Optimization of Long-Span Cold-Formed Truss Purlins

by Richard T. Douty, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Missouri–Columbia, Columbia, MO,
James O. Crooker, (A.M.ASCE), Sr. Struct. Consultant; Butler Manufacturing Co., Kansas City, MO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 11, Pg. 2275-2288

Document Type: Journal Paper


The value of mathematical optimization tools for the cold-formed steel industry is investigated by using a particular technique to redesign a building systems product already being successfully marketed. The optimization technique employed is a variation of the cutting-plane method wherein a sequence of linear programming problems is solved to obtain the solution of the nonlinear problem. Twenty-four design parameters and 64 constraints, mostly nonlinear and drawn unchanged from the Specification for the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members (AISI), form the nonlinear programming problem that is solved for the design. Most of the constraints involve buckling behavior of some form. An example using a member of the class of components that was redesigned is employed to demonstrate how the problem is set up for solution.

Subject Headings: Cold-formed steel | Nonlinear analysis | Trusses | Optimization models | Building systems | Computer programming | Industries | Linear functions

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