Local-Distortional Interaction in Cold-formed Steel Columns: Mechanics, Testing, Numerical Simulation and Design

A.D. Martins, D. Camotim, P.B. Dinis, Ben Young

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier B.V..This paper provides an overview of the latest developments of the research activity carried out by the authors concerning the non-linear behaviour, ultimate strength and Direct Strength Method (DSM) design of cold-formed steel (plain and stiffened) columns experiencing local-distortional (L-D) interaction. Initially, numerical results obtained by means of Generalized Beam Theory (GBT) elastic post-buckling analyses are presented and their unique modal nature is used to illustrate and provide the main behavioural/mechanics features of this mode coupling phenomenon. Then, both experimental and numerical (obtained from Abaqus shell finite element analyses - SFEA) are presented and discussed, making it possible to provide clear evidence and characterize the column L-D interactive behaviour and failure. Besides reporting on two experimental test series performed by the authors, the paper also presents a critical review of other experimental results available in the literature concerning columns undergoing L-D interaction. The numerical results deal with columns exhibiting different cross-section shapes and fairly extensive parametric studies are carried out, in order to (i) assess the relevance of L-D interaction, as far as the ultimate strength erosion is concerned, and (ii) gather substantial ultimate strength data. Next, after showing the inadequacy of the currently codified DSM column design curves to predict L-D interactive failures, the paper presents and assesses the merits of DSM-based design approaches recently developed specifically to handle such failures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-57
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cold-formed steel columns
  • Direct Strength Method (DSM) design
  • Experimental studies
  • Generalized Beam Theory (GBT)
  • Local-distortional interaction
  • Shell finite element simulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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