Numerical investigation of the influence of transverse welds on the strength of aluminum alloy I-Shaped members: Columns

Publication Date

Winter 2-1-2024


This paper presents a numerical investigation, using finite element analysis, of the effects of transverse welds on the structural behavior of aluminum-alloy compression members. A non-linear finite element (FE) model was developed, and validated using experimental tests, to simulate the behavior of 6061-T6 aluminum-alloy columns with an I-shaped AW6x4.03 section geometry. The FE model included different material properties for the heat-affected zone (HAZ) that occurs in the proximity of the weld and the remaining base material, and incorporated both geometric and material nonlinearities. A parametric study of 80 columns with and without transverse welds was conducted, which investigated ten unbraced lengths, three weld centerline locations along the member length, and two types of post-yield material stiffness models, including elastic-perfectly plastic and strain hardening materials. The FE results provide clear evidence of the significance of the HAZ strength reduction on the load carrying capacity of welded aluminum-alloy columns. Numerical results were compared with those obtained using the provisions within the Aluminum Association’s Specification for Aluminum Structures, and they were used to develop proposed modifications to these provisions, which can remove the degree conservatism observed. A similar study on beams is presented in a companion paper.





First Page



Mechanical Engineering

Second Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering


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