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Martin Steenhuis

Martin Steenhuis graduated in 1988 at the University of Technology in Eindhoven and became researcher in the field of steel connections at TNO Building and Construction Research. He is one of the three authors of Eurocode 3 Revised Annex J.

Frans Bijlaard
Frans Bijlaard graduated in 1976 at the University of Technology in Delft and became researcher in the field of stability and connections of steel structures. He is head of the Division of Structural Engineering of TNO.

We know Prof. Tschemmernegg to be a specialist in the field of stability and connections, both in steel and composite steel concrete structures. Prof. Tschemmernegg has refreshing opinions and therefore contributes in a significant way to the state of knowledge in the research field. We worked with him at various occasions, for instance, in ECCS Technical committees but also in the frame of COST C1. Working with him has been a pleasure, not in the least due to his friendly nature and his sense for humour.

This paper summarises research work carried out to column bases, more especially the component concrete in compression. The Eurocode 3 Annex L design model is treated and tests are reported. This paper is part of a broad study to the behaviour of column bases. The study is co-ordinated by ECCS TC10.

Tests on column bases in compression

In the framework of ECCS TC10, activities are being undertaken to come to European Design Recommendations for column bases. The necessary background studies were carried out in the frame of COST C1 WG2 [1]. Published in the Commemorative Publication for Prof. Dr. F. Tschemmernegg, ed. by G. Huber, (1999), Institute for Steel, Timber and Mixed Building Technology, Innsbruck

It has been the objective of ECCS TC10 to present the recommendations in the format of the so-called component approach. The essence of the component approach is that a joint between 'members' or between a 'member' and a 'support' is analysed by investigation of the behaviour of all components of that joint. For example, in a column base, the following components can be distinguished: base plate in bending, anchor bolt in tension, concrete in compression, column flange in compression, column flange in tension, column web in compression and column web in tension. The component base plate in bending occurs in two situations: in combination with concrete in compression and in combination with anchor bolts in tension.

For each component, three mechanical properties are of interest: strength, stiffness and deformation capacity.

The objective of this paper is to provide validation of the Eurocode 3 Annex L [2] design rules for the components base plate in bending and concrete in compression. These rules are included in the COST C1 background document.

The Eurocode 3 [2] model to determine the strength capacity of the components base plate in bending and concrete in compression is based on a T-stub approach. Assume a T-stub is loaded with a load FSd as indicated in Figure 1 on the left side.
FSd < FRd x tw x= fy 3 fj M0 tw FSd < F Rd

tf fj beff = bf fj beff = tw + 2 fy 3 fj M0


Small width flange

Large width flange

Figure 1: T-stub model according to Eurocode 3.

The load FSd can be increased to a level FRd, the design resistance of the T-stub loaded in compression. This resistance is determined based on the assumption that under the T-stub a uniform stress distribution occurs with value f j. Due to the uniform stress distribution under the T-stub, a moment MSd occurs in the flange near the root between T-stub flange and web. This moment is equal to MSd = f j x 2 l, where l is the length of the T-stub. The value of MSd should not exceed the strength capacity of the flange in bending, which in this case is taken as the elastic resistance (MRd = 1/6 f y t f2 l / M0). The elastic resistance is taken to assure that the assumed uniform distribution of stresses under the T-stub occurs. The plate should be sufficiently stiff to allow for this stress distribution. In other words: MSd < MRd f j x 2 l < 1/6 f y t f2 l / M0 x < tf fy 3 fj M0 fy ) 3 fj M0

Define beff as the smallest of: beff = min (bf, t w + 2 t f

The design resistance FRd of the T-stub loaded in compression can now be calculated: FRd = beff l f j The value f j can be calculated as follows: f j = j k j f cd The value j may be taken as 2/3, provided that the thickness of the grout layer is smaller than 0.2 times the smallest width of the base plate. Furthermore, the characteristic strength of the grout should be more than 0.2 times the characteristic strength of the concrete. Backgrounds to the determination of the stress concentration factor k j can be found in [3]. The value of k j is between 1 (small foundation blocks) and 5 (large foundation blocks).

Different researchers have carried out tests on base plate connections validating the Eurocode 3 model. In this paper, the focus will be given to the tests of Alma and Bijlaard [4] and the tests of Bijlaard [5], because these tests form very much the basis of the rules in Eurocode Annex L. The test set up used by Alma and Bijlaard [4] is shown in Figure 1 to Figure 6. A concrete block is loaded by a T-stub. The T-stub consists of two separate parts, the T-stub flange, which forms the base plate and the T -stub web, which is formed by the device connected to a jack. Between the concrete block and the T -stub flange there is a layer of grout. To simulate three dimensional stress situations in the concrete block, it is surrounded by steel profiles. This is done because the available space under the pressure jack is limited. Four tests have been carried out, see Table 1:

Table 1: Test description

Series 1 Test 1 Test 2 Series 2 Test 1 Test 2 plate thickness t p = 20.4 mm plate thickness t p = 32.0 mm plate thickness t p = 32.2 mm plate thickness t p = 19.0 mm

Plate deformations and strains in concrete and grout have been measured during the test.

Figure 1: Top view of Alma & Bijlaard tests

Figure 2: Side view of Alma & Bijlaard tests

Figure 3: Section of Alma & Bijlaard tests

Figure 4: Top view of connection to jack of Alma & Bijlaard tests

Figure 5: Connection to jack of Alma & Figure 6: Three dimensional view of Alma & Bijlaard tests Bijlaard tests

The tests were designed with the following mechanical model in mind. When the width of the T-stub flange is small, crushing of concrete occurs before the flange of the T-stub (the base plate) in bending is yielding (see stress distribution Figure 7 left side). When the width of the T-stub (base plate) increases, in the most optimal situation, the concrete crushes simultaneously with yielding of the flange of the T-stub. When the width increases further, the stress distribution under the plate is not uniform due to uplifting of the plate (see stress distribution Figure 7 right side). This is shown in Figure 8.

The width of the base plate was also chosen such, that cracking of the concrete under the T stub web was likely to occur together with yielding of the flange.

Figure 7: Stress distribution under the plate

Figure 8: Development of compressive force dependent on width x (qualitatively)

The material properties used in the tests are summarised in Table 2 and Table 3, see [4].

Table 2: Strenght of grout and concrete

Seri es 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2

Table 3: Measured steel properties of

Test after 25 days 28 days 14 days 28 days 27 days 27 days 28 days 14 days


Av. strength N/mm


Number of cubes 3 3 2 2 3 1 **) 3 2

series 1
Test number 1 1 2 2 Bar number 1 2 1 2 fy N/mm2 379.5 376.2 368.3 376.2 fu N/mm2 547.9 544.6 528.2 529.8

Concrete Concrete Grout CBP Grout CBP Concrete Concrete Concrete Grout CBP

21.8 1.17 *) 22.8 1.17 71.7 1.0 72.0 1.0 23.5 1.17 21.4 1.17 23.1 1.17 66.0 1.0

1.17 = factor to compensate for original cube size 200

200 200 to reference 150 150 150 mm


only one test specimen because of build in strain gauges

When the first series of tests were performed, crushing occurred in the concrete under the grout layer. The grout itself and the steel plate were still intact. In the second series of tests, additional strain gauges were built in the concrete block to measure the strains in the concrete and grout layer. Typical results from the tests are shown in Figure 9 and Figure 10. In these figures, the relationship is shown between the deformation of the plate and the applied load and the relationship between deformation of the concrete and the applied load. The displacement of the concrete is calculated from the displacement of the base plate, minus t he strain in the grout times the grout layer.

The tests were loaded up to 1600 kN. Even at that level, no loss of bearing occured. At the edges of the T-stub web, under the T-stub the concrete was only crushed locally.
1800 concrete + grout concrete 1600 1400 1600 concrete + grout concrete

1400 1200 1200 1000 force (kN) 1000 force (kN) 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 deformation (mm) 0.4 0.5 0.6 800








0 0 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 deformation (mm) 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8

Figure 9: Series 2 test 1

Figure 10: Series 2 test2

The tests carried out by Alma and Bijlaard [4] did not focus specifically at the stiffness behaviour of the components base plate in bending and concrete in compression. However, from the tests the stiffness characteristics, defined as k = F / can be read from Figure 9 and Figure 10. At a load level of F = 1000 kN the deformation is about to 0.15 - 0.2 mm. In other words, k is approximately 5 106 to 6.5 106 N/mm Bijlaard [5] used a similar test set up as Alma and Bijlaard [4], except that now a complete H section was connected to the plate in stead of the web of a T -stub. In other words, in the tests from Bijlaard [5] the behaviour of a complete column base in compression was investigated. Comparison between Eurocode 3 annex L with the tests showed that Eurocode 3 annex L is safe.

In this paper, some tests are reported on the components base plate in bending and concrete in compression of column base joints.

The study confirms that the Eurocode 3 model for these components is safe.

[1] COST C1, Column bases in building frames, edited by K. Weynand, to be published, Brussels, Belgium, April 1999. [2] EUROCODE 3, ENV - 1993-1-1, Design of Steel Structures, Commission of the European Communities, European Prenorm, Brussels, Belgium, April 1992. [3] TNO/SBR, Mortelvoegen in montagebouw, Report number 34 Stichting

Bouwresearch, Samson Alphen aan de Rijn, 1973. [4] Alma J.G.J. and Bijlaard F.S.K, Berekening van kolomvoetplaten, Report number BI80-46, TNO Building and Construction Research, Delft, 1980. [5] Bijlaard F.S.K, Rekenregels voor het ontwerpen van kolomvloetplaten, Report number BI-81-51, TNO Building and Construction Research, Delft, 1982.