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Web Crippling Behaviour of Cold-formed Stainless Steel Beams (Advert Reference: SF18/MCE/POOLOGANATHAN)

   Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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  Assoc Prof Keerthan Poologanathan, Dr T Vo, Dr Brabha Nagaratnam  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Stainless steel has significant appealing structural characteristics such as good corrosion resistance, higher strength to weight ratio, low maintenance cost, high ductility, impact resistance, greater durability, fire resistance, recyclability in addition to its aesthetically pleasing good finish. Hence, in the recent past, an increase in the use of stainless steel in the construction industry has been witnessed, more specifically in exposed architectural applications and where total life economics, durability, improved resistance to aggressive environment etc. are prime deciding criteria. Using a whole-life costing method, it has been shown that stainless steel offers a very attractive option in relation to comparable carbon steel sections.

Cold-formed stainless steel beams are often subjected to concentrated, localised loads or reactions. These concentrated forces acting on flexural members cause localised bearing failures. This bearing failure, commonly known as web crippling, is one of the critical failure modes of cold-formed stainless steel members. However, limited research has been undertaken on the web crippling behaviour and strength of stainless steel beams. Hence, a detailed experimental and finite element analyses will be undertaken to investigate the web crippling behaviour and strength of stainless steel beams.

Finite element models of stainless steel beams in web crippling actions will be also developed to investigate the ultimate strength behaviour of stainless steel beams including their elastic and post-buckling characteristics. They will be validated by comparing their web crippling test results. A detailed parametric study based on validated experimental finite element model will be undertaken to develop an extensive web crippling strength data base and will be then used to propose the new design rules for web crippling capacities of cold-formed stainless steel beams. Appropriate web crippling design rules within the framework of European and International Standards and direct strength method (DSM) will be developed based tests and FEA results.

Overall objective of this research is to investigate the web crippling behaviour of cold-formed stainless steel beams and their capacities, and to provide safe and efficient design guidelines for their applications in order to maximise their structural efficiency, and increase their range of applications in the construction industry.

Please note eligibility requirement:

• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF18/…) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2019 or 1 June 2019 or 1 October 2019

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project.


American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) (2008), “Standard Test Method for Determining the Web Crippling Strength of Cold-Formed Steel Beams”, AISI S909, Washington DC, U.S.A.

Duarte, A. P. C. and Silvestre, N. (2013), “A New Slenderness-based Approach for the Web Crippling Design of Plain Channel Steel Beams”, International Journal of Steel Structures, 13(3): 421-434.

EN 1993-1-3. (2006), “Eurocode 3: Design of Steel Structures - Part 1-3: General Rules - Supplementary Rules for Cold-formed Members and Sheeting”, European Committee for Standardization, Brussels.

Hancock, G. J. and Pham, C. H. (2015), “Buckling Analysis of Thin-Walled Sections under Localised Loading using the Semi-Analytical Finite Strip Method”, Thin-Walled Structures, 86: 35-46.

Keerthan, P., Mahendran, M. and Steau, E. (2014a), “Experimental Study of Web Crippling Behaviour of Hollow Flange Channel Beams under Two Flange Load Cases” Thin-Walled Structures, 85: 207-219.

Macdonald, M., Heiyantuduwa, M. A. and Rhodes, J. (2008), "Recent Developments in the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members and Structures", Thin-Walled Structures, 46: 1047-1053.

Natário, P., Silvestre, N. and Camotim, D. (2016), “Direct Strength Prediction of Web Crippling Failure of Beams under ETF Loading”, Thin-Walled Structures, 98: 360-374.
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