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Buckling design of steel columns to Eurocode 3
Posted on in Education

For a compression member, especially if it is a slender steel element, the stability check is the most crucial design situation.

In this article, we will show you how to design a steel column with axial compression to Eurocode 1993-1-1.

Our column is a simply supported, 7 m high, square hollow section with a downward 999kN point load on the top.

The following table shows the steps of the hand calculation:

Buckling design of a steel column to Eurocode 3

The effective length (Lcr) of a column depends on its end condition. The most typical lengths are the followings:

The most typical buckling length

Our column is pinned-pinned. Therefore, the effective length is equal to the member length.

According to the EN 1993-1-1 Chapter 6.3.1., our column is capable of bearing the specified loading.

Using the MasterSeries AutoSize function, we can easily find alternative solutions to optimise the steel usage.

The left column was optimized to get the smallest section size as possible and resulted in a SHS 160x160x16 S275. It has smaller external dimensions, therefore it is more slender. To be able to carry the loading, thicker walls are needed resulting in about a 28% weight increase.

The right column was optimised to get the lightest section. This resulted in a SHS 250x250x6 S275. Compared to the middle solution, it has about 7% less weight.

Buckling design of steel columns to Eurocode


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