Non-linear generalised beam theory formulation for open-section thin-walled members with arbitrary support conditions
This paper presents the development and illustrates the application of a beam finite element based on Generalised Beam Theory (GBT) and intended to analyse the post-buckling behaviour of thin-walled steel members exhibiting arbitrary open cross-section and with non-standard support conditions (e.g., in-span bracing systems). After briefly reviewing the main concepts and procedures required to obtain the GBT system of non-linear equilibrium equations, the paper describes the steps involved in the numerical implementation (incremental-iterative strategy) of a nonlinear beam finite element that incorporates the influence of the non-standard support conditions. Finally, the application and capabilities of the proposed GBT-based beam finite element are illustrated by means of the presentation and discussion of numerical results concerning the post-buckling behaviour of lipped channel and lipped I-section columns with and without localised displacement restraints. For validation purposes, most GBT-based results are compared with values yielded by shell finite element analyses carried out in the code ANSYS. © Civil-Comp Press, 2009.