Cellular Beam-Columns and Open-Web Components in Steel Sections

Open Web Section Cellular Beams:

A wide group of steel sections feeding on web openings includes cellular beam-columns – commonly referred to as cellular beams, thereby providing a greater moment-of-inertia-to-weight ratio. The Open-Web parts are part of the community of floor structures used as floor beams, which provide a way of integrating building facilities within the structural depth of the floor. There are two choices for very serviceable office buildings: either reduces the structural zone to allow construction services to move under or incorporate structural components and construction services into the same horizontal zone (Ly et al., 2019). The integrated floor systems have manufactured beams that convey webs, beams, beams stub girders, slender floor systems, and web openings. Because the usable building depth is nearly equal to the floor depth of these systems, it is possible to reduce total building height that reduces cladding costs (Grilo et al., 2018). The hybrid action between the steel beam and the concrete label above, which are now recognized, is also designed for the floor beams with web openings. The steel group can be fitted with several web openings, which can take various forms. The members are designated cellular when these openings are circulated and consistently spaced. Other openings, including circular, rectangular, hexagonal, and octagonal shapes, are possible depending on the manufacturing process (Ferreira et al., 2021).


In the 1980s, cellular compositions started to be used with circular openings, in structures such as Chicago O'Hare Airport (USA) Terminal 1 and the former Swindon Renault Distribution Centre. Over the last ten years, there have also been other openings most likely used by the AngelinaTM beam. Cellular components are currently used in composite construction in Steel and Steel concrete around the world (Panedpojaman et al., 2021). They are often used in applications where they are loaded with a large axis or a combination of axial bend and axial compression and aesthetic columns. Because of their lower resistance to local point loads, they are most suitable for long distances with relatively even loads. If the expected loads are relatively low and rigidity, such as broad span lines or footbridges, are very important, larger openings and smaller opening spacing are applied (Abambres et al., 2019). On the other hand, if resistance is more necessary, smaller openings and greater opening spacing would be used for floors, parking lots, or columns (Feng et al., 2018).

Production method

Three different production methods for members with wide web openings exist (Feng et al., 2018) according to the following:

1. The hot-rolling I-section member web is used to cut or punch individual openings. This approach will not be further considered in this study as this is only done for members with isolated web openings (Feng et al., 2018).

2. The fabricated portion in which three plates are jointly welded to form an I-section may be made of beams with isolated or multiple web openings. Openings are cut into the web before or after the I-section are created. This approach can easily be used to obtain asymmetric or tapered geometries.


3. Cutting of a hot rolled-up I section (parent section) in line with some pattern on the web, then shifting and welding the resulting tea sections again together. The members obtained are 40-60% higher than their parents' segment (Mehetre & Talikoti, 2021).

CMC Steel Products (Northern America); Tata Steel (Indiesel multinationals); Macsteel (South Africa); New Millenium (United States), Fabricators (UK); Peiner Träger GmbH (Germany) and Huys-Liggers are (among others) cells manufacturers: (The Netherlands) (Mehetre & Talikoti, 2021). Fabsec uses the second method of production, while every other manufacturer applies the third method of production. The manufacturing method has a great impact on the Member's imperfections and the associated resistance to buckling. This research would only concentrate on members made by the third method. Still, the concepts included in this study can also be used to study people's resistance made by the second manufacturing method (Grilo et al., 2019). Today parent segments are cut with a method of oxy cutting or plasma cutting, after which the semi-automatic gas metal bow welding process is used to weld the half obtained (Xiao et al., 2019). Tapered members are created with an inclined line direction via the web, and arched or precomputed Members can be produced by bending the members' halves before welding them together. They are made of two separate parts for the top and bottom half of the members, using tapered cutter lines. Only dual symmetrical cellular or castellated members are taken into account in this work. A departure development method is often employed by cellular members, where the cellular Member makes circular openings around a castellated member's hexagonal openings. The high residual flange stresses and the resulting lowering of the overall failure load of buckling are not recommended because of this manufacturing Procedure (Xiao et al., 2019).

Failure modes and existing design guides

The cellular or castellated members’ resistance calculation is more complicated than a single-web member's resistance calculation. New failure modes will emerge due to network openings, and existing failure modes will be changed for single-web members. An insight into the various failure modes of castellated steel beams can be found (Gesualdo et al., 2017). Annex N of ENV3, the European pre-standard of Eurocode 3, provides general design methods for beams with massive web openings against these failure modes (Mehetre & Talikoti, 2021). The CTICM1 has developed ArcelorMittal ACB+ software to facilitate the design and development in line with the Eurocode principles of cellular beams (both Steel and composite). A summary of the design methods used is given in this program (CTICM, 2006). The SCI2 publication provides more recommendations that are applicable for both steel and composite beams (Ward, 1990). The latest publication (Mehetre & Talikoti, 2021) and the Design Guide from the European RFCS3 LWO+ Project (Large Web Openings for Integration of Service in Composite Floors) include guidelines for composite beams with large web openings (Gesualdo et al., 2017). Steel members can also use these directives to disregard the concrete part's contribution and the considerations of further modes of global buckle failure.

While the literature discussed above are true for beams, for instance, members loaded in a strong bending axis, nearly no guidelines exist for cellular or castellated compressed or bent-compressed members. The research shows that for members loaded in compression or a combination of compression and bending, only a small number of studies exist. The design guidelines referred to in this document can only be used to design beams. The designer must be very careful to deal with columns or beam-columns since in this field, there are great gaps in the awareness of cellular or castellated members.

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Abambres, M., Rajana, K., Tsavdaridis, K. D., & Ribeiro, T. P. (2019). Neural Network-based formula for the buckling load prediction of I-section cellular steel beams. Computers, 8(1), 2.

Feng, R., Zhan, H., Meng, S., & Zhu, J. (2018). Experiments on H-shaped high-strength steel beams with perforated web. Engineering Structures, 177, 374-394.

Ferreira, F. P. V., Martins, C. H., & De Nardin, S. (2021). Assessment of web post buckling resistance in steel-concrete composite cellular beams. Thin-Walled Structures, 158, 106969.

Gesualdo, A., Iannuzzo, A., Penta, F., & Pucillo, G. P. (2017). Homogenization of a Vierendeel girder with elastic joints into an equivalent polar beam. Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures, 12(4), 485-504.

Grilo, L. F., Fakury, R. H., & de Souza Veríssimo, G. (2018). Design procedure for the web-post buckling of steel cellular beams. Journal of Constructional Steel Research, 148, 525-541.

Ly, H. B., Le, T. T., Le, L. M., Tran, V. Q., Le, V. M., Vu, H. L. T., ... & Pham, B. T. (2019). Development of hybrid machine learning models for predicting the critical buckling load of I-shaped cellular beams. Applied Sciences, 9(24), 5458.

Mehetre, A. J., & Talikoti, R. S. (2021). Prediction of ultimate load carrying capacity of castellated beams by experimental and analytical investigation. International Journal of Structural Engineering, 11(2), 107-126.

Panedpojaman, P., Sae-Long, W., & Thepchatri, T. (2021). Design of cellular beam-columns about the major axis. Engineering Structures, 236, 112060.

Xiao, L., Song, W., Wang, C., Tang, H., Fan, Q., Liu, N., & Wang, J. (2017). Mechanical properties of open-cell rhombic dodecahedron titanium alloy lattice structure manufactured using electron beam melting under dynamic loading. International Journal of Impact Engineering, 100, 75-89.

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