AbstractThis study investigates the distortional buckling strength of a partially closed cold-formed steel (CFS) channel section with intermediate web stiffeners and outward lips under axial compression. Generally, a closed CFS cross section has higher torsional resistance when compared to an open cross section. However, an open cross section is more popular in the construction industry. Despite the popularity of CFS open sections, distortional buckling can reduce the load-carrying capacity of such open cross sections. To improve the distortional buckling strength of the proposed selected section, a simple spacer plate is added externally to the channel section in the transverse direction. Initially, a numerical model is developed using the finite element software ANSYS, which is then validated against the experimental results available in the literature. A detailed parametric study was also conducted to investigate the influence of thickness, depth, and spacing of spacer plates on the distortional buckling strength of stiffened CFS channel sections. From the results of the parametric study, it was found that the presence of spacer plates can increase the axial capacity of stiffened CFS channel sections by as much as 32%. Finite element results were compared with the design strengths calculated in accordance with the direct strength method (DSM).