Cold-formed steel (CFS) members have been used significantly in light-gauge steel buildings due to their inherent advantages. Optimizing these CFS members in order to gain enhanced loadbearing capacities will result in economical and efficient building solutions. This research presents the investigation and results of the optimization of CFS members for flexural capacity. The optimization procedure was performed using the particle swarm optimization (PSO) method, while the section moment capacity was determined based on the effective width method adopted in EN 1993-1-3 (EC3). Theoretical and manufacturing constraints were incorporated while optimizing the CFS cross-sections. In total, four CFS sections – lipped channel beam (LCB), optimized LCB, folded-flange and super-sigma – were considered in the optimization process, including new sections. The section moment capacities of these sections were also obtained through non-linear finite element (FE) analysis and compared with the EC3-based, optimized section moment capacities. The results show that, compared with a commercially available LCB with the same amount of material, the new CFS sections possess the highest section moment capacity enhancements (up to 65 %). In addition, the performance of these CFS sections when subjected to shear and web-crippling actions was also investigated using non-linear FE analysis.
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