Aluminum alloy tubular columns-Part I: Finite element modeling and test verification

J.-H. Zhu, Ben Young

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


A numerical investigation on fixed-ended aluminum alloy tubular columns of square and rectangular hollow sections is described in this paper. The fixed-ended column tests were conducted that included columns with both ends transversely welded to aluminum end plates using the tungsten inert gas welding method, and columns without welding of end plates. The specimens were extruded from aluminum alloy of 6061-T6 and 6063-T5. The failure modes included local buckling, flexural buckling, interaction of local and flexural buckling, as well as failure in the heat-affected zone (HAZ). An accurate finite element model (FEM) was developed. The initial local and overall geometric imperfections were incorporated in the model. The non-welded and welded material nonlinearities were considered in the analysis. The welded columns were modeled having different HAZ extension at the ends of the column of 25 and 30 mm. The nonlinear FEM was verified against experimental results. It is shown that the calibrated model provides accurate predictions of the experimental loads and failure modes of the tested columns. The load-shortening curves predicted by the finite element analysis are also compared with the test results. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aluminum alloys
  • Buckling
  • Column
  • Experimental investigation
  • Finite element analysis
  • Heat-affected zone
  • Transverse welds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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