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Design Guide for Concrete Filled

Columns

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A

Publication 2002 Corus Tubes

Care has been taken to ensure that the contents of this publication are accurate, but Corus UK Limited and its subsidiary

companies do not accept responsibility for errors or for information which is found to be misleading. Suggestions for or

descriptions of the end use or application of products or methods of working are for information only and Corus UK Limited

and its subsidiaries accept no liability in respect thereof. Before using products supplied or manufactured by Corus UK Limited

customers should satisfy themselves of their suitability.

Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study or criticism or review, as permitted under the

Copyright Designs and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may not be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any

means, without the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction only in accordance

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by the appropriate Reproduction Rights Organisation outside the UK.

Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the terms stated here should be sent to the publishers, The Steel Construction

Institute, at the address given on the title page.

Although care has been taken to ensure, to the best of our knowledge, that all data and information contained herein are

accurate to the extent that they relate to either matters of fact or accepted practice or matters of opinion at the time of

publication, The Steel Construction Institute, the authors and the reviewers assume no responsibility for any errors in or

misinterpretations of such data and/or information or any loss or damage arising from or related to their use.

ii

FOREWORD

This publication was collated and edited at Corus Tubes, Corby from original contributions by

Dr Stephen Hicks and Mr Gerald Newman of SCI and supplementary text from Mr Mike

Edwards and Mr Andrew Orton of Corus. It brings together the latest available information on

the design and construction of buildings using concrete filled structural hollow sections and

supersedes other publications by Corus and SCI.

The Steel Construction Institute develops and promotes the effective use of steel in construction.

It is an independent, membership based organisation.

SCI's research and development activities cover many aspects of steel construction including

multi-storey construction, industrial buildings, light steel framing systems and modular

construction, development of design guidance on the use of stainless steel, fire engineering,

bridge and civil engineering, offshore engineering, environmental studies, value engineering,

and development of structural analysis systems and information technology.

Membership is open to all organisations and individuals that are concerned with the use of steel

in construction. Members include designers, contractors, suppliers, fabricators, academics and

government departments in the United Kingdom, elsewhere in Europe and in countries around

the world. The SCI is financed by subscriptions from its members, revenue from research

contracts and consultancy services, publication sales and course fees.

service and free issue of SCI publications as soon as they are produced. A Membership

Information Pack is available on request from the Membership Manager.

The Steel Construction Institute, Silwood Park, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7QN.

Telephone: +44 (0) 1344 623345

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Email: membership@steel-sci.com

or Email: publications@steel-sci.com

or Email: education@steel-sci.com

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Contents

Page No.

FOREWORD iii

SUMMARY vi

1 INTRODUCTION 1

1.2 Applications of concrete filled columns 4

2 NORMAL DESIGN 9

2.1 General 9

2.2 Material properties 9

2.3 Partial safety factors 11

2.4 Basis of design method 11

2.5 Restrictions on the simplified design method 13

2.6 Properties of cross-section 13

2.7 Column buckling resistance 17

2.8 Analysis of bending moments due to second-order effects 20

2.9 Combined compression and bending 21

2.10 Longitudinal and transverse shear 31

2.11 Load introduction 32

3 FIRE DESIGN 36

3.1 General 36

3.2 Protected columns 38

3.3 Unprotected columns 39

3.4 Partial safety factors 40

3.5 Properties of the cross-section 41

3.6 Column buckling resistance 42

3.7 Combined compression and bending 43

3.8 Material properties 45

4 FABRICATION AND CONNECTIONS 47

4.1 General 47

4.2 Column Splices and Flange plate connections 47

4.3 Beam-to-column connections 49

4.4 Shearhead connections to slabs 52

4.5 Base plate connections 53

5 PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS 54

5.1 Concrete Filling 54

6 SOFTWARE 58

7 REFERENCES 60

v

SUMMARY

A concrete filled structural hollow section provides architects and engineers with a robust and

inherently fire resistance column. This publication contains design information for these

columns for both the normal and fire conditions. The information is based on Eurocode 4. Also

included are case studies illustrating the use of concrete filled columns and practical guidance

on concrete filling and connection design.

Design software, ConcFill 2, is described which will analyse sections for the normal and fire

conditions.

vi

1 INTRODUCTION

Structural Hollow Sections (SHS) are the most efficient of all structural steel sections in

resisting compression. Their availability in the high yield material Celsius 355 gives them a

high strength to weight ratio and produces slender attractive lines that make them a natural

choice for building structures. In addition, SHS can achieve a constant external dimension for

all weights of a given size, which enables them to achieve standardisation of architectural and

structural details throughout the full height of the building.

Celsius is the brand name for Corus Tubes hot-finished structural hollow sections, Celsius 355

being produced to the European Standard, EN 10210 S355J2H. Celsius sections are produced

by the electric weld process and the J2 denotation signifies that they have a Charpy impact

minimum average energy value of 27J at –20oC, making them suitable both for internal and

external applications. Celsius sections are produced to the technical delivery requirements of

EN 10210-1:1994[1] with dimensions and tolerances to EN 10210-2:1997[2]. However, for

Celsius sections, there is an improved corner profile of 2T maximum.

By filling hollow sections with concrete a composite section is produced (see Figure 1.1), which

will increase the section’s room temperature load carrying capacity, whilst retaining all the

advantageous features of the basic unfilled section. Alternatively, for the same original load

capacity, it permits smaller composite sections to be used. The reduction in section size also

gives advantages in subsequent construction processes, including a reduced surface area for

painting or fire protection. In the fire condition the presence of the concrete filling acts as a heat

sink.

Concrete or grout filled hollow sections can be divided into those that are externally protected

against fire by fire-rated boards, lightweight sprayed protection or intumescent coatings, and

those that have no such protection. A further division can be made, by differentiating between

those that are filled with plain concrete mixes and those that contain steel reinforcement within

the mix.

1

Externally protected composite sections are designed compositely at room temperature and

external fire protection is applied to achieve the required fire rating of the column. The

composite action is maintained in the fire limit state, the external protection serving to limit the

rise in steel temperature such that the column capacity is always in excess of the fire limit state

design load over the required fire resistance period. In general, externally protected sections will

not need to contain reinforcement in the mix in order to achieve the desired fire rating -

reinforcement is usually added to such columns so to enhance axial capacity while minimising or

maintaining column SHS size. Reductions in the thickness of the external protection are

possible because of the heat sink effect, which effectively reduces the section factor of the

column; these reductions have been shown to be substantial in the case of filled hollow sections

with intumescent coatings. In cases where smaller columns are used, particularly if speed of

construction is an issue, consideration should be given to sizing the SHS such as to use a plain

fill with external protection, so that reinforcement can be dispensed with. Note that because of

the tensile capacity of the steel in the composite column, in almost all cases, grout may be used

interchangeably with concrete as the filling material.

Filled hollow sections that are not externally protected against fire are designed using the

concrete core alone to meet the fire limit state load requirements but the capacity of the

composite section is checked for the room temperature design case. In general, such sections

will need to contain reinforcement in the mix in order to minimise column dimensions and to

sustain the required fire limit state design loads for such practical fire resistance periods of 60

minutes or more.

Cost comparisons

Cost comparisons have shown that to establish the cost competitiveness of a column it is

necessary to take into account both the cost of the supplied and erected steel section together

with the cost of its fire protection. Such comparisons have shown that hollow sections can offer

a competitive first choice solution to structural columns in multi-storey construction.

Construction

Concrete or grout filling of structural hollow sections requires no special equipment and the

filling operation may be integrated into other concreting operations. The enhancement in the

overall efficiency obtained by filling a steel structural hollow section with concrete allows the

designer a wider choice of sections. Filled hollow section columns combine the advantages of

economy in the use of materials with the construction advantages of the use of steelwork.

Columns, whether externally fire-protected or not, will usually arrive to site as fully finished

elements with make-ups only at column splice joints, if any. Concrete filling of the hollow

section columns can take place on or off site. If filling takes place on site, then the steel column

and its connections are designed to carry all construction loads so that the operation of filling the

columns can be taken off the critical path. In larger buildings, the best economy is obtained by

planning for the simultaneous working of different trades at different levels or plan positions.

The hollow section columns may be filled from the top with a self-compacting or other type of

mix; alternatively, they can be filled from the bottom, through a gate-valve, with a pumpable

concrete or grout mix. Grout is often used as an alternative to concrete and this has substantial

advantages at the construction stage, such as easier filling and pumping and the avoidance of

unfilled voids.

2

Figure 1.2 Detail at the facade line of a plain filled concrete tubular column structure

that uses an intumescent coating as external fire protection

(Wellcome Trust Headquarters, London; structural engineer WSP Group)

In the initial construction period

The steel section dispenses with the need for formwork. Concrete placement and compaction in

many cases are unhindered by internal reinforcement.

During finishing

The concrete filling is protected against mechanical damage. Additional external fire protection

is not always necessary Slender columns reduce the application time and cost of applied

finishes.

Completed building

• Greater useable floor area.

• Higher visibility.

• Reduced maintenance.

• Aesthetically pleasing.

3

Figure 1.3 Tubular column with reinforced concrete infill without external fire protection

(Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong; structural engineer Ove Arup & Partners)

Many of these advantages were recognised early in the history of the use of iron and steel

hollow sections in construction, indeed the first known Patent relating to the concrete filling of

circular hollow sections dates from 1898. The wider use of the composite concrete hollow

section did not really begin until the mid 20th Century following the results of structural

investigation and the availability of a comprehensive range of structural hollow sections.

A number of institutes in Britain and overseas have now undertaken considerable research into

the structural and fire resistance performance of concrete hollow sections aimed at developing

suitable design procedures for this form of construction. The results of this recent research are

now incorporated into prEN 1994-1-1: 2002 (EC4-1-1), the European code for composite

construction[18].

The material included in this manual makes the design of structural hollow section columns

filled with concrete simple and rapid when standard sections are used in conjunction with

concrete of common grades.

1.2.1 FLEET PLACE HOUSE, LONDON

The site of Fleet Place, off Holborn Viaduct in the City of London was comprehensively

redeveloped at the same time as the adjacent Thameslink station. This eight-storey high office

block on the site was built using concrete filled external CHS columns on each longitudinal face

of the building and has clear spans on the inside. So that they could be supported off existing

pilecaps, the CHS columns were kinked at first floor level, except at the entrance leading to the

Thameslink station behind the building, where the columns were kinked at second and third

floor levels.

4

Figure 1.4 Fleet Place House, London

Technical details

Construction details

The columns have a constant external diameter of 323.9 mm but, within this serial size, vary

from 323.9 × 30 CHS at the first floor, 323.9 × 16 CHS between second and fifth floors and

323.9 × 12.5 CHS between sixth and seven floors. The CHS column material was Celsius hot-

finished hollow section to EN10210 grade S355J2H.

The fire rating for internal elements was generally two hours but the requirement for the

external columns was only 35 minutes in view of their position outside the cladding line. No

fire protection was given to the columns, a 45 minute rating being achieved by concrete filling

alone. The concrete infill used was to Grade 40 or Grade 60 depending on the vertical load.

Project data

Client: Heron Property Corporation

Steel composite tubular columns have been used on the facade of this high specification

apartment block, which looks out across the River Thames. The composite columns were

chosen because of their small plan area and their slender shape which minimised the obstruction

to the views out from the apartments.

5

Figure 1.5 Montevetro Apartment Block, London

Technical details

Construction details

CHS columns are used and, in the typical case, are only 244.5 mm in diameter. Within this serial

size the columns vary from 244.5 × 16 CHS to 244.5 × 20 CHS; for the most heavily loaded

areas, the columns were increased to a maximum size of 355.6 × 16 CHS.

The steel CHS columns are used to support concrete flat slab floors. At the highest point the

apartment block has twenty storeys and there are heavy axial loads in the columns in these

areas. The CHS column material was Celsius hot-finished hollow section to EN10210 grade

S355J2H.

The fire rating required for the columns varied between one and two hours and was achieved by

the combined effect of the concrete infill and an intumescent coating. No reinforcement was

used inside the CHS columns.

Project data

Client: Taylor Woodrow Capital Developments

6

1.2.3 PECKHAM LIBRARY, LONDON

This library building is of striking appearance. It is supported at the front by concrete-filled

CHS columns, angled to form an irregular facade and enclosing a covered space, which is an

extension of a new public square. There are 7 supporting columns, 18 metres long, which are

angled out of the vertical, the columns supporting steel tubular trusses at the fourth floor and a

steel roof above. At ground floor level, the columns have a height of 18 metres, giving a height

to width ratio of 37. The angling of the columns helps to provide additional stiffness against

lateral loads and limits the development of bending moment in the columns.

Technical details

Construction details

At ground floor level, the column line consists of a 323.9 × 20 CHS column at each end with

323.9 × 16 CHS columns in-between. At first floor level, these section sizes reduce to 323.9 ×

6.3 CHS members. All columns were designed without external protection, utilising an infilled

concrete core within the tubes to satisfy the requirement for a one-hour fire rating. The concrete

infill is reinforced with 8 T12 longitudinal bars with T6 links at 175 centres. The columns were

fabricated as full-height elements and were supplied in Celsius hot-finished hollow section to

EN10210 grade S355J2H.

Project data

Client: London Borough of Southwark

The steel columns used to support the floors of this six-storey office and commercial buildings

are CHS tubular columns. The columns use a tube-in-tube system in which one CHS section is

placed inside a larger one with all the voids grouted after erection of the floor structure.

7

Figure 1.7 Queensberry House, London

Technical details

Construction details

There is an atrium in the middle of the building, which is 6 metres wide, with 12 metre clear

spans each side of the atrium in the transverse direction. In a typical case the column consists of

a 457 × 10 CHS outer tube and a 323.9 × 6.3 CHS inner tube and supports two floor beams on

each side. All columns were delivered to site in two three-storey lengths and were joined by

means of an in situ concrete joint in the inner tube and by bolting and welding on the outer tube.

After erection, the columns only needed to be made good at the joint and given a final finish

coat of paint.

No external fire protection was necessary, the internal column and grout infill having sufficient

load capacity by itself in the fire limit state. At room temperatures, the full section capacity of

the tube-in-tube column is utilised. The CHS column material was Celsius hot-finished hollow

section to EN10210 grade S355J2H.

Project data

Client: General Accident and Capital & City

Architect: RHWL

8

2 NORMAL DESIGN

2.1 General

In general, a composite column must be designed for the ultimate limit state. For structural

adequacy, the internal forces and moments resulting from the most unfavourable load

combination should not exceed the design resistances of the composite cross-sections. While

local buckling of the steel sections may be eliminated, the reduction in the compression

resistance of the composite column due to overall buckling should be allowed for, together with

the effects of residual stresses and initial imperfections. Moreover, the second order effects in

slender columns, as well as the effect of creep and shrinkage of concrete under long-term

loading, must be considered if they are significant. The reduction of flexural stiffness due to

cracking of the concrete in the tension area should also be considered. These are provided for

either explicitly, or empirically, in prEN 1994-1-1: 1994[18] (EC4-1-1).

2.2.1 Hot rolled structural steel

Nominal values of the yield stress f y , and the ultimate tensile stress f u , for structural steel are

presented in Table 2.1 below.

Nominal steel grade Nominal thickness of element t (mm)

to t ≤ 40 mm 40 mm < t ≤ 100 mm

BS EN 100210-1

fy (N/mm²) fu (N/mm²) fy (N/mm²) fu (N/mm²)

S 275 275 430 255 410

S 355 355 510 335 490

Design values of other coefficients for the steel sections are given as follows:

Ea

Ga = Shear modulus =

2(1 + ν a )

νa = Poisson’s ratio = 0.3

ρa = Density = 7850 kg/m³

Concrete strengths are based on the characteristic cylinder strengths f ck measured at 28 days in

accordance with Clause 3.1.2.2, of DD ENV 1992-1-1: 1992[16] (EC2-1-1). The different

strength classes, and the associated cube strengths, given by this Eurocode are presented in

Table 2.2 below. Classification grades of concrete, such as C20/25, refer to the cylinder/cube

strength at the specified age.

For normal weight concrete, the mean tensile strength f ctm and the secant modulus of elasticity

E cm , for short-term loading are also given in Table 2.2. The effect of creep and shrinkage of

concrete may be significant under long-term loading in some cases. As will be discussed in

9

Section 2.6.2, provision is given within EC4-1-1[18] to reduce the secant modulus of elasticity,

depending on the proportion of permanent load acting on the column.

The density of structural concrete is assumed to be 400 kg/m³ for plain, unreinforced, concrete

and 2500 kg/m³ for reinforced concrete.

Table 2.2 Characteristic compressive strength fck (cylinders), mean tensile strength

fctm and secant modulus of elasticity Ecm for structural concrete

Strength class of C20/25 C25/30 C30/37 C35/45 C40/50 C45/55 C50/60

concrete

fck (N/mm²) 20 25 30 35 40 45 50

fctm (N/mm²) 2.2 2.6 2.9 3.2 3.5 3.8 4.1

Ecm (N/mm²) 29000 30500 32000 33500 35000 36000 37000

In the UK, steel bars for the reinforcement of concrete should conform to BS 4449:1997[19]. DD

ENV 10080: 1996[20], which is currently at the draft for development stage, will eventually

replace this British Standard. However, the 1997 edition of BS 4449 has been revised

considerably compared to its earlier versions, to bring it into line with the requirements of EC2-

1-1[16]. The properties most frequently required in design calculations are referred to in Clause

3.2 of EC2-1-1; types of reinforcement steel are classified as follows:

• Plain smooth or, ribbed bars, according to surface characteristics.

Steel grades that should be used in construction are given in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3 Characteristic yield strength fsk, ductility requirements and modulus of

elasticity Es of reinforcing steel

Reinforcing BS 4449: 1997[19] DD ENV 10080: 1996[20]

steel standard

Name 460A (class N) 460B (class H) B500A (class N) B500B (class H)

fsk (N/mm²) 460 500

Total elongation

at maximum 2.5 5.0 2.5 5.0

force (%)

Elongation at

12 14 - -

fracture (%)

Es (N/mm²) 210000† 210000†

† According to EC4-1-1

As can be seen from Table 2.3, apart from the obvious difference in the characteristic yield

strength f sk , between reinforcing steels complying with BS 4449:1997[19] and DD ENV 10080:

1996[20], BS 4449 also specifies a minimum elongation at fracture: thereby guaranteeing the

length of the plastic deformation plateau. Furthermore, in the 1997 edition of BS 4449, the

minimum elongation at fracture of 14%, for 460B steel, is higher than the 12% requirement for

this yield strength, given in earlier versions of this code of practice. A graphical representation

of the difference in the elongation requirements for these two standards is shown in the stress-

strain curve in Figure 2.1.

10

St ress

St rain

maximum f orce εuk at f ract ure

Figure 2.1 Elongation limits for steel reinforcement bars

It should be noted, however, that although the ductility of reinforcing bars has a significant

effect on the behaviour of continuous composite beams[21], this property is of little significance

with respect to the design of composite columns at ambient temperature. Concrete filled hollow

sections may be used without any reinforcement, except for reasons of fire resistance (see

Section 3).

National authorities are free to select appropriate values for partial safety factors for loads and

materials, and substitute them for ‘boxed’ values in the Eurocodes. The boxed values and the

UK National Application Document (NAD) values are:

Dead (permanent) load, γG 1.35 1.35

Materials:

In EC4-1-1, isolated columns are defined as compression members that are integral parts of a

braced or non-sway frame but which are considered to be isolated for design purposes.

• Structures or structural elements, with or without bracing elements, for which the influence

of displacements of the connections upon the design moments and forces may be neglected,

are classified as non-sway. Otherwise, they are classified as sway.

11

• Braced building structures, where substantial shear walls or core structures provide the

bracing, may be assumed to be non-sway.

• Frames may be classified as non-sway if the first order displacements of the connections do

not increase the effects of actions calculated without considering these displacements by

more than 10%. In general, it is sufficient to consider only the relevant bending moments

due to these second-order effects.

A similar definition of a non-sway frame in DD ENV 1993-1-1: 1992[28] (EC3-1-1) is also given

for reference:

sufficiently stiff for it to be acceptably accurate to neglect any additional internal forces or

moments arising from horizontal displacements of its nodes.

Two methods of design for isolated composite columns in braced or, non-sway frames are given

within EC4-1-1:

This comprehensive method is used for composite columns with non-symmetrical or non-

uniform cross-section over the column length. It is also used for composite columns of doubly

symmetrical, and uniform cross-section over the column height, when the limits of applicability

for the simplified design method are not satisfied (see Section 2.5). In these circumstances,

some of the important design issues which should be considered using the general method, are

as follows:

• second order effects (on slender columns);

• creep and shrinkage of the concrete under long-term loading;

• contribution of the tensile strength of the concrete between cracks;

• imperfections for the calculation of internal forces and moments about both axes;

• distribution of internal forces and moments between the steel section and the concrete by

means of a clearly defined load path;

• transfer of longitudinal shear stress at the interface between the steel section and the

concrete under large transverse shear; and

• chemical bond and friction together with mechanical shear connection if necessary.

In order to allow for these design considerations, it is necessary to use sophisticated computer

software, which operate with both geometrical and material non-linearity. In general, the design

effort is considerable. Thus, this method is not preferred for use in practical design, and is

outside the scope of this publication.

This method is used for composite columns of doubly symmetrical and uniform cross-section

over the column height. It is based on certain assumptions relating to the geometrical

configurations of the composite cross-sections. Moreover, it also adopts the European buckling

curves for steel columns as the basis of column buckling design. The limits of applicability of

this method given in EC4-1-1 are also listed in Section 2.5; when the limits are not satisfied, the

above general design method should be used.

12

It should be noted that this method is formulated in such a way that only hand calculation is

required in practical design. The simplified design method is presented in detail within this

publication. The calculation procedure is in six parts, as follows:

(i) Check that the limits of the simplified design method are satisfied.

(ii) Calculate the properties of the cross-section.

(iii) Calculate the buckling resistance of the column.

(iv) Check whether second-order effects should be considered

(v) Calculate the effect of interaction between axial load and bending.

(vi) Calculate the longitudinal and transverse shear.

The application of the simplified design method is subject to various restrictions, as follows:

(a) The column is doubly-symmetrical and is of uniform cross-section over the height of the

column.

(b) The steel contribution ratio δ must satisfy the following conditions:

0. 2 ≤ δ ≤ 0. 9

If δ is less than 0.2, the column may be designed according to EC2-1-1[16]. If δ is larger

than 0.9, the concrete is ignored in the calculations, and the column is designed as a bare

steel section.

(c) The maximum non-dimensional slenderness ratio of the composite column λ is limited

to 2.0.

(d) The maximum amount of longitudinal reinforcement that can be considered in the

analysis is 6% of the concrete area. However, if design for fire resistance is not needed,

according to prEN 1994-1-1: 2001[17], no minimum amount of reinforcement is normally

necessary within a filled SHS column; in other words:

As

0% ≤ ≤ 6.0%.

Ac

2.6.1 Squash (plastic) resistance, Npl,Rd

The plastic resistance, to compression, of a composite cross-section represents the maximum

load that can be applied to a short composite column. It is important to recognize that concrete

filled circular hollow sections exhibit enhanced resistance due to the triaxial containment

effects. Concrete filled rectangular sections (RHS) do not achieve such enhancement.

Before the plastic resistance of the concrete filled hollow section is calculated, it should be

insured that local buckling of the steel does not occur. To prevent premature local buckling, the

width to thickness ratio of the steel section in compression must satisfy the following limits:

h

For concrete filled rectangular hollow sections (RHS) ≤ 52ε

t

13

d

For concrete filled circular hollow sections (CHS) ≤ 90ε 2

t

where:

235

ε =

fy

Local buckling in some rectangular hollow sections with large h/t ratios may be critical. No

specific design recommendation is given within EC4-1-1, and design using sections which

exceed the local buckling limits should be verified by tests.

The plastic resistance of a concrete filled rectangular hollow section (i.e., the so-called “squash

load”) is given by the sum of the resistances of the components as follows:

Aa f y As f sk Ac f ck

N pl, Rd = + +

γa γs γc

where:

As is the area of the reinforcement.

Ac is the area of the concrete.

fy is the yield strength of the steel section.

f sk is the characteristic yield strength of the steel reinforcement bars.

fck is the characteristic compressive strength (cylinder) of the concrete.

fy f sk f ck

For ease of expression, , and are presented as design strengths of the respective

γa γs γc

materials in the remainder of Section 2 as: f yd , f sd and f cd respectively. As a result of this

simplification, the above equation for the plastic resistance of the composite column, can be

rewritten in the following compact form:

N pl, Rd = Aa f yd + As f sd + Ac f cd

For composite columns with concrete filled circular hollow sections, the increased resistance of

concrete due to the confining effect of the circular hollow section may be included. This

restraint to transverse strain in a three dimensional confinement results in increased concrete

14

resistance. At the same time, circular tensile stresses in the circular hollow section also arise,

which reduce its axial resistance.

In general, the resistance of a concrete filled circular hollow section to compression may

increase by up to 15% under simple axial loads when the effect of tri-axial confinement is

considered. However, this effect on the resistance enhancement of concrete depends also on the

slenderness of the composite columns and is significant only in stocky columns. For composite

columns with a non-dimensional slenderness of λ > 0.5 (where λ is defined in Section 2.7),

this effect should be neglected and the plastic resistance assessed as for rectangular hollow

sections.

In addition, further linear interpolation is necessary to take account of any effective load

eccentricities. However, the eccentricity, e of the applied load may not exceed the value d/10,

where d is the outer diameter of the circular hollow section.

M Sd

e=

NSd

where:

The plastic resistance of a concrete filled circular hollow section may be obtained as follows:

t fy

N pl,Rd = Aaη2 f yd + As f sd + Ac f cd 1 + η1

d f ck

where:

10 e

η1 = η10 1 −

d

for 0< e ≤ d/10

10 e

η 2 = η 20 + (1 − η 20 )

d

η1 = 0

for e > d/10

η 2 = 1. 0

The basic values η10 and η20 depend on the non-dimensional slenderness ratio λ , and are

defined as follows:

15

If the eccentricity e exceeds the value d/10, or if the non-dimensional slenderness ratio λ

exceeds the value 0.5, then η10 = 0 and η 20 = 1. 0 . Table 2.4 gives the basic values η10 and

η20 for different values of λ .

Table 2.4 Basic values of η10 and η20 to allow for the effect of triaxial confinement in

concrete filled circular hollow sections

Non-dimensional

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 ≥ 0.5

slenderness ratio λ

η10 4.90 3.22 1.88 0.88 0.22 0

Short-term loading

The effective flexural stiffness of the composite column (EI )e is obtained from adding the up

the flexural stiffnesses of the individual components of the cross-section:

(EI )e = Ea I a + Es I s + 0.6EcmI c

where:

I a , I s and I c are the second moment of area, about the appropriate axis of bending, for the

steel section, the reinforcement and the concrete (assumed uncracked)

respectively.

Ea and Es are the elastic moduli for the structural steel and the reinforcement respectively.

0.6EcmI c is the effective stiffness of the concrete component (the 0.6 factor is an

empirical multiplier, which has been determined from a calibration exercise, to

give good agreement with test results).

Ecm is the secant modulus of elasticity for structural concrete; see Table 2.2.

Long-term loading

For composite columns under long-term loading, the creep and shrinkage of concrete will cause

a reduction in the effective elastic stiffness of the composite column, thereby reducing the

buckling resistance. However, this effect is only significant for slender columns; as a simple

rule, the effect of long-term loading should be considered if the buckling length to depth ratio of

a composite column exceeds 15.

If the eccentricity of loading (see Section 2.6.1) is more than twice the cross-section dimension,

the effect on the applied bending moment distribution caused by increased deflections, due to

creep and shrinkage of the concrete, will be very small. Consequently, it may be neglected and

no provision for long-term loading is necessary. Moreover, no provision is necessary if the non-

dimensional slenderness λ of the composite column is less than the limiting values given

within Table 2.5 below.

16

Table 2.5 Limiting values of λ for long-term loading

Sway frames and/or

Braced non-sway frame

Frame type unbraced frames

0. 8 0. 5

Concrete filled hollow sections (1 − δ) (1 − δ)

The steel contribution factor δ, given in Table 2.5 above, is defined as follows:

Aa f yd

δ=

N pl, Rd

If the eccentricity of loading is less than twice the cross-section dimension and the non-

dimensional slenderness λ of the composite column is less than the limiting values given

within Table 2.5, the effect of creep and shrinkage of concrete should be allowed for by

reducing the effective elastic modulus of the concrete to the value:

0.5 N G,Sd

Ec ∞ = Ecd 1 −

NSd

where:

N G,Sd is the part of the design load permanently acting on the column.

Table 2.5 also allows the effect of long-term loading to be ignored for concrete filled hollow

sections with λ ≤ 2.0 , provided that δ is greater than 0.6 for braced (or non-sway) columns,

and 0.75 for unbraced (and/or sway) columns.

The plastic resistance to compression of a composite cross-section N pl, Rd represents the

maximum load that can be applied to a short column. However, for slender columns, with low

elastic critical load, overall buckling considerations may be more significant.

In Figure 2.2(b), the buckling resistance of a column is expressed as a proportion χ of the plastic

resistance to compression NPl,R , thereby non-dimensionialising the vertical axis compared to

Figure 2.2(a). The horizontal axis may be non-dimensionalised similarly by use of the Euler

buckling load N cr as is also shown in Figure 2.2(b).

By incorporating the effects of both residual stresses and geometric imperfections, the European

buckling curves may be drawn on this basis as shown in Figure 2.2(c). These curves form the

basis of column buckling design for both steel and composite columns.

17

N

N pl χ= N

Npl

N cr

l/r Slenderness N pl

(a) (b) N cr

N Rd

χ=

N pl,Rd

a

1.00 b

c

0

0 0.2 1.0 2.0

N pl,R

λ=

N cr

(c)

Figure 2.2 (a) Idealised column buckling curve, (b) Non-dimensionalised column

buckling curve, (c) European buckling curves according to EC3-1-1

The buckling resistance is calculated from the plastic resistance and the Euler (elastic) critical

load using the EC3-1-1[28] buckling curve ‘a’ (N.B. at the fire limit state, curve ‘c’ is used due to

its close agreement with the results from fire tests; see Section 0). The Euler buckling load is

given by:

π 2 (EI )e

N cr =

l2

where:

(EI )e is the effective elastic flexural stiffness of the composite column (see Section 2.6.2).

EC4-1-1 suggests that the buckling length l of an isolated non-sway composite column may

conservatively be taken as equal to its system length L. Alternatively, the buckling length may

be determined using Annex E of EC3-1-1.

N pl, R

λ=

N cr

18

where:

Section 2.6.1, with γ a = γ s = γ c = 1.0 .

The resistance of a composite column in axial compression (buckling load) is obtained from:

N Rd = χ.N pl, Rd

where:

χ is the reduction coefficient for buckling obtained from curve ‘a’ of EC3-1-1, and is

dependant on the non-dimensional slenderness ratio λ .

1

χ= but χ ≤ 1.0

[

φ + φ − λ22

]0. 5

where:

φ [

= 0.5 1 + α (λ − 0.2) + λ 2 ]

α is an imperfection parameter depending on the buckling curve considered.

According to prEN 1994-1-1, circular or rectangular hollow section columns filled with plain

concrete or containing up to 3% reinforcement can be designed using buckling curve ‘a’ with an

imperfection factor, α, = 0.21. However, concrete filled sections containing between 3% to 4%

reinforcement must be designed using buckling curve ‘b’ with an imperfection factor, α, = 0.34

(see Figure 2.3 (a) and (b) below).

In addition, concrete filled circular hollow section columns as shown in Figure 2.3(c) containing

an additional open Section used as primary steel can also be designed as a composite section

using buckling curve ‘b’ with an imperfection factor, α, = 0.34.

19

Although not explicitly stated, Clause 4.8.3.2 of EC4-1-1, while defining the partial safety

factors implies that isolated non-sway composite columns need not be checked for buckling, if

any of the following conditions is satisfied:

effects

Under the action of the design axial load N Sd on a column with an initial imperfection e 0 , as

shown in Figure 2.4, there will be a maximum internal moment of N Sd e 0 . It is important to note

that this ‘second order moment’, or ‘imperfection moment’, does not need to be considered

separately, as its effect on the buckling resistance of the composite column is already accounted

for in the European buckling curves as shown in Figure 2.2(c).

N Sd N Sd

eo

However, in addition to axial forces, a composite column may be also subject to end moments

as a consequence of transverse loads acting on it or, because the composite column is a part of a

frame. The moments and displacements obtained initially are referred to as ‘first order’ values.

For slender columns, the ‘first order’ displacements may be significant and additional, or

‘second order’, bending moments may be induced under the actions of the applied loads. As a

simple rule, the second order effects should be considered if the buckling length to depth ratio

of a composite column exceeds 15.

The second order effects on bending moments for isolated non-sway columns should be

considered if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

N Sd

1) > 0. 1

N cr

where:

N Sd is the design applied load.

2) λ > 0. 2(2 − r )

where:

λ is the non-dimensional slenderness ratio

r is the ratio of the smaller to the larger end moment (see Figure 2.5). If there is

any transverse loading, r should be taken as 1.0.

20

M Sd -1 ≤ r ≤+1

rM Sd

The second order effects in an isolated non-sway column may be allowed for by modifying the

maximum first-order bending moment M max,Sd , with a correction factor k, which is defined as

follows:

β

k = ≥ 1. 0

N

1 − Sd

Ncr,eff

where:

Ncr,eff

is the elastic critical load of the composite column based on the system length, L, and

a reduced design value of effective stiffness (EI)e,II

where:

For columns with transverse loading within the column length, the value for β should be taken

as 1.0. For pure end moments, β can be determined as follows:

β = 0. 66 + 0. 44r but β ≥ 0. 44

The design for a composite column subjected to combined compression and bending is carried

out in stages as follows:

• The composite column is isolated from the framework, and the end moments, which result

from the analysis of the system as a whole, are taken to act on the column under

consideration. Internal moments, and forces within the column length, are determined from

the structural consideration of end moments, axial and transverse loads.

• For each axis of symmetry, the buckling resistance to compression should be checked with

the relevant non-dimensional slenderness of the composite column.

• In the presence of applied moment about one particular axis e.g., the y-y axis, the moment

resistance of the composite cross-section should be checked with the relevant non-

dimensional slenderness of the composite column i.e., λ y , instead of λ z , although λ z may

be larger, and thus more critical, than λ y .

• For slender columns (see Table 2.5 and Section 2.8), both the effect of long-term loading

and the second-order effects are included.

21

It should be noted that, by adopting the EC4-1-1[18] simplified method, imperfections within the

column length need not be considered as they are taken account of in the relevant buckling

curve when determining the buckling resistance of the column (see Section 2.7).

In EC4-1-1[18], the resistance of a composite column subjected to combined compression and

bending is determined from an interaction curve. For a bare steel section, the interaction curve is

characterised by a continuous reduction of the moment resistance with a corresponding increase

in axial load.

NRd

Npl,Rd

1.0 λ ≈0

N

M

1.0 M Rd

M pl,Rd

Figure 2.6 Interaction curve for a composite column subjected to compression and

uni-axial bending

However, as shown from the interaction curve in Figure 2.6: a short composite column may

exhibit an increase in moment resistance under axial load. The reason for this increase is that,

under some favourable conditions, the compressive axial load prevents concrete cracking, and

therefore makes the cross-section of a short composite column more effective in resisting

moments.

An interaction curve between compressive axial load and moment can be obtained for a short

composite column by considering several possible positions of the neutral axis within the cross-

section, and determining the internal forces and moments from the resulting plastic stress

blocks. For the simplified method given within EC4-1-1, sufficient accuracy in estimating the

effects of combined compression and bending may be found by constructing the interaction

curve, shown in Figure 2.7, from 4 or 5 points.

22

N

A

N pl,Rd E

N pm,Rd C

½N pm,Rd D

B

Mpl,Rd M max,Rd

M

Figure 2.7 Interaction curve with linear approximation

For composite columns, which are doubly symmetrical and of a uniform cross-section over their

height, the following approach given in EC4-1-1[18], and the UK NAD, may be adopted.

Figure 2.8 shows the plastic stress distributions within the cross-section of a concrete filled RHS

at point A, B, C, D and E of the interaction curve given in Figure 2.7. The significance of each

of these points are as follows:

• Point A indicates the plastic resistance of the cross-section to compression, in the absence

of an applied bending moment:

N A = N pl, Rd

MA = 0

• Point B corresponds to the plastic moment resistance of the cross-section, in the absence of

an applied axial load:

NB = 0

M B = M pl, Rd

• At point C, the axial compression and moment resistance of the composite column are

given as:

N C = N pm, Rd (or N c, Rd ) = Ac f cd

M C = M pl, Rd

23

Point A f cd f yd f sd

–

– – Npl.Rd

No moment

–

Point B f cd f yd f sd

– – –

hn M B= M pl,.Rd

+ zero axial force

+

Point C f cd f yd f sd

–

– – M C= M pl,Rd

hn N C= N c,Rd

+ +

Point D f cd f yd f sd

–

– –

M D= M max,Rd

N c,Rd

+ + ND=

2

Point E f cd f yd f sd

–

hn /2 ME

– –

hE NE

–

h/4

(N.B., the moment resistance Mmax,Rd, at point D, is not allowed in the UK NAD)

Figure 2.8 Stress distributions for the points on the interaction curve for concrete filled

hollow sections, according to EC4-1-1[18]

The expressions may be obtained by combining the stress distributions of the cross-section

at points B and C; the compression area of the concrete at point B is equal to the tension

area of the concrete at point C. The moment resistance at point C is equal to that at point B,

since the stress resultants from the additionally compressed parts cancel one another out in

the central region of the cross-section. However, these additionally compressed regions

create an internal axial force, which is equal to the plastic resistance to compression of the

concrete alone i.e., N pm, Rd or N c, Rd .

• At point D, the plastic neutral axis coincides with the centroid of the cross-section, and the

resulting axial force is half of the value at point C, i.e.:

N D = N pm, Rd / 2

M D = M max, Rd

24

Generally, point D is less than point C in design.

• Point E is mid-way between A and C, and is often required for highly non-linear interaction

curves, in order to achieve a better a better approximation. For concrete filled structural

hollow sections, the use of point E will yield a more economical design; however, much

more calculation effort is required. Thus, to retain simplicity, point E tends not to be used.

According to the UK NAD, the additional moment resistance of the composite cross-section

(indicated by point D within Figure 2.7), should not be taken account of in design. Therefore, in

the UK, an interaction curve consisting of A-C-B or A-E-C-B may only be considered.

The plastic moment resistance of a concrete filled hollow section may be evaluated as follows:

where:

fy f sk f ck

f yd , f sd , f cd are , and respectively

γa γs γc

W pa , Wpc , Wps are the plastic section moduli for the steel section, the concrete of the

composite cross-section (assumed to be uncracked) and the

reinforcement respectively.

Wpan , Wpcn , Wpsn are the plastic section moduli of the corresponding components within

the region of 2 hn from the centre-line of the composite cross-section.

The values of the relevant parameters in the above equation for concrete filled hollow sections

are:

W pc =

(b − 2t )(h − 2t )2 −

2 3 h

r − r 2 (4 − π ) − t − r − W ps

4 3 2

(d − 2 t)

3

W pc = − Wps

6

Ac f cd − Asn (2 f sd − f cd )

hn =

(

2bf cd + 4 t 2 f yd − f cd )

where: Asn is the area of reinforcing bars within the region of 2hn from the centre–line of the

composite cross-section.

Wpan = 2t.hn2

25

Wpcn = (b − 2 t )hn 2 − Wpsn

Similar simple explicit equations cannot be written for circular sections. However, the above

equations can be conservatively applied to circular sections with a high accuracy by substituting

diameter d for breadth b

For the calculation of the resistances at the additional point E, N E, Rd and M E, Rd (see above),

the neutral axis is located between hn and the border of the section, so that

hE = 0. 5hn + 0. 25 h . Using rectangular hollow sections, the axial resistance of the column for

this case is:

( )

N E, Rd = b (hE − hn ) f cd + 2 t (hE − hn ) 2 f yd − f cd + AsE (2 f sd − f cd ) + N pm, Rd

where AsE is the sum of the areas of reinforcement lying in the additional compression region

between hE and hn .

The magnitude of M E, Rd is calculated from the above equations but with hE substituted for hn

in the values of Wpan and Wpcn .

Again, the above equations can be applied to circular sections by substituting diameter d for

breadth b but may become highly over-conservative. In such circumstances it may be preferable

to simply apply a linear interpolation between points A and C

The principal for checking the composite cross-section under combined compression and uni-

axial bending, in accordance with EC4-1-1[18], is illustrated graphically in Figure 2.9. Firstly, the

resistance of the composite column under axial load is determined in the absence of bending,

which is given by χN pl, Rd (see Section 2.7). The moment resistance of the composite column

should then be checked with the relevant non-dimensional slenderness, which is in the same

plane of the applied moment. As mentioned earlier, the initial imperfections of columns have

been incorporated within the appropriate buckling curve, and no additional consideration of

geometrical imperfections is necessary in the evaluation of bending moments within the column

height.

Consider the interaction curves for combined compression and uni-axial bending shown in

Figure 2.9. Under an applied force N Sd equal to χN pl, Rd , the horizontal coordinate µ k M pl,Rd

represents the second order moment due to imperfections within the column, otherwise known

as the ‘imperfection moment’. It is important to recognise that the moment resistance of the

column has been fully utilised in the presence of the imperfection moment; the column,

therefore, cannot resist any additional applied moment. Moreover, the influence of the

imperfections decreases when the axial load ratio is less than χ, and it is assumed to vary

linearly between χ n and χ. For an axial load ratio less than χ n , the effect of imperfections is

neglected.

It is important to note that the value χ n accounts for the fact that the influence of the

imperfections and that of the bending moment do not always act together unfavourably. For

columns with only end moments, χ n may be determined as follows:

χn =

(1 − r ) χ

4

26

where r is the ratio of the small to the large end moment (see Figure 2.5).

If transverse loads occur within the column height, then r must be taken as unity and χ n is thus

equal to zero (i.e., it coincides with the origin of the interaction curve shown in Figure 2.9).

N Rd N Rd

Npl,Rd Npl,Rd

Cross-section

interaction curve A

1.0 1.0

χ χ

χd χd

χ pm C

χn µ χn µ

B

0 µk µ d1.0 0 µk µd 1.0

M Rd M Rd

M pl,Rd M pl,Rd

(a) (b)

Figure 2.9 Interaction curve for compression and uni-axial bending using (a) the EC4-

1-1 method; and (b) the simplified method in the UK NAD

With a design axial load of N Sd , the design axial load ratio χ d is defined as follows:

χ d = N Sd / N pl,Rd

By reading off the horizontal distance from the interaction curve (see Figure 2.9), the moment

resistance ratio µ may be obtained, and the moment resistance of the composite column under

combined compression and uni-axial bending may be evaluated. Details of the UK NAD

method for calculating µ, and its limitations, are discussed below.

EC4-1-1[18] considers that the design is adequate when the following condition is satisfied:

M Sd ≤ 0.9µM pl,Rd

where:

M Sd is the design bending moment, which may be factored to allow for second-order effects,

if necessary (see Section 2.8).

The interaction curve shown in Figure 2.9 has been determined without considering the strain

limitations within the concrete. Hence the moments, including second-order effects (if

necessary), are calculated using the effective elastic flexural stiffness (EI )e , and taking into

27

account the entire concrete area of the cross-section (i.e., the concrete is uncracked).

Consequently, in order to allow for these simplifications, the 0.9 constant, shown in the above

equation, is applied to the moment resistance.

For concrete filled hollow sections, the interaction curve of A-E-C-B (shown in Figure 2.7) may

be preferred to A-C-B (shown in Figure 2.9(b)), as it will give a more economical design:

especially for columns with high axial load and low end moments (although much more

calculation effort is required). For a better approximation, the position of point E may be chosen

to be closer to point A rather than being mid-way between points A and C. For further

information, refer to EC4-1-1[18].

The following additional requirements are specified in the UK NAD:

• For columns under combined compression and bending, the ratio χ n should be

determined[24,25] as follows:

Providing the non-dimensional slenderness λ does not excess 1.0, the ratio χ d ≥ χ pm

may be determined from the equation shown above. For values of λ in the range of 1.0 to

2.0, χ n = 0 .

(ii) Concrete filled circular or square hollow sections

The ratio χ n may be determined from the equation shown above, with no limits place on

the non-dimensional slenderness λ .

• The design moment resistance, in combined compression and uni-axial bending, of a

composite column should not exceed the design plastic moment resistance M pl,Rd ,

irrespective of the applied load N (i.e., point D on the interaction curve shown in Figure 2.7

is not allowed).

Document

In order to comply with the UK NAD, the moment resistance ratio µ, for a composite column

under combined compression and uni-axial bending should be evaluated as follows:

(χ − χ d )(1 − χ n )

µ = when χ d ≥ χ pm

(1 − χ pm )(χ − χ n )

(1 − χ )(χ d − χ n )

= 1− when χ d < χ pm

(1 − χ pm )(χ − χ n )

where:

28

χ is the reduction factor due to column buckling (see Section 2.7).

χn =

(1 − r ) χ for λ < 1.0

4

χn =

(1 − r ) χ for λ ≤ 2.0

4

The expression, for the moment resistance ratio µ, is greatly simplified by taking χ n = 0 as

follows:

χ − χd

µ = when χ d ≥ χ pm

χ (1 − χ pm )

χ d (1 − χ )

= 1− when χ d < χ pm

χ (1 − χ pm )

The above expressions are obtained from a general consideration of the geometry of the UK

NAD interaction curve shown in Figure 2.9(b). The simplified expression for the moment

resistance ratio µ, is always conservative; since, by taking χ n = 0 it is implied that r = 1.0 (i.e.,

the end moments are equal, and constant over the column length, see Figure 2.5).

For the design of a composite column under combined compression and bi-axial bending, the

axial resistance of the column in the presence of bending moment for each axis, has to be

evaluated separately. In general, it will be obvious which of the axes is more likely to fail and

the imperfections need to be considered for this direction only: as shown in Figure 2.10. If it is

not obvious which plane is more critical, checks should be made on both planes.

29

N Rd N Rd

Npl,Rd Npl,Rd

1.0 a 1.0 b

χ

χd χd

µz µz

χn

µk µ d1.0 1.0

M Rd M Rd

M pl,Rd M pl,Rd

(a) Plane expected to fail, with (b) Plane without consideration

consideration of imperfections of imperfections

M y,Rd

Mpl,y,Rd 0.9 µ y µ y

y

M z,Rd

Mpl,z,Rd

(c) Moment interaction curve

0.9 µ y for bi-axial bending

µy

c

z

Figure 2.10 Verification for combined compression and bi-axial bending

After the evaluation of the moment resistance ratios µ y and µ z for both axes, as described in

the previous section, the interaction of the moments must also be checked using the linear curve

shown in Figure 2.10 (c). This linear interaction curve is cut off at 0.9 µ y and 0.9 µ z . The

design moments, M y,Sd and M z,Sd , related to the respective plastic moment resistances, must

lie within the moment interaction curve.

EC4-1-1[18] considers the check is adequate when all the following conditions are satisfied:

M y,Sd

≤ 0.9

µ y M pl, y,Rd

M z,Sd

≤ 0.9

µ z M pl,z,Rd

M y,Sd M z,Sd

and + ≤ 1.0

µ y M pl, y,Rd µ z M pl,z,Rd

As it is only necessary to consider the effect of geometric imperfections in the critical plane of

the column buckling, the moment resistance ratio µ in the other plane may be evaluated without

the consideration of imperfections, which is presented as follows:

30

1− χd

µ = when χ d > χ pm

1 − χ pm

= 1 .0 when χ d ≤ χ pm

These expressions are based on the simplified interaction curve, given in the UK NAD.

In general, the applied internal forces and moments from a member connected to the ends of a

composite column are distributed between the steel section and the concrete. EC4-1-1[18]

requires that adequate provision should be made for the distribution of these internal forces and

moments.

For structural hollow sections, the shear resistance between the steel section and the concrete is

achieved by both chemical bond and friction at the interface. In these circumstances, the design

shear resistance, developing at the interface between the concrete and the inner wall of the steel

section, is limited to[17]: 0.40 N/mm² for a square or rectangular hollow section (RHS); and

0.55 N/mm² for a circular hollow section (CHS).

For axially loaded columns, it is usually found that this interface shear is sufficient to utilise the

combined strengths of both materials at the critical cross-section (mid-column height). For

columns with significant end moments, a horizontal shear force is required, which demands the

development of longitudinal shear forces between the concrete and the steel.

Similarly, the design transverse shear forces may be assumed: to act on the steel section alone;

or to be shared between the steel section and the concrete. For the latter case, the shear force to

be resisted by the concrete must be assessed in accordance with EC2-1-1, whereas the shear

force to be resisted by the steel section may be checked according to von Mises yield criterion.

However, it is simpler in design to assume that the whole of the transverse shear force acts on

the steel alone. Figure 2.11 indicates the reduction in the design strength of the shear area (web)

that will occur within a steel section subjected to transverse shear stress.

f cd f yd τ f sd

– – –

red. f yd

–

+ +

Figure 2.11 Reduction of design strength of steel within shear area in the presence of

transverse shear stress

For design purposes, any reduction in the design steel strength in the shear area of the steel

section may be transformed into a reduction in steel thickness. For a steel section under major

axis bending, the effective wall thickness of the ‘web’ t w,d in the presence of transverse shear

may be evaluated as follows:

31

2V

2

t w,d

= tw 1 − a,Sd

−1

V pl,a, Rd

where:

f yd

V pl,a, Rd is the plastic resistance of the steel cross-section in shear = Av

3

Using the effective wall thickness of the ‘web’ t w,d of the steel hollow section, the moment

resistance of the composite cross-section may be evaluated using the same set of expressions

given within 2.9.1: without any modification.

For simplicity, the division of the shear force between the hollow section and the concrete may

be neglected, and the design shear force is assumed to be resisted by the steel section alone.

Where a load is applied to a composite column, it must be ensured that the load is distributed

between the individual components of the cross-section in proportion to their design resistances

within a specified introduction length. For composite columns using SHS, this may be achieved

as follows:

(i) No shear connection needs to be provided for load introduction through a cap plate, at the

top of a column, if the full interface between the concrete section and endplate is

permanently in compression: after due consideration of the effects of creep and shrinkage.

Otherwise, the load introduction has to be verified according to (v). For concrete filled

circular hollow sections, the effect caused by the confinement may be taken into account

for load introduction according to Section 2.6.1, but using the values η10 and η20 for λ =

0.

(ii) If the cross-section of a cap-plate is only partially loaded (see Figure 2.12), loads may be

distributed with a ratio of 1:2.5, over the thickness of the end plate. The concrete stresses

should be limited then in the area of the effective load introduction area for concrete filled

hollow sections according to Figure 2.12, Figure 2.13 and (vi) below.

32

F

(iii) In absence of a more accurate method, when loads are introduced at an intermediate

position of an SHS length, the introduction length should be assumed not to exceed 2.5d,

where d is the minimum transverse dimension in the case of concrete filled rectangular

hollow sections or the outside diameter of the column for circular hollow sections.

(iv) Shear connectors should be provided in the load introduction area, and in areas with change

of cross-section, if a design shear strength at the interface between the steel and concrete

exceeds the values given in Section 2.10 viz.: 0.40 N/mm² for RHS; and 0.55 N/mm² for

CHS. The shear forces should be determined from the change of sectional forces of the

steel or reinforced concrete section within the introduction length, where the sectional

forces should be determined by plastic theory. If the loads are introduced only into the

concrete cross section, the values resulting from an elastic analysis considering creep and

shrinkage should be taken into account. At a beam connection position, it is necessary to

check that:

where:

If load introduction would give rise to excessive interface shear stresses, then additional

shear stud connectors, or a through gusset plate (Figure 2.13), should be provided in the

load introduction area, to enable the additional load to be introduced into the concrete core.

(v) Shear studs may be designed using the usual method given in EC4-1-1[18], based on the

following assessment, namely that the design shear strength of a stud should be determined

as the lower of:

33

( )

PRd = 0. 8 f u πd 2 / 4 / γ v

or

PRd = 0. 29αd 2 ( f ck E cm ) / γ v

where:

fu is the specified ultimate strength of the shear stud material (but not greater that 500

N/mm²)

N Sd

A A

ts

B B

tc

eg σ c,Rd

M Sd

N Sd

t s+ 5t c

σ c,Rd ≤ f yd

A1 te

Section A - A Section B - B

Figure 2.13 Load introduction into a concrete core through a gusset plate

(vi) When a concrete filled circular or rectangular square hollow section is only partially loaded

by plate stiffeners at a cap column divider plate position (column section type A-A in

Figure 2.13), or from a gusset plate through the profile at an intermediate column length

position (section type B-B in Figure 2.13), the local design resistance strength of concrete

34

σ c , Rd under the gusset plate or stiffener, resulting from the sectional forces of the concrete

section, should be determined by:

a fy A Ac f cd

σ c,R d = f cd 1 + η cl c ≤

t f ck Al Al

where:

fcd and fck are the design strength of the steel and the characteristic strength of the concrete

respectively.

Al is the loaded area under the gusset plate according to Figure 2.13.

ηcL is 4.9 for circular steel tubes; and 3.5 for rectangular sections.

The ratio Ac / Al in the equation above should not exceed 20. Welds between the gusset

plate and the steel hollow sections should be designed according to Section 3 of prEN

1993-1-8: 2002[29].

(vii) For concrete filled circular hollow sections, longitudinal reinforcement may be fully taken

into account when assessing cross-sectional design parameters, even where the

reinforcement is not welded to the end plates or in direct contact with the endplates,

provided that the gap eg between the reinforcement and the end plate does not exceed 30

mm (see also column section type A-A in Figure 2.13).

Alternatively, proprietary nailed connectors can used to effect the required shear transfer

capacity. These must be shot fired through the tube wall from the outside in a defined pattern

before concrete filling. Typically, they can have a design shear capacity of 12 kN/connector and

are placed at a spacing of 50 mm between connectors[34] .For further information see the cited

reference.

35

3 FIRE DESIGN

3.1 General

The presence of load bearing concrete within a hollow steel column has a beneficial effect on

the fire resistance of the steel section. Columns may be fire protected in the conventional way

using externally applied protection but, in many cases, significant periods of fire resistance can

be obtained without the need for external protection. Guidance on both methods of achieving

fire resistance is given in this section; however, the emphasis is on the use of unprotected

sections. Nevertheless, in most practical cases, applying external protection has the practical

advantage of removing the need to use reinforcment bars to obtain longer periods of fire

resistance.

Note that in any particular case, reducing the applied loads will increase the fire resistance of a

column.

Extensive experimental and theoretical investigations on the fire performance of concrete filled

columns, without applied protection, have been carried out in Europe and the UK with the

support of: the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC); the International Committee for

the Development and Study of Tubular Structures (CIDECT); and various national

governments. These studies have led to the development of the design rules that are now

included in the design codes of many countries in addition to DD ENV 1994-1-2: 2000[3] (EC4-

1-2) and BS5950-8: 1990[22].

The design guidance presented in this publication is based on the Eurocode methodology rather

than BS5950-8. SCI and Corus are of the opinion that the Eurocode methods are more

advanced than BS5950-8 and are therefore preferred.

Software to design concrete filled hollow sections for both normal conditions and fire has been

written by SCI and is available on a Corus CD for general use. The software only covers

unprotected sections. Details of the software are given in Section 6.

Under ambient conditions the steel and concrete material in a concrete filled hollow section

move together, and hence longitudinal steel and concrete strains are equal. Accordingly, the

stress in each material is proportional to the ratio of the elastic moduli of the two materials.

On heating, the steel will try to expand more rapidly than the concrete, and will therefore begin

to resist a greater proportion of the applied load. However, at the same time, the steel yield

stress and modulus of elasticity will begin to reduce and, eventually, the steel will begin to shed

load into the concrete.

Heat from the steel shell will be transferred to the outer layers of the concrete core, causing their

temperature to rise. However, concrete is not a good conductor of heat, and the rate of heat flow

through the core will be slow.

As the temperature of the outer layers increases, the concrete strength itself will begin to fall as

the heat degrades the concrete. The degradation includes the driving off of water, which is

present both as free moisture and from the hydrated constituents of the mix. This produces a

marked plateau in the concrete’s temperature-time profile as a considerable amount of heat is

absorbed in converting this moisture to steam.

36

It is imperative that venting is provided in the steel shell to allow any steam to escape. BS

5950-8 and EC4-1-2 recommend that the sections should contain one vent hole, with a

minimum diameter of 20 mm, at the top and bottom of each storey (see Section 4.1.1). The

longitudinal spacing of these holes should never exceed 5 m. Care must also be taken to ensure

that these vent holes are positioned such that they are not within the depth of the floor

construction.

The steel shell contains the concrete and prevents direct flame impingement, both preventing

progressive spalling and reducing the rate of degradation of the core.

Failure of the column will occur when the combined strength of the steel and concrete has

reduced to the level of the applied load.

The most significant design parameters affecting the performance of concrete filled columns in

fire are detailed below.

Material strength

From solely a fire resistance perspective, the most efficient column is obtained by using a high

strength concrete with a thin-walled grade S275 steel section. This gives the most advantageous

ratio of concrete load capacity to overall column strength.

Column size

As the external size of a column increases, the cross-sectional area of the concrete core will

increase at a faster rate than that of the steel. Accordingly, the core of a larger sized column will

support a greater proportion of the total load than a smaller one.

Externally applied protection will reduce the rate of heating and will therefore increase the fire

resistance. The use of external protection will normally eliminate the need to reinforce the

concrete core.

Applied load

The lower the level of the applied load, the lower the stresses produced, and the longer the

period of fire stability of the column.

Effective length

For short columns (i.e., columns with effective lengths up to approximately 12 times the column

width), failure will occur when the combined strength of the materials reduces to a level that is

less than the applied load (i.e., a crushing failure). As the column length increases, failure will

become progressively more related to instability considerations. EC4-1-2 allows a reduction in

the effective length of columns in fire (see Section 3.6.1 for further details).

When the flexural stiffness of the steel shell is lost, the bending resistance of the column is

significantly reduced, because of the relatively low value of the elastic modulus for concrete and

its poor flexural strength compared to steel.

axial loads is not significant for short columns. However, this can be a significant factor for

slender columns in fire.

37

The presence of moments in the column produced by either end moments or an eccentrically

applied end load (cleat loading) also has a significant effect on the fire stability.

Reinforcement

The presence of reinforcement in the concrete will improve the flexural and axial properties of

the core and so improve the fire resistance, particularly where buckling stability and/or bending

moments are major factors.

The Eurocodes use the parameter ‘axis distance’ and not concrete cover to describe the position

of the reinforcement within the concrete core. Axis distance is measured from the centre of the

bar to the inside of the steel tube, as shown in Figure 3.1.

Axis

distance

Axis

distance

Figure 3.1 Illustration of axis distance for CHS and SHS sections

Concrete-filled structural hollow section columns with a design capacity based on the room

temperature properties of the full cross-section may be protected against fire with externally

applied insulating materials. The presence of the concrete core will substantially add to the heat

sink of the column and so markedly reduced the effective Section Factor of the composite

column. The Section Factor Am / V is the ratio of the exposed perimeter to the area of steel and

is commonly used in assessing the required thickness of fire protection.

The thickness of fire protection material required for a concrete-filled structural hollow section

column may be determined as follows:

η=

Resistance at 20º C

3. Using the utilization factor, assess the critical temperature for the section using the

design procedures for a simple steel section according to ENV 1993-1-2: 1995[27] (EC3-

1-2).

4. The effect of the heat sink, from the presence of the concrete core, is to increase the

Section Factor of the steel section. As a result, the effective Section Factor may be

calculated based on an increased wall thickness of the steel section as follows[31, 32]:

t se = t s + t ce

38

with t ce = 0.15bi for bi < 12 T

t ce = 1.8 T for bi ≥ 12 T

where:

ts is the wall thickness (mm).

tce is the effective increase in wall thickness due to the concrete core (mm).

bi is the minimum dimension of the concrete core (mm).

T is the fire resistance time (mins).

=

V Area of SHS based on t se

6. The thickness of fire protection material required can then be obtained in the

conventional manner.

The above method for determining the thickness of externally applied fire protection may be

used for any passive insulating materials. The same approach may also be adopted for

intumescent coatings, provided that suitable test evidence is available.

The method proposed in this section directly follows the principles of Eurocode 4. EC4-1-2

gives general design methods for composite columns and, in Annex G, specific rules for

concrete filled hollow sections. Following a calibration exercise, SCI and Corus concluded that

a combination of the two methods was the best approach, which is fully in line with the

principles of this Eurocode.

For the combined buckling resistance and bending check, SCI and Corus have adopted a more

conservative approach than that recommended by EC4-1-2. This approach takes into account

the slenderness of the column; a factor presently ignored in the Eurocode.

Tables to allow an estimate of the column size to achieve the required fire resistance are given

in Section 6.

The Eurocode states, in general principles, that the buckling resistance of a column may be

computed by using buckling curve ‘c’. The squash resistance and Euler buckling resistances are

calculated by integrating across the cross section taking into account the temperature

distribution and corresponding material properties.

39

where:

χ is the reduction coefficient for buckling obtained from curve ‘c’ of Section 5.5.1, of

EC3-1-1 and is dependant on the non-dimensional slenderness ratio λ θ .

N fi,pl,Rd is the design value of the plastic resistance to axial compression in the fire situation.

1. Carry out a thermal analysis to establish the temperature distribution throughout the

cross-section.

2. Calculate the properties of the cross-section.

3. Calculate the buckling resistance of the column.

4. Calculate the bending resistance of the column.

5. Calculate the effect of interaction between axial load and bending.

DD ENV 1991-2-2: 1996[26] (EC1-2-2) gives an equation for determining the heat transfer,

which includes two partial factors. These are applied to the radiation and convection terms.

They are included to allow heating rates in different furnaces to be modelled.

( ) [(

Rate of heat input (W/m²) = γ c α θ g − θ s + γ r φε r σ θ g + 273 ) − (θ

4

s + 273)4 ]

where:

θg is the gas temperature (ºC)

εr is the effective emmissivity

σ is the Stefan Boltzmann constant (5.67 × 10-8 W/m² ºK4)

γc is the partial factor for convection (a boxed value) = 1.0

γr is the partial factor for radiation (a boxed value) = 1.0

φ is the orientation (view) factor = 1.0

The UK NAD to EC1-2-2 specifies 0.45 for γ r . From a consideration of test data, SCI and

Corus consider this value to be too low[4] for calculating the heat input to concrete filled hollow

sections. It is therefore recommended that a value of 1.0 for γ r is more appropriate for concrete

filled hollow sections.

During 2002 the UK National Application Document (NAD) for EC4-1-2 is expected to be

published. This will specify the partial safety factors and combination factors that should be

used in the UK. The relevant factors that are due to be given in the NAD are:

40

Partial material factors:

Concrete, γ M,fi,c 1.1

Reinforcement, γ M,fi, s 1.0

Storage 0.9

Escape stairs and lobbies 0.9

Plant 1.0

All other areas 0.7

The NAD will also give more conservative values than the Eurocode for the effective length of

columns in fire (see Section 3.6.1).

It is generally not feasible to carry out design calculations by hand and use of the ConcFill

software is advised (see Section 6). The first step is to divide the cross-section into a number of

elements, as part of a finite difference thermal analysis. The structural section properties are

then calculated by summing the properties of all the elements, with due account being paid to

the effect of the temperature on each element.

The squash resistance of the composite column is calculated from the following summation:

N fi, pl, Rd = ∑

j γ M,fi,a

+ ∑

k γ M,fi, s

+ ∑ m γ M,fi,c

where:

As, θ is the area of an element of the reinforcement.

Ac, θ is the area of an element of the concrete.

f a, max, θ is the strength of the steel section element at temperature θ (see Section 3.8.1).

f s, max, θ is the strength of a steel reinforcement bar at temperature θ (see Section 3.8.2).

fc, θ is the strength of the concrete element at temperature θ (see Section 3.8.3).

γ M, fi, i is the partial material safety factor for the element.

The effective flexural stiffness of the composite column (EI )fi, eff can be determined from:

j

a, θ, σ I a, θ + ∑E

k

s, θ, σ I s, θ + ∑E

m

c, θ, σ I c, θ

where:

41

I a, θ , I s, θ and I c, θ are the second moment of area of each element.

E a, θ, σ , E s, θ,σ and E c, θ,σ are the tangent moduli of the stress-strain relationship for the material

of each element at its temperature θ and stress σ.

3.6.1 Effective length of composite columns in fire

The effective (buckling) length of composite columns in fire can be determined from Clause

4.3.6 of EC4-1-2, which is shown schematically in Figure 3.2. For columns within an

intermediate storey of a building, the buckling length of the column is 0.5 times the system

length. For columns on the top storey, the buckling length should be taken as 0.7 times the

system length.

In the draft UK NAD for EC4-1-2 the factors of 0.5 and 0.7 have been conservatively increased

to 0.7 and 0.85 respectively.

Shear wall or other bracing system

0.85L L

0.7L L

Figure 3.2 Effective length of columns in fire conditions (N.B., the values of 0.7 and

0.85 are taken from the draft UK NAD)

The buckling resistance is calculated from the squash resistance and the Euler (elastic) critical

load using the EC3-1-1 buckling curve ‘c’. The Euler buckling load is given by:

N fi, cr = 2

lθ

where:

N fi, pl, Rd

λθ =

N fi, cr

42

The resistance of a composite column in axial compression (buckling load) is obtained from:

where:

χ is the reduction coefficient for buckling obtained from curve ‘c’ of Section 5.5.1, of

EC3-1-1 and is dependant on the non-dimensional slenderness ratio λ θ .

1

χ= but χ ≤ 1.0

[ 2

φ + φ − λθ ]

2 0. 5

where:

φ [ (

= 0. 5 1 + α λ θ − 0. 2 + λ θ 2 ) ]

α is an imperfection parameter depending on the buckling curve considered. For

buckling curve ‘c’ the imperfection factor, α, is 0.49.

The design method can be applied to columns in multi-storey steel frames. These columns

should carry predominately axial loads. It is recommended that the ratio of applied moment to

moment capacity should not exceed 0.67.

The calculation of the plastic bending resistance is broadly similar to the calculation of the

squash load and flexural stiffness. Two steps have to be carried out.

∑ γ M, fi, a

+ ∑ γ M, fi, s

+ ∑ γ M, fi, c

=0

M fi, Rd = ∑ γ M, fi, a

y+ ∑ γ M, fi, s

y+ ∑ γ M, fi, c

y

where y represents the distance from the centroid of each element to the plastic neutral axis.

The interaction of axial compression and bending is checked using the expression below. This

is a more conservative approach than that given in the Eurocode.

Nf M fx M fy

R= + kx + ky ≤ 1. 0

N fi, Rd M fi, Rd M fi, Rd

43

where:

M fx is the maximum applied moment about the major axis.

M fy is the maximum applied moment about the minor axis.

k x , k y are modification factors based on slenderness (see Section 3.7.1)

For a circular section, the moments about orthogonal axes can be added vectorially.

In cases where there are no applied moments, or the moments are small, it is recommended that

a nominal moment about the minor axis is assumed.

The nominal moments can be assessed according to existing practice in BS 5400-5: 1979[30] as

follows:

For a CHS M fx = 0. 03 DN f

For a RHS M fy = 0. 03 BN f

where:

D is the diameter of the CHS

B is the width of the RHS

The factor k is a moment multiplier (k ≥ 1.0) used to take account of any possible second order

effects in slender columns in accordance with ambient temperature composite column design to

EC4-1-1.

The factor should be assessed separately for each axis, since it is dependent on the variation of

end moments on an axis, as well as the slenderness on that axis.

Second order effects are only to be considered significant if both of the following conditions are

satisfied:

Nf

1) > 0. 1

N fi, Rd

2) λ θ > 0. 2(2 − r )

where:

r is the ratio of the smaller to the larger end moment (see Figure 2.5). If there is

any transverse loading, r should be taken as 1.0.

If second order effects are not significant then k = 1.0.

Otherwise:

β

k= ≥ 1 .0

Nf

1−

N cr, f

44

where:

β is the equivalent moment factor.

For columns with transverse loading within the column length, the value for β should be taken

as 1.0. For pure end moments, β can be determined as follows:

β = 0. 66 + 0. 44r but β ≥ 0. 44

For the design of the resistance of concrete filled structural hollow sections in fire, the design

method of EC4-1-2 Annex G uses a special set of material properties. These are slightly

different from those used for the design of other composite elements (see Section 2.2).

During the development of EC4-1-2, the calibration of the Annex G method was carried out

using a set of material properties that were different from those generally adopted for other

elements in the Eurocode. Due to the fact that there was insufficient time to recalibrate the

method, the material properties for the design of concrete filled sections have remained

unchanged.

f ay,θ

The ratio is given by:

f ay,20 ° C

If 0 < θ ≤ 600ºC

f ay, θ θ

= 1. 0 +

f ay,20 ° C θ

900 log e

1750

f ay, θ

=

(340 − 0. 34θ)

f ay,20 ° C (θ − 240 )

E a, θ

The ratio is given by:

E a,20 ° C

If 0 < θ ≤ 600ºC

E a, θ θ

= 1. 0 +

E a,20 ° C θ

2000 log e

100

45

E a, θ

=

(690 − 0. 69θ)

E a,20 ° C (θ − 53. 3)

where:

f ay,20° C is the yield stress of the structural steel at 20ºC.

f ay, θ is the yield stress of the structural steel at temperature θ.

E a,20° C is the modulus of elasticity of the structural steel at 20ºC.

E a, θ is the modulus of elasticity of the structural steel at temperature θ.

f sy, θ Es, θ

The ratios and are obtained from the following table:

f sy,20 ° C Es,20 ° C

Temperature θs (ºC) 0 400 580 750

f sy, θ Es, θ

and 1.00 1.00 0.15 0

f sy,20 ° C Es,20 ° C

fc, θ Ec, θ

The ratios and are obtained from the following table:

fc,20 ° C Ec,20 ° C

Temperature θc (ºC) 0 50 200 250 400 600 1000

fc, θ

1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 0.76 0.45 0

fc,20 ° C

Ec, θ

1.00 1.00 0.50 0.41 0.15 0.05 0.05

Ec,20 ° C

Ec,20° C is obtained from Table 2.2

46

4 FABRICATION AND CONNECTIONS

4.1 General

This section illustrates the more salient points to be considered when detailing the connections

to concrete filled columns so as to ensure economy and efficiency in design. The details will

follow standard structural engineering practice and will depend on the nature of the loads and

the type of beam or flooring present.

It is necessary to provide ventilation holes in the column walls to prevent the dangerous build

up of steam pressure inside the column in the event of a fire. Two 20 mm diameter holes placed

diametrically opposite each other both at the top and bottom of each storey height have been

used in testing and have proved to be adequate. Care must be taken that the holes are positioned

outside the level of any floor slab or screed.

A drain hole should be also provided at the base of a column to prevent water collecting if it is

left standing empty on site prior to filling (Figure 4.1). This hole may be one of the steam vent

holes.

Drain and

vent hole

Primary load bearing structural components should be welded to the column before filling with

concrete. The welding of relatively small lugs and fittings after filling is permissible.

Column splices are generally made either by butt-welding lengths together, or by providing

bolted flange connections at the ends of column lengths. Some common examples of these

connections are shown in Figure 4.2.

47

Column Splice Connections

Section through floor with flange plates on

RHS or CHS columns cast into concrete

slab. The bottom plate has projecting

studs welded to it; for flange plates

connected above the slab, in a raised

floor space, a normal bolting arrangement

may be used. In general, the flange plate

connection provides transfer of axial

forces but only limited moment transfer.

backing strip and angle brackets for

erection; brackets are removed after

some welding completed; backing strip

also used as alignment spigot. For CHS

Columns, vertical plates are used instead

of brackets.

bolts

permits accurate alignment of the SHS

and backing material before site welding.

Particular details that should considered when using these two connection types are as follows:

To allow welding to take place, the concrete filling should be stopped at a level

approximately 250 mm below the top of the column. The next column length can then be

spliced into place using a full penetration butt weld with a backing ring. Following this,

concrete filling can be resumed.

48

(ii) Bolted Flange Joints

When a flanged connection is used, the flange should be welded to the column before

filling. When flanges are used at both ends of a column length, at least one flange will

have to incorporate an aperture for filling (see Figure 4.3). In order to ensure complete

filling under this flange, the maximum size of any lip should not exceed 15 mm.

Detail 1

A A 15 mm max.

Vent hole

Detail 1

Section A - A

Figure 4.3 Column cap plate and splice detail for flange plate connections

Simple Connections

Simple connections are normally assumed to give vertical support but to provide only limited

restraint against rotation: these connections are assumed to be able to rotate without damage. A

selection of some common examples is shown in Figure 4.4 below.

49

Reverse channel connection

connected to CHS columns by a

channel fixing; a standard flexible end

plate is normal at the beam end, which

then develops only nominal moments.

A similar detail is used for RHS

columns.

and primary beams which are

connected to RHS columns by a

T-section web cleat; this connection can

have greater stiffness and robustness

than the equivalent fin plate connection.

with steel beam connected to RHS or

CHS column by a finplate; a very

economic joint; a seating cleat may be

used to help erection, with removal

afterwards if required.

connected to face of RHS column by

Hollobolts or fully threaded bolts in

Flowdrill holes; only nominal moments

develop with flush or partial depth

flexible end plates; thicker plates can

develop between 10 to 15 per cent of

beam capacity.

50

The most common arrangements for beam-to-column joints make use of bolted connections via

attachments welded to the faces of the hollow section column. By far the most common

connection of this type is the fin plate connection, using a flat plate welded to each column face.

For RHS columns, an alternative is the web cleat connection, using single angle sections, or

T-sections, welded to the column face. The use of double angles is a further option and provides

greater capacity than a single angle would. An increasingly popular option for CHS or RHS

columns is the use of the reverse channel connection. Of these, the most economic is the fin

plate connection or the web cleat connection using a single angle. Note also that it is not

necessary to have a continuous weld of the bracket to the column when under internal

conditions of exposure.

Simple steel connections using flexible end plates or double angle cleats, which are bolted direct

to the column, are also possible with RHS columns. These joints use either expanding bolt

types, such as Hollobolt, or fully threaded bolts in tapped holes produced by the Flowdrill

system.

Moment connections

Moment Connections are those that are assumed to give vertical support, provide a degree of

restraint against rotation and develop some moment capacity. A selection of some common

examples is shown in Figure 4.5 below.

Rigid or semi-rigid moment connections are feasible with all types of hollow section column.

These may use flange plates or beam stubs, which are usually of the same section as the beam

being connected. Through-plated connections are another popular type of moment connection;

this is similar in appearance to the fin plate connection but has slots in the column to allow a

single plate to be taken through it. In almost all cases, moment connections are more expensive

than simple connections, but the extra cost of the connection can be more than offset by savings

in beam sizes, or by provision of more usable floor space.

Connections generally need to be either fire protected or shielded by other elements such as

floor slabs.

Questions sometimes arise as to how the loads are transferred into a concrete filled column from

an incoming beam, when the outer steel tube is exposed to fire below the connection. If bolts or

studs protrude into the concrete core, then some degree of direct load transfer can be envisaged.

However, it will often be the case that the beam-to-column connection takes the form of a fin

plate, resulting in no obvious direct load path into the concrete core. In this case, the load

transfer is via the cold part of the steel tube above the connection. The beam reaction is

therefore resisted by tension in the tube, which is transferred into the concrete core by a

combination of shear, bond and direct axial load via the column cap.

51

Composite beam moment connection

beam connected to RHS or CHS

columns by fin plates and bottom flange

plate to provide continuous or

semi-continuous joints; the top

reinforcement in the concrete slab is

designed to provide the other arm of the

moment couple.

steel beams on top of primary beams

which are connected to RHS or CHS

columns by fin plates and flange plates

to provide continuous or

semi-continuous joints.

Stub connection

sections welded to face of RHS

columns; moment capacity usually

limited by yielding of column face; large

moments require internal diaphragms or

external flange plates.

Through-plate connection

passed through slots and welded to

each face of RHS or CHS column; the

through plate connection allows

significant axial forces and bending

moments to be transferred from the

beam, if this is required.

The use of steel decking or precast concrete floor slabs, supported on steel beams, can lead to

economical designs. In each of these cases, the fixing of the steel beams to the concrete filled

hollow sections can be achieved by using the connections shown in Figure 4.4 and Figure 4.5.

52

In situ concrete beams and floors may also be used with concrete filled hollow sections. Figure

4.6 illustrates some shearhead connection details to provide shear and moment transfer between

reinforced concrete flat slabs and composite columns.

column stubs welded to RHS or CHS

columns; a stiffening collar may be

required around the column top when large

moments are produced in it from

unbalanced loads.

Grid shearhead

grid welded to faces of RHS columns; the

connection is designed for transfer of

tensile and compressive forces from the

slab to the shearhead elements.

With the exception of the need to provide a drain/ vent holes in the wall of the hollow section

(see Figure 4.1), no specialised details are required for base plate connections. A typical

example of a base plate for a concrete filled column using SHS is shown in Figure 4.7.

boxes; bolts are loosened soon after

concrete has set; underside of base and

bolt boxes are grouted after baseplate is

packed up and column is plumb.

53

5 PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

5.1.1 General

This section has been written on the assumption that the hollow sections are to be filled with

concrete on site. For sections filled under factory conditions, the same basic requirements need

to be met; however, the more closely controlled conditions in the factory could have advantages,

particularly when high strength concretes are being used.

It must be emphasised that the concrete plays an important structural role and it will only do this

if a good standard of concrete design, concreting procedure, control and site supervision is used.

In many cases, grout is an acceptable alternative to concrete for filling hollow sections and in

most cases the following recommendations also apply to grout filling.

Good control over concrete materials and testing is required, especially for higher strength

mixes. The testing of materials for concrete, and of the concrete itself, should be in accordance

with the standards and regulations generally accepted or laid down in the country in which the

work is to be carried out. General information on concrete and concreting may be found in

textbooks on the subject.

The concrete must fill the steel section completely. Because it is not possible to inspect the

concrete visually after placing, there must be no doubts about the ability of the concrete and the

concreting procedure to meet these requirements. Due consideration of the following

recommendations will ensure, as far as possible, that these requirements are satisfied.

(ii) sufficient cohesiveness to reduce the likelihood of segregation and bleeding;

(iii) the specified 28-day strength;

(iv) when filling a column with a plain concrete mix, the maximum size of aggregate should be

10 mm for 100 mm minimum section columns, 20 mm for 140 to 180 mm minimum

section columns and 40 mm for 200 mm minimum section columns; and

(v) when a reinforcement cage is inserted into the concrete for additional capacity, or to

improve the fire performance, the clearance between the reinforcement bar outer fibre and

the SHS inner wall should be at least 5 mm larger than the maximum aggregate size.

The workability of the concrete should be high enough to ensure its proper compaction, but not

too high otherwise most of the other desirable properties of the mix will suffer. With the

exception of bottom pressure filling (see below), an average slump of about 50 mm will

probably suffice in most instances. The attainment of high strength may make stiffer mixes

necessary, but this will increase the difficulties of placing and compaction. A lower slump will

be possible where large sizes or short column lengths make placing and compaction easier.

54

Given the desired workability and knowledge of the available aggregates, a mix to give the

required strength may be designed in accordance with the recommendations of any of the

standard publications.

In order to obtain the required cohesiveness and to reduce bleeding it is advisable to increase the

proportion of fine aggregate in the total aggregate content by up to about 5% more than would

normally be used, especially for smaller size columns. Fine sands produce more cohesive mixes

than coarse sands.

A water-reducing admixture may help throughout the strength range and may be very useful

when high strength concretes are specified.

The internal surface of the hollow section needs no special preparation. However if cutting oils

have been used, any deposits of oil in the region of the cut should be removed. It is important

that all loose material and debris be removed from the bottom of the column. Any free water,

which may have collected at the bottom, must also be removed.

Conventional top filling

Special plant will not normally be required. If a good cohesive mix has been obtained it may

quite satisfactorily be dropped into the column from the top. However, care must be taken to

ensure that the first 100 mm or so of concrete in the bottom of the column does not contain an

excessive amount of coarse aggregate, which would lead to ‘honeycombing’, or voids between

aggregate particles.

The concrete is best compacted by an internal (or poker) vibrator: this type should be used

whenever possible. The vibrator should be lowered to the bottom of the column and switched on

immediately before any concrete is placed. The concrete should be placed slowly around the

vibrator, which must be left running continuously, and raised as the concrete level rises, such

that its position is just below the surface of the concrete; its position may be judged by raising

and lowering it, and noting the change in sound as it emerges from the concrete.

Placing the concrete requires careful consideration because of the cost of the plant required to

handle relatively small quantities. The majority of concrete used on site is ready-mixed, and this

is most economical if it can be used in 6 m³ loads, which need to be placed within half an hour if

waiting charges are to be avoided. A crane and skip could handle concrete at this rate into the

large columns. A mobile pump with a boom can place the concrete continuously as it is being

compacted and, provided that the poker diameter is at least 50 mm, this rate of placing could be

achieved in medium sized columns. However, concrete in smaller columns should be placed at a

proportionally slower rate, in order to achieve satisfactory compaction. Mortar pumps with 50

mm diameter rubber hoses could be used, provided that the maximum aggregate size does not

exceed 10 mm. Generally, each time the maximum size of aggregate is halved, the cement

content needs to be increased by 20%.

If it is decided to mix the concrete in small batches on site, it is possible to manhandle the

concrete in buckets and to compact it with a 40 to 50 mm square timber tamper. With care,

compaction by this method is at least as good as vibration.

External vibration is also possible; however, a lot of energy will be absorbed by the steel

column. For this reason, a very powerful clamp-on vibrator is necessary; this should be moved

up as the concrete surface rises.

55

The concrete may settle during the first hour in hot weather, or perhaps three hours in cold

weather. This may be overcome by adding extra concrete during placing, and trowelling it off

flush with the top of the cap plate after the concrete has settled, but before it is too stiff to

trowel.

Reworking concrete is not harmful provided that the concrete is not ‘loosened’ in the process,

and no extra water is added.

Drain holes that are present in the column to prevent the build up of water on site, and to allow

the escape of moisture in the event of fire (see Section 4.1.1), should be temporarily plugged

whilst the concrete is being placed. If this is not done, grout and fine material will escape from

the mix, leaving an area of weak honeycombed concrete inside the column. The plugs should be

removed after the concrete has achieved its initial set.

Bottom pressure filling of composite columns using hollow sections has, in the past, been

proved to be very successful in Australia, which has led to it being widely employed in Japan

and North America.

maximum height of 200 m for special pumps.

• Pumping from the base of the column avoids aggregate segregation; vibration of the

concrete, whether it being internal or external, is not normally required.

• Mixes need to be of a high workability, with slumps exceeding 150 mm. (However, it is

recommended that the workability of a mix be established from the flow table test, in

accordance with BS 1881-105[33]).

• Peak pumping rates of 50 m³/hour are achievable.

• Although a typical concrete pump pressure is 60% greater than the hydrostatic head (using

a 125 mm standard pump), this pressure may rise depending on the number of obstructions

within the column (e.g., reinforcement cages).

• No surface preparation is necessary at breaks in the concrete, prior to pouring the next

(upper) section.

Figure 5.1 shows a typical cut-off valve used as an entry point for bottom pressure filled

sections. The valve is usually located at between 300 to 450 mm above the column base, and is

welded to the wall of the hollow section (thereby resulting in a permanent fitting). The size of

valve appropriate for a standard 125 mm diameter supply pipe will usually dictate that, for

practical purposes, a column with a minimum cross-sectional dimension of 300 mm is needed.

As a consequence, for columns with smaller cross-sectional dimensions, conventional top filling

is preferred.

56

Figure 5.1 Cut-off valve used in bottom pressure filled composite columns

The main objects of curing are to prevent early drying out of the concrete, and to protect it from

frost. The concrete can only dry out at the top surface and, in most cases, a polythene sheet or

bag placed over the top and tied or taped around the column will provide the necessary

protection.

Concrete must not be allowed to freeze during the early stages of setting and hardening. The

steel section has negligible insulating properties so, if cold weather is expected, concreting

should be suspended, or insulation and heating (if necessary) provided.

In frosty weather the steel section should be warmed above 0°C to melt any ice on, or in the

column. Care should be taken to ensure that all constituents of the concrete are free of ice. After

placing, the columns should be wrapped in insulating quilts to prevent the temperature of the

concrete dropping below 10°C for the first day, or even two days for 20 N/mm2 concrete with a

low initial temperature. These temperatures ensure that the concrete matures sufficiently before

it is allowed to freeze.

57

6 SOFTWARE

ConcFill2 is a program that will check a composite column at the normal and the fire limit state.

All calculations are in accordance with EC4-1-1 and EC4-1-2, as described in Sections 2 and 3.

In fire, applied protection is not considered. ConcFill2 replaces ConcFill, which was an earlier

version distributed on CD by Corus in 1999.

The program uses a sophisticated load specification in which dead and imposed loads may be

applied centrally and at user defined offsets at the top and bottom of a storey height. Moments

may also be applied at the top and bottom of the column. Loads applied at offsets are used to

generate additional moments. Moments are considered in two directions and effective lengths

may be specified in two directions separately for both normal and fire conditions.

Facilities are included which make the positioning of reinforcement very straightforward. It is

also possible to rotate the section without having to re-enter applied loads.

The user may select the section size from the large range supplied by Corus.

The extensive output may be viewed on the screen before being printed. This includes: details

of all factored and unfactored applied loads and moments generated by load offsets; cross-

section resistances and column buckling resistances for both normal and fire conditions; and

unity factors, which give an indication of critical sensitivities and efficiency.

ConcFill2 is an analysis program and the user has to iteratively arrive at an appropriate section

size. Table 6.1 has been developed to assist in the initial selection process.

Steel grade Celsius 355

Column length 3.5

Effective length (normal) 0.85

Effective length (fire) 0.7

Reinforcement Approximately 4%

Axis distance 60 minutes 40 mm

90 minutes 50 mm

120 minutes 60 mm

†

Corus Tubes, Structural & Conveyance Business, PO Box 6024, Weldon Road, Corby, Northants,

NN17 5ZN , the United Kingdom UK Freephone

Technical Helpline : +44 (0) 1724 405060 Fax: +44 (0) 1536 404127 Email: corustubes.s-

c@corusgroup.com

58

Table 6.1 Column buckling resistances and bending resistances for initial sizing in

ConcFill2

Section Section size Rebar Normal Fire resistance (mins)

type design 60 90 120

168.3x 10 4 x 16 N Rd 1858 481 178 -

96 18 7 -

MRd

193.7x10 4 x 16 N Rd 2361 691 293 -

132 26 10 -

MRd

219.1x12.5 4 x 20 N Rd 3394 1162 589 221

209 47 23 11

MRd

244.5x16 4 x 20 N Rd 4666 1636 899 355

320 75 35 15

MRd

273x16 4 x 25 N Rd 5593 2240 1426 711

418 111 61 29

Circular MRd

Hollow

Section 323.9x16 4 x 25 N Rd 7022 2940 2062 1386

604 158 92 58

MRd

355.6x16 6 x 25 N Rd 8276 3876 2906 2290

758 233 149 114

MRd

406.4x16 6 x 32 N Rd 10299 5590 4501 3869

1054 389 276 228

MRd

457x16 6 x 32 N Rd 12040 6627 5423 4817

1358 479 337 283

MRd

508x16 6 x 32 N Rd 14300 8504 7137 6521

1768 674 493 425

MRd

160x160x12.5 4 x 16 N Rd 2663 552 142 -

161 22 5 -

MRd

180x180x16 4 x 16 N Rd 3747 810 280 -

244 33 10 -

MRd

200x200x16 4 x 20 N Rd 4473 1183 540 107

318 53 22 5

MRd

Square 250x250x16 4 x 25 N Rd 6320 2134 1439 777

Hollow 546 112 67 35

Section MRd

300x300x16 4 x 32 N Rd 8334 3504 2627 1835

846 220 146 89

MRd

350x350x16 4 x 32 N Rd 10201 4494 3389 2621

1169 294 186 121

MRd

400x400x16 8 x 32 N Rd 12906 7008 5628 4744

1691 560 404 309

MRd

Note: N R d is the design buckling resistance (kN) and M R d is the design bending moment

resistance (kNm).

59

7 REFERENCES

BS EN 10210-1: 1994 Hot finished structural hollow sections of non-alloy and fine grain

structural steels. Technical delivery conditions.

BS EN 10210-2: 1997 Hot finished structural hollow sections of non-alloy and fine grain

structural steels. Tolerances, dimensions and sectional properties.

DD ENV 1994-1-2: Eurocode 4 Design of composite steel and concrete structures: Part

1.2: General rules Structural fire design (in preparation, available late 2000).

The fire resistance of concrete filled tubes to Eurocode 4

The Steel Construction Institute, P259, 2000.

Fire resistant design. A guide to evaluation of structural hollow sections using BS 5950 Part

8

TD408, 1998.

Fire resistant design. A guide to evaluation of structural hollow sections using BS 5950 Part

8

TD409, 1998.

Intumescent coatings & SHS concrete filled columns

TD410, 1998.

8. CORUS TUBES

Hot finished SHS for multi-storey columns

TD416, 1999.

Composite concrete filled steel-tube columns

Proceedings of the 2nd National Structures Conference

Institution of Engineers Australia, 1990, pp. 181-185.

Columns for buildings

Engineering News, Vol. 48, No. 17, 1902.

Collapse load tests on concrete filled steel tubes and the derivation of design formulae

Der Stahlbau, 1957.

60

12. BOUÉ, P.

Concrete filled steel stanchions

Acier Steel, No. 9, 1957, pp.351-356.

Concrete filled tubular steel columns under eccentric loading

The Structural Engineer, Vol. 47, No. 5, 1969, pp. 187-195.

Strength of concrete filled steel tubular columns

Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 95, No. 2, pp. 2565-2587.

Axial load for concrete filled steel tubes

Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 96, No. 10, pp. 2125-2155.

DD ENV 1992-1-1: 1992 Eurocode 2 Design of concrete structures: Part 1.1: General rules

and rules for buildings.

Draft prEN 1994-1-1: 2001 Eurocode 4 Design of composite steel and concrete structures:

Part 1.1: General rules and rules for buildings.

prEN 1994-1-1:2002 Eurocode 4 Design of composite steel and concrete structures: Part

1.1: General rules and rules for buildings.

BS 4449:1997 Specification for carbon steel bars for the reinforcement of concrete.

DD ENV 10080: 1996 Steel for the reinforcement of concrete. Weldable ribbed reinforcing

steel B500. Technical delivery conditions for bars, coils and welded fabric.

Joints in steel construction: Composite connections

The Steel Construction Institute/The British Constructional Steelwork Association,

P213/98, 1998.

BS 5950-8: 1990 Structural use of steelwork in building: Part 8: Code of practice for fire

resistant design.

BS EN 10210-1: 1994 Hot finished structural hollow sections of non-alloy and fine grain

structural steels: Part 1: Technical delivery requirements.

61

24. BASU, A.K. and SOMERVILLE, W.

Derivation of formulae for the design of rectangular composite columns

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers

Supplementary Volume 1969, pp. 233-280

Composite columns in axial bending

Axially compressed structures (Vol. 1 of Stability and Strength Series – Editor: R.

Narayanan)

Applied Science Publishers, 1982

DD ENV 1991-2-2: 1996 Eurocode 1 Basis of design and actions on structures: Part 2.2:

Actions on structures exposed to fire (together with United Kingdom National Application

Document).

ENV 1993-1-2: 1995 Design of steel structures: Part 1.2: General rules Structural fire

design.

DD ENV 1993-1-1: 1992 Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures: Part 1.1: General rules

and rules for buildings.

prEN 1993-1-8: 2002 Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures: Part 1.8: Design of joints.

BS 5400-5: 1979 Steel, Concrete and composite bridges: Part 5: Code of practice for

design.

31. EDWARDS, M.

The performance in fire of concrete filled SHS columns protected by intumescent paint

Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Tubular Structures, Balkema,

Rotterdam, Netherlands, 1998

32. EDWARDS, M.

The performance in fire of fully utilised concrete filled SHS columns with external fire

protection

Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Tubular Structures, Balkema,

Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2000

BS 1881-105: 1984 Methods for the determination of flow

34. BECK, H.

Nailed Shear Connection in Composite Tube Columns

Paper No,35, Proceedings of the 1999 Eurosteel Conference, CVUT, Prague, ISBN 80-01-

01963-2

62

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of this publication are accurate, but Corus UK

Limited and its subsidiary companies do not

accept responsibility for errors or for information

which is found to be misleading. Suggestions

for or descriptions of the end use or application

of products or methods of working are for

information only and Corus UK Limited and its

subsidiaries accept no liability in respect

thereof. Before using products supplied or

manufactured by Corus UK Limited customers

should satisfy themselves of their suitability.

Structural & Conveyance Business Structural & Conveyance Business

Sales Enquires contact: Sales Enquires contact:

UK Sales office Netherlands Sales office

PO Box 6024, Postbus 39

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www.corustubes.com corustubes.s-c@corusgroup.com

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