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Journal of Constructional Steel Research 64 (2008) 12831293

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Journal of Constructional Steel Research


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Tests of concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints


Ran Feng, Ben Young
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

article

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a b s t r a c t
This paper describes a test program on a wide range of concrete-filled cold-formed stainless steel tubular T-joints fabricated from square hollow section (SHS) and rectangular hollow section (RHS) brace and chord members. A total of 27 tests was performed. The chord member of the test specimen was filled with concrete along its full length. Both high strength stainless steel (duplex and high strength austenitic) and normal strength stainless steel (AISI 304) specimens filled with nominal concrete cylinder strength of 30 MPa were tested. The axial compression force was applied to the top end of the brace member, which was welded to the center of the chord member. Local buckling failure of brace member was the main failure mode observed during the tests. Hence, the axial compression force was then applied by means of a steel bearing plate to avoid failure of brace member. The failure modes of chord face failure and chord side wall failure as well as crushing of the concrete infill were observed. All the tests were performed by supporting the chord member of the specimen along its entire length to apply the pure concentrated force without any bending moment. The test results were also compared with design rules for carbon steel tubular structures, which is the only existing design guideline for concrete-filled tubular joints. It is shown that the design strengths predicted by the current design rules are quite conservative for the test specimens. It is also recommended that the contribution of stainless steel tubes should be included in the design rules since it has significant effects on the ultimate bearing capacity of concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints. 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 12 November 2007 Accepted 30 April 2008 Keywords: Cold-formed steel Stainless steel Concrete-filled High strength Rectangular hollow section Square hollow section Tubular structures T-joints

1. Introduction Cold-formed stainless steel tubular connections are being used increasingly for architectural and structural purposes in recent years. Typical application of stainless steel in tubular construction includes pedestrian bridges. Connection reinforcement is widely used when a truss connection has an inadequate resistance and its primary hollow section members cannot be changed. The commonly used method of strengthening tubular connections is to weld a stiffening plate to the exterior of the chord member. One of the disadvantages of this form of connection reinforcement is the resulting structure may lose its aesthetic appearance due to the welded stiffening plate. Another less visible and novel alternative for certain connection types is to fill the hollow section with concrete or grout. For short span trusses, the chord members of the tubular joints can be filled with concrete along the full length of the chord to improve the member capacity as well as the fire resistance. For long span trusses, only some parts of the chord members, especially in the vicinity of critical connections, need to be filled with concrete to increase the connection strengths. Concrete filling, instead of adding stiffening plates to the exterior

Corresponding author. Tel.: +852 2859 2674; fax: +852 2559 5337. E-mail address: young@hku.hk (B. Young).

of tubular connections is particularly appealing for architecturally exposed steelwork. Numerous research studies have been conducted on concretefilled hollow section carbon steel members as beams, columns and beamcolumns. However, little research has been carried out on concrete-filled tubular connections. An experimental investigation of both grouted and ungrouted tubular T-joints fabricated from circular hollow section was carried out by Tebbett et al. [1]. The ultimate strength of tubular connections was shown to be significantly improved for axial tension, axial compression and inplane bending load cases when the connections were filled with concrete. A punching shear failure of the chord face was observed in the joints without concrete filled. However, the punching shear failure was prevented by filling with concrete in the joints. An extensive test program on a range of concrete-filled rectangular hollow section (RHS) in the chord members of X-connections was conducted by Packer and Fear [2]. A total of 14 RHS specimens was tested subjected to transverse compression load applied through bearing plates to avoid failure of the RHS brace members. The tests were performed on a RHS of size 177.8 127.0 4.78 mm member that varied in the amount of concrete filling, loaded with different bearing areas and had the tube oriented in different directions. Packer and Fear [2] proposed a conservative lowerbound method for estimating the strength of concrete-filled RHS under transverse compression that ignore the contribution of the

0143-974X/$ see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jcsr.2008.04.011

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Notation A1 A2 b0 b1 COV fc h0 h1 Lc L0 L1 N Nf Nmax Ns N3%b0 N1 N1 n q r0 r1 R1 t0 t1 u Bearing area over which the transverse load is applied Dispersed bearing area Overall width of chord member Overall width of brace member or steel bearing plate Coefficient of variation Crushing strength of concrete by cylinder test Overall depth of chord member Overall depth of brace member or steel bearing plate Length of concrete in chord member Overall length of chord member Overall length of brace member or overall height of steel bearing plate Axial compression load Failure load Maximum test strength (peak load) Test serviceability strength Test strength at the deformation of 3%bo Factored resistance of concrete-filled tubular joint Nominal strength of concrete-filled tubular joint Maximum bearing stress of concrete infill Inner corner radius of chord member Inner corner radius of brace member Corner radius of steel bearing plate Overall thickness of chord member Overall thickness of brace member Chord flange indentation Chord web deflection Weld size Weld size for full width joint Brace or steel bearing plate to chord width ratio (b1 /b0 ) Chord width to thickness ratio (b0 /t0 ) Inclined angle between brace and chord member Brace to chord thickness ratio (t1 /t0 ) Resistance factor for limit states design of concrete in bearing

given by Packer [3] for concrete-filled carbon steel tubular T-joints were used for concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints. The flange indentation and web deflection of chord members of the test specimens as well as the observed failure modes were reported in this paper. The joint deformations under service loads were also examined in this study. 2. Experimental investigation 2.1. General The test strengths of concrete-filled tubular T-joints are mainly based on the failure modes. When local buckling failure of brace members governs, the concrete infill in the chord members could not contribute to the improvement of the strengths of T-joints. When the test specimens mainly failed by plastification of chord members as well as crushing of the concrete infill, the strengths of concrete-filled tubular T-joints are dependent mainly on: (1) the ratio ( ) of brace width to chord width (b1 /b0 ); (2) the bearing area (A1 ) over which the transverse load was applied; (3) the dispersed bearing area (A2 ); and (4) the crushing strength (fc ) of concrete infill. The concrete infill in the chord member plays an important role for the significant improvement of failure load of tubular connections. Laboratory tests were conducted to investigate the structural behaviour of concrete-filled stainless steel SHS and RHS T-joints. The concrete was filled in the chord member along its full length for most of the test specimens. Axial compression force was firstly applied to the top end of the brace member, which was welded to the center of the chord member and perpendicular to the chord. The concrete-filled tubular T-joints have non-dimensional parameters of ranging from 0.5 to 1.0, from 0.5 to 2.0, and 2 from 10 to 50. Local buckling failure of brace member was found to be the main failure mode for most of the test specimens. Hence, the axial compression force was then applied through steel bearing plates to avoid failure of brace members. The bearing area (A1 ) of steel plate was ranging from 1545 to 22 448 mm2 . Most of the test specimens were filled with a nominal concrete strength of 30 MPa in the chord members. The chord members were supported by a rigid base along its entire length to apply the pure concentrated force without any bending moment. 2.2. Test specimens 2.2.1. Stainless steel tubular T-joints with brace member The compression tests were performed on concrete-filled coldformed stainless steel tubular T-joints of square and rectangular hollow sections. A total of 11 specimens was fabricated with brace member fully welded at right angle to the center of the continuous chord member. The square and rectangular hollow sections consisted of a large range of section sizes. For the chord members, the tubular hollow sections had nominal overall flange width (b0 ) ranged from 40 to 200 mm, nominal overall depth of the web (h0 ) from 40 to 160 mm, and nominal thickness (t0 ) from 1.5 to 4.0 mm. For the brace members, the nominal overall flange width (b1 ) ranged from 40 to 150 mm, nominal overall depth of the web (h1 ) from 40 to 150 mm, and nominal thickness (t1 ) from 1.5 to 3.0 mm. The measured values of the specimen dimensions are shown in Table 1 using the nomenclature defined in Figs. 1 and 2. The values of plate width, depth, thickness, and weld size are based on the average measurements of all four sides and welds of the intersection for each specimen. The end of the brace member of tubular joint loaded in axial compression was milled flat to an accuracy of 0.02 mm to ensure full contact between the specimen and end plate of the testing machine. The length of brace member

v w w

1 c

steel and determine the capacity by the bearing strength of the concrete. In 1995, a large number of tests on a range of concretefilled T-, X- and K-joints fabricated from square and rectangular hollow sections (SHS and RHS) were performed by Packer [3]. Special attention was given to the comparison between the full and partial concrete filling of RHS in the chord members of the X-joints. The tests were performed by using bearing plates to transmit transverse compression load to the hollow section chord members to prevent the failure mode of squashing the compression brace members. It should be noted that the aforementioned tests conducted by Tebbett et al. [1], Packer and Fear [2] and Packer [3] were focused on concrete-filled carbon steel tubular joints. Design rules for concrete-filled tubular joints are available in the Comit International pour le Dveloppement et ltude de la Construction Tubulaire (CIDECT) Monograph No. 6 [4]. Currently, it is the only existing design guideline that can be used for concretefilled tubular joints. The design procedure given in the CIDECT is based on the studies of Packer and Fear [2] and Packer [3], which is a conservative lower-bound method by ignoring the contribution of the steel. This paper focuses on the strength of concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints fabricated from square and rectangular hollow sections. Both high strength and normal strength stainless steel specimens were tested. In this study, the design guidelines

R. Feng, B. Young / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 64 (2008) 12831293 Table 1 Measured dimensions and test results of test specimens with brace members Specimen Chord (mm) h0 TD-C40 2F1-B40 2 TD-C50 1.5F1-B40 2 TD-C160 3F1-B40 2 TD-C50 1.5F1-B50 1.5 TD-C140 3F1-B50 1.5 TD-C160 3F1-B50 1.5 TD-C140 3F1-B140 3 TH-C110 4F1-B150 3 TN-C40 4-B40 2F3 TN-C100 4-B40 2F3 TN-C100 4-B100 2F3 40.0 50.2 160.3 50.2 140.1 160.4 140.1 110.0 40.1 99.8 99.7 b0 40.4 50.0 80.6 50.1 80.0 80.4 80.0 196.0 40.0 49.7 49.6 t0 1.98 1.54 2.89 1.54 3.09 2.89 3.15 4.00 3.91 3.85 3.82 r0 2.0 1.5 6.0 1.5 6.5 6.0 6.5 8.5 4.0 4.0 4.0 L0 241 291 843 300 750 853 841 703 240 540 602 Brace (mm) h1 39.9 40.0 40.0 49.9 50.0 50.1 140.3 150.9 40.1 40.0 99.9 b1 40.3 40.3 40.2 50.2 50.3 50.1 80.4 150.4 40.1 40.1 50.1 t1 1.94 1.95 1.97 1.56 1.52 1.54 3.10 2.79 2.00 2.02 1.97 r1 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.5 1.5 1.5 6.5 4.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 L1 98 98 99 122 122 121 345 369 99 99 246 Weld (mm) Failure mode

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Test strength (kN) Nf

w
4.9 5.3 6.4 4.1 6.9 6.2 7.2 8.1 8.5 8.3 8.6

w
8.2 5.9 10.2 11.1 11.2

1.00 0.81 0.50 1.00 0.63 0.62 1.00 0.77 1.00 0.81 1.00 C B+D C C C C C C C B+D B+D

236.1 184.2 241.1 162.0 168.9 173.8 571.8 426.4 235.8 193.1 324.6

Note: A = Chord face failure; B = Chord side wall failure; C = Local buckling failure of brace; D = Crushing of concrete.

Fig. 1. Definition of symbols for test specimen with brace member.

the rest of the specimens were filled with concrete in the chord member only, but not the brace member. 2.2.2. Stainless steel tubular T-joints with steel bearing plate Based on the study of concrete-filled compression-loaded Tconnections carried out by Tebbett et al. [1], the ultimate strengths of tubular joints were actually governed by the failure of the compression brace without concrete infill, as expected with such a rigid base for the brace member. This was also demonstrated in this study for concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints. Local buckling failure of brace member does not really reflect the true ultimate capacity of the tubular joints. Hence, local buckling in the brace member was purposely prevented by using steel bearing plate to transmit transverse compression force to the concrete-filled chord member. A total of 16 specimens was tested with the axial compression loads applied through steel bearing plate rather than brace member. The ratio of bearing plate width to chord width of the specimens ( ) varied from 0.5 to 1.0 for obtaining different failure modes as chord face failure and chord side wall failure as well as crushing of the concrete infill. For the chord members, the tubular hollow sections had nominal overall flange width (b0 ) ranged from 40 to 200 mm, nominal overall depth of the web (h0 ) from 40 to 200 mm, and nominal thickness (t0 ) from 1.5 to 6.0 mm. For the steel bearing plates that simulated the brace members, they were fabricated from high strength steel with height (L1 ) of 40 mm, the nominal overall width (b1 ) ranged from 40 to 150 mm, nominal overall depth (h1 ) from 40 to 200 mm, and nominal corner radius (R1 ) from 3.0 to 12.5 mm. The measured dimensions of specimens and steel bearing plates are shown in Table 2 using the nomenclature defined in Figs. 3 and 4.

Fig. 2. 3D view of test specimen with brace member.

(L1 ) was chosen as 2.5h1 to avoid the overall buckling of brace member. The length of chord member (L0 ) was chosen as 5h0 + h1 to ensure that the stresses at the brace and chord intersection are not affected by the ends of the chord. According to the tests conducted by Feng and Young [5] on SHS and RHS stainless steel tubular T-joints without concrete infill, several specimens failed by local buckling in the brace member. Hence, the same specimens would also failed by local buckling of the brace member if concrete is filled in the chord member and having similar failure loads. Therefore, concrete was filled in the brace member of these specimens (TN-C40 4-B40 2F3, TN-C100 4-B40 2F3 and TN-C100 4-B100 2F3) and the chord member was not filled with concrete. It should be noted that

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Fig. 3. Definition of symbols for test specimen with steel bearing plate.

Fig. 4. 3D view of test specimen with steel bearing plate. Table 2 Measured dimensions and test results of test specimens with steel bearing plates Specimen Chord (mm) h0 TD-C40 2F1-P40 40 TD-C140 3F2-P40 40 TD-C160 3F1-P40 40 TD-C50 1.5F1-P50 50 TD-C140 3F1-P50 50 TD-C160 3F1-P50 50 TD-C140 3F1-P140 80 TD-C160 3F3-P140 80 TH-C110 4F1-P150 150 TH-C150 6F2-P150 150 TH-C200 4F2-P200 110 TN-C40 2F2-P40 40 TN-C80 2F3-P40 40 TN-C100 2F3-P40 40 TN-C40 4F2-P40 40 TN-C40 4F2-P40 40-R 40.0 140.2 160.3 50.2 140.1 160.4 140.1 160.4 110.0 150.0 197.0 40.1 80.1 99.9 40.0 40.1 b0 40.4 80.0 80.6 50.1 80.0 80.4 80.0 80.6 196.0 150.1 109.2 40.1 80.1 50.1 40.0 40.1 t0 1.98 3.14 2.89 1.54 3.09 2.89 3.15 2.89 4.00 5.88 4.02 2.00 1.87 1.94 3.92 3.82 r0 2.0 6.5 6.0 1.5 6.5 6.0 6.5 6.0 8.5 6.0 8.5 2.0 4.0 2.0 4.0 4.0 L0 241 740 843 300 750 853 841 939 703 900 1204 241 443 540 241 241 Steel bearing plate (mm) h1 40 40 40 50 50 50 140 140 150 150 200 40 40 40 40 40 b1 40 40 40 50 50 50 80 80 150 150 110 40 40 40 40 40 R1 4.0 4.0 4.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 9.5 9.5 7.8 12.0 12.5 4.0 4.0 4.0 8.0 8.0 L1 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 Weld (mm) Failure mode Test strength (kN) Nf B+D A+D A+D B+D A+D A+D B+D B+D A+B+D B+D B+D B+D A+D A+D B+D B+D 259.8 232.9 272.8 248.1 323.1 300.4 734.1 635.4 3322.2 2212.3 1003.9 200.4 283.2 149.6 308.5 319.8

w
4.9 6.3 6.4 4.1 6.9 6.2 7.2 6.9 8.1 10.8 8.5 5.0 4.7 5.4 8.0 8.3

w
8.2 5.9 10.2 10.6 14.8 15.8 7.8 11.7 10.8

0.99 0.50 0.50 1.00 0.63 0.62 1.00 0.99 0.77 1.00 1.00 1.00 0.50 0.80 1.00 1.00

Note: A = Chord face failure; B = Chord side wall failure; C = Local buckling failure of brace; D = Crushing of concrete.

2.3. Specimen labeling 2.3.1. Stainless steel tubular T-joints with brace member The specimens are labeled according to their joint configuration, steel types, cross-section dimensions of chord and brace members and concrete infill. For example, the labels TDC160 3F1-B40 2 and TN-C100 4-B100 2F3 define the following concrete-filled tubular T-joints:

The third letter C refers to chord member and the following expressions 160 3 and 100 4 indicate the crosssection dimensions of the chord members, which having nominal overall depth of the webs (h0 ) of 160 and 100 mm, respectively as well as the wall thicknesses (t0 ) of 3 and 4 mm, respectively. The overall flange width is purposely not shown for simplification, and the dimension of the flange can be found in Table 1. The notation F1 means concrete of the first batch was filled in the chord member only. If the notation is not shown, then the chord member was not filled with concrete. The letter B refers to brace member and the following expressions 40 2 and 100 2 indicate the cross-section dimensions of the brace members, which having nominal overall depth of the webs (h1 ) of 40 and 100 mm, respectively

The first letter T indicates the T-joint specimens. The second letters D and N indicate that the steel type of the
specimens are duplex and normal strength austenitic stainless steel type AISI 304. If the letter is H, it refers to high strength austenitic stainless steel.

R. Feng, B. Young / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 64 (2008) 12831293 Table 3 Concrete mix design Nominal concrete strength (MPa) Water/cement ratio Mix proportions (to the weight of cement) Cement 30 0.66 1.0 Water 0.66 Fine aggregate 2.0 Coarse aggregate 4.0 Table 4 Measured concrete cylinder strengths Nominal concrete strength (MPa) 30 30 30 Batch Measured concrete cylinder strength fc (MPa) 28.5 29.9 27.5 Coefficient of variation (COV) 0.020 0.043 0.073

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Number of concrete cylinder tests 6 6 6

1 2 3

as well as the wall thickness (t1 ) of 2 mm for both specimens. Once again, the notation F3 means concrete of the third batch was filled in the brace member only. 2.3.2. Stainless steel tubular T-joints with steel bearing plate The specimens are labeled according to their joint configuration, steel types, cross-section dimensions of chord members, steel bearing plates and concrete infill. The label TN-C40 4F2P40 40-R defines the specimen with nearly the same meaning as the label system for concrete-filled tubular T-joints with brace member. The only difference is the part P40 40-R, in which the letter P refers to steel bearing plate and the following expression 40 40 indicates the cross-section dimensions of the steel bearing plate, which having nominal overall depth (h1 ) and overall width (b1 ) of 40 mm. If a test is repeated, then the letter R indicates the repeated test. 2.4. Material properties of cold-formed stainless steel tubes The specimens were cold-rolled from austenitic stainless steel type AISI 304 (EN 1.4301), high strength austenitic (HSA) and duplex (EN 1.4462) stainless steel sheets. The stainless steel type AISI 304 is considered as normal strength material, whereas the HSA and duplex are considered as high strength material. In this study, the stainless steel tube specimens were obtained from the same batch of specimens conducted by Zhou and Young [6] for flexural members. The material properties of the stainless steel tubes were determined by tensile coupon tests. The duplex stainless steel tubes are 40 40 2, 50 50 1.5, 140 80 3 and 160 80 3 having the measured 0.2% tensile proof stress of 707, 622, 486 and 536 MPa, respectively; the high strength austenitic (HSA) stainless steel tubes are 150 150 3, 150 150 6 and 200 110 4 having the measured 0.2% tensile proof stress of 448, 497 and 503 MPa, respectively; the normal strength stainless steel (AISI 304) tubes are 40 40 2, 40 40 4, 80 80 2, 100 50 2 and 100 50 4 having the measured 0.2% tensile proof stress of 447, 565, 398, 320 and 378 MPa, respectively. The tensile coupon tests are detailed in Zhou and Young [6]. 2.5. Material properties of concrete

It is known that the concrete strength will be enhanced by the confinement of the tube side walls. Hence, the observed maximum bearing stress (q) of the concrete is always greater than its crushing strength (fc ) determined by the concrete cylinder test. Studies of confined concrete in bearing have been carried out by many researchers. The ratio of the bearing stress to the crushing strength of concrete (q/fc ) was given in concrete design codes as A2 /A1 with different upper limit, where A1 = bearing area over which the transverse load is applied, and A2 = dispersed bearing area. It was recommended by Packer and Fear [2] and Packer [3] that the dispersed bearing area (A2 ) should be calculated based on longitudinal load dispersion along the chord member at a slope of 2:1 until the edge of the concrete is reached, which has been adopted in the CIDECT [4]. The upper limit of A2 /A1 was proposed by the American concrete code [8] of 2.0, the European concrete code [9] of 3.0, whereas the CIDECT [4] has the upper limit of 3.3. The design guidelines given in the CIDECT were used for the calculation of concrete bearing stress in this study, as shown in Table 5. 2.6. Procedure of welding The welds connecting brace and chord members were designed according to the American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1/D1.1M specification [10] and laid using shielded metal arc welding. The weld sizes (w and w ) in the test specimens are all greater than the larger value of 1.5t or 3 mm, where t is the thickness of thinner part between brace and chord members. The 2.5, 3.25 and 4.0 mm electrodes of type E2209-17 with nominal 0.2% proof stress, tensile strength, and elongation of 635 MPa, 830 MPa, and 25%, respectively, were used for welding high strength stainless steel (duplex and high strength austenitic) specimens. The 2.0 and 2.5 mm electrodes of type E308L-17 with nominal 0.2% proof stress, tensile strength, and elongation of 440 MPa, 570 MPa, and 37%, respectively, were used for welding normal strength stainless steel (AISI 304) specimens. The electrodes are described in details in the AWS A5.11 specification [11]. All welds consisted of 2 to 3 runs of welding to guarantee that failure of specimens occurred in the brace or chord members rather than the welds. The measured weld sizes w and w (full width joint) are shown in Tables 1 and 2. 2.7. Test rig and procedure

The material properties of concrete were determined from compressive concrete cylinder tests. The standard concrete cylinder has nominal diameter of 150 mm and height of 300 mm. The concrete cylinders were produced using commercially available materials with normal mixing and curing techniques. In this study, a relatively low strength concrete was deliberately used. The concrete mix design for the expected nominal concrete cylinder strength of 30 MPa is shown in Table 3. A total of 18 concrete cylinder tests was conducted according to the test procedures in the American Specification [7] for compressive concrete cylinder testing. The tests include three batches of concrete cylinders having the same concrete mix. The material properties of the concrete are summarized in Table 4 that includes the measured concrete cylinder strength (fc ) and the corresponding coefficients of variation (COV) for the three batches of concrete cylinders, respectively.

2.7.1. Stainless steel tubular T-joints with brace member The schematic sketches of the test arrangement are shown in Fig. 5. Axial compression force was applied to the specimen by using a servo-controlled hydraulic machine. The upper end support was movable to allow tests to be conducted at various specimen dimensions. A special fixed-ended bearing was designed to simulate the pure axial compression test without any bending moment applied to the specimen. The special bearing was connected to the upper end support. The chord member of the test specimen was rest on the bottom end plate, which connected to the bottom support of the testing machine. This provided support to the specimen along its entire length. The special bearing was restrained from rotations by using four vertical bolts. Hence, the special bearing became a fixed-ended bearing which was

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Table 5 Limit-state loads and failure modes of test specimens with steel bearing plates Specimen Failure mode Test strength Nf (kN) B+D A+D A+D B+D A+D A+D B+D B+D A+B+D B+D B+D B+D A+D B+D B+D B+D 259.8 232.9 272.8 248.1 323.1 300.4 734.1 635.4 3322.2 2212.3 1003.9 200.4 283.2 149.6 308.5 319.8
q fc

Nominal strength Ns (kN) 110.3 171.5 196.4 117.4 231.1 208.1 320.4 298.7 1044.9 1330.7 524.8 73.1 150.2 105.1 112.0 112.3
N1 n (kN)

Ultimate limit state


Nf
N1 n

Serviceability limit state


/1.5 c N 1 n

Flange indentation u (mm) 1.1 2.4 1.9 1.1 2.4 1.6 1.4 1.4 5.9 2.9 2.2 1.2 2.4 1.2 1.2 1.2

Web deflection

TD-C40 2F1-P40 40 TD-C140 3F2-P40 40 TD-C160 3F1-P40 40 TD-C50 1.5F1-P50 50 TD-C140 3F1-P50 50 TD-C160 3F1-P50 50 TD-C140 3F1-P140 80 TD-C160 3F3-P140 80 TH-C110 4F1-P150 150 TH-C150 6F2-P150 150 TH-C200 4F2-P200 110 TN-C40 2F2-P40 40 TN-C80 2F3-P40 40 TN-C100 2F3-P40 40 TN-C40 4F2-P40 40 TN-C40 4F2-P40 40-R Mean COV 0.99 0.50 0.50 1.00 0.63 0.62 1.00 0.99 0.77 1.00 1.00 1.00 0.50 0.80 1.00 1.00

Ns

v (mm)
1.2 1.4 1.0 1.5 1.5 0.9 2.4 2.4 4.8 4.5 3.3 1.1 1.1 1.0 0.5 0.6

2.24 3.88 4.13 2.24 3.49 3.72 2.24 2.36 1.98 2.24 2.22 2.24 3.00 3.32 2.24 2.24

102.0 185.7 188.3 159.7 249.1 265.2 714.5 726.4 1272.7 1506.3 1464.0 107.2 131.8 145.6 107.1 107.2

2.55 1.25 1.45 1.55 1.30 1.13 1.03 0.87 2.61 1.47 0.69 1.87 2.15 1.03 2.88 2.98 1.68 0.442

2.70 2.31 2.61 1.84 2.32 1.96 1.12 1.03 2.05 2.21 0.90 1.70 2.85 1.80 2.61 2.62 2.04 0.301

Note: A = Chord face failure; B = Chord side wall failure; C = Local buckling failure of brace; D = Crushing of concrete. c = 0.6.

(a) End view.

(b) Elevation. Fig. 5. Schematic sketch of compression tests applied by brace member.

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Fig. 6. Deformations of test specimen with brace member.

considered to be restrained against both minor and major axes rotations as well as warping. The pure axial compression force was then applied to the specimen. Two displacement transducers were positioned on either side of the brace member measuring the vertical deflections at the center of the connecting face of the chord. The transducers were positioned 20 mm away from the faces of the brace member, as shown in Fig. 6. The flange indentation (u) in the chord member was obtained from the average reading of these two transducers. It is clearly demonstrated in Fig. 6 that the maximum outward deflection (v ) of the chord web does not occur at the mid-height of the chord side wall. It may approximately appear near the twothirds of the overall depth of the chord web (h0 ). The exact location of the maximum deformation of the chord side wall cannot be easily predicted, as it depends on the initial plate imperfection of the chord side wall. Hence, two displacement transducers were positioned at the mid-height of the chord side wall to record the side wall deflection. The average of these readings was also taken as the chord web deflection (v ), as shown in Fig. 6. Two other displacement transducers were positioned diagonally on the bottom end plate to measure the axial shortening of the specimen. A 1000 kN capacity servo-controlled hydraulic testing machine was used to apply axial compression force to the specimens. Displacement control was used to drive the hydraulic actuator at a constant speed of 0.1 mm/min for all the concrete-filled tubular Tjoints. Most of test specimens were failed by local buckling of brace members, as shown in Fig. 7 for a photograph of the test setup of specimen TH-C110 4F1-B150 3. 2.7.2. Stainless steel tubular T-joints with steel bearing plate The schematic sketches of the test arrangement are shown in Fig. 8. The test setup for specimens with steel bearing plate is similar to those specimens with brace member. The deformation of test specimens was measured. Due to the space limitation, four displacement transducers were positioned on the four aluminium angles, as shown in Fig. 8. Two other displacement transducers were positioned diagonally on the bottom end plate to measure the axial shortening of the specimen. Therefore, the flange indentation (u) in the chord member was obtained from these transducers, as shown in Fig. 9. Similar to the test procedure for the specimens with brace member, two displacement transducers were positioned at the mid-height of the chord side wall to record the side wall deflection. The average of these readings was also taken as the chord web deflection (v ), as shown in Fig. 9. A 5000 kN capacity servo-controlled hydraulic testing machine was used to apply axial compression force through the steel bearing plate to the specimen. Displacement control was used to drive the hydraulic actuator at a constant speed of 0.2 mm/min. The applied loads and readings of displacement transducers were recorded automatically at regular interval by using a data acquisition system. A photograph of the test setup of specimen TH-C150 6F2-P150 150 is shown in Fig. 10.

Fig. 7. Test setup of concrete-filled tubular T-joint of specimen TH-C110 4F1B150 3.

2.8. Test strengths and failure modes 2.8.1. Definition of failure load In this study, there are four types of failure modes for the compression tests of concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints, namely chord face failure (plastic failure of the chord face), chord side wall failure (chord wall bearing or local buckling under the compression bracing member), local buckling failure of brace (local buckling of the compression bracing member) and crushing of concrete. According to the design rules in the CIDECT [4], the failure modes of hollow section tubular joints without concrete infill are defined based on the value of brace width to chord width ratio ( ). This design guidance, however is only suitable for the hollow section tubular joints without concrete infill, and it is not applicable to the concrete-filled tubular joints. Design rules in the CIDECT [4], which is the only existing design guideline for concrete-filled tubular joints, do not include any definition of failure modes for concrete-filled tubular joints. The design of concrete-filled tubular T-joints is more likely to be governed by the ultimate limit state rather than the serviceability limit state, the determination of failure load proposed by Zhao [12] for hollow section tubular T-joints without concrete infill cannot be fully used for concrete-filled tubular joints. For the concrete-filled

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(a) End view.

(b) Elevation. Fig. 8. Schematic sketch of compression tests applied by steel bearing plate.

Fig. 9. Deformations of test specimen with steel bearing plate.

tubular T-joints, if the maximum test strength (Nmax ) at a deformation smaller than 3%b0 , the maximum test strength is considered to be the failure load; if the maximum test strength (peak load) at a deformation larger than 3%b0 , the test strength N3%b0 at the deformation of 3%b0 is considered to be the failure load. 2.8.2. Stainless steel tubular T-joints with brace member The failure loads (Nf ) of the test specimens and the observed failure modes are shown in Table 1. All the specimens failed by local buckling of brace members, except for the specimens TDC50 1.5F1-B40 2, TN-C100 4-B40 2F3 and TN-C100 4B100 2F3 failed by chord side wall and crushing of concrete. It is shown that the joint deformations (u, v ) for most test specimens are quite small when they suddenly failed by local buckling of brace

members. In contrast, the joint deformations (u, v ) of the three specimens TD-C50 1.5F1-B40 2, TN-C100 4-B40 2F3 and TN-C100 4-B100 2F3 are relatively large when they failed by plastification of chord members as well as crushing of the concrete infill. 2.8.3. Stainless steel tubular T-joints with steel bearing plate The failure loads (Nf ) of the test specimens and the observed failure modes are shown in Table 2. It was found that the deformations corresponding to the maximum test strengths for all the specimens are greater than the respective 3%b0 , except for the specimens TD-C160 3F1-P40 40, TD-C160 3F1-P50 50 and TN-C100 2F3-P40 40, indicating that the 3%b0 deformation limit for the ultimate strength of hollow section carbon steel

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(a) Load versus chord flange indentation curves. Fig. 10. Test setup of concrete-filled tubular T-joint of specimen TH-C150 6F2P150 150.

tubular joints without concrete infill proposed by Lu et al. [13] can be applied to the concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints. All the specimens failed by plastification of the chord, and the failure generally involved large plastic deformations of the connecting faces and side walls of the chord as well as crushing of concrete. The concrete infill extended beyond both ends of the specimen by several millimeters at the failure loads. The graphs of applied load (N ) versus chord flange indentation (u), and applied load versus chord web deflection (v ) are shown in Figs. 11 and 12 for small and large specimens, respectively. Table 5 shows the values of chord flange indentation (u) and chord web deflection (v ) obtained at the failure loads of the test specimens.
(b) Load versus chord web deflection curves. Fig. 12. Load versus deformation curves of concrete-filled tubular T-joint tests for large specimens with steel bearing plate.

3. Design guidelines 3.1. General The design strength of concrete-filled stainless steel SHS and RHS tubular T-joints could be obtained based on different failure modes. For test specimens failed by local buckling of brace member, their failure loads depend on the stub column capacity of stainless steel tube, and the effects of concrete infill in the chord member can be ignored. The resistance of the specimen TN-C40 4B40 2F3 with concrete infill in the brace member cannot be calculated using the design equations in the specifications for tubular joints, since it was failed in the concrete-filled brace member. This kind of failure is very similar to the failure mode of concrete-filled hollow section columns. Hence, the design strength can be obtained based on the design rules for concrete-filled stainless steel tube columns, as recommended by Young and Ellobody [14]. 3.2. Design equations For test specimens failed by plastification of chord member and crushing of the concrete infill in the chord member, a very conservative design rule for estimating the strength of such kinds of concrete-filled tubular joints under transverse compression can be used. Eq. (1) was proposed by Packer and Fear [2] and Packer [3], which was adopted by the CIDECT [4] for the design of concretefilled hollow section joints for carbon steel. The contribution of the steel tubes is ignored, but the confinement of the concrete infill was considered. The design equation was proposed for concretefilled RHS under load and resistance factor design (LRFD) as

(a) Load versus chord flange indentation curves.

(b) Load versus chord web deflection curves. Fig. 11. Load versus deformation curves of concrete-filled tubular T-joint tests for small specimens with steel bearing plate.

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follows: N1 = (c fc A1 / sin 1 ) (A2 /A1 )

(1)

where c is the resistance factor for concrete in bearing (c = 0.6 in the CIDECT [4]), fc is the crushing strength of concrete by cylinder tests, A1 is the bearing area over which the transverse load is applied, A2 is the dispersed bearing area, and 1 is the inclined angle between brace and chord members. For which, A1 = h1 b1 , where h1 and b1 are the overall depth and width of the steel bearing plate, respectively. It should be noted that the design rules given by Packer and Fear [2], Packer [3] and CIDECT [4] for concretefilled carbon steel tubular joints under compression are only applicable to test specimens with steel bearing plate rather than test specimens with brace member. Therefore, the comparison of test strengths with design strengths of test specimens was not carried out in this paper for the test specimens with brace member. Based on the recommendation given by Packer [3] for the concrete-filled tubular T-joints, the dispersed bearing area (A2 ) was calculated by dispersion of the bearing load at a slope of 2:1 longitudinally along the chord member, and through the entire depth of the chord rather than limited by the (A2 /A1 ). The equation for calculating the dispersed bearing area (A2 ) proposed by Packer [3] is as follows: A2 = (h1 / sin 1 + 4h0 )b1 (2)

low proportionality stress precipitates growth of deformations at loads well below ultimate (Rasmussen and Young [15]). It was proposed in the CIDECT [4] recommendations for hollow section tubular joints that carbon steel joint deformations under service loads should be limited to 1% of the chord width (b0 ). This recommendation was also adopted in this study for concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints. For test specimens failed by plastification of chord members and crushing of the concrete infill, the test serviceability strengths (Ns ) at which the measured deflection (max{u, v }) equaled 1% of the chord width (b0 ) are shown in Table 5. The test serviceability strengths were compared with the design serviceability strengths determined by dividing the design strengths (c N1 n ) by 1.5, where the value of 1.5 is consistent with the recommendations of CIDECT [4], as well as the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) [16] of using a load factor of 1.5 on the design strength in allowable stress design. The ratio of the test serviceability strengths to the design serviceability strengths (Ns /(c N1 n /1.5)) is shown in Table 5. It follows from the table that the values of the ratio for all specimens are much greater than unity, except for specimen TH-C200 4F2-P200 110, indicating that the serviceability limit state generally will not be reached. For concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints, the larger web slenderness ratio (h0 /t0 ) may cause faster growth of the chord web deflection (v ) under relatively small service loads. 3.5. Comparison of test strengths with design strengths The failure loads (Nf ) were compared with the nominal strengths (N1 n ) predicted using the design rules given by Packer [3]. In addition, the test serviceability strengths (Ns ) at the deformation of 1%b0 were also compared with the design serviceability strengths predicted using the recommendations of CIDECT [4] as well as the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) [16]. Table 5 shows the comparison of the test strengths with the design strengths for the ultimate limit state and serviceability limit state of concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints. The design strengths were calculated using the measured cross-section dimensions as shown in Table 2 and the measured material properties as summarized in Table 4. It is shown that the design strengths predicted by the design rules given by Packer [3] are generally conservative for both high strength and normal strength stainless steel concrete-filled tubular T-joints. For the ultimate limit state, the mean value of the tested-to-predicted strength ratio (Nf /N1 n ) is 1.68, with the corresponding coefficient of variation (COV) of 0.442. For the serviceability limit state, the mean value of the tested-to-predicted strength ratio (Ns /(c N1 n /1.5)) is 2.04, with the corresponding COV of 0.301, as shown in Table 5. 4. Conclusions An experimental investigation of concrete-filled cold-formed stainless steel tubular T-joints of square and rectangular hollow sections has been presented in this paper. The test specimens were cold-rolled from high strength and normal strength stainless steel materials having different bearing area over which the transverse load was applied and dispersed bearing area. The test strengths, failure modes and load-deformation curves for all the test specimens have been reported. The failure modes involved chord face failure, chord side wall failure, local buckling failure of brace as well as crushing of the concrete infill. The test strengths were compared with the design strengths calculated using the proposed design rules given by Packer [3] for concrete-filled carbon steel tubular T-joints. It is shown that the design strengths are generally conservative for both high strength

where h1 and b1 are the overall depth and width of the steel bearing plate, respectively, h0 is the overall depth of the chord member, and 1 is the inclined angle between brace and chord members. The range of validity for the length of concrete in chord member (Lc ) was also recommended by Packer [3] as Lc (h1 / sin 1 ) + 4h0 . 3.3. Ultimate limit state In this study, the design rules given by Packer [3] for concretefilled carbon steel tubular T-joints are used for the design of concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints. The design strengths ) given by Packer [3] have already incorporated the resistance (N1 factor (c ) for limit states design of concrete in bearing, which are the products of nominal strengths and resistance factor, where c = 0.6 is recommended in the CIDECT [4]. Hence, the nominal strengths (N1 n ) can be obtained by dividing the design strengths (N1 ) by resistance factor (c ) as follow:
N1 n = N1 /c = N1 /0.6.

(3)

The calculated nominal strengths (N1n ) and the ratio of test strengths to nominal strengths (Nf /N1 n ) are shown in Table 5. If the value of the ratio is greater than unity, it indicates conservative design strength. It follows from the values as shown in Table 5 that the nominal strengths are conservative for both high strength and normal strength stainless steel concrete-filled tubular Tjoints, except for specimens TD-C160 3F3-P140 80 and THC200 4F2-P200 110. It is clearly shown that the contribution of stainless steel tubes should be included in the design rules since it has significant effects on the ultimate bearing capacity of concretefilled stainless steel tubular T-joints. Furthermore, the effect of the parameter (h0 /t0 ) on the confinement of concrete should also be taken into account in the design rules, where h0 and t0 are the overall depth and thickness of the chord member. 3.4. Serviceability limit state The design of stainless steel structures is more likely to be governed by the serviceability limit state compared to carbon steel structures, because the loss of stiffness associated with the

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and normal strength stainless steel concrete-filled tubular T-joints. It is demonstrated that the concrete-filled cold-formed stainless steel tubular T-joints of square and rectangular hollow sections can be designed using the design rules for concrete-filled carbon steel tubular T-joints. Furthermore, it would not be necessary to check the deformations of concrete-filled tubular T-joints under serviceability limit state. It should be noted that the contribution of stainless steel tubes should be included in the design rules since it has significant effects on the ultimate bearing capacity of concretefilled stainless steel tubular T-joints. Further research is required to propose accurate design equations for concrete-filled stainless steel tubular T-joints. Acknowledgements The authors are grateful to STALA Tube Finland for supplying the test specimens. The authors are also thankful to Mr. Wai-Man Wong for his assistance in the experimental program as part of his final year undergraduate research project at The University of Hong Kong. References
[1] Tebbett IE, Beckett CD, Billington CJ. The punching shear strength of tubular joints reinforced with a grouted pile. In: Proceedings of offshore technology conference, offshore technology conference association. 1979. p. 91521. [2] Packer JA, Fear CE. Concrete-filled rectangular hollow section X and T connections. In: Proceedings of the fourth international symposium on tubular structures. 1991. p. 38291.

[3] Packer JA. Concrete-filled HSS connections. Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE 1995;121(3):45867. [4] Packer JA, Wardenier J, Kurobane Y, Dutta D, Yeomans N. Design guide for rectangular hollow section (RHS) joints under predominantly static loading. Comit International pour le Dveloppement et ltude de la Construction Tubulaire (CIDECT), Verlag TV Rheinland. Cologne, Germany. 1992. [5] Feng R, Young B. Experimental investigation of cold-formed stainless steel tubular T-joints. Thin-walled Structures [in press]. [6] Zhou F, Young B. Tests of cold-formed stainless steel tubular flexural members. Thin-Walled Structures 2005;43(9):132537. [7] American Concrete Institute (ACI). Building code requirements for structural concrete (ACI 318-05) and commentary (ACI 318R-05). MI(USA). 2005. [8] American Concrete Institute (ACI). Building code requirements for structural concrete (ACI 318M-02) and commentary (ACI 318RM-02). MI(USA). 2002. [9] Eurocode 2 (EC2). Design of concrete structures Part 1-1: General rules and rules for buildings. European Committee for Standardization, BS EN 1992-11:2004, CEN. Brussels(Belgium). 2004. [10] American Welding Society (AWS). Structural welding code-steel. AWS D1.1/1.1M, Miami(USA). 2004. [11] American Welding Society (AWS). Specification for nickel and nickel-alloy welding electrodes for shielded metal arc welding. AWS A5.11/A5.11M, Miami(USA). 2005. [12] Zhao XL. Deformation limit and ultimate strength of welded T-joints in coldformed RHS sections. Journal of Constructional Steel Research 2000;53(2): 14965. [13] Lu LH, de Winkel GD, Yu Y, Wardenier J. Deformation limit for the ultimate strength of hollow section joints. In: Proceedings of the sixth international symposium on tubular structures. 1994. p. 3417. [14] Young B, Ellobody E. Experimental investigation of concrete-filled coldformed high strength stainless steel tube columns. Journal of Constructional Steel Research 2006;62(5):48492. [15] Rasmussen KJR, Young B. Tests of X- and K-joints in SHS stainless steel tubes. Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE 2001;127(10):117382. [16] American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). Specification for structural steel buildings. ANSI/AISC 360-05, Chicago(USA). 2005.