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Advanced Materials Research Vol.

422 (2012) pp 854-857

Online available since 2011/Dec/06 at www.scientific.net
© (2012) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland

Elastic-plastic analysis of the circle-castellated steel beam using Finite

element method

Li Jun1, a, Xiang Jiawei2, b

School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Guilin University of Electronic Technology, Guilin
541004, China
gxlslj@126.com, bxjw27@163.com

Keywords: Circle-castellated beam; Elastic-plastic analysis; Finite element method

Abstract. The elastic-plastic behavior of the circle-castellated steel beam is analyzed using finite
element method. Stress distribution, expansion of plastic zone and flexural deflection are investigated
under two simulation loads of the uniform pressure and concentration force. The results show that this
kind of beam provide references for us to strengthen structural bear capacity.

As a form of reasonable cross-section, bending stiffness, and high bearing capacity steel structure,we
can save material and get significant economic benefits using castellated beams. They have been
widely studied and applied in engineering. However, although some non-linear researches about the
castellated beams were done in some universities and research institutions [1-5], there were not
enough to know about their elastic-plastic behavior accurately, especially when complex loads
applied. Because the Load characteristic of the castellated beam is not in line with the classic
assumption of plane-section beams, which brings great difficulties to calculate and design the
castellated beam, in addition to test conditions, test fund and other factors. So the design problem has
not been satisfactorily resolved recently and there are no corresponding design specifications and
standards in china yet. [6] Therefore, it is necessary for us to do more in-depth researches to promote
the use of castellated steel beams further.
Finite element method is a powerful tool for the structural analysis, and it has been recognized in
engineering widely. Through the help of commerical FEM software ANSYS [7], we can investigate
the actual situation about castellated beams under complex loads. The stress distribution, the
distribution and development of plastic zones and the flexural deflection are calculated to get more
reasonable and comprehensive evaluation programs. Some suggestions are also given for structural
design both in meancial and civil engineering. Therefore, in this paper, according to two kinds of
loads comparing with other forms of castellated beams [8], we study the circle-castellated beam,
which has the minimum stress concentration around the hole and is considered as the most reasonable

Finite element analysis model

The geometry of the circle-castellated beam are: beam length 2600mm, high 400mm, flange width
200mm, flange thickness 14mm, the web thickness 12mm. The diameter of 6 round holes opened
along the beam web is 280 mm. The Q235 steel material parameters are: the yield limitation σ s= 235
N/mm2, Young’s modulus E = 2.06 × 105N/mm2, Possion’s ratio µ = 0.3. To facilitate the calculation,
some basic assumptions are listed as follows:
(1) Suppose material is isotropic at different directions.
(2) Suppose there is ideal elastic-plastic constitutive relation.
(3) Use the Von-Mises yield criterion and a related flow rule.
(4) Ignore the influence of the weld, welding residual stress and also the arc connection parts of the
flange and the web.

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Advanced Materials Research Vol. 422 855

In addition, to highlight the impact of the outer loads, the impact from the beam weight is not taken
into account in this analysis.
The finite element model using commerical FEM software ANSYS are discribed briefly as:
(1) Element type: 4-node shell element-SHELL181.
(2) Geometry model is set up by the bottom-up model.
(3) Meshing type: free mesh and refine the mesh around the holes with smaller elements. After
meshing, finite element model is shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1 Finite element model

(4) Constraints: 1) limit the displacements of nodes at two clamped seats in all directions. 2) Firstly,
apply uniform pressure with load density 100KN/mm2 to the upper flange; then a concentrated force
in the middle is applied slowly. The loading is shown in Fig.2.
Finally enter the solution process, solving before you set the control options, set load steps,
sub-step loads, etc. The Newton-Raphson method is used in this paper.

Fig. 2 Loading map

The result analysis

As the load increasing step by step, the castellated beam is gradually turning into the plastic state from
the elastic state. Compared with the solid web beam, it shows quite different characteristics. And the
following are respectively analyzed from stress and deformation under such loading conditions.
Analysis of stress and plastic. From the Von-Mises stress clouds maps, as shown in Fig. 3, Fig.4,
Fig.5 and Fig.6, the maximum equivalent stress is mainly distributed around the hole at the end of the
beam at first, then expands to the middle of the beam, a range of upper and lower flange and the girder
bridge in the across. From the force's perspective, the upper flange is on pressure and the lower flange
is by tension; and the web bears bending and cutting together. In this situation, because of the stress
concentration, the hole at the end of the beam begins to yield in the first place. The plastic zones (the
red part )expand from the end to the center slowly. There is also strong stress at the upper mound
bridge in the middle beam, because of the effect of the concentrated force. So it is another dangerous
place here.

Fig. 3 Von-Mises stress clouds (F=10KN) Fig. 4 Von-Mises stress clouds (F=20KN)
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Fig. 5 Von-Mises stress clouds (F=30KN) Fig. 6 Von-Mises stress clouds (F=40KN)

According to domestic and international study, all show that the section around the hole at the end
of the beam is one of the most dangerous sections. As we know, the smaller the holes, the more
obvious stress concentration, and the faster expansion trend of the plastic zone, would cause damage
eventually. The same situation is true if there is an increasing concentrated force. Therefore, we must
check the strength of these dangerous sections in our design.
Analysis of deflection. In order to investigate the flexural deflection in the elastic-plastic state, after
applying the growing concentrated force, we select a observe point at the upper mound bridge in the
middle. The vertical-displacement(Y direction in software ANSYS) is the main deflection. It is
necessay and foremost to analyze this deflection that brings by vertical-displacement. As the loading
process, the curve of Y-displacement is showed in Fig.7. According to Fig.5, the zone, where the point
in, is to yield partially when the concentrated force is close to 30KN. Obviously, there is a turning in
the curve after 0.8s, which shows that the displacement is droping more quickly when go into the yield
state as the result of the declining bearing capacity.

Fig. 7. Y-displacement-Time Fig. 8. XY-shear stress near beam end

As know to the theoretical analysis, the castellated beam deflection is produced by the bending
moment, shear, and the secondary moment of the shear deflection. Shear deformation is a great
influence to the deflection of the circle-castellated beam, which can not be ignored in design. Fig.8
shows that the shear stress near the end of the beam is not small, comparing with the corresponding
solid web beam. In view of this, the end of the circle-castellated beam, can be made into the solid web
beam. It is very helpful to resist the influence of shear deformation.
(1) Through the FEM simulation using software ANSYS and above discussion, we know about the
stress distribution, the plastic case and deformation of the circle-castellated steel beam under the
uniform pressure and concentration force. It can provide references for us to strengthen its bear
capacity. For example, for weak links, we can strengthen the steel structure using reinforcement
materials. By putting the strong flank around the holes, we can also achieve the goal.

(2) Certainly, no material model is perfect in the present. In this paper, we consider the steel as a
perfectly plastic material simply, ignoring the effect of hardening. Generally a nonlinear problem
involving material nonlinearity, geometric nonlinearity, state nonlinearity and other complex
Advanced Materials Research Vol. 422 857

non-linear factors, it is not enough to analyze accurately if from an simply assumption or a particular
non-linear phenomenon alone. Further study is necessary before we can know the elastic-plastic
behavior of the circle-castellated beam clearly.

Authors are gratefully acknowledging the financial support by the projects of National Science
Foundation of China (No. 51175097), Chinese Ministry of Education (No. 210170), Guangxi Science
and Technology Program (Nos. 10123005-12, 1099022-1). This work is also supported in part by the
Excellent Talent Project of Guangxi University System, which is very much appreciated.

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[6] Tan Yang, Yuanxi Sun, Liangping Liao,and Yisheng Su: Load characteristics analysis of the
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Elastic-Plastic Analysis of the Circle-Castellated Steel Beam Using Finite Element Method