The designs of cold formed steel structures are commonly being used for construction across the Australia due to its light weight properties and high strength. It is able to replace the conventional construction of using timber as the structural members. Cold formed steels can also be used for kitchen appliance, automobile bodies and even furniture.
Over the past few years, these forms of structures are highly recommended for constructing residential houses. Cold formed‐ structures were first introduced back in 1961 by Professor George Winter in the Cornell University. In Australia, the design was being included in the AS code which was published back in 1974. The standards were being modified and improved since then and AS 4600 is the current Australia standard for the design cold‐formed steel structures. These products are practical for constructing residential houses even residential houses within the earthquake zones, countries such as Japan and USA uses these products for their designs.
This research project is to optimise the ‘C’ shape cold‐formed steel member under axial loads. In order to obtain the best section for the industries, the recommended method will be by iteration process. This can be a tedious process but the results that were obtained from the iteration using the software are able to prove their ultimate capacity. The following two methods are being used for the optimisation of the cross sectional areas of the cold‐formed steel sections are: (1) The Direct strength method and (2) The Thin wall program.The first method, the Direct Strength Method, is based on AS/NZS 4600 which obtained the results of the individual members’ capacities. These results obtained were manually calculated using the standards and later on compared with computerized results. Thin wall program is a tool which is able to analyse the section of the cold formed steel member and provide the capacities.