The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 63 (1985) > Issues > Issue 13 > Lateral Stability of I-Beams Restrained by Profile Sheeting
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Lateral Stability of I-Beams Restrained by Profile Sheeting

The requirements for lateral buckling restraint of I-section beams or purlins by profiled sheeting attached to the top flange are reviewed. Theoretical and simplified methods are presented to determine the effective slenderness of a series of beams as a function of the rigidity of the sheeting acting as a shear diaphragm. These methods have been confirmed by a number of tests on 7 m span beams. Effective lateral restraint requires that the sheeting possesses sufficient strength and stiffness. This is influenced by the spacing of the fasteners at the ends of the sheets and along the sheet seams. For most practical sheeting and beam arrangements, the lateral support produced will be such that the beams may be designed to their full in-plane strength. A method for estimating the shear forces developed in the sheeting is provided, and shear forces may generally be shown to be smaller than those given by Code requirements. R.M. Lawson and D.A. Nethercot