Web strength of rolled steel joists

  • Reynold Graham Guy

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This work is concerned with the behaviour of thin webbed rolled steel joists or universal beams when they are subjected to concentrated loads applied to the flanges. The prime concern is the effect of high direct stresses causing web failure in a small region of the beam.
The review shows that although many tests have been carried out on rolled steel beams and built up girders, no series of tests has restricted the number of variables involved to enable firm conclusions to be drawn.
The results of 100 tests on several different rolled steel universal beam sections having various types of loading conditions are presented. The majority of the beams are tested by loading with two opposite loads, thus eliminating the effects of bending and shear, except for a small number of beams which are tested simply supported on varying spans.
The test results are first compared with the present design standard (BS 449) and it is shown that the British Standard is very conservative for most of the loading conditions included in the tests but is unsafe for others.
Three possible failure modes are then considered, overall elastic buckling of the web, flexural yielding of the web due to large out of plane deflexions and local
crushing of the material at the junction of the web and the root fillets. Each mode is considered theoretically and developed to establish the main variables, thus enabling a comparison to be made with the test results. It is shown that all three failure modes have a particular relevance for individual loading conditions, but that determining the failure load given the beam size and the loading conditions
is very difficult in certain instances.
Finally it is shown that there are some empirical relationships between the failure loads and the type of loading for various beam serial sizes.
Date of AwardJul 1977
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorA.W. Astill (Supervisor)


  • bea,
  • buckling
  • crushing
  • joist
  • web

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