Design of cold-formed steel unequal angle compression members

Ben Young, E. Ellobody

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Cold-formed steel unequal angles are non-symmetric sections. The design procedure of non-symmetric sections subjected to axial compression load could be quite difficult. The unequal angle columns may fail by different buckling modes, such as local, flexural and flexural-torsional buckling as well as interaction of these buckling modes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the behaviour and design of cold-formed steel unequal angle columns. A nonlinear finite element analysis was conducted to investigate the strength and behaviour of unequal angle columns. The measured initial local and overall geometric imperfections as well as the material properties of the angle specimens were included in the finite element model. The finite element analysis was performed on fixed-ended columns for different lengths ranged from stub to long columns. It is demonstrated that the finite element model closely predicted the experimental ultimate loads and the behaviour of cold-formed steel unequal angle columns. Hence, the model was used for an extensive parametric study of cross-section geometries. The column strengths obtained from the parametric study were compared with the design strengths calculated using the North American Specification for cold-formed steel structural members. It is shown that the current design rules are generally unconservative for short and intermediate column lengths for the unequal angles. Therefore, design rules of cold-formed steel unequal angle columns are proposed. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-338
Number of pages9
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Buckling
  • Cold-formed steel
  • Column
  • Finite element
  • Modelling
  • Steel structures
  • Structural design
  • Thin-walled structures
  • Unequal angle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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