Design of stainless steel sections with circular openings in shear

R. Mark Lawson*, Antoine Basta, Asraf Uzzaman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the design of stainless steel sections with large circular openings subject to shear and bending. A total of nine tests on pairs of C sections using 2 and 3 mm thick stainless steel in austenitic 1.4301 and lean duplex 1.4162 grades was performed. The tests showed that the shear resistance at an opening is controlled by local compression at a radial cross-section at approximately 25° to the vertical. For closely spaced openings, the angle of highest stress increases to about 65° to the vertical. The shear resistance of a Class 4 web is also affected by local buckling around the opening, which is a function of its diameter to steel thickness ratio. An equilibrium model is presented which predicts the normal stress on the radial planes around an opening. A simplified formula for the local buckling strength around circular web openings is also presented, which agrees well with the test results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-241
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Early online date29 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Eurocode 3
  • local buckling
  • stainless steel
  • web openings


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