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Title: Stability analysis of P.F.R.P. box-sections
Authors: Javed, Muhammad Afzal
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: lass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) structural profiles, in standard shapes and sizes are now being commercially manufactured by the process of pultrusion. GRP profiles are light weight, posses higher specific strengths and are more durable than the conventional metal or concrete counterparts. GRP pultruded profiles have open or closed cross-sections comprising thin composite walls of low elastic moduli. Stability failure has been identified as the main cause of failure for these profiles when subjected to compressive stresses, as it may occurs at stresses much lower than the ultimate strengths. Therefore, the load carrying capacities of composite compression members mainly depends upon stability criteria. The conventional stability analyses for the prediction of buckling loads are not considered adequate as the GRP material is orthotropic and its behaviour is different from steel (non-yielding). The existing guidance for the design of composite members under compression ignores the presence of geometrical imperfections inherited in the pultruded profiles, whilst, experimental evidence suggests considerable loss of stiffness due to the imperfections particularly in the intermediate column heights. The design guidance provided by the manufacturers gives empirical equations based on data obtained from experiments on specified profiles. A universal design curve based on the experimental results of concentrically loaded GRP columns has been developed and presented. However, conducting a vast experimental study is not always feasible. The need to develop a procedure, predicting failure load numerically for the development of a design curve for GRP columns has been recognised. Two GRP box-sections (closed square cross-sections) have been investigated for failure/buckling loads using experimental and numerical methods. In the experimental phase, specimen columns of various heights have been concentrically loaded in compression to measure the failure loads. Experimental results have been compared with the theoretical predictions made using classical methods and the equations given by the design manuals. Based on the experimental and analytical failure loads, an experimental design curve has been derived. In the numerical study, 3-dimensional full scale finite element models representing experimental configuration of the composite columns, have been analysed using both linear and nonlinear solutions. Imperfections of known amplitudes have been included parametrically to establish the sensitivity of the failure loads towards imperfections. Imperfect model have been calibrated for the estimation of imperfection amplitude present in the profiles using experimental data. Using the numerical and analytical data, a design curve has been derived establishing interaction coefficients for each profile. The numerical design curve is compared with the experimental design curve for the validation of the numerical procedure adopted in this study. Effects of perforations (circular holes) on the buckling stiffness of GRP box-section columns have also been investigated. Holes are drilled in the walls of profiles and tested experimentally to measure the loss in the buckling loads. Finite element models of columns with holes have been developed and analysed for buckling loads. Comparisons of experimental and numerical results are plotted. For use in the numerical representation of the composite columns, mechanical properties of the orthotropic GRP material of the both sections have been established analytically and experimentally. In-plane shear properties have been measured by physically testing standard sized coupons, extracted along the length of profiles. However, short coupons were available in the transverse directions due to dimensional constraints. Short coupons, similar in geometry to the standard coupon, but smaller in size, have been validated for performance using finite element analyses and comparing the outcomes with the models of standard coupons. Both standard and short coupons have been used for the experimental measurement of the in-plane shear properties. Compression properties have also been measured experimentally. Ultimate failure/buckling loads of the composite columns depend upon their heights, material properties, and the cross-sectional dimensions. These factors have been combined into one characteristic parameter 'λ', the slenderness ratio. As the later two factors are constant for a particular box-section profile, the ultimate loads depend upon column heights. Four types of failure modes; global, local, modal interaction and material failure have been observed. The loss in the buckling stiffness is minimal for smaller circular holes, provided the interval between holes is not less than 20 times the diameter of the holes. For bigger holes and an inter hole spacing of 10time the diameter, a loss of 30% have been measured. Finite element representation of pultruded columns adequately predicted the numerical failure loads and failure modes for most of the column heights.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

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