European column buckling curves and finite element modelling including high strength steels

Jeppe Jönsson, Tudor-Cristian Stan

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Eurocode allows for finite element modelling of plated steel structures, however the information in the code on how to perform the analysis or what assumptions to make is quite sparse. The present paper investigates the deterministic modelling of flexural column buckling using plane shell elements in advanced non-linear finite element analysis (GMNIA) with the goal of being able to reestablish the European buckling curves. A short comprehensive historical review is given on the development of the European buckling curves and the related assumptions made with respect to deterministic modelling of column buckling. The European buckling curves allowing deterministic analytical engineering analysis of members are based on large experimental and parametric measurement programs as well as analytical, numerical and probabilistic investigations. It is of enormous practical value that modern numerical deterministic analysis can be performed based on given magnitudes of characteristic yield stress, material stress–strain relationship, and given characteristic values for imperfections and residual stresses. The magnitude of imperfections and residual stresses are discussed as well as how the use of equivalent imperfections may be very conservative if considered by finite element analysis as described in the current Eurocode code. A suggestion is given for a slightly modified imperfection formula within the Ayrton-Perry formulation leading to adequate inclusion of modern high grade steels within the original four bucking curves. It is also suggested that finite element or frame analysis may be performed with equivalent column bow imperfections extracted directly from the Ayrton-Perry formulation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Pages (from-to)136-151
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Buckling curves
  • Columns
  • Eurocode
  • FE modelling
  • High strength steel
  • Imperfections
  • Residual stress
  • Stability
  • Steel


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