Numerical Investigation of the Influence of Transverse Welds on the Strength of Aluminum Alloy I-Shaped Members – Beams

Publication Date

Winter 2-1-2024


The weldability of high strength aluminum alloys is an important consideration when designing aluminum structures. While these alloys do suffer significant strength loss in the weld heat affected zone (HAZ), available design codes are often overly conservative in their guidelines regarding the design of welded aluminum members. This paper presents a numerical investigation of the effect of reduced strength in the HAZ adjacent to a transverse weld in simply-supported aluminum alloy beams subject to concentrated end moments. Nonlinear finite element (FE) models were developed, validated, and applied in a parametric study of non-welded and transversely welded 6061-T6 flexural members with an I-shaped cross section. The FE model included initial geometric imperfections and material nonlinearities in both the HAZ and the base material. The parametric study examined 400 unique beam cases defined by the combination of four factors, including slenderness ratio or unbraced length, weld location along the beam span, post-yield material stiffness model, and loading case or resulting moment gradient. The FE results were subsequently compared with capacities predicted by the Aluminum Association’s Specification for Aluminum Structures, with proposed modifications to SAS also provided. A similar study on columns is presented in a companion paper within this issue.





First Page



Mechanical Engineering

Second Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering


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