Flexural behavior of partially composite concrete-encased steel tubular beams

Structural mechanics

Composite steel-concrete construction has been widely implemented in high-rise buildings and bridges having long spans due to its favorable characteristics inherited from both materials acting as one unit. The main objective of this research is to propose a new beam system having a high strength-weight ratio, and to replace the shear studs used in composite beams by steel mesh wraps around the steel tube without any flexural or shear reinforcements. This new structural beam can be part of a lightweight-precast floor system with fast and easy ducting through its hollow tubular part. Four simply supported T-shaped beams of 3 m length are investigated experimentally to study and compare their flexural behavior. All beams are tested under two points quasi-static point loading. A comparison was initially performed between a control T-shaped reinforced concrete (RC) beam and a fully encased steel tube in a T-shaped RC beam of the same section dimensions as the control beam and without any mesh wrapping. The effect of full and partial wrapping of the steel tube was also investigated in the other two beams where 100 % and 60 % of the encased steel tube length were wrapped by a 3 mm steel mesh. Discussions and interpretation of the load-deflection behaviors and the failure modes are presented in this paper. The obtained results showed that the composite beam with unwrapped encased steel tubular section provided an advantage over the control RC beam in terms of load/weight ratio and ductility by 28.5 % and 22.4 % respectively. Besides, the use of steel mesh wraps in different length percentages revealed a much better partial composite action between the steel tube and the surrounding concrete. The attained strength ranged between 18.2 % and 33 %, whereas the ductility was enhanced by 63.8 % and up to 66.7 %.