Stresses in constant tapered beams with thin-walled rectangular and circular cross sections

P. Bertolini*, M. A. Eder, L. Taglialegne, P. S. Valvo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Tapered beams are widely employed in efficient flexure dominated structures. In this paper, analytical expressions are derived for the six Cauchy stress components in untwisted, straight, thin-walled beams with rectangular and circular cross sections characterised by constant taper and subjected to three cross-section forces. These expressions pertain to homogeneous, isotropic, linear elastic materials and small strains. In fact, taper not only alters stress magnitudes and distributions but also evokes stress components, which are zero in prismatic beams. A parametric study shows that increasing taper decreases the von Mises stress based fatigue life, suggesting that step-wise prismatic approximations entail non-conservative designs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Pages (from-to)527-540
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Analytical solution
  • Box girder
  • Conical beam
  • Tapered beams
  • Thin-walled hollow sections

Cite this