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Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363

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Behavior of concrete-filled steel tubular stub columns and beams

using dune sand as part of fine aggregate
Wei-Hua Wang a,b, Lin-Hai Han b,⇑, Wei Li b, Yi-Hai Jia c
College of Civil Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen 361021, PR China
Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, PR China
State Key Laboratory of Silica Sand Utilization, Beijing 101500, PR China

h i g h l i g h t s

 We provide new test data for dune sand CFST stub columns and beams.
 We analyze strength and ductility indexes for dune sand CFST members.
 We check the feasibility of current codes for dune sand CFST members.

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The concrete using the dune sand as fine aggregate is usually regarded as having low workability and low
Received 29 July 2013 ductility, although it has certain economic advantages. Using the dune sand concrete as the filling sub-
Received in revised form 8 October 2013 stance of tubular structures is possibly a way to use this kind of material, for the outer tube can provide
Accepted 31 October 2013
confinement to its core concrete and thus enhance the ductility of the dune sand concrete. This paper is
Available online 28 November 2013
an attempt to investigate the behavior of concrete-filled steel tubular (CFST) stub columns and beams
using dune sand as part of the fine aggregate. A series of CFST stub columns and CFST beams with 10%
fine aggregate replacement ratio of dune sand are tested. For the stub column specimens, the main test
Concrete filled steel tube (CFST)
Dune sand
parameters for stub column specimens are the steel ratio, the concrete strength and the cross-sectional
Stub column type. For the beam specimens, the test parameter is the cross-sectional depth. The failure modes, load-
Beam deformation relation and the strain distribution of composite stub column and beam specimens are
Compressive strength reported, and the strength and the ductility of test specimens are discussed using various indexes. The
Flexural strength formulae for the compressive and flexural strength of normal CFST members are tentatively used to pre-
dict the strength of composite members using dune sand.
Ó 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction than 0.25 mm. The average grain size ranged from 0.25 to
0.5 mm was defined as the fine sand, and it was classified as the
River sand resources are excessively exploited against the back- coarse sand when the average particle size was larger than
ground of the increasing demand of the fine aggregate in the con- 0.5 mm. The diameter of dune sand ranges from 0.08 to 0.63 mm,
crete production. As one of the possible alternative options, the and the fineness modulus is usually 0.45-0.88 [2,3]. The low fine-
abundant dune sand from deserts may be used in the concrete ness modulus and the poor gradation are the critical problems
mixtures instead of the river sand. when using the dune sand for making concrete. The fresh concrete
In China, the desertification area reaches nearly a quarter of the mixture using the dune sand as the fine aggregate has several spe-
land area, and the dune sand has been used in constructions for cial characteristics, such as high cohesiveness, small slump, poor
approximately 100 years. In 1920, the dune sand concrete was fluidity and easy of segregation and low workability. In addition,
used in building construction in China, and a specification of super the compressive strength of the dune sand concrete is usually
fine sand concrete (BJG19-65) was published in 1965 [1]. Accord- low too [2,4].
ing to the specification, the fineness modulus of super fine sand Some research has been conducted on the workability and the
was defined as less than 1.5 or the average particle size was less mechanical behavior of cement pastes or mortars with dune sand
powder [2–5]. Zhang et al. [5] carried out experimental research
⇑ Corresponding author at: Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, on the performance of mortar and concrete made of Tengri dune
Beijing 100084, PR China. Tel./fax: +86 10 62797067. sand and Mu Us dune sand (both in China). Chemical composition
E-mail address: (L.-H. Han). and physical properties of dune sand were presented, after the

0950-0618/$ - see front matter Ó 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363 353


Ac cross-sectional area of concrete K0.6 working stage flexural stiffness

As cross-sectional area of steel L axial length of stub columns or beams
Asc cross-sectional area of composite member, given by M bending moment
As + Ac Mu ultimate flexural strength
b width of composite beams sections N axial load
B width of square stub column sections Nu ultimate compressive strength
D outside diameter of circular CFST sections t wall thickness of steel tubes
Ec modulus of elasticity of concrete um mid-span deflection of composite beams
fc characteristic cylinder strength of concrete Wsc modulus of composite beam sections
fck characteristic compressive strength of concrete a steel ratio (=As/Ac)
(fck ¼ 0:67 fcu for normal strength concrete) D axial shortening of stub columns  
fcu compressive strength concrete cube n confinement factor of composite section ¼ a  f y
fy yield strength of steel e strain
fscy nominal yielding strength of composite sections ep peak strain related to maximum axial load
fu ultimate strength of steel ey yield strain
h depth of composite beam sections / curvature at mid-span of beams
K0.2 initial flexural stiffness cm flexural strength index

additives were added to the fresh concrete mixture, the maximum and the recycled aggregate concrete [16–18]. Due to the confine-
cube concrete strength at 28 days was 51.4 MPa with a slump of ment of the outer steel tube, CFST structures using the dune sand
45 mm. Al-Harthy et al. [3] presented the properties of concrete concrete (using dune sand as part of the fine aggregate) are ex-
using different concrete mixtures, the workability ranged from pected to have favorable performance under static or dynamic
16 mm to 122 mm and the percentages of dune sand replacement loading.
was from 10% to 100%. Compared to the fully replacement, when To date, the mechanical performance of CFST members using
the fine aggregate were partially replaced, the workability im- the concrete consisting of dune sand as part of the fine aggregate
proved and the strength of concrete decreased with the increase (dune sand CFST) has not been studied yet. There’s no test data
in dune sand replacement. Alhozaimy et al. [6] reported the prop- found in literature for such kind of CFST members. Hence, the
erties of the high strength concrete under normal and autoclaved objectives of this research are as follows: (1) to study the compres-
curing using the white sand or the dune sand. Results showed that sive and flexural behavior of dune sand CFST members by tests. (2)
it was possible to use the dune sand or the white sand as 30% par- to check the feasibility of current codes in the prediction of the
tial cement replacement under autoclaved curing. One of the ben- stiffness and strength of dune sand CFST members. A 10% fine
efits of using dune sand as the fine aggregate is that the aggregate replacement ratio of the dune sand is used for the prac-
construction cost will be reduced in some desert area. Although tical reason in this investigation, i.e. the mass of the dune sand is
the workability and the strength of the dune sand concrete may 10% of the total mass of fine aggregate, and the normal curing
not be as good as the normal concrete, the dune sand could still method can be applied in the experiments.
be an available alternative material as the fine aggregate in con-
crete mixture if proper curing methods are taken. Filling the con- 2. Experimental program
crete consisting of dune sand into steel tubes may be a possible
way to use this kind of materials. 2.1. Specimen preparation

Concrete-filled steel tubular (CFST) structures have been widely There are 26 stub column and beam specimens in total, including 10 dune sand
used in high-rise buildings or bridges, and the blooming research CFST stub columns, 4 stub columns with hollow steel section, 6 dune sand rein-
on the mechanical behavior of CFST structures have been carried forcement concrete (RC) stub columns and 6 dune sand CFST beams with rectangu-
out in the past decades [7–11]. The mechanical behavior on the lar cross section. The components of concrete mixture were shown in Fig. 1. The test
parameters for composite column specimens were the confinement factor, the com-
normal CFST members under axial compression and bending were
pressive strength of the concrete, and the cross-sectional type. Each specimen had a
sufficiently studied [12–15]. Recently, studies were also conducted duplicated one with same parameters and loading conditions. The summary of the
on the CFST stub columns with special concrete infilling, such as dune sand CFST columns is listed in Table 1, where the confinement factor
A f f
the high performance plain concrete, the lightweight concrete n ¼ Acsf y ¼ a f y , As and Ac are areas of steel tubes and core concrete, respectively; a
ck ck

(a) Dune sand fine (b) Coarse aggregate (c) Concrete mixture
Fig. 1. Components of concrete mixture.
354 W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363

is the steel ratio.) The test parameter for beam specimens was the depth of beam The schematic view of the test setup for beam specimens is shown in Fig. 2(b).
sections. The summary of the dune sand CFST beams is listed in Table 2. The total The load was applied on two quarter points by a rigid spread beam, and two curva-
height (H) of stub columns was 520 mm (including two 20 mm thick cover plates), ture gauges were placed nearby the mid-span to record the curvature of beam.
and the total length (L) of the beams was 4000 mm with a clear span of 3800 mm. Three steel strain gauges were placed longitudinally at the mid-span of beam spec-
The cross-sectional profiles of those RC stub columns were equal to those of the imens, as shown in Fig. 2(b).
core concrete in CFST specimens. Four and six longitudinal reinforcing bars with For the loading protocol of the specimens, the load control method was used be-
the diameter of 10 mm were assigned for the RC columns with a square or circular fore the specimen yielded, where the ultimate strength is estimated by DBJ specifi-
cross-section, respectively. For all dune sand RC stub columns, the diameter of stir- cation tentatively. Each loading interval was 1/10 of the estimated ultimate
rups was 6 mm and the separation distance was 100 mm. The cross-sectional de- strength. The displacement control method was applied after the yielding with a
tails can be found in Fig. 2(a and b) for the column and beam specimens, speed of 5 mm/min until the failure.
Cover plates with a thickness of 20 mm were used for all specimens to ensure
the integrity and the load transfer. One cover plate was welded to the tube end be- 3. Test results
fore the concrete placement, and the other one was welded after the solidification
and surface treatment of core concrete. 3.1. Stub columns

2.2. Material properties (1) Failure modes

The whole test was performed in a smooth and controlled way.
The concrete with the cube strength of C50 and C80 was used in the tests. The
Fig. 3 shows the typical failure modes of stub column specimens
mixture proportions for core concrete are listed in Table 3, where the dune sand
replacement of fine aggregate was 10% for all specimens. The compressive cubic subjected to compression. For the unfilled hollow steel tube spec-
strength (fcu) for C50 and C80 concrete was 54 MPa and 78 MPa, respectively. The imens, both inward and outward local buckling occurred on the
slump for C50 and C80 concrete was 220 mm and 130 mm, respectively. To ensure steel tubes, as shown in Fig. 3(a). For the composite stub columns,
the compaction of the core concrete, the fresh concrete was vibrated for 2 min using only the outward local buckling was shown on steel tubes, and the
concrete vibrator during the placement. The normal curing method is used for all
buckling position was lower than that of the hollow tubes, as
For the steel material, the measured average yield strength (fy), the ultimate shown in Fig. 3(b). Moreover, severer local buckling was found
strength (fu), the modulus of elasticity (Es) and the Poisson’s ratio (cs) are listed for the specimen with a thinner tube wall thickness. For the hollow
in Table 4. steel tubes with circular cross sections, both inward and outward
buckling located at about 2/3 height and near the top end of col-
2.3. Test setup and instrumentation umns. For composite CFST columns, the inward local buckling of
steel tubes were prevented and only the outward local buckling
The schematic view of the test setup for stub columns is shown in Fig. 2(a), was found, as shown in Fig. 3(d). Failure modes of square and cir-
where the experiment was conducted on a machine with a loading capacity of
5000 kN. Strain gauges were arranged at the mid-height of the column, and two dis-
cular dune sand RC columns were presented in Fig. 3(e and f). A
placement transducers were installed to record the axial shortening of the large amount of diagonal cracks appeared on the concrete surface,
specimens. and the concrete crushed near the loaded ends.

Table 1
Summary of stub column specimens.

No. Cross-sectional Specimen Cross-sectional dimension Confine-ment Strength of core Peak displacement Compressive
type label B(mm)  B(mm)  t (mm)/D(mm)  t (mm) factor n concrete fcu (MPa) (mm) strength (kN)
Measured Eq.
1 S-3-8-1 160  160  3.46 0.55 78 2.55 2011 2172a 2362
2 S-3-8-2 160  160  3.46 0.55 78 2.15 2333

3 S-3-5-1 160  160  3.46 0.79 54 1.85 1784 1798a 1833
4 B S-3-5-2 160  160  3.46 0.79 54 1.78 1812
5 S-5-8-1 160  160  5.43 0.92 78 1.92 2751 2771a 2791
6 S-5-8-2 160  160  5.43 0.92 78 2.08 2791
7 S-S-3-1 160  160  3.46 – – 1.36 577 606a –
8 S-S-3-2 160  160  3.46 – – 1.09 635

9 S-S-5-1 160  160  5.43 – – 2.23 1165 1179a –
10 B S-S-5-2 160  160  5.43 – – 2.70 1193

11 S-R-5-1 153  153 – 54 801 799a –

12 S-R-5-2 153  153 – 54 796

13 S-R-8-1 153  153 – 78 1420 1421a –

14 B S-R-8-2 153  153 – 78 1422

15 C-3-8-1 U160  3.46 0.58 78 5.65 2044 2057a 1926

16 C-3-8-2 U160  3.46 0.58 78 4.60 2069

17 t C-S-3-1 U160  3.46 – – 6.88 722 729a –
18 C-S-3-2 U160  3.46 – – 8.37 736

19 C-R-8-1 U153 – 78 1215 1192a –
20 C-R-8-2 U153 – 78 1168

Average value.
W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363 355

Table 2
Summary of beam specimens.

No. Cross-sectional Specimen Sectional dimension b  h  t Strength of core concrete fcu Mid-span deflection um Flexural strength Mu
type label (mm) (MPa) (mm) (kN m)
Measured Eq.
1 B160-1 160  160  3.46 78 192.8 59.3 59.4a 55.6
2 B160-2 160  160  3.46 78 189.7 59.5
3 t B240-1 160  240  3.46 78 197.1 136.8 140.8a 107.8

4 B240-2 160  240  3.46 78 197.8 144.9

5 B320-1 160  320  3.46 78 198.2 208.6 206.0a 176.2
6 B320-2 160  320  3.46 78 195.3 203.3
Average value.

S2 S2 N
S1 S3 S1 S3
Specimen Strain gauge
S4 S4
S2 S2 Strain gauge
S1 S3 S1 S3 Displacement gauge
Displacement Displacement
S4 S4 gauge gauge
R=4 mm R=10 mm

B or D

3.46 mm 5.43 mm
(a) Stub column

P R=8 mm
Rigid beam

Displacement Displacement
Strain gauges A gauge
P1 P5

Hinge support Curvature Curvature Rolling support
P2 gauges gauges P4 b
120 950 950 A 950 950 120

(b) Beam
Fig. 2. Schematic view of test setup (Units: mm).

Table 3
Mixture proportions and material properties of concrete.

Core concrete Cement (kg/m3) Water (kg/m3) Sand (kg/m3) Coarse aggregate (kg/m3) Water reducer (kg/m3) 28 days fcu (MPa) Ec (N/mm2)
C50 477 181 607 1128 6.68 54 3.43  104
C80 485 144 618 1147 6.79 78 3.72  104

Table 4 were found on the core concrete except the crushed zone. Besides,
Material properties of steel. the crushed area for square CFST columns was larger than that of
circular CFST columns when the same axial shortening was
Thickness or diameter fy fu Es (N/ Poisson’s
(mm) (MPa) (MPa) mm2) ratio reached. It is due to the fact that the outer tube with circular cross
section could provide a better confinement to core concrete.
3.46 363 530 2.03  105 0.297
5.43 353 529 2.05  105 0.303
10 426 623 2.02  105 0.287 (2) Axial load (N) versus axial shortening (D) responses
6 398 491 2.10  105 0.290
The axial load (N) versus the axial shortening (D) curves for all
stub column specimens were presented in Fig. 5. For square CFST
After the test, the outer steel tube was removed to inspect the specimens, the axial load descended quickly after it reached the
failure mode of inner concrete. Fig. 4(a and b) show failure modes peak point, as shown in Fig. 5(a). When comparing the residual
of core concrete for square and circular CFST columns, respectively. strength of S-3-8 series (fcu = 78 MPa) and that of the S-3-5 series
It was found that the core concrete was crushed where the steel (fcu = 54 MPa), it was found that the strength of the core concrete
tube buckled, while the concrete integrity was well kept. No cracks only had a moderate effect on the residual bearing capacity of
356 W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363

square CFST columns. It can also be found that the thickness of strength was reached. Besides, the average peak displacement of
steel tube (t) had an obvious effect on the peak displacement, the circular specimens was about twice of that of the square
which was defined as the axial shortening corresponding to the counterpart.
maximum axial load. For instance, for the S-3-8 (t = 3.46 mm) N-D curves of RC stub column specimens are illustrated in
and S-5-8 (t = 5.43 mm) series, the peak displacements were Fig. 5(d). When compared to N–D curves of composite counter-
1.22 mm and 2.47 mm (average value), respectively. parts shown in previous figures, the axial load of RC stub columns
N–D curves of hollow steel tubes are shown in Fig. 5(b). The N– fell down more quickly after the ultimate compressive strength
D curves fell down more slowly for specimens with a thicker steel was reached. The brittle failure occurred on the specimens using
tube, after the ultimate compressive strength was reached. high strength concrete. When compared to the specimens with
For circular CFST specimens, the load decrease was moderate higher concrete strength, the load decrease is slower for specimens
after the ultimate compressive strength was reached, as shown with lower concrete strength.
in Fig. 5(c), which may due to the more effective confinement pro-
vided by the outer tube. The ultimate compressive strength of CFST (3) Axial load (N) versus strain (e) responses
specimen was significantly higher than that of hollow steel tube.
When compared to the square specimens, the N–D curves of the Fig. 6 shows typical N–e curves of column specimens, where S1–
circular specimens fell down slowly after the ultimate compressive S4 are the compressive axial strain recorded by the steel strain

Inward buckling Outward buckling

Outward buckling Outward buckling

(a) Square hollow steel tubes (b) Square CFST columns

Inward buckling
Outward buckling

(c) Circular hollow steel tubes (d) Circular CFST columns

(e) Square RC columns (f) Circular RC columns

Fig. 3. Failure modes of stub columns.

Concrete crushed Concrete crushed

Outward buckling Outward buckling

(a) Circular CFST columns (b) Square CFST columns

Fig. 4. Failure modes of inner concrete.
W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363 357

gauges, as shown in Fig. 2. The S5 is the nominal average axial tube. However, significant differences were found on the strain of
strain, calculated from the measured axial shortening (D) normal- steel tubes, due to the different local buckling degree occurred
ized by the total height (H). Due to the composite action between on the steel tubes. The peak strain (ep) related to the maximum ax-
the core concrete and the steel tube, the core concrete of dune sand ial load was also presented out in Fig. 6. It can be seen that the
CFST columns could provide a support to the steel tube when it strength development of composite members was more quickly
buckled locally, and only outward buckling was found on the steel than that of the hollow steel tube. The peak strains of the circular

2400 S-3-5-2 S-S-3-1
Axial load, N (kN)

Axial load, N (kN)

S-3-8-1 S-S-3-2
1800 S-S-5-1
S-5-8-1 1200 S-S-5-2

600 S-5-8-2 600

0 0
0 5 10 15 20 0 4 8 12 16
Axial shortening, Δ (mm) Axial shortening, Δ (mm)
(a) Square CFST columns (b) Square hollow steel tubes

2500 1600
C-3-8-1 S-R-8-1
Axial load, N (kN)

Axial load, N (kN)

2000 C-3-8-2
C-S-3-1 S-R-5-1
C-S-3-2 800
1000 C-R-8-1

0 0
0 5 10 15 20 25 0 2 4 6
Axial shortening, Δ (mm) Axial shortening, Δ (mm)
(c) Circular columns (d) RC columns
Fig. 5. Axial versus axial shortening (N–D) relationships of compressive stub columns.

2000 2000
ε p=3490με S1 S1
S2 ε p =5875με S2
Axial load, N (kN)
Axial load, N (kN)

1500 1500
S3 S3
S4 S4
1000 1000
S5 S5

500 500

0 0
0 20000 40000 60000 0 30000 60000 90000
Strain, ε (με) Strain, ε (με)
(a) Square CFST column (S-3-5-2) (b) Square hollow steel tube (S-S-5-2)

ε p =10543με S-1
Axial load, N (kN)

1500 S-4


0 30000 60000 90000
Strain, ε (με)
(c) Circular CFST column (C-3-8-2)
Fig. 6. Typical axial load versus strain (N–e) curves of compressive stub columns.
358 W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363

composite specimens were larger than those of the square speci- 0 0.95 1.9 2.85 3.8
mens, for the circular cross section confined the core concrete bet- 0
ter and delayed the strength development.

3.2. Beams

u m (mm)
0.36 Mu
(1) Failure modes 0.62 Mu
Fig. 7 shows the failure modes of composite beam specimens. It -180
0.88 Mu
can be seen in general, the failure mode of all specimens was over- 0.95 Mu
all bending, as shown in Fig. 7(a). Fig. 7(b) shows a detailed view of -240 Half sine waves 1.00 Mu
Measured 1.02 Mu
the buckling mode on the steel tube. A series of wave like outward 1.04 Mu
local buckling was found in the compressive steel tubes between -300
two loading points. The outward local buckling was more obvious L (m)
for the specimens with a higher beam depth. After the test, the out- Fig. 8. Typical deformation curves of beam specimens (B-24-1).
er steel tube was removed, and it was found that the core concrete
was crushed where the outward local buckling occurred, as shown
in Fig. 7(b). The typical crack pattern for core concrete of beam recorded cross-sectional moment, um is the corresponding mid-
specimen is illustrated in Fig. 7(c). It was found that the core con- span deflection. It can be seen that after the steel tube walls
crete in the bottom tensile zone cracked, and both amount and yielded, the cross-sectional moment (M) at the mid-span still in-
width of cracks increased with the increase of beam depth. Most creased with the increase of midspan deflection. The maximum
cracks extended less than half of the beam height, and some of cross-sectional moment rose greatly with the increase of beam
them extended above the axial centre line. That was due to the depth. The cross-sectional moment corresponding to the maxi-
neutral axis moved up when the concrete cracked [14], and this mum tensile fibre strain of 10,000 le was defined as the ultimate
could also be demonstrated in Fig. 12. flexural strength (Mu) of composite beams [7] (Fig. 10). It should
Fig. 8 illustrates the typical deflection curves of beam speci- be noted that the cross-sectional moment still developed when
mens where Mu is the ultimate flexural strength when the tensile the 10,000 le strain was reached, while the increase of the load
fiber strain of the bottom steel reached 10,000 le. The sinusoids was less than 10%.
with the same peak value are presented in dashed lines for com- The typical moment (M) versus extreme fibre compressive and
parison. It was found that the deflection curves of flexural speci- tensile strains (e) relationships are shown in Fig. 10. The steel
mens at different load levels fitted half-sine waves well, even yielding strain (ey = 1815 le) of both tensile zone and compressive
when the mid-span deflections were very large. zone are presented in the figure as well. It can be seen that the
strains at different positions showed a significantly difference.
(2) Moment (M) versus mid-span deflection (um) relationships The strain on the top surface was under compression and the
strains at the mid-height and the bottom surface was under ten-
The moment (M) versus mid-span deflection (um) curves of the sion. It was due to the fact that the neutral axis location was moved
beam specimens were presented in Fig. 9, where M is the up when the concrete was filled.

(a) General view

Core concrete

(b) Compressive core concrete (B-320-1)


(c) Typical concrete cracks (B-320-1)

Fig. 7. Failure modes of beam specimens.
W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363 359

300 300
B160-1-P2 B240-1-P2
240 B160-1-P3 240 B240-1-P3
B160-1-P4 Μu B240-1-P4

M (kN·m)
M (kN·m) 180 180
B160-2-P2 B240-2-P2
120 120
Μu B160-2-P3 B240-2-P3
60 B160-2-P4 60 B240-2-P4

0 0
0 50 100 150 200 0 50 100 150 200
u m (mm) u m (mm)
(a) Sectional height h=160 mm (b) Sectional height h=240 mm

M (kN·m)

60 B320-2-P4

0 50 100 150 200
u m (mm)
(c) Sectional height h=320 mm
Fig. 9. Comparison on M  um curves of flexural beams.

350 350
−εy=1815 με Top surface
−εy=1815 με Top surface
280 B240-1 Bottom surface 280 B320-2 Bottom surface
M (kN·m)

M (kN·m)

210 B320-2
Μu B240-1 Μu
B240-1 B240-2
140 140
Μu Μu B240-2
B160-1 B160-2 εy=1815 με
70 70
Μu Μu B160-2
0 0
-20000 -10000 0 10000 20000 -20000 -10000 0 10000 20000
Tensile ε (με) Compressive Tensile ε (με) Compressive
(a) Contradistinctive specimen-1 (b) Contradistinctive specimen-2
Fig. 10. Moment (M) versus longitudinal strain (e) of steel tube wall at the mid-span of flexural beams.

350 160
B160-1 h
Sectional heigth, h (mm)

B160-2 120 0
M (kN·m)

140 B240-2 My/3
B320-1 40 My
B320-2 Mu
0 0
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 -12000 -6000 0 6000 12000
φ (1/m) Axial strain, ε (με)

Fig. 11. Moment (M) versus curvature (/) curves of composite beams. Fig. 12. Steel strain distributions at mid-span (B160-1).
360 W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363

1.8 1.8

1.4 1.4


0.6 0.6

0.2 0.2
S-3-8 S-3-5 S-5-8 C-3-8 B160 B240 B320

(a) CFST stub columns (b) CFST Beams

Fig. 13. Strength index.

tan θ 2 = 0.01 tan θ1

Sectional moment
Axial load


φK φ 0.01 φ
dNu d0.85Nu Δ
Axial Shortening Curvature at midspan
(a) Stub columns (b) Flexural beams
Fig. 14. Calculation of ductility index.

1.8 RC



S-3-5 S-5-8 S-S-3 S-S-5 C-S-3 S-R-5
S-3-8 C-3-8

(a) Stub column specimens




B160 B240 B320

(b) Flexural beam specimens

Fig. 15. Ductility index.
W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363 361

Table 5
Calculated results of compressive of composite stub columns (kN).

No. Specimen label Measured results (Average) AIJ AIJ/measured AISC AISC/measured EC4 EC4/measured DBJ (Eq. (A.1)) DBJ/measured
1 S-3-8-1 2172 2141 0.986 2141 0.986 2380 1.096 2362 1.087
2 S-3-8-2
3 S-3-5-1 1798 1683 0.936 1683 0.936 1841 1.024 1833 1.019
4 S-3-5-2
5 S-5-8-1 2771 2471 0.892 2471 0.892 2698 0.974 2791 1.007
6 S-5-8-2
7 C-3-8-1 2057 1848 0.898 1807 0.878 2109 1.025 1926 0.936
8 C-3-8-2
Mean 0.928 0.923 1.030 1.013
Standard deviation 0.043 0.049 0.050 0.062

3500 300

3000 Measured Calculated Measured


M (kN·m)



500 50

0 0
S-3-8 S-3-5 S-5-8 C-3-8 B160 B240 B320
(a) Stub columns (b) Flexural beams

Fig. 16. Comparison between measured and calculated results.

4. Analysis and discussion

4.1. Strength index
Sectional moment

(1) Stub columns

0.6 Mu The strength index (SI) of composite stub columns can be de-
fined as [19]:
0.2 Mu SI ¼ ð1Þ
Ac fck þ As fy
where Nmax is the measured maximum value of the compressive
load. The strength index (SI) thus calculated for tested stub columns
φ were illustrated in Fig. 13(a), where it can be found that the
Curvature at mid-span
strength index (SI) for all square dune sand CFST stub columns were
Fig. 17. Calculation of flexural stiffness. higher than 1.0 due to the confinement provided by the outer steel
tube. For the columns with the square cross section, the confine-
ment factors (n) for specimen S-3-8 series, S-3-5 series and S-5-8
Moment (M) versus curvature (/) curves of composite beams
series were 0.55, 0.79 and 0.92, respectively, where n was defined
with different section depths are shown in Fig. 11, where the cur-
as As fy =Ac fck [19]. It can be found that for the square dune sand CFST
vature (/) was recorded by two curvature gauges. It can be found
column, the SI increased with the increase of the confinement fac-
that a similar pattern was found for specimens with different
tor. For the columns with circular cross section, the confinement
parameters. The M–/ curves were nearly linear before the
factor was 0.58, while the corresponding SI was 1.3. It was due to
mid-span sectional moments (M) reached about 0.6Mu. The
the good confinement of the circular steel tube to the core concrete.
development of curvature slowed down after the specimen
(2) Beams
yielded. All the dune sand CFST beam specimens exceeded a cur-
For the beam specimens, the moment strength index of flexural
vature of 0.2.
beams is defined as:
Typical strain distributions of the beam cross sections at dif-
ferent load levels are illustrated in Fig. 12. It could be found that Mu
the cross-sectional steel strain distributions fit the plane section MSI ¼ ð2Þ
As  fy  zy
assumption well during the loading process. The location of the
neutral axis was near the mid-height of the beam before the where Mu is the ultimate flexural strength corresponding to the
specimen yielded, and it moved up as the bending deflection maximum tensile fibre strain of 0.01; As is the area of tensile steel
increased. tube (calculated as one half of the total area of the steel tube); fy
362 W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363

is the yield strength of steel tubes; zy is the equivalent distance be- (2) Beams
tween the centroid of the tensile steel tubes and that of the com- For the beam specimens, the load kept increasing after the spec-
pressive steel tubes. Fig. 13(b) illustrated the MSI thus obtained imen yielded. The ductility index defined by Eq. (2) was not
for the beam specimens with different sectional depths. It was adapted. The ductility index (MDI) for flexural beams was defined
found that the MSI for all composite specimens were significantly herein, the MDI was calculated from the curvatures of the flexural
larger than 1, for the contribution of the in-filled concrete. beams (deformation behavior). The ductility index of the rectangu-
lar dune sand CFST beam was defined as:
4.2. Ductility index
MDI ¼ ð4Þ
(1) Stub columns /K
The structural ductility represents the ability to undergo large
plastic deformation without significant strength degradation. A where /K is the mid-span curvature corresponding to 0.6Mu, /0.01 is
ductility index is introduced for the dune sand CFST stub column the mid-span curvature when the tangent stiffness decreased to 1%
as follows [20]: of the initial tangent stiffness from the moment (M) versus curva-
ture (/) curves, as shown in Fig. 14(b). The MDIs for the tested flex-
dð0:85Nu Þ ural beams are illustrated in Fig. 15(b). It was found that the
DI ¼ ð3Þ
dðN u Þ ductility index for composite flexural beams increased with the
cross-sectional depth when the depth changed from 160 mm to
where d(Nu) is the axial deformation corresponding to the ultimate
240 mm, and decreased when the depth changed from 240 mm to
compressive strength; d(0.85Nu) is the axial deformation when the
320 mm. One possible reason is that, for the specimens with the
load decreased to 85% of the ultimate compressive strength, as
cross-sectional depth of 320 mm, severer bucklings were shown
shown in Fig. 14(a). Fig. 15(a) shows the ductility index (DI) for
on the steel tube. Due to the limitation of the test parameters and
the dune sand CFST stub columns, the hollow steel tubular stub col-
the amount of specimens, further study should be carried out on
umns and the RC stub columns. It was found that for square CFST
the ductility index for dune sand CFST beams in the future.
column specimens, the ductility index (DI) decreased with the in-
crease of core concrete strength. However, the DI increased with
the increase of steel tube thickness. For circular CFST column spec- 4.3. Ultimate strength and flexural stiffness prediction
imens, the DI was much higher than that of the square counterpart.
It was due to the circular steel tube provide a better confinement to In general, the behavior of CFST stub columns and beams using
the core concrete. Fig. 15(a) also illustrated the ductility index of the dune sand as 10% of fine aggregate are quite similar to the corre-
hollow steel tubes and the dune sand RC stub columns. As the con- sponding normal concrete-filled steel tubes. Therefore the follow-
crete strength increased, the ductility index for RC stub columns fell ing existing codes for normal CFST structures, e.g. DBJ/T13-51-
down significantly due to the brittle failure of the high strength 2010[21], AIJ-2008 [22], EC4-2004 [23] and AISC-360-10 [24] were
concrete. For the advantages of composite effect, the ductility of adopted tentatively to predict the compressive strength of the CFST
dune sand CFST stub columns was better than that of hollow steel stub columns and the flexural strength of the beams for dune sand
tubes or RC stub columns. CFST members.

Table 6
Calculated results of flexural strength of composite beams (kN m).

No. Specimen label Measured results (Average) AIJ AIJ/measured AISC AISC/measured EC4 EC4/measured DBJ (Eq.A.2) DBJ/measured
1 B-160-1 59.4 55.5 0.934 55.5 0.934 56.1 0.944 55.6 0.936
2 B-160-2
3 B-240-1 140.8 103.4 0.734 103.4 0.734 104.7 0.744 107.8 0.766
4 B-240-2
5 B-320-1 206.0 164.2 0.797 164.4 0.798 166.7 0.809 176.2 0.855
6 B-320-2
Mean 0.822 0.822 0.832 0.852
Standard deviation 0.102 0.102 0.102 0.085

Table 7
Calculated results of flexural stiffness (103 kN m2).

No. Specimen label Measured results AIJ AIJ/ AISC AISC/ EC4 EC4/ DBJ DBJ/
(K0.6) measured (K0.6) measured (K0.6) measured (K0.6) measured
K0.2 K0.6
1 B-160-1 2.50 2.33 2.28 2.16 2.16 1.000 3.16 1.463 2.91 1.347 2.86 1.324
2 B-160-2 2.16 2.04
3 B-240-1 5.38 5.29 5.14 5.18 5.90 1.139 9.32 1.799 8.48 1.637 8.36 1.614
4 B-240-2 5.20 5.22
5 B-320-1 9.82 9.21 6.65 7.48 12.3 1.644 20.4 2.727 18.5 2.473 18.2 2.433
6 B-320-2 8.59 8.31
Mean 1.261 1.996 1.819 1.790
Standard 0.277 0.535 0.477 0.470
W.-H. Wang et al. / Construction and Building Materials 51 (2014) 352–363 363

(1) Stub columns increased with the confinement factor, and the ductility
indexes of CFST stub columns were better than those of RC
Han [7] has presented formulae to predict the ultimate com- columns. Higher strength index and ductility index could
pressive strength of normal concrete-filled steel tubes with rectan- be achieved for the CFST stub columns with circular cross
gular and circular cross sections, which have been adopted in section when compared to the counterparts with square
various Chinese local technical specifications including DBJ/T13- cross section, for the circular tube could provide a better
51-2010 (DBJ code). The calculated results using these formulae confinement to the core concrete.
were listed in Table 5, and plotted in Fig. 16(a). The calculated re- (4) The current codes could be used tentatively in the strength
sults using other codes were also listed in Table 5. The local buck- and stiffness prediction of dune sand CFST structures.
ling reduction was included in the codes of EC4 [23] and AISC [24],
while the classification methods of hollow steel section were dif-
ferent in AISC and EC4 codes. The confinement of the outer steel Acknowledgements
wall was considered by the confinement factor n in the DBJ code
[21], and generally good agreements were achieved between calcu- The research reported in the paper is supported by the Tsinghua
lated and measured results, as shown in Table 5. Mean values and Initiative Scientific Research Program (No. 2011THZ03). The
standard deviations of calculated results ratio were also listed in authors thank Rechsand Science & Technology Group for providing
Table 5. It can be found that the best predicted mean value was the concrete materials using the dune sand and for the preparation
1.013 calculated by DBJ code, and the standard deviation of various of test specimens.
design codes varied from 0.043 to 0.062.
(2) Beams
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