Floor and roof deck. Purlins and girts. Cladding. Partition walls. Ceilings. Bulkheads. Cold-formed thin-walled metal is frequently used to design these components. Yet, its function is rarely considered to be anything more than a secondary member suspended in the shadow of the Big Three (concrete, steel, and timber). As structural engineers, we tend to rely on manufacturer data and software to help us out when it comes to cold-formed design. We catalogue common solutions and move on in our absurd journey to support a world full of unknowns. So, what happens when we do need to go beyond the catalogue of common solutions and understand the nuances of cold-formed metal?
Ghersi, Landolfo, and Mazzolani’s “Design of Metallic Cold-Formed Thin-Walled Members” is one place to start. The text focuses on two aspects: the prevailing concepts that guide cold-form behaviour and the comparison of EuroCode and AISI interpretations. The information is lean; if you are looking for in-depth derivations, interpretations and shape-specific formulae, this is not the reference to use. However, this text will help you gain a better understanding of the driving principles in cold-formed thin-walled design.
Plate buckling relationships? Yes. Effective width principle? Yes. Instability phenomena characteristic of the thin-walled sections? Yes. These details are important to keep in mind while designing cold-formed members.
As a final note, the book advertises a “free design program on CD-ROM” and includes a whole chapter on the ColdForm computer program produced by the authors. When I received my book order, the CD-ROM was not included. I contacted the publisher multiple times, but they have not sufficiently responded or refunded the purchase. If you are considering this book for the software be aware that the program is designed for Windows 95/98 and does not come with the book.