In many practical applications, columns are often fixed to a practically rigid concrete structure at the column base. This additional restraint should increase the real load-carrying capacity if the section is susceptible to lateral-torsional buckling. However, this effect is rarely taken into account in design, as most current design rules do not provide sufficient guidance on how to account for this additional rigidity, and so the column base fixity is often ignored. The background to the verification formulae for lateral-torsional buckling (LTB) of I-section beam-columns in Eurocode EN 1993-1-1 consists of comprehensive parametric numerical studies for members with “end fork” conditions only, i.e. for members with free rotational and warping deformations at both ends. However, these specific boundary conditions are not clearly mentioned in the code. In the study presented in this paper, a comprehensive series of numerical FEM analyses for the realistic lateral-torsional buckling behaviour of beam-columns with one-sided rotation and warping restraints was carried out and compared with the results based on the LTB resistance of the Eurocode, calculated with increased idealized buckling loads (Ncr, Mcr) that account for the end restraints. The most important results of this study are presented in this paper and the ultimate capacity is compared for two different beam-column design methods in Eurocode 3: the interaction concept (EN 1993-1-1, 6.3.3) and the general method (EN 1993-1-1, 6.3.4). In addition, a simplified formula is given for the additional bi-moment at the end restraint, which is to be used for designing the welded joint. Finally, an improved LTB design curve (buckling reduction factor χLT) is presented, developed at the authors’ institution, which may be used for the cases studied.
Fields of Expertise
- Advanced Materials Science