Analytic expression of the buckling loads for stiffened plates with bulb-flat flanges
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The subject of this research is the buckling behavior of a simply supported rectangular plate, with a bulb-flat stiffener attached to one side of the plate. The plate structure is subjected to axial compression that increases to the buckling load. The stiffener cross-section has a thin web and a bulb-flat flange that extends to one side of the web. Results of the investigation include planar property formulas for the asymmetric flange geometry, an analytic expression for the Saint Venant torsional constant of the flange cross-section, and an analytic expression for the buckling load corresponding to a tripping mode of the structure. The torsional constant for the bulb-flat stiffener is 15% - 23% higher than understood previously. The analytic expression for the buckling load of the bulb-flat stiffened plates considered in this investigation yields values that are 2% - 6% higher than finite element results. It is also shown that the buckling load of a plate with a bulb-flat stiffener is 3% - 4% less than that of a plate with a T-flange stiffener with the same cross-sectional area. At the onset of stiffener tripping, the torsionally superior bulb-flat tends to bend laterally, while the flexurally superior T-flange tends to twist.
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