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Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832

Inelastic response of composite steel and concrete base column connections

L. Di Sarno a,∗ , M.R. Pecce a , G. Fabbrocino b
a Department of Engineering, University of Sannio 82100, Benevento, Italy
b Department S.A.V.A., University of Molise 86100, Campobasso, Italy

Received 24 January 2006; accepted 8 August 2006


This paper assesses the experimental results of monotonic (pushover) tests carried out on partially encased composite steel–concrete columns
connected to the foundation block through the traditional bolted steel end plate and an innovative socket type system. These tests show that the
structural response of the traditional connection is significantly influenced by the behaviour of the anchorage bolts. The latter cause large fixed end
rotations and possess limited energy dissipation. Conversely, innovative composite steel–concrete base column connections with socket systems
exhibit adequate overstrength, inelastic deformations and energy absorption capacity. Furthermore, socket-type connections are characterized by
spreading of inelasticity at the base of the composite columns without damage localization on concrete and interface components. It can thus be
argued that the innovative connection type assessed in this study is a viable solution for applications in framed structures fulfilling capacity design
requirements, e.g. structural systems in earthquake prone regions.
c 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Composite columns; Partially encased columns; Base column joint; Socket-type connection; Overstrength; Ductility; Energy dissipation

1. Introduction very efficient to prevent local buckling and enhance the global
stability of the frame, thus reducing sensitivity to P–∆ effects
Composite steel and concrete structural systems possess [12,11]. The assessment of structural response of composite
adequate seismic performance because of their stiffness, steel and concrete columns is thus of paramount importance,
strength and ductility, and have been found to be cost- especially in the earthquake design of framed systems ([13,
effective especially for multi-storey buildings under horizontal 25], among many others). The inelastic response of composite
loads ([21,1,18] among many others). Composite systems columns is significantly affected by the beam–column, brace-
for buildings often include steel moment resisting frames, to-beam, brace-to-column connections and column bases. A
consisting of steel beams (acting compositely with a metal comprehensive review of the experimental tests carried out
deck reinforced slab or solid concrete slab through shear on steel–concrete composite beam–columns (both encased
studs) and encased composite columns, or braced frame and concrete-filled) can be found, for instance, in [5,23].
with steel–concrete composite columns [6]. Consequently, It is noteworthy that, to date, analytical and experimental
lateral drifts, both interstorey and roof drifts, under horizontal research focusing on the effects of the base connection
forces (wind and/or earthquakes) are lowered. Under severe layout on the performance of beam–columns, either partially
earthquake loading concrete encasement cracks and reduces or fully encased, is lacking [24]. Few results are available
the flexural stiffness of composite beam–columns but the steel and were derived chiefly from the steel structures; their
core acts as a back-up system in providing the shear strength applicability within the capacity-design framework should
and the ductility to prevent brittle failure. Partial encased be further investigated [17,19]. The composite action, may,
beam–columns with local buckling inhibitors have been found however, affect the failure modes thus endangering the inelastic
performance of the structural member (e.g. [7]).
This paper analyzes the inelastic response of composite
∗ Corresponding address: Department of Engineering, University of Sannio,
steel–concrete joints at column base. An innovative base
Piazza Roma, 21, Benevento, Italy. Tel.: +39 0824 305566; fax: +39 0824
325246. column connection, employing a socket-type system, is
E-mail address: (L. Di Sarno). discussed and its response is compared to that of a traditional

c 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

0143-974X/$ - see front matter
820 L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832

steel base plate connection. The latter was designed in experiments were carried out on two types of partially encased
compliance with the rules utilized for the composite frame composite columns: HEB260 and HEB280 (see Fig. 1). The
tested at JRC Ispra laboratory [3,14]. Several tests under either test specimens employed two layouts for the base column
monotonic or cyclic lateral loads and different levels of axial joints as per Fig. 2: traditional (bolted steel base plate) and
loads were performed. This work focuses on the response innovative (socket-type) joints. The former consist of tapered
of composite columns under monotonic regime, i.e. pushover steel plates welded onto base plates and anchored to the
tests. The results of the experiments carried out on specimens foundation block through steel bolted bars (see also [14]). The
with welded base steel plate (traditional) and socket-type joints latter is an alternative and innovative socket type joint in which
are discussed. It is found that for the traditional connections, the column is fixed to the foundation block utilizing a special
concentrations of inelastic demand occur in the anchorage concrete filler; such joint was developed and designed to benefit
bolts and relies chiefly on bond type mechanisms. This type of composite action. Socket type connections are generally
of structural response is assessed with a simplified fibre- utilized in precast reinforced concrete systems for residential,
based numerical model. The latter allows the evaluation of the office and industrial framed structures.
different contributions of the lateral deformation at the top of The first set of specimens (traditional base column
the column specimens. Such model points out the large inelastic connections) correspond to the columns and base joints
demand imposed on the anchorage bolts of the steel end designed in compliance with the guidelines of European
plate in traditional base column connections. Conversely, the standards [9–11] and used for the full-scale composite frame
socket-type system, derived from precast reinforced concrete tested in ISPRA [3]; the layout of the latter is pictorially
structures, leads to large energy dissipation. Plastic hinges form displayed in Fig. 1. The socket-type foundation was designed
at column base and the strength capacity is not lowered even at in compliance with Eurocode 2 [8] using strut-and-ties design
large lateral drifts (greater than 5%–6%). As a consequence, approach.
socket-type foundations may be reliably utilized for steel
In the experimental tests, the lateral loads were applied
and composite steel–concrete framed structures, especially in
at two different locations along the height of the column,
regions with moderate-to-high seismicity, to achieve adequate
namely at 1.6 m (traditional joint) and 1.7 m (socket type)
seismic structural performance.
above the foundation block to account for the different location
of the restraint. Traditional base plates are generally placed
2. Experimental program and test set-up
at floor level, conversely socket type solution enables to use
pavings that cover the foundation block. The horizontal load T ,
Several research programmes were recently launched in
simulating the earthquake loading, was applied by means of a
Europe, the US and Japan to investigate the inelastic response
of bare steel and composite steel and concrete composite 500 kN-hydraulic jack; the test was under displacement control.
structures and/or their subassemblages, both for new and As a consequence, the maximum flexural moments M, located
existing buildings (e.g. [22,7], among others). In Italy, a number at the base connection, was increased until failure occurred. The
of experimental programmes were funded through national displacement controlled loading regime allowed the softening
and European grants to provide technical support for the branch of the response (capacity) curve to be investigated. The
implementation and improvement of seismic provisions and connection of the jack to the column is ensured by two steel
guidelines (e.g. [4,20,11]). These test programmes included plates 30 mm thick bolted on two opposite faces of the column.
the assessment of the seismic response of composite slabs, The reaction wall for the horizontal load is a stiff tapered
beam–columns and connections, either beam-to-column or cantilever bolted to a steel system; its layout is shown in Fig. 3
base columns. In particular, the authors of the present work along with the test set-up. The cantilever system is connected to
investigated the inelastic static and dynamic (seismic) response the laboratory floor slab (strong floor) by means of large steel
of base column connections. In so doing, a number of partial rebars crossing the slab and the steel elements. These rebars are
encased column specimens, with different base joints, were loaded in tension to prestress the connection. The vertical load
tested in the laboratory of the Department of Structural N is applied by two hydraulic jacks connected with two bars
Analysis & Design (DAPS, University of Naples, Italy). at the hinges placed at the foundation level. The axial load N
The sample specimens included monotonic and cyclic tests; acts along the column centroid axis. The reaction system for
different levels of axial loads were considered during the N consists of a steel plate located under the foundation block
tests to simulate the seismic load combinations implemented and connected to the hinges. This layout ensures that the load
in European standards [11] for composite building structures. remains along the member axis during the column deformation.
These axial loads were computed with regard to the exterior and The transversal beam, at the column top, is connected to the
interior composite steel–concrete columns frame tested at JRC jack by means of large stiffeners. An adequate lateral restraint
Ispra laboratory [3,14], as shown in Fig. 1. In addition, pull- along four prestressing bars at the corners were used to prevent
out tests were carried out to define the force–slip relationships slip and rocking of the foundation block and to guarantee the
of the hooked anchorage bolts; the results of the pull-out transfer of the shear forces to the strong floor level.
tests were utilized to investigate the deformation capacity of The investigation of the interface behaviour between anchor-
the base column traditional joint. In this work the results of age bolts and concrete block was carried out by means of pull-
the monotonic (pushover) tests are discussed in details. The out tests; the set-up employed to perform the tests is provided
L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832 821

Fig. 1. Geometry of the full-scale composite frame tested at Ispra.

in Fig. 4. It consists of a rigid steel frame, designed to prevent 3. Test specimens

the onset of local buckling. The jack is bolted at the horizon-
tal beam of the frame and the anchoring device is gripped with The experimental programme carried out at the laboratory
a tension bar. The anchoring devices were instrumented with a of DAPS, in Naples, focused on two sample partially encased
transducer and strain gauges. It is instructive to note that the use composite steel and concrete columns: HEB260 and HEB280
of strain gauges may, however, modify the mechanism associ- (see also Fig. 1). The sample specimens tested were cantilever
ated to bond and influence significantly the results due to local systems summarised as below (Table 1): partially encased
stresses acting on the device. columns with a steel HEB 260 member and traditional
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Fig. 2. Layout of the sample base column connection: traditional (left) and socket-type (right).

Table 1 Table 2
Sample column specimens Mechanical properties of the sample columns

Specimen Axial load (kN) Loading type Connection Property HEB260 HEB280
Web Flange Web Flange
HEB260 330 Monotonic Traditional
HEB260 170 Monotonic Traditional f y (MPa) 406 341 341 300
HEB260 330 Monotonic Socket f u (MPa) 480 449 450 430
HEB280 520 Monotonic Socket fu / f y 1.18 1.32 1.32 1.43
εu (%) 31.8 35.7 34.5 37.1

connection to foundation (stiffening plates and anchoring

devices) and innovative socket-type system; HEB280 with base of the socket is equal to 300 mm, while the walls of the
socket-type foundation. The specimens were instrumented in socket are 250 mm thick. The total height of the foundation
a refined fashion to characterize reliably the concentration of is 1050 mm. The values of the internal actions, i.e. axial load
inelastic demand at the base column. Fig. 5 provides a close-up N Sd, j , flexural moment M Sd, j and shear VSd, j used for the
view of the displacement transducers (LVDTs) located at the design are N Sd, j = 308 kN, M Sd, j = 906 kN m and VSd, j =
base of the partially encased columns with either traditional or 444 kN. These values were derived from the ultimate flexural
innovative joints. capacity of the HEB 280; the evaluation of the resistance was
The values of axial load N used in the tests were equal to based on conservative assumptions. In fact, for the above cross-
170 kN, 330 kN and 520 kN. The latter values correspond to section, the ultimate bending moment is M Rd,col = 755 kN m;
the axial loads of the design load combinations of the full- note that the design value M Sd, j accounts for the overstrength
scale composite framed building tested in the ELSA laboratory ( f u / f y = 1.20) at the base column connection.
of JRC in Ispra [3]. The grade of the structural steel of the For each foundation block, two anchoring devices were
specimens was S235; the reinforcing bars grade was B450- embedded in addition to the ones used for the base column joint
C and the concrete was class C25/30. Actual values of the details (Fig. 8). These embedded elements were instrumented
mechanical properties of steel and concrete were estimated with transducers and were utilized for pull-out tests. Thus,
from tensile (for steel) and compression (for concrete) tests. force–slip relationships were estimated for each anchorage
The values computed for the column members are summarized bolts; these relationships were then utilized to compute the
in Table 2. The width-to-thickness ratios of the sample columns moment–curvature relationship of the base column section,
(b/t f = 20.8 for HEB260 and b/t f = 21.5 for HEB280) as discussed in Section 5. The results of the experimental
fulfil the limit (b/t f = 44) given in European standards [10] tests carried out on composite columns employing innovative
to prevent local buckling in partially-encased I-sections made (socket-type) are discussed below.
of steel grade S253. Further details on the results of such tests
can be found in [3]. The values of material overstrength ( f u / f y ) 4. Test results
relative to the element flange are on average higher than those in
the webs. This result is in agreement with similar experimental The test results of the partially encased composite columns
data for steel members produced in Europe (e.g. [2]). were computed in terms of both local (moment–curvature
The details of the foundation system are shown in Fig. 2. The M– χ and moment–rotation M–θ) and global (lateral load–top
design of such foundation block was based on the ultimate limit displacement, F–∆) response parameters. The capacity curves
state corresponding to the stress values and distribution at the of the specimens HEB260 with axial load N = 330 kN, both
column failure. The layout of the composite column specimen traditional and innovative base connections, are provided in
employing HEB 260 steel section and traditional base joint is Fig. 9. Such curves are expressed in terms of lateral force
provided in Fig. 6, while the specimen HEB260 with socket (F)-drift (d/H ), where H is the distance of the centreline
type connection is provided in Fig. 7. The thicknesses of the of the hydraulic jack from the foundation and d the total
L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832 823

Fig. 3. Layout of the test set-up (top) and reaction wall (bottom).

horizontal displacement at the jack height. It is observed that exceeded. The latter limit value is more stringent than the 3%
the traditional connection layout exhibits higher lateral strength drift, which is assumed as the onset of the ultimate limit state in
(600 kN m vs. 510 kN m) due to the steel stiffeners used steel and composite frames in the US practice [16]. Furthermore
at the base of the column and to overstrength for seismic the failure mode of the specimen with steel end plate is related
design. Conversely, the ultimate deformation capacity of the to anchorage bolt fracture (Fig. 10), while in the case of the
socket type connection is about 75% higher than the counterpart socket type a very ductile mechanism is observed (Fig. 11).
traditional (about 0.05 rad vs. 0.09 rad); in both cases the At serviceability, the stiffness of the traditional connection
threshold value of 35 m rad given by Eurocode 8 [11] is is slightly higher than that of the socket connection. It can
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Fig. 4. Set-up of pull-out tests: layout (left) and actual system (right).

Fig. 5. Close-up view of the electrical displacement transducers (LVDTs): traditional (left) and innovative (right) joint.

thus be argued that the experimental tests carried out both observed for traditional connections. The composite partially
on traditional bolted steel end plate and innovative socket- encased columns with traditional joint yield at about 310 kN,
type connections demonstrate that the former experience brittle which corresponds to a lateral drift of 26 mm (d/ h ∼ 1.65%).
failure modes. Rupture of anchorage bolts as per Fig. 10 was The maximum force is equal to 375 kN for HEB260 with axial
L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832 825

Fig. 6. Traditional base column joint.

loads N = 330 kN and 340 kN for N = 170 kN. The lower exhibit significant loss for drift d/ h ∼ 5%–6%. The thick steel
value found in the second specimen (340 kN) is related to plate and the stiffeners used at the column base ensure that
the premature rupture of the base joint, probably caused by the end section of the column remains plane (rigid rotation).
technological defects of the threaded bars. In both specimens, Additional tests carried out by the authors under cyclic loads
i.e. with N = 170 kN and N = 330 kN, under monotonic have demonstrated that the crushed concrete and the inelastic
regime, the column strength and energy dissipation do not deformations in the steel components (anchorages), both at
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Fig. 7. Socket-type base column joint.

the column base, endanger the global lateral stiffness of of reinforced concrete component increases, i.e. due to
the composite column [15]. Bond-related phenomena give cross section dimensions. Conversely, innovative socket-type
rise to degrading effects, especially at large drifts, thus connections possess adequate ductility. Under monotonic load
reducing significantly the energy dissipation capacity of the conditions, the test results show strain hardening of the base
member. These findings point out that traditional connections column equal to 1.32. This is due chiefly to the material
are not fully satisfactory, especially when the contribution overstrength of structural steel (compare, for instance, values of
L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832 827

Fig. 8. Steel reinforcement used for the traditional base column joint and layout of the additional anchorage bolts for pull-out tests.

Table 3
Material mechanical properties used to computed the interaction curves

Property Design Yield Collapse

f cd (MPa) 14.2 21.3 38.0
f sd (MPa) 391.3 450.0 450.0
f ad (MPa) 213.6 235.0 450.0
γc 1.50 1.00 1.00
γs 1.15 1.00 1.00
γa 1.10 1.00 1.00
Key: f cd = concrete compression strength at yield ( f c); f sd = compres-
sion/tensile strength of reinforcement steel (bars); f ad = compression/tensile
strength of reinforcement steel (profiles); γc = partial safety factor for con-
crete; γs = partial safety factor for steel (bars); γa = partial safety factor for
steel (profiles).
Fig. 9. Capacity curves for the traditional and socket-type connections for
HEB260 (N = 330 kN).
member-to-foundation joint, the bending–axial load M–N
f u / f y of the member flange in Table 2). The contribution of the interaction curves (Fig. 12) were computed for the specimens
hardening of the longitudinal reinforcement bars is in fact very HEB 260 and HEB 280. These M–N curves were derived
small (1.13 vs. 1.32). The tests carried out on the specimens in compliance with the simplified method of design for
employing the socket joint do not exhibit strength deterioration doubly symmetric and uniform cross-section over the member
even at large lateral drifts, e.g. d/ h > 0.04–0.05 rad. The length with rolled steel sections implemented in the European
formation of the plastic hinge occurs at the base column, as standards for composite steel and concrete structures [10]. The
observed during the tests. Fig. 11 shows the occurrence of resistance of the cross-section to combined compression and
inelastic deformations at the base column during the test on the bending is calculated assuming stress blocks (plastic stress
HEB 260 with N = 330 kN; the spreading of such inelasticity is distribution); the tensile strength of the concrete is neglected
also evident. At very large drifts, the flange plate of the column and the interaction curve is replaced by a polygonal diagram
tends to bend outwards and the bond between the inner concrete (the dashed line in Fig. 12). The material mechanical properties
and the exterior steel plate is broken as demonstrated by the used to derive the simplified interaction curves are provided in
close-up view of the Fig. 11, without any relevant effect on Table 3. The values of the simplified M– N interaction curves
the global response. The tensile resistance of the concrete is for the test with HEB260 (N = 170 kN and N = 330 kN) and
exceeded and inclined (flexural) cracks initiate and propagate HEB280 (N = 330 kN and N = 520 kN) estimated at yield
above the foundation block. and collapse are summarized in Tables 4 and 5, respectively.
To shed light on the structural performance of the sample The computed values of the M–N curves demonstrate that
columns with either traditional or innovative socket-type the failure mechanism is controlled in the case of traditional
828 L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832

Fig. 10. Close-up view of the deformations of the specimen HEB260 with N = 330 kN (traditional connection).

Table 4
Values of interaction curves for the test with HEB260 (N = 170 kN and N = 330 kN) and traditional joint at different performance state

Yield Collapse Test

M (kN m) N (kN) M (kN m) N (kN) M (kN m) N (kN)
Section above stiffening plate 343 330 633 330 488 330
339 170 628 170 433 170
Column base connection 440 330 550 330 596 330
395 170 510 170 530 170

Table 5 electrical displacement transducers located at the column base

Values of interaction curves for the test with HEB280 (N = 330 kN and as displayed in Fig. 5. These LVDTs record the lateral
N = 520 kN) and socket-type joint at different performance state (at column displacement of several points of the column flanges in
base connection)
order to define reliably the various inelastic phenomena,
Yield Collapse Test e.g. yielding, local buckling, fracture initiation, occurring
M (kN m) N (kN) M (kN m) N (kN) M (kN m) N (kN)
at those locations during the tests. Fig. 13 provides force-
390 330 740 330 608 330 rotation curves computed at the base column of the socket-
420 520 750 520 762 520
type connection under monitonic loads. All monitored sections
shows significant nonlinear response as the deformations
increase; this behaviour characterizes also the cyclic tests [15].
joint by the base column component. By contrast, for socket- Comparison between total cord rotation and the base column
type connections, the failure mode is due to the formation of one derived from LVDT #6 measures enable to recognise that
the plastic hinges in the columns (see also Fig. 11, where the the higher is the drift, the higher is the contribution to the total
spreading of inelasticity due to flexure is evident). drift given by the deformation of the socket type connection.
The inelastic response of the critical region of the specimens Furthermore, due to the location of LVDT #1, 45.0 cm far
with socket-type joints was monitored carefully through six from the foundation, the socket type shows a yielding spreading
L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832 829

Fig. 11. Close-up view of the deformations of the specimen HEB260 with N = 330 kN (socket-type connection).

Fig. 12. Simplified interaction curve for combined axial load–uniaxial bending
moment (N –M).

that is nearly twice the width of the section (45.0 cm vs. Fig. 13. Force–rotation of the base column of the socket-type connection:
52.0 cm). As far as seismic design is concerned, the longer LVDTs #1 to LVDT #6.
the spreading of inelasticity the higher the energy dissipation.
5. Numerical simulations
By contrast, traditional connection systems, employing bolted
steel end-plate generate high concentrated inelastic demand on Numerical simulations of the pushover tests were carried out
the anchorage bolts, which fail prematurely in a brittle manner. through a fibre-based model, which may accommodate both
830 L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832

Fig. 14. Evaluation of fixed end rotation: system response (top-left), cross-section response (top-right) and computational model (bottom).

Fig. 15. Moment–curvature of the columns and the base joints: HEB260 with N = 330 kN (left) and N = 170 kN (right).

mechanical (material nonlinearity and residual stresses) and joint was computed for purpose of comparisons. The
geometrical (P–∆ effects) nonlinearities. The effects of the moment–curvature relationship of the base column was derived
fixed end rotations are also accounted for; the computational through the constitutive relationship of anchorage bolts and the
model is pictorially shown in Fig. 14. The constitutive Mander’s model for unconfined concrete for the high strength
relationships employed in the numerical simulations were material which supports the rigid steel end-plate. The peak
based on experimental tests carried out on structural steel of resistance for concrete ( f c = 70 MPa) is assumed at
and reinforcement bars (see Table 2); concrete stress strain εc = 0.002, which corresponds to the upper bound of the
including size effect was used to simulate behaviour of compressive strength estimated via experimental tests. The
concrete. The collapse of the sample columns was caused actual yield and ultimate strengths of the bolts are equal to
by base column joint failure in the case of the traditional 400 MPa and 570 MPa, respectively; the strain hardening
connection as shown in Fig. 10. The ultimate resistance of starts at εsh = 0.01. Fig. 15 provides the moment–curvature
the columns is thus controlled by this failure mechanism. curves of the columns and the base joints for the sample
Consequently, the ultimate bending moment of the base specimens HEB260 with both N = 170 kN and N = 330 kN.
L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832 831

Fig. 16. Pull-out tests for anchorage bolts used for HEB260 with N = 330 kN (left) and N = 170 kN (right).

Reference lines relative to the onset of the yield in the base

joint and the column are also plotted in Fig. 15. For both
specimens HEB 260, the former component yields at a value of
about 300 kN m, while the column elastic threshold is higher
(452 kN m and 475 kN m for HEB260 with N = 330 kN
and N = 170 kN, respectively). The total deformation of the
columns were computed by integrating the moment–curvature
along the member. This relationship was derived by assuming
that member cross-sections remain plane and slip between
steel and concrete does not take place (ideal bond); the
computational model employed for the numerical simulation
is outlined in Fig. 14. The fixed end rotation was estimated
through the moment–curvature of the base joint (position of
neutral axis) and a fitting curve of experimental bond-slip
constitutive relationships provided in Fig. 16 (slip effects).
Comparisons between numerical simulations and experi-
mental test are provided in Fig. 17 for the sample column HEB
260 with N = 330 kN; results for traditional and socket-type
joints are displayed. For the former, it may be observed that the
value of the yield of the base joint is close to the elastic thresh-
old measured during the experiment, thus demonstrating that
the failure of the base column controls the global response of
the composite steel and concrete column. This behaviour was
Fig. 17. Comparisons between numerical simulations and experimental test for
also experienced by the sample HEB 260 with N = 170 kN. HEB260 with N = 330 kN for traditional (H = 1310 mm) (top) and socket
Force–deformation curves of the tested columns are also shown type (H = 1700 mm) (bottom) joints.
in the same figure. The total lateral deformations and the con-
tributions caused by the fixed-end rotation and the column flex- moment computed through the numerical simulation of the can-
ibility are included. The deformation of the column was esti- tilever column with height of 1700 mm is smaller than the value
mated with respect to the length of 1310 mm, i.e. the distance estimated experimentally; the difference between these bending
between the column tip and the steel stiffening end plate at moments is about 25%. Similarly, Fig. 17 shows that the yield
the base. The comparison between experimental and numerical of the sample column evaluated numerically is higher than that
simulation of the socket-type joint provided in Fig. 17 demon- measured experimentally. The latter may be caused by the inter-
strates that also for this type of connection layout the fixed action between the composite column and the surrounding con-
end rotation can be significant. However, the contribution of crete. It is observed that for the socket type connection the fixity
the end rotation to the overall lateral displacement of the spec- of the column is not located at the interface between the end-
imen with socket-type joint tends to be lower than in the case plate and the foundation block, but it penetrates in the socket,
of the traditional bolted base plate connection. The end rotation as proved by the profile of the lateral displacement determined
in the case of socket joints is caused by concrete–steel interface by means of the LVDTs shown in Fig. 5.
mechanisms that occur within the socket, i.e. slip in the embed- 6. Conclusions
ded length. This slip is a function of the concrete strength, the
number and configuration of studs, if any, welded on the col- Experimental tests carried out on composite steel and
umn web. Moreover, for socket-type connections the bending concrete columns were presented in this paper. Two layouts
832 L. Di Sarno et al. / Journal of Constructional Steel Research 63 (2007) 819–832

for the base column connections were assessed: the traditional building structures. Mid-America earthquake center report, CD Release
system employing the bolted steel end plate and the innovative 02-01. IL (USA): University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; 2002.
[8] Eurocode 2. Design of concrete structures. Part 1.1: General rules and
socket type. The experimental results demonstrate that the
rules for buildings. Brussels (Belgium): Eur. Comm. for Stand.; 2004.
socket system is beneficial for the spreading of inelasticity [9] Eurocode 3. Design of steel structures. Part 1.1: General rules and rules
at the base of the composite columns. To assess the for buildings. Brussels (Belgium): Eur. Comm. for Stand.; 2004.
inelastic structural performance, the composite specimens [10] Eurocode 4. Design of composite steel and concrete structures. Part 1.1:
were subjected to monotonic loads at increasing lateral drifts General rules and rules for buildings. Brussels (Belgium): Eur. Comm. for
(pushover experimental tests). It was found that the maximum Stand.; 2004.
[11] Eurocode 8. Design provisions for earthquake resistance of structures.
drift of the socket-type connection is nearly 75% higher than the Part 1.3: General rules. Specific rules for various materials and elements.
traditional bolted steel end plate. Traditional base connections Brussels (Belgium): Eur. Comm. for Stand; 2004.
fail in a less ductile fashion because of the fracture of the [12] Elnashai AS, Elghazouli Y. Performance of composite steel–concrete
anchorage bolts. Conversely, socket connections exhibit a members under earthquake loading, part 2: Parametric studies and design
ductile response due the formation of the plastic hinge at the considerations. Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics 1993;
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The present work was funded by the Italian Ministry [16] Federal Emergency Management Agency. Prestandard and commentary
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