Numerical analysis of steel columns subject to eccentric loadings
Buckling of framed and plated structures has been a great concern that researchers try to handle over the past decades. In most developing nations such as ours, fewer or no experimental trials are available to obtain requisite information for the proper understanding of this phenomenon. It is on this premise that an attempt is made to conduct a preliminary study to numerically evaluate the buckling of steel columns under eccentric loadings. To achieve this, a static, linear perturbation analysis was initially performed on a pin-ended steel column using the subspace Eigen solver for the different buckled mode shapes to illustrate the likely behaviour of the column when subjected to compressive actions. Then, the static, general analysis was conducted with the column subjected to varying magnitudes of eccentric loadings. It was required to determine the load level at which the column would fail when subjected to these eccentric loadings. Consequently, a base load value equivalent to 10 % of Euler's critical buckling load was used. This load value was thereafter increased by 20 % in sequence. It was discovered that 10 % of the Euler's critical buckling load can alter the stiffness of the column when loaded eccentrically. It was further observed that the steel column finally failed at a load greater than 20 % of the Euler's critical buckling load and 40.1% of Rankine's critical buckling load. This is because the permissible deflection for unbraced columns may be taken as the quotient of effective length of column to 250, which translates to 13.8 mm. Therefore, the maximum deflection of 14.72 mm reached by applying an eccentric load of 514 kN exceeds the allowable limit of 13.8 mm.
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