**Have you ever heard about the ‘General Method’? This is an alternative design method to consider the interaction of axial compression with major-axis bending for general buckling situations, where the main interaction formulas are not applicable. **

This basically includes every member with monosymmetric or asymmetric cross-sections or with cross-sections not uniform along the length (welded tapered sections) or laterally stabilized by sheeting or anything else without providing full fork supports.

Did you know, that the General Method is fully supported by Consteel and provides an automated buckling verification possibility? Of course, for the use of the General Method in a general case the traditional 12DOF beam finite elements are not applicable. But the special 14DOF beam elements used by Consteel are perfectly compatible?

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In Consteel, the calculation of cross sectional interaction resistance for Class 3 and 4 sections is executed with the modified Formula 6.2 of EN 1993-1-1 with the consideration of warping and altering signs of component resistances. Let’s see how…

## Application of EN 1993-1-1 formula 6.2

For calculation of the resistance of a cross section subjected to combination of internal forces and bending moments, EN 1993-1-1 allows the usage -as a conservative approximation- a linear summation of the utilization ratios for each stress resultant, specified in formula 6.2.

$$\frac{N_{Ed}}{N_{Rd}}+\frac{M_{y,Ed}}{M_{y,Rd}}+\frac{M_{z,Ed}}{M_{z,Rd}}\leq 1$$

As Consteel uses the 7DOF finite element and so it is capable of calulcating bimoment, an extended form of the formula is used for interaction resistance calculation to consider the additional effect.

$$\frac{N_{Ed}}{N_{Rd}}+\frac{M_{y,Ed}}{M_{y,Rd}}+\frac{M_{z,Ed}}{M_{z,Rd}}+\frac{B_{Ed}}{B_{Rd}}\leq 1$$

Formula 6.2 ignores the fact that not every component results the highest stress at the same critical point of the cross-section.

In order to moderate this conservatism of the formula, Consteel applies a modified method for class 3 and 4 sections. Instead of calculating the maximal ratio for every force component using the minimal section moduli (W), Consteel finds the most critical point of the cross-section first (based on the sum of different normal stress components) and calculates the component ratios using the W values determined for this critical point. **Summation is done with considering the sign of the stresses caused by the components corresponding to the sign of the dominant stress in the critical point.**

(For class 1 and 2 sections, the complex plastic stress distribution cannot be determined by the software. The Formula 6.2 is used with the extension of bimoments to calculate interaction resistance, but no modification with altering signs is applied)

## Example

Let’s see an example for better explanation.

GATE**Introduction**

This verification example studies a simple fork supported beam member with welded section (flanges: 200-12; web: 400-8) subjected to bending about major axis. Constant bending moment due to concentrated end moments and triangular moment dsitribution from concentrated transverse force is examined. Critical moment and force of the member is calculated by hand and by the Consteel software using both 7 DOF beam finite element model and Superbeam function.

**Geometry**

Constant bending moment distribution

Triangular bending moment distribution – load on upper flange

Triangular bending moment distribution – load on bottom flange

**Calculation by hand**

Constant bending moment distribution

Triangular bending moment distribution

**Computation by Consteel**

Version nr: Consteel 15 build 1722

Constant bending moment distribution

**7 DOF beam element**

First buckling eigenvalue of the member which was computed by the Consteel software using the 7 DOF beam finite element model (n=16). The eigenshape shows lateral torsional buckling.

**Superbeam**

First buckling eigenvalue of the member which was computed by the Consteel software using the Superbeam function (δ=25).

Triangular bending moment distribution – load on upper flange

**7 DOF beam element**

First buckling eigenvalue of the member which was computed by the Consteel software using the 7 DOF beam finite element model (n=16).

**Superbeam**

First buckling eigenvalue of the member which was computed by the Consteel software using the Superbeam function (δ=25).

Triangular bending moment distribution – load on bottom flange

(more…)**Introduction**

This verification example studies a simple fork supported beam member with welded section equivalent to IPE360 (flanges: 170-12,7; web: 347-8) subjected to biaxial bending due to concentrated end moments and compression due to axial force. Second order deformations of the middle cross-section of the member are calculated by hand and by the ConSteel software using both 7DOF beam and shell finite elements and Superbeam function. In addition to the verification, the difference between modelling with 6DOF and 7DOF elements is demonstrated.

**Geometry**

**Calculation by hand**

The first order and the simple amplified (P-δ) deformations can be analitically calculated by the well known formulas. The calculation of the second order deformations considering true, three-dimensional behaviour of the beam is however so complicated that there are only approximate analitical formulas available for hand calculation. The formula below can be found in Chen, W. and Atsuta, T.: Theory of Beam-Columns, Vol. 2: Space behavior and design, McGRAW-HILL 1977, p. 192

**Computation by Consteel**

Version nr: Consteel 15 build 1722

**First order**

**Second order – 6DOF beam element**

The second order deformation of the member which was computed by the ConSteel software. It is visible that there is no torsion, only increments of the lateral displacements due to P-δ effect:

**Second order – 7DOF beam element**

The second order deformation of the member which was computed by the ConSteel software using the 7DOF beam finite element model (n=16). It is visible that there is torsion and further increment in the lateral displacement (Dy):

**Second order – Shell finite element**

The second order deformation of the member which was computed by the ConSteel software using the shell finite element model (δ=25mm):

**Second order – Superbeam**

The second order deformation of the member which was computed by the ConSteel software using the Superbeam model (δ=25mm):

## Introduction

As it is important to have a clear overview of the structural model, the visualization of the analysis results is also essential when it comes to effective design process. From Consteel 15 we use an advanced method for deformation representation which makes it smooth and realistic.

## Description

Civil engineering software in general use the traditional beam-type deformation representation where the section is shown on the deformation of the reference line. There are some consequences of this representation mode that can be disturbing for the users. The best example is an eccentric support, where the deformed shape is visualized as if the supported point would’ve moved. The reference line indeed moved but the supported point not – the representation can not show that.

With Consteel’s advanced deformation representation not only the position of the reference line points are calculated and the section is only shown automatically, but the positions of all the decorated points of the section are calculated during a post-process and so it is possible to represent the real deformations. As a consequence it is also visible that the supported points stay in position.

Civil engineering software in general use the traditional beam-type deformation representation where the section is shown on the deformation of the reference line. In Consteel 15 we use an advanced method for deformation representation which makes it smooth and realistic. The analysis results are the same, but with the improved visualisation the real 3D behavior of the structure can be better seen.

gate**Introduction of Consteel Superbeam**

In general, Consteel uses 7 DOF beam elements for finite element analysis of steel structures which are adequate for most everyday design situations. It is also capable of using shell elements in order to get more precise results in cases where beam finite elements are not sufficient enough. With the new Superbeam function it is now possible to examine structural parts with the accuracy of shell elements but with the ease of using a beam element concerning definition, modification, model handling, etc. In practice, it means that 7DOF beams can be switched to shell elements (and back) at any stage of the design process.

**Validation**

The validation program aims to verify the full mechanical behavior of the Superbeam switched to and analyzed as shell elements within a structural model composed of 7DOF beam elements. The validation of the analysis of the shell finite elements was done before and it is clear that in the case of correctly set boundary conditions the results are the same as the beam model provided that the local web buckling effect is avoided because it can not be modeled with beam-theory. Therefore the accuracy of the mechanical behavior of the Superbeam basically depends on two major factors:

**1. the automatic shell modeling and mesh of the Superbeam**- When transforming a beam model in the structural analysis to shell model, several automatic transformations are done with the model objects (loads, supports, connected elements etc.) in order to yield a consistent mechanical model.

**2. the mechanical consistency of the connections of Superbeam at the boundary to 7DOF nodes**- To satisfy the mechanical consistency at the connecting nodes the Superbeam uses automatically set constraint elements at both ends. They ensure the compatibility of the complete displacement field (translations, rotations, and warping) with the adjacent 7DOF beam finite element node or with the 7DOF point support.

The validation studies prove that the beam analysis model is mechanically equivalent to the shell analysis model within the Superbeam by comparing the results of the two models. It is shown that

- in the case of models where the local plate-like specific behavior is not relevant (thick plates in the cross-secions) the results are the same
- in the case of models where the local plate-like specific behavior is relevant (thin plates in the cross-secions) the results can be different only because of this plate-like behavior (local buckling, cross-section distortion) while the isolated beam-like behavior is the same

**Part 1**

In this first part of the validation, we examined simply supported beams of welded I-sections with several different profile geometries. The full length of the beams was changed to Superbeam shell and so the consistency of results of both the shell elements and the constraints could be analyzed.

### Structural models and analysis

In every case, the beam was first calculated with 7 DOF beam finite elements, after with Superbeam shell elements, and finally also as a full shell model with the same finite element sizes as the Superbeam shell. In full shell models, we applied rigid bodies along the edge of the web.

Linear buckling analysis was executed in order to compare the first buckling eigenvalues.

Our expectation was that the two kinds of shell models would produce very similar results which are by nature somewhat less favorable than the 7 DOF beam results, meaning that alfa critical values should be lower when using shell elements. To be able to compare the results related to global (lateral-torsional) buckling, the effect of local buckling of the web was to be avoided as much as possible so the examples were chosen accordingly.