Steel Column Failure Under Thermal Gradients

by Paul J. Ossenbruggen, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA,
Vinod Aggarwal, Design Engr.; Reliance Contracting Co., Pittsburgh, PA,
Charles G. Culver, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 4, Pg. 727-739

Document Type: Journal Paper


An analytical study of the behavior of axially loaded steel columns subject to thermal gradients across the cross section of the member is presented. The influence of residual stress, thermal stress, and the change in material properties at elevated temperature is considered. Moment-load-curvature-temperature, M-P-φ-T, relationships and a numerical integration method are used to determine the deflection of the column. The results indicate that the bowing produced by the thermal gradients has a significant effect on the ultimate strength of the member.

Subject Headings: Steel columns | Thermal loads | Material failures | Failure analysis | Structural failures | Thermal effects | Thermal analysis | Axial loads

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