Material and local buckling response of ferritic stainless steel sections

M. Bock, L. Gardner, E. Real

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An investigation into the material response and local buckling behaviour of ferritic stainless steel structural cross-sections is presented in this paper. Particular attention is given to the strain hardening characteristics and ductility since these differ most markedly from the more common austenitic and duplex stainless steel grades. Based on collated stress-strain data on ferritic stainless steel, key aspects of the material model given in Annex C of EN 1993-1-4 [1] were evaluated and found to require adjustment. Proposed modifications are presented herein.

The local buckling behaviour of ferritic stainless steel sections in compression and bending was examined numerically, using the finite element (FE) package ABAQUS. The studied section types were cold-formed square hollow sections (SHS), rectangular hollow sections (RHS) and channels, as well as welded I-sections. The models were first validated against experimental data collected from the literature, after which parametric studies were performed to generate data over a wide range of section geometries and slendernesses. The obtained numerical results, together with existing experimental data from the literature were used to assess the applicability of the slenderness limits and effective width formulae set out in EN 1993-1-4 [1] to ferritic stainless steel sections.

The comparisons of the generated FE results for ferritic stainless steel with the design provisions of EN 1993-1-4 [1], highlighted, in line with other stainless steel grades, the inherent conservatism associated with the use of the 0.2% proof stress as the limiting design stress. To overcome this, the continuous strength method (CSM) was developed as an alternative design approach to exploit the deformation capacity and strain hardening potential of stocky cross-sections. An extension of the method to ferritic stainless steels, including the specification of a revised strain hardening slope for the CSM material model, is proposed herein. Comparisons with test and FE data showed that the CSM predictions are more accurate and consistent than existing provisions thus leading to significant material savings and hence more efficient structural design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


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