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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 6, Number 6, December 2006, pages 459-477

Integrated analysis and design of composite beams with flexible shear connectors under sagging and hogging moments
A. J. Wang and K. F. Chung

    A theoretical research project is undertaken to develop integrated analysis and design tools for long span composite beams in modern high-rise buildings, and it aims to develop non-linear finite element models for practical design of composite beams. As the first paper in the series, this paper presents the development study as well as the calibration exercise of the proposed finite element models for simply supported composite beams. Other practical issues such as continuous composite beams, the provision of web openings for passage of building services, the partial continuity offered by the connections to columns as well as the behaviour of both unprotected and protected composite beams under fires will be reported separately. In this paper, details of the finite elements and the material models for both steel and reinforced concrete are first described, and finite element studies of composite beams with full details of test data are then presented. It should be noted that in the proposed finite element models, both steel beams and concrete slabs are modelled with two dimensional plane stress elements whose widths are assigned to be equal to the widths of concrete flanges, and the flange widths and the web thicknesses of steel beams as appropriate. Moreover, each shear connector is modelled with one horizontal spring and one vertical spring to simulate its longitudinal shear and pull-out actions based on measured load-slippage curves of push-out tests of shear connectors. The numerical results are then carefully analyzed and compared with the corresponding test results in terms of load mid-span deflection curves as well as load end-slippage curves. Other deformation characteristics of the composite beams such as stress and strain distributions across the composite cross-sections as well as distributions of shear forces and slippages in shear connectors along the beam spans are also examined in details. It is shown that the numerical results of the composite beams compare well with the test data in terms of various load-deformation characteristics along the entire deformation ranges. Hence, the proposed analysis and design tools are considered to be simple and yet effective for composite beams with practical geometrical dimensions and arrangements. Structural engineers are strongly encouraged to employ the models in their practical work to exploit the full advantages offered by composite construction.
Key Words
    composite beams; finite element models; integrated analysis and design; bending; shear; degree of shear connection.
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China

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