Behavior and design of steel I-beams with inclined stiffeners

Yang Yang, Eric M. Lui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper presents an investigation of the effect of inclined stiffeners on the load-carrying capacity of simply-supported hot-rolled steel I-beams under various load conditions. The study is carried out using finite element analysis. A series of beams modeled using 3-D solid finite elements with consideration of initial geometric imperfections, residual stresses, and material nonlinearity are analyzed with and without inclined stiffeners to show how the application of inclined stiffeners can offer a noticeable increase in their lateral-torsional buckling (LTB) capacity. The analysis results have shown that the amount of increase in LTB capacity is primarily dependent on the location of the inclined stiffeners and the lateral unsupported length of the beam. The width, thickness and inclination angle of the stiffeners do not have as much an effect on the beam's lateral-torsional buckling capacity when compared to the stiffeners' location and beam length. Once the optimal location for the stiffeners is determined, parametric studies are performed for different beam lengths and load cases and a design equation is developed for the design of such stiffeners. A design example is given to demonstrate how the proposed equation can be used for the design of inclined stiffeners not only to enhance the beam's bearing capacity but its lateral-torsional buckling strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-205
Number of pages23
JournalSteel and Composite Structures
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Finite element analysis
  • I-beams
  • Inclined stiffeners
  • Lateral-torsional instability
  • Steel design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Metals and Alloys


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