Structural behavior of intermediate length cold-formed steel rack columns with C-stitches
This article presents an experimental and numerical investigation on the strength and performance of intermediate length rack column sections with C-stitches under axial compression. The test program consisted of 10 axial concentric compression tests on columns with and without C-stitches under pin end conditions for two different geometric lengths. Finite element (FE) models were developed using commercial FE package ABAQUS considering material and geometric nonlinearities as well as initial geometric imperfections. The elastic buckling properties of the section were calculated using readily available linear elastic buckling analysis tools based on Generalized Beam Theory (GBT) and Finite Strip Method (FSM). Obtained FE results were compared with those obtained experimentally, and once verified the developed FE modeling technique was used to carry out a parametric study to examine changes in structural response due to variations in length, depth and spacing of C-stitches. Observed influences of C-stitches on the behavior and resistance of the considered columns were carefully analyzed, and key design aspects are presented herein.