Strength of Plasma Cut Welded H-Shaped Steel Columns

P. Arasaratnam(1*), K. S. Sivakumaran(2)

(1) AMEC Earth and Environmental, Canada
(2) Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University, Canada
(*) Corresponding author

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This paper presents the experimental behavior and the strength of plasma cut welded built-up H-shaped steel columns and similar flame cut welded H-shaped columns. The test program comprised of twelve built-up columns; six using plasma cut plates and six using flame cut plates. The columns had 9.5 mm thick and 150 mm wide flanges and web elements and had length slenderness parameters ranging between 0.18 and 1.30. The columns were minor-axis pin-pin supported and were subjected to concentric axial loading until failure. The paper summarizes the measured geometric imperfections and the residual stresses in these test columns. Overall, the flame cut elements and members exhibited higher residual stresses and higher geometrical imperfections than the corresponding imperfections observed in the plasma cut elements and members. The comparison of column strengths showed that the slender plasma cut welded steel columns (λ>1.0) possess higher strength than similar flame cut welded columns. However, the strength of plasma cut welded H-shaped steel column was closer to the strength of similar flame cut columns for low slenderness parameters (0.5<λ<1.0).  In general, the experimental strengths of plasma cut welded columns and the strengths flame cut welded columns were lower compared to respective nominal strengths predicted by current steel design codes, which may be attributed to the fabrication technique and the resulting geometric imperfections and residual stresses.
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Column Strength; Experimental; Geometric Imperfection; Plasma Cut; Steel Columns

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