The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 23 March 2015 00:00cat

Ductility in Steel Beams Improved by Geometric Cutouts

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Ductility in Steel Beams Improved by Geometric Cutouts VT News

The ability of steel buildings to bend without fracturing, or ductility, allows for extreme lateral loading from earthquakes and wind. This loading, however, subjects the solid web and flanges of steel members to buckling and fracture, thus crumbling the flat, solid surface, and leading to the potential for great damage. Virginia Tech assistant professor Matthew Eatherton will be using a five-year, $500,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award to research how steel plates with strategically removed geometric patterns may better withstand everyday loads and extreme events than the currently used standard steel plates.

Eatherton claims that advancements in water-jet and laser cutting technology in subtractive manufacturing and the use of 3D printing in additive manufacturing, are “not being used to their potential in the steel industry.”

Earherton’s proposal is to utilize these techniques to “improve ductility and energy dissipation ability by strategically removing material from the plates rather that adding more material.” By removing small, ring- and butterfly-shaped, cutouts, global deformations in steel plates can be converted into smaller ductile mechanisms that resist buckling and increase stiffness within steel structures.

It will likely take years to develop the design approaches to be incorporated in U.S. building codes.


Source Augusta Free Press

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