Buckling analysis of imperfect I-section beam-columns with stochastic shell finite elements

Dominik Schillinger, Vissarion Papadopoulos, Manfred Bischoff, Manolis Papadrakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Buckling loads of thin-walled I-section beamcolumns exhibit a wide stochastic scattering due to the uncertainty of imperfections. The present paper proposes a finite element based methodology for the stochastic buckling simulation of I-sections, which uses random fields to accurately describe the fluctuating size and spatial correlation of imperfections. The stochastic buckling behaviour is evaluated by crude Monte-Carlo simulation, based on a large number of I-section samples, which are generated by spectral representation and subsequently analyzed by nonlinear shell finite elements. The application to an example I-section beam-column demonstrates that the simulated buckling response is in good agreement with experiments and follows key concepts of imperfection triggered buckling. The derivation of the buckling load variability and the stochastic interaction curve for combined compression and major axis bending as well as stochastic sensitivity studies for thickness and geometric imperfections illustrate potential benefits of the proposed methodology in buckling related research and applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-510
Number of pages16
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Buckling of I-section beam-columns
  • Evolutionary power spectra
  • Method of separation
  • Random field based imperfections
  • Spectral representation
  • Stochastic shell finite elements


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