Bi-Steel Technical Report

Civil Engineering Construction


It was required as part of my BEng of Civil Engineering coursework to complete a technical report regarding a new innovative material or technique used in modern civil engineering construction. After careful considerations to the various areas of the civil engineering industry using the resources available via the library network I finally decided that Bi-Steel; a relatively new material would be the topic of my technical report.

Bi-Steel is a British made material consisting of two steel plates connected together using transverse bars with the remaining void to be filled with ready mixed concrete providing a material with outstanding strength. This report will discuss a more in-depth analysis of the innovative material including its background, advantages and benefits, reasons for development as well as its application in civil engineering industry, and its structural behaviour. All information was obtained from E-journals available on the college library network as well as approved websites. It’s also worth mentioning the Corus Construction website was an excellent source of information on the material.

The report will be divided into chapter and sub-chapters in an explanatory order. The chapters are laid out as follows:       Background Advantages & Disadvantages Safety & Cost Applications Structural Behaviour Personal Comments where relevant

BEng of Civil Engineering

Civil 3



driving the panels apart. however the double skinned composite system has been known for years but never put into practice due to its impractical nature. Previous double skinned panels were fabricated on site and when filled with concrete dealt a large amount of pressure onto the panels which lead to hydrostatic bulges. The major advantages (see sub-chapter 2.1 REASONS FOR DEVELOPMENT As mentioned above the Bi-Steel material consists of two steel plates connected together using transverse bars and filling the remaining void with concrete providing a material with outstanding strength.0 BI-STEEL: A BACKGROUND 2. called British Bi-Steel comprising of two steel plates held apart by a welded array of transverse bars (see photo 2. In an industry famous for cutting corners to reduce costs this system proved more trouble than it was worth.1 The Bi-Steel Panel BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 2 .2) which are incorporated with this material were too important to ignore and this is evident from the heavy investment of several millions of pounds into the development of these double skinned composites over the last five years. The result: a steel concrete-steel composite product. and provide a modular system which addresses the build ability issues Photo 2.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 2.1) The panels are factory produced to tight tolerances in flat or curved form. unique and patented system. This form of sandwich construction is new.

The pros of Bi-Steel include:         Improved ductility Superior impact resistance Water penetration resistance Light structure in comparison to traditional RC designs Less welding required than traditional stiffened steel Less need for regular inspection Less area to coat Easy set up on site (see photo 2. The cons of Bi-Steel include:   High cost as there are three materials considered (see sub-chapter 2.2).3) Lack of investment in offshore markets like here in Ireland BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page Photo 2.2 ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES Upon discussing the development of the Bi-Steel material engineers believed the product had big advantages had they found a way of manufacturing the product simply and making it cost effective.2 Panels Erected on Site 3 . Certainly when analysed the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 2.

Curiosity had got the better of me and I sent the company an e-mail regarding typical costs of the material which was redirected to Tata Steel. Corus Construction are based in the UK meaning that here in Ireland there would also be a substantial importation cost. a double skinned failed to include a standard price which is also understandable with current rates for construction materials fluctuating. The sellers. Unfortunately the otherwise very helpful website www. is also its greatest downfall as the cost of all these combined materials are not cheap.” BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 4 .3 COST OF BI-STEEL As mentioned above one of the few disadvantages of the Bi-Steel product is the cost.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 2. the very helpful business development engineer Robert Fisher got back to me with a quote stating: “The total in-situ price for a typical Bi-Steel wall. Several calls later. This means that the products unique selling point. for example a lift shaft for a 15 storey high building would be about £380 (€430) per metre squared of wall area.corusconstruction. After a week and still no reply I took it upon myself to ring the company.

3 Concrete Pour Safety BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 5 . Care is also needed with regards Bi-Steel when:     Welding the steel plates with the transverse bars Transporting to site Erecting on site. gloves etc (see photo 2. as above all PPE is necessary including hi-visibility jackets.3). however both these are potential hazards and are essential to understand before use of the product.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 2. hard hat.4 SAFETY ISSUES There are few additional safety issues regarding the Bi-Steel product that isn’t already considered when doing your typical concrete pour or erecting a steel structure. Photo 2. aside from what is mentioned above all Personal Protective Equipment is necessary to avoid any accidents or damage on site Pouring concrete.

Photo 2.5 APPLICATIONS The Bi-Steel product has become increasingly specified for structural building cores as it is superior to modern reinforced concrete cores. However there is a second and far more vital application to the product and that is in the construction of blast chambers. Bi-Steel can be used in applications for security and defence in the construction of high integrity blast protection buildings that require superior levels of physical security to protect against terrorist bomb attack.4) to provide security to key Government and high security areas.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 2. Refer to Bi-Steel presentation for more information on some of these projects. Funding was provided and these systems are now set up in places like Whitehall and the National Barrier Asset as well as the New Scotland Yard (see photo 2.4 New Scotland Yard Bi-Steel Barriers BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 6 .

Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 2.6 PERSONAL COMMENTS In a world with corrupt leaders in countries like Libya who turn on their people or terrorist attacks which are becoming more deadly and globalised. BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 7 . It has proved effective in key Government areas in London and they have since expanded into the European market. On the other hand in a construction industry that has all but crashed there is little need to spent money on materials that have extra benefits but rather on those that get the job done and just about! From working in an engineering consultancy I have experienced clients and/or management changing or removing materials and products from jobs simply because it’s not entirely necessary and to help reduce costs. Bi-Steel has outstanding benefits for the extra pound and its simplicity is in its fast construction on site and quick concrete pours. this product it vital for the protection of the people.

0 STRUCTURAL BEHAVIOUR 3.1 INTRODUCTION From previous chapters we have learned what the Bi-Steel panel is and its benefits but one of the important aspects of these new innovative materials is how it actually works. Structurally speaking it is vital to know how a material works before putting it to use.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 3. This chapter outlines the structural behaviour of the product including the following:  Manufacture  Behaviour of sandwich beam  Connections  Cracking BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 8 . The notion of sandwich construction (steel-concrete-steel) refers to the steel panels resisting bending while the core resists shear.

1 illustrates the typical factory produced units for manufacture for the Bi-Steel panel. Fig. The welding machine illustrated in photo 3.1 The Bi-Steel Welding Machine Similar products have had factory set dimensional limits and the Bi-Steel product is no exception.2 MANUFACTURE After heavy investment of £1m into a new friction welding machine it is worth note how the process works. 3. The welding process causes a small deflection inwards purely dependant on the thickness of the plate and its bar spacing. 3. Photo 3.1 Factory dimensional limits BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 9 .Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 3. This deflection is countered by the small outward deflection due to the pressure of the wet cement. Fig.1 below spins the bars around consecutively resulting in opposing forces to the plate at both ends of each bar until the required temperature is reached for fusion to occur.

3 SANDWICH BEAM BEHAVIOUR As we already know the panels resist bending and the core which refers to the transverse bars resist both longitudinal and transverse shear. The bars themselves depending on their sizes are subject to shear. Figure 3. It is when cracking occurs that the predicted tension in realised. aid the prevention of plate buckling which occurs outwards. The shear forces of each bar are found by measuring the strains between the bars. Fig. 3.3.2 Ultimate shear stress of embedded bars The tension and bending are indicated by internal strain gauges. The tension is over estimated in experiments as the concrete itself resists most of the shear. Typically as the load increases more independent cracks . They also however. Experiments have shown that for beams with small length/depth ratio the friction between the steel plate and the concrete can have significant effects on the bar shear. BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 10 on bar tension or indeed the deflection. tension and bending.2 indicates the ultimate stress of the bars. Photo.2 shows the arrangement for experimental testing. The concrete cracking that occurs in testing first would be vertical and appear at the bar positions and the diagonal cracking stems from these vertical cracks but have no apparent effect appear.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 3.

2 Test Arrangement for beams 3. The process is simple. Photo 3.1 FATIGUE TESTING Fatigue failure occurs when a material is subject to constant loading and unloading in its testing and it is all part of the experimentation of the Bi-Steel product.3 Beam plate tension and bar shear fatigue failure modes 11 . BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page Photo 3.3.3 below illustrates plate tension and bar shear failure modes. the fatigue life of the connection should be found by calculating the plate tension failure separate from the bar shear failure and take the worst case scenario. The proposed method of the design guide for Bi-Steel of connections under fatigue loading is based on BS5400.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction Photo 3.

The testing of the material showed its strength. BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 12 .4 PERSONAL COMMENTS The testing process was extensive and so it should have been for it to match the massive investments. However. ductility and most importantly its containment which is its unique selling aspect.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 3. testing has also revealed the products capability of being used in tall building cores. where its rapid construction is again ideal. Structurally the material is impressive as the results have indicated and it is easy to see the importance of a material with such outstanding overall strength being used in areas that are of great public or indeed private importance.

effective materials into one exceedingly strong material is encouraging for an industry which is quite frankly in an era of transition. Its blast resistance is second to none and has been implemented as mentioned above in numerous Government and public areas of importance. which will cut and change things deemed not necessary or vital to the construction. BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 13 .0 CONCLUSION It is clear from what is discussed above the importance of the Bi-Steel product in the modern world. yet. This material is proof that industry can still be moved forwards and it is in our hands to promote and encourage projects like this in modern day society. if any. After heavy investment by the British Government the material has finally hit the ground running and after all the necessary extensive testing mentioned above it is great as a student of Civil engineering to see a new innovative material be implemented so quickly and to such importance. can match its overall properties. The simplicity of combining two very different. particularly here in Ireland. Its cost is not surprising considering the material can in fact save lives but in a construction industry. I expect it to be a long day before we see the Bi-Steel panel utilised to its fullest in this country.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 4. The benefits of the material are impressive as very few.

Min 2006 “The System That Cuts Construction Time” Professional Engineering Volume www.0 REFRENCES JOURNALS “Developments in Sandwich Construction” Journal of Constructional Steel Research Volume: 62 Issue: 11 www.Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 5. Dinah 1998 WEBSITES www. JC & BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 14 . Issue 13 Greek.

0 APPENDICES APPENDIX A: COMPANY BROCHURE BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 15 .Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction 6.

pdf BEng of Civil Engineering Civil 3 Page 16 .Bi-Steel Technical Report Civil Engineering Construction