Interactive Buckling and Post-Buckling Studies of Thin-Walled Structural Members with Generalized Beam Theory
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Most thin-walled metallic structural members experience some extent of interactive buckling that corrodes the load carrying capacity. Current design methods predict the strength of thin-walled metallic structural members based on individual buckling limit-states and limited case of interactive buckling limit state. In order to develop design methods for most coupled buckling limit states, the interaction of buckling modes needs to be studied. This dissertation first introduces a generally applicable methodology for Generalized Beam Theory (GBT) elastic buckling analysis on members with holes, where the buckling modes of gross cross-section interact with those of net cross-section. The approach treats member with holes as a structural system consisting of prismatic sub-members. These sub-members are connected by enforcing nodal compatibility conditions for the GBT discretization points at the interfaces. To represent the shear lag effect and nonlinear normal stress distribution in the vicinity of a hole, GBT shear modes with nonlinear warping are included. Modifications are made to the GBT geometric stiffness because of the influence from shear lag effect caused by holes. In the following sections, the GBT formulation for a prismatic bar is reviewed and the GBT formulation for members with holes is introduced. Special aspects of analyzing members with holes are defined, namely the compatibility conditions to connect sub-members and the geometric stiffness for members with holes. Validation and three examples are provided. The second topic of this dissertation involves a buckling mode decomposition method of normalized displacement field, bending stresses and strain energy for thin-walled member displacement field (point clouds or finite element results) based on generalized beam theory (GBT). The method provides quantitative modal participation information regarding eigen-buckling displacement fields, stress components and elastic strain energy, that can be used to inform future design approaches. In the method, GBT modal amplitudes are retrieved at discrete cross-sections, and the modal amplitude field is reconstructed assuming it can be piece-wisely approximated by polynomials. The unit displacement field, stress components and strain energy are all retrieved by using reconstructed GBT modal amplitude field and GBT constitutive laws. Theory and examples are provided, and potential applications are discussed including cold-formed steel member design and post-disaster evaluation of thin-walled structural members. In the third part, post-buckling modal decomposition is made possible by development of a geometrically nonlinear GBT software. This tool can be used to assist understanding couple-buckling limit-states. Lastly, the load-deformation response considering any one GBT mode is derived analytically for fast computation and interpretation of structural post-buckling behavior.
- Doctoral Dissertations 
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