International Journal of Steel Structures

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 582–595 | Cite as

Experimental and Numerical Study on Buckling Behavior of a Rigidly Stiffened Plate with Tee Ribs

  • Lunhua Bai
  • Ruili Shen
  • Lu Wang
  • Yuan Wang
  • Rusong Miao


In the bridge structures, stiffened plates are usually designed as rigidly stiffened when the orthotropic steel box girder is used as the main load-bearing structure. Therefore, the buckling mode of stiffened plates is plate buckling which occurs in subpanel supported by stiffeners. The orthotropic steel box girder is used as the main girder for Egongyan Rail Special Bridge, which is a self-anchored suspension bridge. Plates of the steel girder are rigidly stiffened with unequal spacing open ribs, and the most slender stiffened plate is the mid web stiffened with Tee ribs. In order to ensure the safety of the bridge, the buckling behavior of the web and orthotropic steel box girder under axial compression, including ultimate strength, post-buckling behavior and failure modes, should be clearly investigated by experimental and numerical methods. The design, loading and testing methods of the 1:4 scale model of the orthotropic steel box girder are introduced in detail firstly. The orthotropic steel box girder and the stiffened web finite element (FE) models are validated by the test results, and the effects of residual stress and the magnitude of geometric imperfections are discussed roughly. Based on the validated web FE model, a detailed parametric study is performed to systematically investigate the effects of residual stress and geometric imperfections on buckling behavior of the web. The effect of shapes of geometric imperfections discussed is highlighted. Through tracing stress states, the failure modes of stiffened plate are in agreement with the experimental phenomenon to some extent. Results show that shapes of geometric imperfections have significantly influenced post-buckling behavior and failure modes of the web, but slightly affected the ultimate strength. It is advised that residual stress and geometric imperfections should be controlled to make full use of excellent performance of steel materials.


Self-anchored suspension bridge Orthotropic steel box girder Rigid stiffened plate Axial compressive experiment Geometric imperfections Residual stress Tee ribs Buckling 



This paper was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51178396/E080505).


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Steel Construction 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lunhua Bai
    • 1
  • Ruili Shen
    • 1
  • Lu Wang
    • 1
  • Yuan Wang
    • 1
  • Rusong Miao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bridge EngineeringSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduChina

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