Direct analysis of tapered-I-section columns by one-element-per-member models with the appropriate geometric-imperfections

Rui Bai, Si Wei Liu, Yao Peng Liu, Siu Lai Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In the structural stability design using direct analysis method (DM), the member initial geometric imperfections should be explicitly simulated. In current design practices, the imperfection shape is usually assumed as a half-sinusoidal curve. For the design of tapered columns, however, the use of this initial configuration may overestimate the buckling strength. Therefore, a generalized imperfection shape function is proposed for the practical design of tapered I-section columns. A new beam-column element by incorporating this imperfection shape-function, named the Tapered-Compound-Curved (TCC) element, is developed for tapered symmetric-I sections. The analytical expressions of the flexural stiffness are adopted in the element derivation. The one-element-per-member modeling method with the TTC element is proposed for practical applications. Examples verifying the proposed equations are provided, and the influences of different imperfection shapes are assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-921
Number of pages15
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Direct analysis method
  • Geometric imperfection
  • Geometrically nonlinear
  • Steel
  • Tapered column

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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