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Behaviour of LiteSteel Beams (Hollow Flange Channels)


This project involves the researching the structural behaviour of LiteSteel Beams.


Associate Professor Tim Wilkinson.

Research location

Civil Engineering

Program type



Smorgon Steel have developed a new range of cold-formed steel sections using a patented Dual Electric Resistance Weld technique. This allows the production of structural shapes similar to those of traditional hot-rolled steel sections but with hollow flanges - which increase the torsional stiffness of the section. The result is a hollow flange channel section, which has is being marketed as the LiteSteel Beam.

The Department of Civil Engineering and Smorgon Steel were awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant to research the structural behaviour of these new sections. The main aim has been to identify the specific areas in which these sections would behave differently to normal cold-formed sections, and then investigate this behaviour. It was identified that the behaviour under bearing, bending moment and connections would require research. Other structural actions, such as compression, are being researched, in order to take advantage of the higher material strength in the weld.This research involves experimental investigations and finite element analysis. A team of researchers are examining the various aspects of the behaviour.

Bearing Capacity: Tests on different orientations of joists and girders are assessing the bearing strength of the sections. Complexity is involved in the interaction between flange crushing and web crippling modes. Assessment of some simple stiffening/strengthening menthods is also being carried out.

Connections: Research on the connection behaviour of LSBs has begun. The initial program is to research connection behaviour using traditional connection methods of bolting, with subsequent research to consider connectors such as screws and nails which can be used more easily on the construction site.

Compression: The unique shape of the LSB gives the hollow flange of the section a higher yield stress than the web. Research is being undertaken to capitalise and quantify the strength enhancement that this can provide.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 415

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