Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Reader in Structural Engineering



+44 (0)20 7594 6078l.macorini




Ms Ruth Bello +44 (0)20 7594 6040




325Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Gardner, L and Fieber, A and Macorini, L},
doi = {10.1016/j.istruc.2019.01.012},
journal = {Structures},
pages = {2--20},
title = {Formulae for calculating elastic local buckling stresses of full structural cross-sections},
url = {},
volume = {17},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Formulae for determining the full cross-section elastic local buckling stress of structural steel profiles under a comprehensive range of loading conditions, accounting for the interaction between the individual plate elements, are presented. Element interaction, characterised by the development of rotational restraint along the longitudinal edges of adjoined plates, is shown to occur in cross-sections comprising individual plates with different local buckling stresses, but also in cross-sections where the isolated plates have the same local buckling stress but different local buckling half-wavelengths. The developed expressions account for element interaction through an interaction coefficient ζ that ranges between 0 and 1 and are bound by the theoretical limits of the local buckling stress of the isolated critical plates with simply-supported and fixed boundary conditions along the adjoined edges. A range of standard European and American hot-rolled structural steel profiles, including I-sections, square and rectangular hollow sections, channel sections, tee sections and angle sections, as well as additional welded profiles, are considered. The analytical formulae are calibrated against results derived numerically using the finite strip method. For the range of analysed sections, the elastic local buckling stress is typically predicted to within 5% of the numerical value, whereas when element interaction is ignored and the plates are considered in isolation with simply-supported boundary conditions along the adjoined edges, as is customary in current structural design specifications, the local buckling stress of common structural profiles may be under-estimated by as much as 50%. The derived formulae may be adopted as a convenient alternative to numerical methods in advanced structural design calculations (e.g. using the direct strength method or continuous strength method) and although the focus of the study is on structural steel sections, the functions are
AU - Gardner,L
AU - Fieber,A
AU - Macorini,L
DO - 10.1016/j.istruc.2019.01.012
EP - 20
PY - 2019///
SN - 2352-0124
SP - 2
TI - Formulae for calculating elastic local buckling stresses of full structural cross-sections
T2 - Structures
UR -
UR -
VL - 17
ER -