Document Type

Steel and timber structures paper

Publication details

Gunalan, S & Mahendran, M 2014, 'Distortional buckling behaviour of fire exposed cold-formed steel columns', in ST Smith (ed.), 23rd Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM23), vol. I, Byron Bay, NSW, 9-12 December, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 565-570. ISBN: 9780994152008.

Peer Reviewed



Cold-formed steel sections are commonly used in low-rise commercial and residential buildings. During fire events, cold-formed steel structural elements in these buildings can be exposed to elevated temperatures. Hence after such events there is a need to evaluate their residual strengths. However, only limited information is available in relation to the residual strength of fire exposed cold-formed steel sections. This research is aimed at investigating the distortional buckling capacities of fire exposed cold-formed lipped channel sections. A series of compression tests of fire exposed, short lipped channel columns made of varying steel grades and thicknesses was undertaken in this research. Test columns were first exposed to different elevated temperatures up to 800 oC, and then tested to failure after cooling down. Suitable finite element models were developed with post-fire mechanical properties to simulate the behaviour of tested columns and were validated using test results. The residual compression capacities of short columns were also predicted using the current cold-formed steel standards and compared with test and finite element analysis results. This comparison showed that ambient temperature design rules for columns can be used to predict the residual compression capacities of fire exposed short or laterally restrained cold-formed steel columns provided the maximum temperature experienced by the column can be estimated after a fire event. Such residual capacity assessments will allow engineers to evaluate the safety of fire exposed buildings. This paper presents the details of this experimental study, finite element analyses and the results.