Structural design of elliptical hollow sections: A review

Tak Ming Chan, L. Gardner, K. H. Law

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Tubular construction is synonymous with modern architecture. The familiar range of tubular sections - square, rectangular and circular hollow sections - hasbeen recently extended to include elliptical hollow sections (EHSs). Due to differing flexural rigidities about the two principal axes, these new sections combine the elegance of circular hollow sections with the improved structural efficiency in bending of rectangular hollow sections. Following the introduction of structural steel EHSs, a number of investigations into their structural response have been carried out. This paper presents a state-of-the-art review of recent research on EHSs together with a sample of practical applications. The paper addresses fundamental research on elastic local buckling and post-buckling, cross-section classification, response in shear, member instabilities, connections and the behaviour of concrete-filled EHSs. Details of fullscale testing and numerical modelling studies are described, and the generation of statistically validated structural design rules, suitable for incorporation into international design codes, is outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Structures and Buildings
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Codes of practice & standards
  • Reviews
  • Steel structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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