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Stability is one of the most critical problems in the design of welded metal structures, since in many cases instability causes failure or collapse of the structures. The present study aims to show the minimum mass design procedure for welded steel box columns loaded by a compression force. The normal stresses and overall stability are calculated for pinned columns. The dimensions of the box columns are optimized by using constraints on global stability, local buckling of webs and flanges. Different design rules and standards are compared: Eurocode 3, Japan Railroad Association, American Petroleum Institute, and American Institute of Steel Construction. The calculations are made for different loadings, column length and steel grades. The yield stress varies between 235 and 690 MPa. Optimization is carried out using the generalized reduced gradient method in Excel solver. Cost calculations and comparisons show the most economical structure.

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