Constrained Finite Strip Method with Rigid Corner Element for the Buckling Analysis of Thin-Walled Members with Rounded Corners
In this paper modal decomposition of the deformations of thin-walled structural members are discussed. Modal decomposition is a process which separates the characteristic behavior modes. If applied in buckling analysis, modal decomposition makes it possible to analyze pure global or pure distortional buckling or pure local-plate buckling. Ability to calculate critical loads to a pure buckling mode is highly useful in the design of thin-walled structural members, such as cold-formed steel beams or columns. Cold-formed steel profiles are always produced with rounded corners, and earlier studies showed that the now-used modal decomposition techniques of the constrained finite element method and generalized beam theory fail to lead to reasonable results if the rounded corners are directly modelled in the analysis. An extension to the constrained finite strip method is proposed and discussed. The proposal introduces rigid corner elements, which make it possible to perform the modal decomposition by the same process used for members with sharp corners, even if the rounded corners are directly modelled. The formulation of the proposal is summarized, then the rigid-corner approach is studied by an extended parametric study.