The study presents the results of theoretical investigations into lateral torsional buckling (LTB) of bi-symmetric I-beams, elastically restrained against warping at supports. Beam loading schemes commonly used in practice are taken into account. The whole range of stiffness of the support joints, from free warping to warping fully restrained, is considered. To determine the critical moment, the energy method is used. The function of the beam twist angle is described with power polynomials that have simple physical interpretation. Computer programs written in symbolic language for numerical analysis are developed. General approximation formulas are devised. Detailed calculations are performed for beams with end-plate joints. Critical moments determined with programs and approximation formulas are compared with the results obtained by other researchers and with those produced by FEM. Very good accuracy of results is obtained.
The analytical approach is used for checking the stability of laterally unrestrained bisymmetric beams. The stability equations for simply supported beams are solved approximately using the Bubnov–Galerkin method . The lateral buckling moment depends on bending distribution and on the load height effect. Each of applied concentrated and distributed loads, may have arbitrary direction and optional coordinate for the applied force along the cross section’s height. Derived equations allow for simple, yet fast control of lateral buckling moment estimated by FEM .