Prestressed stayed columns are cable stiffened compression members that are used in industry to increase the buckling resistance of conventional steel columns. They are a lightweight solution often used in practice to support facade structures. An increase in the load-carrying capacity by an order of magnitude can be achieved without a commensurate increase in self-weight but this may occur at the expense of inducing more complex failure modes from structural instability (or buckling). The work conducted by Professor Wadee and his team has for the first time quantified the nonlinear behaviour in terms of the applied cable prestress and the overall arrangement. A series of studies applying nonlinear mathematical modelling, finite element simulations and physical experiments have facilitated the understanding of the structural behaviour at a fundamental level alongside providing detailed guidance for structural designers. This work has been supported by EPSRC.

  • A factor of 7-15 times the buckling load of a conventional column may be achieved from this type of arrangement
  • Optimal structural arrangements can lead to highly unstable structural responses.
  • Properly understanding nonlinear phenomena can lead to safer yet more efficient structures.

Professor Ahmer Wadee

Nonlinear Structural Stability Group