Advanced Steel Construction

Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 298-308 (2013)



Hongbo Liu 1, Zhihua Chen 1,2,* and Ting Zhou 1

1 Department of Civil Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

2 Tianjin Key Laboratory of Civil Engineering Structure & New Materials, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

*(Corresponding author: E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Received: 24 March 2012; Revised: 25 May 2012; Accepted: 31 May 2012




The temperature change of large-span steel arch structures normally appears when the structures are exposed to solar radiation, which may result in large displacement and stress. Therefore, there has been growing attention to both temperature distribution and structural response of the structures under the solar radiation. In order to investigate the response of large-span box-sectional steel arch structures formed by rectangular steel tubes, one rectangular steel tube specimen was designed and its temperature was measured under solar radiation. A numerical method was presented according to transient thermal analysis and then verified by experimental results. Both experimental and numerical results showed that the solar radiation had a significant effect on the temperature distribution of rectangular steel tubes. Considering the solar radiation, the temperature of rectangular steel tubes is about 18.1oC higher than the corresponding ambient air temperature in summer. Moreover, the temperature distribution under solar radiation is extremely nonlinear. In order to study the structural response induced by the temperature change due to the solar radiation, a steel arch structure model is designed and the structural response due to temperature change is also investigated on this model. The results showed that the solar radiation has a remarkable effect on the thermal load response of large-span steel structures. The effect of the solar radiation has to be considered in the design process of large-span steel arch structures.


Keywords:Effective box-sectional steel arch structures, Temperature change, Solar radiation, Rectangular steel tube, Numerical analysis, Structural response


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