Structural steel elliptical hollow sections

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Civil & Environmental Engineering


Structural elliptical hollow sections represent a recent addition to the range of cross-sections available to structural engineers. However, despite widespread interest in their application on the basis of both architectural appeal and structural efficiency, a lack of verified design guidance is inhibiting uptake. The proposed project aims to overcome this through the generation of statistically validated design rules, developed on the basis of a sound theoretical understanding, carefully conducted laboratory tests and sophisticated numerical modelling. Laboratory testing will be the key instrument for the generation of the fundamental data required, and once calibrated, numerical modelling will be used to investigate the importance of the individual parameters and to extend the range of available data. Design rules will be developed with structural engineers in mind, with careful consideration given to finding the right balance between accuracy of result and ease of calculation method. All new design guidance will be developed in line with the Eurocode framework, with the aim that the work may be considered for incorporation into future revisions of the Code. Dissemination of the findings to the academic community will be made through journal publications and by presentation at International conferences.This is a joint application between Imperial College London and the University of Leeds, making use of the combined experience and facilities of the applicants - Dr Gardner from Imperial College with expertise of the instability of tubular steel and stainless steel elements, and Dr Lam from the University of Leeds with expertise of connections and concrete filled composite tubes.


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Chan T (2010) Structural design of elliptical hollow sections: a review in Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Structures and Buildings

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Espinos A (2011) Fire behaviour of concrete filled elliptical steel columns in Thin-Walled Structures

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Law K (2012) Lateral instability of elliptical hollow section beams in Engineering Structures

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Silvestre N (2011) Elastic local post-buckling of elliptical tubes in Journal of Constructional Steel Research

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Xu Z (2017) Nonlinear stability of elastic elliptical cylindrical shells under uniform bending in International Journal of Mechanical Sciences

Description Structural behaviour of oval hollow sections has been characterised and explained
Exploitation Route Inclusion in International Design codes. The findings are now included in the draft for the new European Standard prEN 1993-1-1.
Sectors Construction

Description The research findings have been adopted in manufacturer design guidance (UK, EU, US), UK design tables and NCCI and structural design software (NIDA). The findings have now been included in the new European Standard prEN 1993-1-1.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Construction
Impact Types Economic

Description European Commission (EC)
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID FRISCC 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 07/2012 
End 06/2015