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Lateral-torsional buckling of beams Richard Harris, from Bournemouth, has examined the eflective length of compression flanges of - as he describes it - ‘(not so) simple beams’ and continues: This subject causes much confusion. If we, as a profession, cannot even agree on the design of simple beams, we do not deserve the respect from the public that so many of us apparently want. Unfortunately, the guidance on effective length in the various British Standards relating to structural steelwork elicits no uniform response from practitioners. I do not think thathis should be blamed on ‘engineering judgment’. There are two aspects, each of which is often treated differently by various designers: (i) does the compression flange have sufficient restraint to prevent lateral-torsional buckling? (ii) if not, what is the effective length of the flange? SCI publication Lateral Stability of Steel Beams and Columns, gives excellent guidance.