In recent times, particularly in applications used to build various structures for construction purposes or machines, solid sections have been gradually replaced by hollow sections due to their attractive features such as being light weight and having high specific strength. In the present investigation, an attempt was made to investigate, in detail, the flexural capability of aluminium hollow tubes (AHTs) with square cross-sections. The objective of the investigation was to study the influence of stress concentration on the flexural behaviour of the hollow tube. The stress concentration factor considered in this investigation was holes of various cross-sections and quantities. Three-point bending tests with concentrated loads were conducted on specimens of a hollow tube with different stress concentrations such as circular holes, multiple circular holes, square holes and perforations. The load was applied manually during the bending test with appropriate increments. The bending test was carried out on specimens with support spans of 110, 130, 170 and 200 mm. The output measures of the study were maximum bending load, deflection and flexural stiffness. The output measures were analysed in detail in order to recommend the type and nature of stress concentration in a hollow tube applied to structural applications to ensure the safest workability. The flexural stability of the tube was analysed by experimental and numerical procedures, and the results were validated using an analytical approach. It was found that the results of all the approaches complement each other with a low significance of error. AHTs with a circular hole, multiple circular holes and perforations were observed to have better flexural stability than other AHTs such as AHTs with square hole and plain AHTs.
Keywords: bending load; flexural stiffness; flexural strength; hollow tube; stress concentration.