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Interaction buckling of stainless steel structural members


The focus of this project is on thin-walled prismatic stainless steel structural members failing by interaction of local and overall buckling.


Professor Kim Rasmussen.

Research location

Civil Engineering

Program type



Stainless steel is increasingly being sought out for structural applications. Engineers and architects are particularly drawn to the competitive life-cycle cost, potentially high strength, high corrosion resistance and aesthetically pleasing finishes of the material. Evidence of growing industry demands are seen daily in applications like plane and three-dimensional trusses, mullions in facade structures, canopies, roof sheeting, silos, portal framed overhead wiring structures (for railway services), and general construction in chemical, marine and other corrosive environments.It is well-known that the interaction of buckling modes leads to pronounced imperfection sensitivity and unstable post-buckling response. For stainless steel structural members, this interaction is influenced by gradual yielding which leads to a loss of stiffness and buckling capacity under increasing stress. The project investigates the interaction of local and overall flexural buckling of lipped channel columns, as well as local and overall flexural-torsional buckling of stainless steel beams. The column tests have recently been completed featuring pin-ended tests on austenitic 304 and ferritic 430 stainless steel as well as 3Cr12 chromium weldable steel.

Recently developed advanced finite element analysis models are currently being checked against the experimental observations and will be used to produce additional strength data for thin-walled stainless steel columns.

The project is supported by the University of Sydney Research & Development scheme and the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 409

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