Behaviour and Design of Sustainable Stainless Steel Structures

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


Stainless steel is currently widely used across a range of industries with its key advantage over ordinary structural carbon steel being its corrosion resistance and durability. Research into stainless steel has developed significantly over the last decade, enabling its increased use for structural purposes. Currently, although a number of design standards for stainless steel exist, the provisions and checks have generally been developed following, and in conjunction with, the carbon steel design rules. Stainless steel and carbon steel have distinctly different material characteristics and therefore it is important that the codes reflect these to ensure safe, efficient and structurally sound design. The focus of this work will be on the global analysis of stainless steel frames and the development of beam-column design to allow for safe and efficient design. The extension and development of the continuous strength method, which is a deformation based design approach for metallic structures that offers improved design efficiency over current standards, and was devised in the Civil Engineering Department at Imperial College, will also be considered. Overall, the aim of the doctoral research will be to develop enhanced design rules to promote the wider use of stainless steel as a sustainable construction material.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2022
1811424 Studentship EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2020 Fiona Walport
Description Stainless steel is a more expensive material than carbon steel and it is paramount that the design codes make efficient use of the differing material properties as well as embrace advanced design methods. Currently the structural design standards for stainless steel are based on a presumed equivalence with carbon steel design and therefore result in inefficient, and in some cases unsafe, design solutions. Overall, the aim of this research is to develop enhanced rules for the global analysis and design of stainless steel structures to promote the wider use of stainless steel as a sustainable construction material. The work is focused in two key areas developing (i) the traditional design methods for the global analysis of stainless steel structures, and (ii) a method for advanced second order inelastic analysis.
Exploitation Route The application of advanced system analysis is particularly appropriate for stainless steel structures due to the high material value and the complexities presented by the nonlinear material stress-strain response for traditional design treatments. The approaches developed will allow for more efficient, safe and sustainable stainless steel design.
Sectors Construction