to-local critical buckling load ratios (i) close to 1 (“true L-D interaction” – the most trivial L-D interaction type) and (ii) significantly above 1 (“secondary-distortional bifurcation L-D interaction” – the most relevant L-D interaction type) are investigated. Local/distortional critical-mode initial geometrical imperfections and (linear) combinations of both are considered in the former columns, while only local initial imperfections are dealt with in the latter ones – several amplitudes are dealt with to assess the imperfection sensitivity. For comparison and validation purposes, ABAQUS shell finite element analysis results are also reported.
- Elastic post-buckling behaviour
- Generalized Beam Theory (GBT)
- Imperfection sensitivity
- Local-distortional interaction
- Regular convex polygonal cross-section (RCPS) tubes
- Secondary/alternative equilibrium paths
- Thin-walled columns