Measurement and assessment of imperfections in plasma cut-welded H-shaped steel columns

  • Arasaratnam, P. (Centre for Effective Design of Structures, Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University) ;
  • Sivakumaran, K.S. (Centre for Effective Design of Structures, Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University) ;
  • Rasmussen, Kim J.R. (Centre for Advanced Structural Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Sydney)
  • Received : 2005.07.21
  • Accepted : 2006.04.07
  • Published : 2006.12.25


H-shaped welded steel column members are fabricated by welding together pre-cut flanges and the web. Modern fabricators are increasingly using plasma-cutting technique instead of traditional flame cutting. Different fabrication techniques result in different degrees of geometric imperfections and residual stresses, which can have considerable influence on the strength of steel columns. This paper presents the experimental investigation based temperature profiles, geometric imperfections, and built-in residual stresses in plasma cut-welded H-shaped steel column members and in similar flame cut-welded H-shaped steel columns. Temperature measurements were taken during and immediately after the cutting operations and the welding operations. The geometric imperfections were established at closely spaced grid locations on the original plates, after cutting plates into plate strips, and after welding plate strips into columns. Geometric imperfections associated with plasma cut element and members were found to be less than those of the corresponding elements and members made by flame cutting. The "Method of Section" technique was used to establish the residual stresses in the plate, plate strip, and in the welded columns. Higher residual stress values were observed in flame cut-welded columns. Models for idealized residual stress distributions for plasma cut and flame cut welded sections have been proposed.



  1. Arasaratnam, P. (2005), 'Characteristics and behaviour of plasma cut-welded H-shaped steel columns', M.A.Sc. Thesis, Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. L8S 4L7, p.xiii, 7-11
  2. ASTM Standards (2004), Standard Specification for General Requirements for Rolled Structural Steel Bars, Plates, Shapes, and Sheet Piling, Document Number: ASTM A6/A6M-04, American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, U.S.A
  3. CISC (2004), Handbook of Steel Construction, Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, Willowadale, Ontario, Canada
  4. CSA (2001), CAN/CSA-S16-01 Limit States Design of Steel Structures, Canadian Standards Association, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  5. Fukumoto, Y. and Itoh, Y. (1983), 'Evaluation of multiple column curves using the experimental data-base approach', J. Const. Steel Res., 3(3), 1-18
  6. Galambos, T. V. (1988), Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal Structures-B.6 Technical Memorandum No.6: Determination of Residual Stresses, 4th Edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York, U.S.A., 734-744
  7. Huber, A. W. and Beedle, L. S., (1954), 'Residual stress and the compressive strength of steel', Welding Journal, Research Supplement, 33, December, pp. 589-s-614-s
  8. Kandil, F. A., Lord, J. D., Fry, T. A. and Grant, P. V., (2001), A Review of Residual Stress Measurement Methods - A Guide to Technique Selection
  9. Lindgren, L. E. (2001a), 'Finite element modelling and simulation of welding. Part 1: Increased complexity', J. Thermal Stresses, 24(2), 141-192
  10. Lindgren, L. E. (2001b), 'Finite element modelling and simulation of welding. Part 2: Improved material modelling', J. Thermal Stresses, 24(3), 195-231
  11. Lindgren, L. E. (2001c), 'Finite element modelling and simulation of welding. Part 3: Efficiency and integration', J. Thermal Stresses, 24(4), 305-334
  12. Nagaraja Rao, N. R. and Tall, L. (1961), 'Residual stresses in welded plates', Welding Journal, Research Supplement, 40, October, pp. 468-s-480-s
  13. Potdar, Y. K. and Zehnder, A. T. (2003), 'Measurement and simulation of temperature and deformation fields in transient metal cutting', J. Manuf. Sci. Eng., 125, 645-655
  14. SA (1998), Steel Structures - AS4100-1998, Standards Association of Australia, Homebush, NSW 2140, Australia

Cited by

  1. A Fuzzy Multiphase and Multicriteria Decision-Making Method for Cutting Technologies Used in Shipyards vol.18, pp.2, 2016,