Advanced Steel Construction

Vol. 1, No. 2, pp.29-54  (2005)


L. Gardner

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Structural oval hollow sections represent a recent and rare addition to the range of cross-sections availableto structural engineers and architects. Their emergence is also timely given the increasing application of hollow sections in construction and the current trend towards the use of bare steelwork to express structural form. However, despite widespread interest in their application on the basis of both architectural appeal and structural efficiency, a lack of verified design guidance is inhibiting uptake. This paper summarises previous analytical and experimental studies on oval hollow sections, and describes laboratory testing, numerical modelling and evaluation of preliminary design rules for the recently introduced structural elliptical hollow sections. Laboratory testing has been carried out in two primary structural configurations – compression and in-plane bending. In addition to the basic geometry (including initial geometric imperfections) and material properties, full load-deformation histories were recorded. Numerical models, using the finite element package ABAQUS, were created and validated against the test results, before a series of sensitivity and parametric studies were conducted. The models included features such as curved geometry, non-linear material properties and initial geometric imperfections. For stub column behaviour, ultimate load was generally well predicted by the numerical models, but prediction of deformation at ultimate load was less accurate. For bending behaviour, the full bending moment-deformation history was consistently well predicted. Comparison of the test and finite element results against preliminary design rules has demonstrated broadly acceptable agreement, but additional analysis on the basis of further testing and modelling is required.


Keywords:ABAQUS, elliptical, hollow sections, laboratory testing, numerical modelling, oval, steel structures.


Download PDF: