Elastic and inelastic analysis of panel collapse by stiffener buckling

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Virginia Tech

A method is developed for analyzing the flexural-torsional and lateral-torsional buckling ("tripping") behavior of flanged stiffeners subjected to axial force, end moment, lateral pressure and any combination of these. The effects of cross-sectional distortion, postbuckling behavior of the plate (incorporated by considering the plate effective width), initial imperfections and plasticity are included.

The method uses the Rayleigh-Ritz approach. Based on an assumed strain distribution, a displacement field is obtained for the tripping model, and the total potential energy functional is then derived. The strain distribution assumptions coincide with van der Neut's assumption. However, unlike the somewhat obscure differential equation approach given by van der Neut, this study provides a simple, clear, energy approach. Also the resulting method is applicable in the inelastic range, which is not possible with van der Neut's approach.

Both the rigid web case and the flexible web case are studied. The effect of plate rotational restraint in the elastic range is accounted for. The method requires only four degrees of freedom and therefore the solution process is rapid. In order to verify the method in the elastic range, a number of sample stiffened panels are analyzed using the ABAQUS foote element program; the results are in quite good agreement. An inelastic tripping model is then developed based on the established elastic model, using deformation theory. Results obtained using the inelastic tripping method are shown to be in good agreement with experimental results, and to be more accurate than other methods.