Flexural Buckling Strength of Tapered-I-Section Steel Columns Based on ANSI/AISC-360-16

Rui Bai, Si Wei Liu, Siu Lai Chan, Feng Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Steel tapered-I-columns are popular in modern buildings due to its material efficiency and the convenience in construction. For evaluating the flexural buckling strength of these columns, the current design methods with empirical and idealized assumptions are sometimes unreliable, especially for slender columns with significant tapering ratios. To accurately calculate the flexural buckling resistance, this paper proposes a numerical framework for tapered-I-sections. The direct analysis method (DM) with the non-prismatic high-order beam-column elements considering the factors, including the second-order effects, the geometric imperfections, and the residual stresses is developed. A new shape-function representing the most critical initial out-of-straightness curve of a tapered member is adopted. An advanced non-prismatic beam-column element incorporating this imperfection shape-function named the curved tapered-three-hinges (TTH) element is derived. With the availability of the internal degree-of-freedoms, the one-element-per-member (OEPM) modeling method is permitted. Sequentially, a series of parametric studies using the proposed numerical method are conducted for generating the buckling curves for the non-prismatic columns with various tapered-stiffness ratios. The sophisticated finite-element method is adopted to verify the proposed numerical framework. Based on the proposed numerical approach, the design method in ANSI/AISC-360-16 is modified for tapered-I-section columns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1950134
JournalInternational Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • buckling curves
  • direct analysis method
  • flexural buckling
  • Initial imperfections
  • steel
  • tapered beam-column element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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