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DOI

10.1007/s11595-011-0302-5

Vol.26 No.4

CHEN Bing et al: Performance Investigation of Square Concrete-lled St

Performance Investigation of Square

Concrete- lled Steel Tube Columns

CHEN Bing, LIU Xiao, LI Siping

(Department of Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200290, China)

Abstract: The behaviour of square concrete- lled steel tube columns under concentrical loading was studied. More than one hundred specimens were tested to investigate the effects of thickness of steel tube on the load carrying capacity of the concrete- lled tubular columns (CFTs). The effect of the grade of concrete and content of expansive agent were also investigated. The effect of these parameters on the connement of the concrete core was studied as well. From the experimental study it was found that for both CFTs with different strength grade concrete core, the ultimate load carrying capacity increases with the increase in percentage of expansive agent up to 20% but it again decreases at 25% of expansive agent content. It was also shown that the failure mode of CFTs depends on the strength grade of concrete core. Key words: concrete lled steel tubes; concrete; columns; ultimate capacity; expansive agent

1 Introduction

The use of concrete-filled steel tube columns (CFTs) in modern structures, such as high-rise building, bridges, warehouses, platforms of offshore, etc, has become popular in recent years as it provide several advantages over reinforced concrete or steel columns [1-6] . This is mainly due to the combination of the advantages of steel and concrete. The former has high specic strength, and is easy to construct while the latter has large damping capacity and is economical. In addition to these advantages, the steel tubes enclose concrete cores, which provides confinement to the concrete. Due to the discrepancy of Poission’s ratios between steel and concrete, the volume increase of the concrete core is confined by the exterior steel tube. Consequently, both strength and ductility of the concrete are enhanced. On the other hand, the local buckling of the steel tube is prevented by the filled concrete. However, concrete confinement depends on many factors such as the concrete strength, the thickness of the steel tube, the yield stress of the steel tube, the column diameter and the interface between concrete and steel tube, etc.

©Wuhan University of Technology and SpringerVerlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011 (Received: May 8, 2010; Accepted: Aug. 17, 2010) CHEN Bing(陈兵):Asso. Prof.;Ph D; E-mail: hntchen@sjtu.edu.cn Funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (50978162) and the Key Laboratory of Advanced Civil Engineering Materials (Tongji University), Ministry of Education(K201002)

Many research projects have been conducted since the 1960s to investigate the behaviors of CFTs. Fulong [7] , Schneider [8] , Giakoumelis and Lam [9] , and Huang et al [10] investigate the behavior of CFT beam columns with ordinary strength materials. Saito et al [11] extensively investigated the behavior of both circular and square CFT beam columns with steel tubes of 490 and 570 MPa and concrete of 27-63 MPa. Young and Ellobody investigated the behavior of CFTs with high strength materials including high strength concrete and cold-formed high strength stainless steel tubes. These studies indicate that CFTs are expected to possess high ductility and high load bearing capacity because the steel tube con nes the concrete core and the concrete core restrains local buckling of the steel tube. However, the synergistic interaction of steel tube and concrete core in CFTs using different expansive concrete has not been investigated thoroughly, especially using high strength expansive concrete. In recent years, much attention has been paid to the behavior of square CFTs because of its simple structure nodes, stability, and much large inertia moment. Fujimoto et al [13] investigated an extensive set of square CFTs subjected to compression and bending. Test results suggested that the strength of the CFTs was significantly affected by the B/t ratio and axial load level. A series of tests was conducted on square and rectangular hollow sections using different concrete strength by Young and Ellobody [12] . However, there are scare research on the effects of properties of concrete core and strength of steel tube on the behavior on the

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square CFTs under axial load. In this paper, the effects of concrete core strength, thickness of steel tube and steel tube strength on the mechanical properties of square CFTs were investigated.

2 Experimental

2.1 Materials The cement used was ordinary Portland cement. Fly ash with high f-CaO content from Shanghai Wujing Power Plant was selected for this study. Silica fume from Elken was used for making high strength concrete. The chemical composition of the cementitious materials used is given in Table 1. The coarse aggregate was crushed limestone with a maximum size of 16 mm. The ne aggregate was river sand with a neness modulus of 2.6. A ZX-type expansive agent from Suzhou in China was used, and its chemical analysis and physical properties are presented in Table 2. In this study, concretes with design strengths of 20 and 50 MPa were produced using materials provided. Mix design of both grades was carried out in

accordance to the Chinese standards. The mix designs are shown in Table 3.

the Chinese standards. The mix designs are shown in Table 3. Four kinds of steel tubes
the Chinese standards. The mix designs are shown in Table 3. Four kinds of steel tubes
the Chinese standards. The mix designs are shown in Table 3. Four kinds of steel tubes

Four kinds of steel tubes with square hollow sections were used in the study. The dimension is 120 mm×120 mm×400 mm. To determine the steel material properties, three tension samples were cut from randomly-selected steel tubes of each type, with dimensions in accordance with Chinese standard GB/T 228-2002. The properties of the steel tubes are presented in Table 4.

The properties of the steel tubes are presented in Table 4. 2.2 Casting, curing and testing

2.2 Casting, curing and testing of concrete specimens Concrete was mixed in a planetary mixer of 100-liter capacity. The cement, silica fume (or y ash) and expansive agent were poured into mixer together and mixed for about 1 minute, and then the aggregates were added and mixed for about 30 s before adding the remaining materials. Mixing was continued until a uniform and owable mixture was obtained. The fresh concrete was then poured into molds and compacted by hand.

A number of standard test specimens of different sizes were chosen for investigating the various parameters. Cubes of 150 mm size were used for

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studying the compressive strength at 7 and 60 days. Prisms of 100 mm × 100 mm × 515 mm were used for shrinkage testing at 3, 7, 14, 28 and 60 days. For each batch, six cubes of 150 mm size, and three 100 mm× 100 mm× 515 mm prisms were cast. The specimens were stripped approximately 24 hours after casting and placed in a fog room (95% ± 3% RH, 22 ± 2 ). For shrinkage testing, after the specimens were cured in the fog room for 23.5 ± 0.5 h, the specimens in the molds were demolded and taken to a testing condition (20 ± 3 , RH>60%) and immediately measured to get initial values. After that, the specimens were returned to curing room and cured and then taken out and measured for the length change at the testing ages. The shrinkage strain was then calculated according to ASTM C490-93a. For square concrete-filled steel tube columns, all empty tubes were accurately machined to the desired length with a lathe and both ends of them were smoothed. Then, the bottom of the tube was welded with a steel cap plate. Before casting concrete, the tubes were thoroughly degreased and rinsed with hot water. Once dried, plastic concrete was placed in three layers in the vertical tubes and compacted using a vibrator. When finished, a steel cap plate was used to seal the top of each column. The set up for square concrete-lled steel tube column test is shown in Fig.1. Electronic displacement transducers were placed to monitor the axial deformation at symmetric locations. Strain gauges were placed on the exterior surfaces of the columns to measure the vertical deformations and the perimeter expansion of the steel tubes in the mid- height region at symmetric locations. These transducers and strain gauges were also monitored at the early stage of loading to ensure that a uniform compression was applied on the compression specimens. All of the columns were tested with a universal testing machine with a 2000 kN capacity. Prior to testing, both ends of the columns were strengthened by steel brackets so that failure would not occur at the ends and the column strength would not be influenced by end effects. The

column strength would not be influenced by end effects. The load, as measured by the test

load, as measured by the test machine’s load cell and electronic load transducer, was applied with small increments at a very slow rate (about 0.5-0.8 kN / s) Each load interval was maintained for 2-3 min. At each load increment the strain readings and the displacement measurements were recorded by a computer-controlled data acquisition system. When close to their ultimate capacities, the loads were applied continuously, and the loads, displacements, and strains were recorded. The strain softening characteristics of the specimens were also recorded.

3 Results and Discussion

3.1 Performance of concrete core The testing results of concrete core are presented in Table 5. From the table, it can be seen that the addition of expansive agent causes the concrete core strength decrease. For low strength grade concrete core, the strength decreased obviously when expansive agent was added. For example, the strength of concrete core with 25% expansive agent was only 67% of that of controlled concrete at the age of 60 days. Meanwhile, for high strength grade concrete, the decreasing extent of strength with addition of expansive agent was lower than that of low strength grade concrete. The strength of high strength grade concrete with 15% expansive agent decreased only 7% compared with that of the controlled concrete. From the testing results of slump, it can be seen that the workability of concrete core is very good and the loss of slump after one hour is very small. It indicates that high strength concrete with good workability for potential lling steel tube can be made by partially replacing sand with certain content of expansive agent.

replacing sand with certain content of expansive agent. Fig. 2 shows the development of expansive rate

Fig. 2 shows the development of expansive rate with the age for concrete core without any restrain. From Fig.2 (a), for low strength grade concrete, it can be found that the expansive rate tended to be constant at the age of 28 days when the content of expansive age

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was low (here, the content of expansive agent is lower than 15%). However, the expansive rate continued to increase after 28 days when the content of expansive agent was higher than 15%. However, in Fig.2 (b), the development of expansive rate for high strength grade concrete with the age was complex. The expansive rate increased with the age within the initial 3 days and tended to decrease with the age until 10 days. And then, the expansive rate began to increase with the age and reached the maximum at the age of 21 days. After that, the expansive rate decreased slightly again and became to be constant at the age of 60 days. Compared with the low strength grade concrete, the value of compressive rate of high strength grade concrete was much lower. The main reason is that the content of cementitious materials in high strength grade concrete is high, which causes large shrinkage during the process of hydration. It is also found that the expansive rate in high strength grade concrete is unstable. At the same time, the value of expansive rate of high strength grade concrete depends on the content of expansive agent added. The value of expansive rate increased with the content of expansive agent.

3.2

Performance of square CFTs

3.2.1

Ultimate capacity of square CFTs

The maximum loads (N c ) of CFTs obtained from the tests are listed in Table 6, where, N c represents the maximum load of CFTs and N0 represents the maximum load of controlled CFTs. It can be seen that, in the case of same thickness of steel tube, the maximum load of CFTs increased with an increase in the content of expansive agent and reached maximum at the content of expansive agent of 20%. It indicates that the addition of expansive agent in certain content

maximum at the content of expansive agent of 20%. It indicates that the addition of expansive
maximum at the content of expansive agent of 20%. It indicates that the addition of expansive

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can enhance the maximum load of CFTs because of the increased confinement effect of the concrete core offered by the steel tube caused by the expanding concrete core. On the other hand, the maximum load of CFTs decreased when the content of expansive agent was over 20%. Compared with the compressive strength of concrete core, it can be thought that the inner structure of concrete was destructed by the swelling caused by very high content of expansive agent and decreased with a decrease in the strength of concrete core. In the case of the same content of expansive agent addition, the increasing extent of maximum load of CFTs with high strength concrete increasing was much lower than that of CFTs with low strength concrete. It can be explained by two reasons:

the expansive rate of high strength concrete was lower; the elastic modulus of high strength concrete was higher and the Possion’s ratio was lower. 3.2.2 Load-vertical deformation (N-ε) curve of CFTs Fig.3 shows the typical N-ε curve for CFTs. It was found that the curve could be divided into four stages during the whole process:

Stage I (o-a): proportional increase of the

whole process: Stage I (o-a): proportional increase of the de fl ection with the load (elastic
whole process: Stage I (o-a): proportional increase of the de fl ection with the load (elastic

de ection with the load (elastic stage). There is some

rust peeled off from CFTs when the load reached point

a (about 90% of maximum load). In addition, the

deformation of CFTs was too small and invisible Stage II (a-b): nonlinear increase of the deection with the load (yield stage). As the load continued to increase and reached point b (the maximum load), the CFTs began to yield and local buckling of the steel tube occurred slightly. Stage III (b-c): descending stage of N-εcurve. The load began to decrease and the vertical deformation increased rapidly. Stage (c-d): the strengthen stage of N-εcurve. During this process, the residual strength of CFTs tended to be constant while the deformation increased. The CFTs shows high ductility and large energy absorption capacity during the whole loading process. From the failure specimens, it was found that the concrete core has been crushed, as shown in Fig. 4. Pervious research indicated that the concrete core strength hardly inuenced the failure mode of the CFTs [14,15] . However, in this research, the failure modes of CFTs with different strength grade concrete core

[ 1 4 , 1 5 ] . However, in this research, the failure modes of

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were different (shown in Fig.5). For CFTs with low strength concrete core, the steel tube was prevented from buckling inwards by the concrete core; hence, outgoing ring buckles were forced to develop when the section underwent vertical deformation (Fig.5 (a)). There are several ring buckles appeared around the column in the vertical deformation. On the other hand, for CFTs with high strength concrete core, it is a typical failure mode of shear. Under the con nement effect of the steel tube, the cracked surfaces slid against each other as the applied axial loading increased. The friction between the surfaces of the cracked concrete was believed to be the main mechanism that maintained the resistance to the applied axial load. Failure of CFTs with high strength concrete core occurred at the ends, where the concrete core failure in combined diagonal and vertical cracks as shown in Fig.5 (b). The effects of thickness of steel tube and content of expansive agent on the curve of N-ε for CFTs with different strength grade concrete core are presented in Figs.6 and 7, respectively. It can be found that the stage of elastic of CFTS with high strength concrete core was longer than that of CFTs with low strength concrete core. Compared with CFTs with normal

concrete core, the CFTs with expansive concrete core showed higher capacity to resistant to load. In the case of the same loading, the vertical deformation of CFTs with expansive concrete core was lower than that of CFTs with normal concrete core. Meanwhile, the vertical deformation of CFTs with expansive concrete core was also smaller than that of CFTs with normal concrete core when it reached the maximum loading. It can be also found that the maximum load of CFTs increased with the increase of thickness of steel tube in the case of the same strength concrete core, and the vertical deformation increased too with the increase of thickness of steel tube at the maximum loading. Compared with Figs.6 and 7, the mechanical behavior between CFTs with low strength concrete core and CFTs with high strength concrete core were different:

the percent of elastic stage during the N-εcurve for CFTs with high strength concrete core was larger than that of low strength concrete core; the load of CFTs with high strength concrete core descended faster than that of low strength concrete core after the maximum load. The first discrepancy indicates that the elastic module of CFTs with high strength concrete core was large and the deformation was small when it reached

that the elastic module of CFTs with high strength concrete core was large and the deformation

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: Performance Investigation of Square Concrete- fi lled St ultimate loading capacity. The second discrepancy maybe

ultimate loading capacity. The second discrepancy maybe caused by the higher brittleness of high strength concrete core.

4 Conclusions

a) The failure mode of CFTs depends on the

strength grade of concrete core. The failure mode

of CFTs with low strength concrete core was ring buckling around columns, while CFTs with high strength concrete core failed in shear.

b) The addition of expansive agent enhanced the

ultimate capacity of CFTs. For CFTs with low strength concrete core, the ultimate capacity can be increased by 7%-15% when expansive agent was added into concrete core by 10%-20% content. Meanwhile, for CFTs with high strength concrete core, the enhancement effect of expansive agent addition was not as remarkable as that for CFTs with low strength concrete core.

c) CFTs with expansive concrete core showed

good capacity to resisting deformation. During the elastic stage, the deformation of CFTs with expansive

concrete core was lower than that of normal concrete core in the case of the same loading. The deformation at the maximum load of CFTs with expansive concrete core was also lower than that of normal concrete core.

d) CFTs with expansive concrete core showed

high ductility and large energy absorption capacity

during the whole loading process.

e) Compared with CFTs with low strength

concrete, the load of CFTs with high strength concrete descanted rapidly after maximum load.

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