Optimum design of cold-formed steel portal frame buildings including joint effects and secondary members

Duoc T. Phan, James Lim, Tiku T. Tanyimboh, Wei Sha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
540 Downloads (Pure)


In steel portal frames, cold-formed steel channel sections are increasingly used as the primary framing components, in addition to the secondary members e.g. purlins and side rails. For such framing systems, the stiffness of the joints at the eaves and apex affects the bending moment distribution, as well as the frame deflections. This paper investigates the influence of two joint configurations having full rigidity and semi-rigidity, respectively, on the optimum design of cold-formed steel portal frames. A real-coded genetic algorithm is used to search for the most cost-effective design. It is shown that through incorporating joint effects explicitly into the design process, a more appropriate balance between the joints and the member properties can be obtained, thus optimizing material use. The study then investigates the effect of secondary members on the optimum design. It is shown that incorporating the secondary members is important for portal frames having spans shorter than 12 m. For example, for a frame spacing less than 6 m, the material cost of the primary members can be reduced by up to 15%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-442
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Steel Structures
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • cold-formed steel
  • portal frames
  • optimisation
  • real-coded genetic algorithm


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