The proposed study is aimed at the investigation of the nonlinear behaviour and the development of design rules and recommendations for steel arches in the form of European Standards for construction. Today, Eurocode 3 considers only straight members. Arches have to be designed according to the same methodology and the same values of parameters as straight members. Some authors have already proposed adjustments of these parameters in order to provide higher safety and economical design of arches. Nevertheless, by using methods developed for straight elements, these authors neglect two specifics features induced by the curvature of the arch. The first one is linked with the production process: usually curved beams are produced by cold bending of straight beams, so that the distribution of locked-in stresses or residual stresses is completely different in arches in comparison to straight beams. The inelastic behaviour of arches will thus be very different. The second one is the out-of-plane bending of the arch cross-section due to the curvature. The transverse stresses that develop in a bent arch reduce the cross-sectional resistance. The proposed study will thus focus on the influence of these two phenomena on the overall inelastic behaviour of arches. This will result in an enhanced fundamental understanding of the behaviour and in the formulation of a design method for steel arches subjected to bending and compression, which may be later included in the building code.
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