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Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

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Thin-Walled Structures
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/tws

Full length article

Behaviour of grout-lled double skin steel tubes under compression and MARK
bending: Experiments

Wei Lia,b, , Di Wanga, Lin-Hai Hana
Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
State Key Laboratory of Building Safety and Built Environment, Beijing, China


Keywords: The grout is often used to ll the gap between two tubes as binding material in some specic structures, which
Grout-lled double skin steel tube (GFDST) may actually form a grout-lled double skin steel tube. However, little literature has been found regarding the
Compression behaviour of the grout-lled double skin steel tubular (GFDST) member, while the inuence of the in-lled grout
Bending could be underestimated in the steel-grout composite structure. This paper thus presents an experimental
investigation of the compressive and exural behaviour of GFDST members. A total of 14 specimens are tested,
Ultimate strength
including 8 stub columns, 4 beam-columns and 2 beams. For the axially compressed stub columns, the main test
parameter is the hollow ratio of the cross section, and 2 corresponding hollow steel counterparts are designed to
study the eect of the grout lling. For the beam-columns, the inuences of load eccentricity are analyzed
through test results. The failure modes, the strain distribution and the ductility of the GFDST members are
studied in order to suciently evaluate the performance of the steel-grout composite member. The ultimate
strengths of the GFDST members are estimated by the equations of concrete-lled double skin steel tubular
members tentatively. It is found that all tested specimens failed in a ductile way, and the stiness, the ultimate
strength and the ductility of GFDST member is improved attributing to the in-lled grout. In addition, the
predicted stiness and strength results generally match well with the measured ones.

1. Introduction A similar type of structure, the concrete-lled double skin steel

tubular (CFDST) structure has been used in engineering projects such as
In some oshore structures such as jacket platforms and wind transmission poles in land, while the concrete is the in-lled material
turbine poles, the main leg commonly consists of external tube and between two tubes instead of grout [6,7]. The CFDST structure has
internal tube, which serve as outer jacket and pile, respectively. Usually attracted numerous attentions, and a lot of investigations have been
the thickness of the annulus gap is very small, which can only allow conducted on many aspects such as the short-term static behaviour
materials without any aggregate and with very good workability to be [810], long-term static behaviour [11], cyclic behaviour [12,13],
lled in. The grout is often used to ll the annulus gap and serves as behaviour under re [14], behaviour under compact and behaviour
binding materials. It actually form a kind of grout-lled double skin under various load combinations [15]. In previous research, a hollow
steel tube (GFDST), which consists of two concentric-laid tubes, and the ratio is often dened to describe the geometric conguration of the
grout is lled in the annulus cavity between two tubes, as shown in cross section, which usually ranges from 0.2 to 0.8 for CFDST members.
Fig. 1. The strength and stiness contribution of the grout may often be From previous research it was found that the CFDST structure behaved
ignored or underestimated for conservative purpose since the thickness similarly to that of solid concrete-lled steel tubular (CFST) structure.
of the grout is usually very thin in engineering practice [1,2]. However, The outer tube, sandwiched concrete and inner tube could work
previous research has found that even very thin grout in-lled might together well under various loading conditions. Meanwhile, the outer
enhance the performance of dual steel tubular structures [3,4]. Better tube connes the sandwiched concrete, and the sandwiched concrete
indentation resistance and energy absorption capacities were also improves the buckling modes of both tubes in contrast. Apart from the
conrmed due to the grout composite layer [5]. The safety potential experimental research conducted, the numerical investigations were
of the structure could therefore be considered for the life extension of also carried out for CFDST structures. The nite element analysis model
existing structures when the eect of grout is properly considered. was established to study the structural behaviour more thoroughly,

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: iliwei@tsinghua.edu.cn (W. Li).

Received 13 November 2016; Received in revised form 16 January 2017; Accepted 27 February 2017
Available online 10 April 2017
0263-8231/ 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

Nomenclature M Moment
Mu Ultimate exural strength
Ag Cross-sectional area of the sandwiched grout, given by Muc Calculated ultimate exural strength
((D2to)2d2)/4 for GFDST member with circular inner Mue Measured ultimate exural strength
and outer tubes N Load
Age Nominal inner cross-sectional area, given by (D2to)2/4 Nu Ultimate compressive strength
for circular cross section Nuc Calculated ultimate compressive strength
Asi Cross-sectional area of inner steel tube Nue Measured ultimate compressive strength
Aso Cross-sectional area of outer steel tube to Wall thickness of outer steel tube
D Diameter of outer circular steel tube ti Wall thickness of inner steel tube
d Diameter of inner circular steel tube n Nominal steel ratio of the cross section, n=Aso/Age
Eg Modulus of elasticity of grout Deformation, axial shortening of stub column or beam-
Es Modulus of elasticity of steel column, deection of beam
EAsg Compressive stiness of GFDST cross section f Deformation when load decreases to 85% of ultimate
EIsg Flexural stiness of GFDST cross section strength
e Load eccentricity y Deformation corresponding to yield strength
eL Load eccentricity ratio Mid-span lateral deformation of beam-column
fg Compressive strength of grout Strain
fsi Yield stress of inner steel tube Curvature
fso Yield stress of outer steel tube Ductility coecient
A f
Ig Second moment of area of grout o Nominal connement factor, o = Aso fso
ge g
Isi Second moment of area of inner tube
Hollow ratio of the cross section, =d/(D2to)
Iso Second moment of area of outer tube

where the concrete strength enhancement attributed to the connement To provide new test data of GFDST stub columns, beam-columns and
of tube and the steel-concrete interaction between two materials were beams;
carefully taken into account. Simplied design methods for CFDST To discuss the strength, stiness and ductility of GFDST members;
structures were also developed according to parametric analysis by the and
calibrated numerical model. To evaluate the calculation methods of the GFDST members.
Although there are some similarities in geometries of CFDST and
GFDST cross sections, the in-lled materials are dierent between these 2. Experimental program
two structures. Moreover, the hollow ratio of GFDST commonly used in
engineering practice is usually larger than that of CFDST structure, 2.1. General description
which often ranges from 0.8 to 0.92. Up to date the information of the
GFDST structure is rather limited, therefore more work should be A total of 14 specimens were designed for the GFDST members,
conducted in this aspect. including 8 stub columns, 4 beam-columns and 2 beams. For stub
This paper investigates some basic behaviour of GFDST members, columns subjected to concentric loading, the main parameter was the
i.e., the behaviour under axial concentric compression, eccentric hollow ratio of the cross section , which can be dened as [9]:
compression and pure bending. A series of experiments are carried
out for typical GFDST specimens, and the parameters include the type d
of the cross section, cross-sectional hollow ratio, load eccentricity and D 2to (1)
etc. The failure modes and the load versus deformation relations are
where D and d are the outer diameters of outer and inner tubes,
recorded in the test, and the strength, stiness and ductility of the
respectively; to is the thickness of the outer tube. The hollow ratios used
specimens are analyzed according to the experimental results. The
for the specimens in the test ranged from 0.56 to 0.92, which is
feasibility of current design equations for CFDST structures in the
commonly used in engineering practices for the thickness of the grout is
design of GFDST structures is also discussed herein. The main objectives
usually very thin. Besides, the eect of in-lled grout is taken into
of this study are as follows:
consideration directly by setting the hollow double steel tubes without
lling grout as counterparts. Large specimens with 1/3 scale of the
member in real structures were also designed for comparison. Detailed
dimensions of the stub column specimens can be found in Table 1.
For the beam-column specimens, the test parameter was the load
eccentricity. The load eccentricity ratio eL is dened as follows:
eL =
D (2)

where D is the diameter of outer tube, e is the distance from the loading
axis to the central axis of the specimen. Two load eccentricities, i.e.
20 mm and 70 mm, were applied to obtain the column capacity under
both axial compression and bending, and the corresponding load
eccentricity ratios are 0.29 and 1. The slenderness ratio of beam-
columns was 28, which was within the range (2856) of previous
research on CFDST beam-columns [9]. Other detailed information for
beam-column specimens can be found in Table 1.
Fig. 1. GFDST used in oshore jacket platform. For the beam specimens, only one group of specimen was designed

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

Table 1
Summary of grout-lled double skin steel tubular specimens.

No. Label Cross-sectional Specimen typea Cross section of outer Cross section of inner Hollow ratio Length/mm Eccentricity e /mm Eccentricity ratio eL
type tube/mm tube/mm

1 GC1-1 Filled C 1402.5 1142 0.84 420 N/A N/A

2 GC1-2 Filled C 1402.5 1142 0.84 420 N/A N/A
3 GC2-1 Filled C 1402.5 761.6 0.56 420 N/A N/A
4 GC2-2 Filled C 1402.5 761.6 0.56 420 N/A N/A
5 HSC-1 Hollow C 1402.5 1142 N/A 420 N/A N/A
6 HSC-2 Hollow C 1402.5 1142 N/A 420 N/A N/A
7 GCL-1 Filled C 4508 4008 0.92 700 N/A N/A
8 GCL-2 Filled C 4508 4008 0.92 700 N/A N/A
9 GBC1-1 Filled BC 1402.5 1142 0.84 1000 20 0.29
10 GBC1-2 Filled BC 1402.5 1142 0.84 1000 20 0.29
11 GBC2-1 Filled BC 1402.5 1142 0.84 1000 70 1.0
12 GBC2-2 Filled BC 1402.5 1142 0.84 1000 70 1.0
13 GB-1 Filled B 1402.5 1142 0.84 1300 N/A N/A
14 GB-2 Filled B 1402.5 1142 0.84 1300 N/A N/A

C stands for stub column; BC stands for beam-column; B stands for beam.

to demonstrate the exural behaviour under pure bending, where the of the mixture in practice. In the test, it was 1850 kg/m3 in wet, and
cross-sectional property was the same as that of the beam-column. Each was approximately 1900 kg/m3 while it hardened. The corresponding
specimen has a duplicated one in order to obtain a more reliable result. water to cement ratio of grout was 0.43 for all specimens. The
The details of the specimens can also be found in Table 1. 100100100 mm cubes were used to obtain the compressive
strength during the test. The typical stress-strain curve for hardened
2.2. Specimens preparation grout is shown in Fig. 2, where a strain rate of 5 s1 was adopted to
obtain the complete stress-strain relation under compression including
All kinds of specimens were carefully prepared in the laboratory. the softening branch. The average compressive strength of the
The commercial steel tube with straight weld was used for both inner 100100100 mm hardened grout cubes during the test was
and outer tubes in order to control the quality of the specimen. The 51.1 MPa for specimens with small diameter, and it was 54.8 MPa for
tubes were machined at both ends and welded to the at plate at one GCL-1 and GCL-2 specimens. The average modulus of elasticity for
end. For the beam-column specimens, stieners were also welded at grout obtained from the stress-strain curves was approximately
both ends before the pouring of grout to avoid local buckling when the 22,800 MPa. In general the hardened grout exhibits a concrete-like
eccentric load was applied. Then the grout was poured into the cavity behaviour, whilst it is more brittle under common loading strain rate
between two tubes. The grout was consisted of cement and water only, and the performance seems more scattered when compared to that of
without any ne aggregate adding in. Usually the ow ability of the the concrete.
grout is very good and there is no need for any additional vibration.
After the curing, an obvious settlement of approximately 2 mm 2.4. Test setup and instrumentation
occurred on top of the column mainly due to the evaporation of water
and the shrinkage of grout. It is noted that no separation was found Fig. 3 depicts the test arrangement of the stub column specimen.
between the grout layer and the tubes after the hardening of grout. The The small and large stub columns were loaded by hydraulic jacks with
high strength lling material was used to fulll this gap. After the loading capacity of 2000 kN and 20,000 kN, respectively. Four dis-
hardening of the ller, the top plate was installed with both inner and placement transducers were placed around the column to measure the
outer tubes welded on it. axial shortening of the specimen. A total of 12 strain gauges were used
to obtain the longitudinal and transverse strains at the middle section of
2.3. Material properties both inner and outer tubes. The vertical load was recorded by the load
sensor. The loading rate for stub column specimens except the GCL
The coupons were distracted from the welded steel tube. Standard series was approximately 2 kN/s before yielding of the specimen, and
tensile tests were conducted to obtain the yield stress, tensile strength, was approximately 2 mm/min after then. For the GCL series, the
modulus of elasticity and elongation after fracture. The details of test
results for steels are listed in Table 2.
The grout consists of water and cement only, without any aggregate
or additive. It is usually regarded as a binding material only in the past,
where the knowledge on the mechanical property of the hardened grout
is rather limited. The density of grout is often used to control the quality

Table 2
Material properties of steel.

Steel type Yield Tensile Modulus of Elongation after

strength fy strength fu elasticity Es fracture (%)
(MPa) (MPa) (MPa)

1402.5 307 407 1.96105 39.4

1142 321 396 1.87105 27.5
761.6 429 526 2.04105 17.0
4508 365 492 2.04105 26.0
4008 363 473 2.01105 28.0
Fig. 2. Typical measured stress-strain relationship of hardening grout.

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

140 140
N 114 76

Specimen GC1 GC2
A A 400 140


Unit: mm
Displacement Transverse Longitudinal
transducer HSC strain gauges strain gauges
Fig. 3. Test setup of GFDST stub column.

loading rate was 10 kN/s and 2 mm/min before and after yielding of Two-point bending load was applied to the specimen through a rigid
specimen, respectively. Load intervals of 100 kN and 500 kN were used spread beam. The distance between the hinged end and the rolling end
for small and large specimens before yielding, respectively. A displace- of the spread beam was 500 mm. A total of 5 vertical displacement
ment interval of 1 mm was used after then for all specimens in order to transducers were placed on the pure bending segment to measure the
observe the phenomenon during the test. mid-span deformation. Two displacement transducers were placed at
Fig. 4 depicts the test arrangement of the beam-column specimen. the end supports to record the possible vertical settlement. Strain
The eccentric load was applied on top of the column by a 5000 kN gauges were placed on the middle section of both inner and outer tubes.
compressive machine for the beam-column specimens. The hinges were The loading rate and load interval were the same as those of the beam-
set at both ends to control the load eccentricity and to allow the free column specimens. All test data was recorded during the test including
rotation. The distance between two rotation centers was 1260 mm. Two the unloading stage.
vertical displacement transducers were placed at both ends to measure
the axial shortening of the beam-column. On the other hand, three
3. Results and discussion
horizontal displacement transducers were placed to measure the
exural deformation of the specimen. Strain gages were used to
3.1. Stub column
measure the strains on dierent cross sections of inner and outer tubes.
The loading rate for beam-columns was approximately 0.5 kN/s and
3.1.1. Failure modes
2 mm/min before and after yielding of the specimen, respectively. A
The whole test process was conducted smoothly under good control.
load interval of 40 kN was used before yielding and a displacement
Fig. 6 shows typical failure modes of stub columns subjected to axial
interval of 1 mm was used after then.
compression. For the hollow double steel tubes, both outward and
Fig. 5 shows the test arrangement of the beam specimen. The beam
inward buckling was observed on tubes, as shown in Fig. 6(a). For the
specimen was placed on a hinged support on one side and a rolling
GFDST specimen, the buckling mode was changed attributed to the
support on the other. The distance between two supports was 1080 mm.
lled grout. For the specimens with relatively large hollow ratio (GC1

Hinged end 140

N 114

B B Section A-A


Section B-B/C-C
C Transverse

strain gauges
e strain gauges
Hinged end
Unit: mm
Fig. 4. Test setup of GFDST beam-column.

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

Rigid spread beam N

Rolling end
Hinged end

Hinged support A
Rolling support
Base Specimen

290 75 90 85 85 90 75 290 Unit: mm

290 500 290

Section A-A
strain gauges
strain gauges

Fig. 5. Test setup of GFDST beam.

and GCL series), the outward buckling occurred in both inner and outer are listed in Table 3. It can also be found that both initial stiness and
steel tubes, where the lled grout was crushed and cracked as well, as ultimate strength are enhanced by the in-lled grout. The average
shown in Fig. 6(b) and (c). For the specimens with relatively small initial stiness and ultimate strength for GC1 series was enhanced by
hollow ratio (GC2 series), the outward buckling was observed in the 25% and 34% when compared to the hollow HSC series, respectively.
outer steel tube, while the inward buckling was found in the inner steel For the grout-lled specimens, the hollow ratio has a signicant eect
tube. Meanwhile, the crush of grout was found where the tubes on the stiness and strength as well. The average initial stiness and
buckled, as shown in Fig. 6(d). The outer steel tube was removed after ultimate strength for GC2 series (=0.56) increased by 25% and 28%
the test. The grout worked well with the steel tubes in general, no gap when compared to those of GC1 series (=0.84). As the hollow ratio
was found between the grout and tubes outside the failure region. It can increases, the shape of descending branch of the P curve of GFDST
be seen that there were cracks found in the hardened grout around the column becomes steeper, which is more similar to that of the hollow
crushed region, and most of them were developed along the long- steel columns. The column stiness at the unloading stage is close to
itudinal direction due to the brittleness of grout, as shown in Fig. 6(b), that of the initial stage, which indicates a recovery of the elastic
(c) and (d), while few longitudinal crack was found in concrete in deformation.
previous CFDST tests [9].
The schematic views for the failure mode for the hollow double steel
tubes, the GFDST stub column with large hollow ratio and GFDST stub 3.1.3. Strain response
column with small hollow ratio are depicted in Fig. 7(ac), respectively. The strain was recorded by the strain gauges during the test. The
It can be concluded that the lled grout changes the buckling mode of axial load-strain relations (N-) for stub columns are presented in Fig. 9,
the hollow steel tubes, and the buckling mode of inner tube is altered where the positive and negative values represent the elongation and
according to the hollow ratio of the specimen. Only inward buckling shortening of strain gauge, respectively. It is noted that the strain
was observed for GFDST specimens with small hollow ratio, as the obtained by the strain gauge only represents the local result of the
thicker sandwiched grout could provide stronger support to the tubes. measured point, and sometimes it will be diverse if the buckling occurs
at that region. It can be seen that the longitudinal strain was fully
developed for all specimens under axial compression. For the grout-
3.1.2. Load versus displacement relations lled specimens, when the ultimate strength was reached, the trans-
Fig. 8 shows the load versus axial shortening (N) relations for all verse strain at the outer steel tube recorded was larger than that of the
stub column specimens. It can be seen that the P relations for all hollow counterpart. For example, the transverse strain for the outer
GFDST specimens exhibit a ductile manner. The curve consists of a steel tube of HSC-1(hollow) and GC1-1(grout-lled) corresponding to
linear elastic segment at the beginning of the loading, and followed by ultimate strength was 2776 and 6109, respectively. It is attributed
an elastic-plastic segment. For GFDST stub columns, the elastic-plastic to the fact that the lled grout provides support to the outer tube and
segment usually starts from about 60% of the ultimate strength due to delays the buckling of the steel tube. Meanwhile, the transverse strain
the brittleness of grout, while for CFDST stub columns, it usually starts of GFDST outer tube develops more suciently with the decrease of
from 80% of the ultimate strength [9]. A descending segment is formed hollow ratio. The transverse strain corresponding to the maximum load
when the load starts to decrease after the ultimate strength is reached. of GC2-1 was 9009, which was approximately 50% larger than that of
The measured stiness and ultimate strength of stub column specimens GC1-1.

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

Fig. 6. Failure modes of GFDST stub columns.

Fig. 7. Schematic view of failure modes of GFDST stub columns.

3.1.4. Ductility grout was found where the outer tube buckled. The incidental crack of
A ductility coecient is introduced herein to describe the ductility the grout was also found along the longitudinal direction near the
under axial compression, which can be calculated as [12]: crushed region. Nevertheless, both transverse and longitudinal cracks
f occurred on the grout at the tensile side. The maximum distance
= between two parallel transverse cracks was approximately 25 mm, and
y (3) the maximum crack width was approximately 0.8 mm. When compared
where, y is the axial shortening corresponding to the yield strength, f to the CFDST beam-column, the GFDST beam-column has more cracks
is the axial shortening when the load decreases to 85% of the ultimate on the tensile side and the crack width was larger. The inward buckling
strength. The denition of yield strength can be found in Ref. [12]. was found on the inner tube of beam-column specimens, for the lled
The ductility coecients for GFDST stub columns calculated are grout prevents the outward buckling of the tube.
listed in Table 3. It can be found that the ductility coecient for the
GFDST specimen was increased when compared to that of the hollow
steel counterpart. The average of GFDST stub column specimens was 3.2.2. Load versus deformation relations
10.7, while it was 8.0 for the hollow steel tubes. The ductility Both lateral and axial displacements were recorded in the test.
coecient also increases signicantly with the decrease of hollow Fig. 11(a) and (b) show the axial load versus lateral displacement (N)
ratio. When comparing the GC1 and GC2 series, increases 80% when relation and axial load versus axial displacement (N) relation for
the hollow ratio changes from 0.84 to 0.56, while the hollow ratio GFDST beam-column, respectively. It can be seen that the curves
does not have signicant inuence on the ductility of CFDST specimens undergo a linear elastic stage, an elastic-plastic stage and a descending
[9]. stage. The elastic-plastic segment of GFDST stub columns occurs earlier
than that of CFDST ones as the stiness of the grout is smaller. The load
3.2. Beam-column eccentricity has a signicant eect on the stiness and strength of the
specimen, where the stiness and strength decreases when the load
3.2.1. Failure modes eccentricity increases. On the other hand, the same lateral displacement
The failure modes for the beam-column with dierent eccentricity was reached for both GBC1 and GB2 series in the nal, while the axial
ratio were almost the same. Fig. 10 depicts the typical failure mode of shortening of GBC1 was less than that of GBC2. It is due to the fact that
GFDST beam-column. The overall bending was observed and the more rotation occurred at the ends of GBC2 specimens as the load
exural deformation follows the parabolic curve. Local outward buck- eccentricity was large. Meanwhile, it can also be seen that the elastic
ling was found in the outer tube at the compressive side around the deformation of the specimen was mostly recovered after the test.
middle section. After the removal of outer steel tube, the crush of the

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

Fig. 8. Axial load-axial shortening relations of GFDST stub columns (a) GC and HSC series (b) Initial stiness (c) GCL series.

3.2.3. Strain response tion. The maximum longitudinal strain developed on the side close to
Fig. 12 shows the typical axial load versus strain (N-) relations for the loading axis for GBC1-1 was over 20,000 , which indicates a good
GFDST beam-columns, where the labels of strain gauges are denoted. deformation capacity of the specimen.
The positive and negative indicate the elongation and shortening of For the specimen with large load eccentricity (GBC2-1), the side far
strain gauge, respectively. The results from both sides are presented, from the loading axis was subjected to longitudinal tension at the
i.e., the sides far from and close to the loading axis. beginning of the loading, while the transverse compressive strain was
For the specimen with small load eccentricity (GBC1-1), the long- developed accordingly, for the bending deformation occurred for the
itudinal strain far from the loading axis was subjected to shortening at specimen when the loading began. For the side close to the loading axis,
the beginning of the loading, as the whole cross section was subjected the strain gauges on both inner and outer tubes were subjected to
to compression. However, it changed to elongation (tension) as the longitudinal compression, while the tensile strain occurred at the hoop
loading continued, for the bending deformation was developed on the direction. The longitudinal compressive strain on the side close to
specimen. For the side close to the loading axis, the strain gauges show loading axis of GBC2-1 is smaller than that of GBC1-1, as the bending
that both inner and outer tubes were subjected to longitudinal occurred earlier on GBC2-1 and the compressive strain could not be
compression, and the tensile strain was developed at the hoop direc- suciently developed.

Table 3
Test results of GFDST stub columns.

No. Label Ultimate strength/kN Nuc/Nue Initial stiness/105 kN EAsg,c/EAsg,e Ductility coecient

Measured Nue Predicted Nuc Measured EAsg,e Predicted EAsg,c

1 GC1-1 755.0 730.3 0.967 4.28 4.37 1.021 8.3

2 GC1-2 701.3 730.3 1.041 4.39 4.37 0.995 8.0
3 GC2-1 941.7 903.5 0.959 5.81 5.11 0.879 15.4
4 GC2-2 928.1 903.5 0.974 5.05 5.11 1.012 14.0
5 HSC-1 549.3 557.4 1.015 3.54 3.43 0.970 7.7
6 HSC-2 535.2 557.4 1.042 3.42 3.43 1.004 8.3
7 GCL-1 8906.0 8642.5 0.970 49.86 47.54 0.954 9.9
8 GCL-2 8773.7 8642.5 0.985 52.23 47.54 0.910 8.4

Mean 0.994 0.968

COV 0.034 0.053

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

Fig. 9. Axial load-strain relations of GFDST stub columns (a) HSC-1 (b) GC1-1 (c) GCL-1 (d) GC2-1.

3.2.4. Ductility series were 12.8 and 5.6, respectively. The average ultimate exural
The ductility coecient of beam-column specimen can also be strength for GBC1 and GBC2 series was 9.8 kN m and 19.6 kN m,
calculated according to Eq.(3), where the axial load-lateral displace- respectively. The load decrease is faster when subjected to larger
ment (N) curve was used in the calculation. Table 4 shows the moment, therefore decreases signicantly as load eccentricity in-
predicted results. It can be seen that the average for GBC1 and GBC2 creases.

Fig. 10. Typical failure modes of GFDST beam-column.

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

Fig. 11. Axial load-displacement relations of GFDST beam-columns (a) Axial load - lateral displacement relations (b) Axial load - axial displacement relations.

the maximum width of 0.7 mm near the crushed region. For the grout
on the tensile side, several parallel cracks were developed along the
transverse direction with the maximum width of 1 mm and the average
distance of 15 mm. Meanwhile, cracks along the longitudinal direction
were also developed due to the brittle failure of grout. When compared
to CFDST beams, longitudinal cracks occur on GFDST ones and the
distribution of cracks is more irregular.

3.3.2. Load versus deformation relations

The moment versus mid-span deformation (M) relations for beam
specimens are shown in Fig. 14(a), where the moment is obtained by
multiplying the support resistance (N/2) with the horizontal length
between the hinged support and the rolling end of the spread beam
(290 mm), as depicted in Fig. 5. It can be seen that the relation has an
initial elastic stage and an elastic-plastic stage, while the moment
decreases after then due to the buckling of the steel tubes and the
failure of sandwiched grout. For the GFDST beam, the elastic-plastic
segment also occurs earlier than the CFDST specimen as the stiness of
the grout is smaller. The unloading stiness is almost the same as the
initial bending stiness for the recovery of elastic deformation. The
moment versus curvature (M) relations are also presented in
Fig. 14(b), where similar characteristic is exhibited as the M relation.
The curvature corresponding to ultimate exural strength is approxi-
mately 0.2 m1, which also indicates the bending of beam specimen is
suciently developed.

3.3.3. Strain response

Fig. 15 depicts the moment versus strain (M) relations for beam
specimens, where the labels 1, 4, 5 and 8 represent the strain at the
transverse (hoop) direction, while labels 2, 3, 6 and 7 represent the
strain at the longitudinal direction.
The longitudinal direction of the beam bottom was under tension
during the test. The longitudinal strain of both inner and outer tube was
positive, while the transverse strain was negative. For the strain on the
beam top, the longitudinal strain of both inner and outer tube was
Fig. 12. Axial load versus strain relations of GFDST beam-columns (a) Side far from negative, while the transverse strain was positive. The strains of the
loading axis (b) Side close to loading axis. inner tube were smaller than those of the outer tube in general, as
larger deformation occurred on the outer tube for the geometric
3.3. Beam conguration. Meanwhile, the longitudinal tensile strain of the outer
tube reached over 20,000 as large bending deformation occurred on
3.3.1. Failure modes the beam.
Fig. 13 shows the typical failure modes for the beam specimen. The
parabola-shaped overall deformation occurred in the pure bending 3.3.4. Ductility
segment. Similar to that of beam-column, both outward and inward The ductility coecients of beam specimens GB-1 and GB-2
buckling was observed near the mid-span cross section of the outer and obtained from moment versus mid-span (M) relations are 10.1 and
inner tubes, respectively. The crush as well as the crack of grout was 8.6, respectively. The average for beam specimens is 9.4, which
found at the buckling region. Several major cracks were developed with indicates good ductility for the GFDST beam specimens.

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

Table 4
Test results of GFDST beam-columns and beams.

No. Label Ultimate compressive strength/kN Nuc/Nue Ultimate exural strength/kN m Muc/Mue Initial stiness/102 kN EIsg,c/EIsg,e Ductility
Measured Nue Predicted Nuc Measured Mue Predicted Muc Measured EIsg,e Predicted EIsg,c

1 GBC1-1 479.2 429.5 0.896 9.6 8.6 0.895 N/A N/A N/A 12.8
2 GBC1-2 494.0 429.5 0.869 9.9 8.6 0.868 N/A N/A N/A 12.6
3 GBC2-1 283.8 235.6 0.830 19.9 16.5 0.829 N/A N/A N/A 6.6
4 GBC2-2 276.4 235.6 0.852 19.3 16.5 0.855 N/A N/A N/A 4.5
5 GB-1 N/A N/A N/A 28.5 22.6 0.792 8.26 8.90 1.078 10.1
6 GB-2 N/A N/A N/A 30.8 22.6 0.733 9.46 8.90 0.940 8.6

Mean 0.862 0.828 1.009

COV 0.032 0.071 0.096

Fig. 13. Typical failure modes of GFDST beams.

4. Stiness and strength prediction EAsg = EsAso + EsAsi + EgAg (4)

4.1. Compressive and bending stiness where Es and Eg are the modulus of elasticity of steel and grout,
respectively; Aso, Asi and Ag are the cross-sectional areas of the outer
The compressive stiness of GFDST cross section (EAsg) is contrib- tube, inner tube and grout, respectively.
uted by the outer tube, sandwiched grout and inner tube, and it can be The measured values of modulus of elasticity are used in the
tentatively estimated as follows: calculation. Table 3 lists the measured compressive stiness EAsg,e

Fig. 14. Moment versus deformation relations of GFDST beams (a) Moment vs. mid-span displacement (b) Moment vs. curvature relation.

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

Fig. 15. Moment-strain relations of GFDST beam (GB-1) (a) Bottom side (b) Top side.

Series-1 1402.5mm 15000
Series-2 761.6mm 4508mm
Prediction 1402.5mm 4008mm
Compression, N(kN)

Compression, N(kN)
1000 1142mm 10000

500 5000

0 0
Fig. 16. Measured and predicted ultimate strength of GFDST stub columns.

and the predicted ones EAsg,c. The mean and COV for EAsg,c/EAsg,e are strength, the ultimate strength of the GFDST cross section can be
0.968 and 0.053, respectively. calculated accordingly as follows [13]:
On the other hand, the elastic exural stiness of GFDST cross
Nu = fosg (Aso + Ag ) + fsi Asi (6)
section (EIsg) can be tentatively calculated as follows:
EIsg = EsIso + EsIsi + EgIg (5) fosg = k1C1 2 fso + C2(1.14 + 1.02o )fg (7)
where Iso , Isi and Ig are the second moment of area of the cross sections where fso, fsi and fg are the yield stress of outer tube, yield stress of inner
of outer steel tube, inner steel tube and grout, respectively.
tube and compressive strength of grout, respectively; k1=1 if the
The predicted EIsg,c results for the beam specimens using measured
thickness of steel tube is less than 16 mm; C1 = /(1 + ),
material properties are presented in Table 4, together with the Aso fso f
C2 = (1 + n )/(1 + ), o = = n fso , = Aso / Ag , n = Aso / Age ,
measured ones EIsg,e. The average of EIsg,c/EIsg,e is 1.009, which Age fg g
indicates the proposed equations may overestimate the exural stiness Age =
tso ) ; is the hollow ratio.
( 2o 2

of GFDST members. Improvement can be made by making reduction of The grout strength for small and large specimens in calculation is set
grout contribution in further study. as 32.5 MPa and 34.9 MPa, respectively, according to and Han et al.
[11]. The predicted ultimate strength for GFDST stub column Nue is
4.2. Compressive strength for stub column depicted in Fig. 16, and the ultimate compressive strength for the
hollow steel tubes is calculated by fsoAso+fsiAsi. The ratio between
So far there is no specic equation for the prediction of GFDST measured and predicted result Nuc/Nue is also presented in Table 3. It
member capacities. It is found from previous test that the hardened can be seen that the predicted results match the measured ones well.
grout exhibits a concrete-like behaviour generally. From the analysis of For all stub column specimens, the mean and coecient of variation
the failure mode, the grout in the GFDST members can provide support (COV) for Nuc/Nue are 0.994 and 0.034, respectively. For the GFDST
to the steel tubes and improve the buckling mode, which is similar to stub columns only, the mean and coecient of variation (COV) for Nuc/
that of CFDST specimen. The outer steel tube can also provide Nue are 0.983 and 0.030, respectively.
connement to the sandwiched grout and change the failure mode of
this brittle material. Therefore it is assumed that the strength prediction 4.3. Flexural strength
equation for CFDST specimen may be used for GFDST specimen
tentatively. The prediction method for exural strength of the CFDST structure
Han et al. [13] proposed equations to predict the compressive was proposed by Han et al. [13]. These equations are adopted for
strength of CFDST stub column, where the strength enhancement of GFDST structure tentatively as follows:
sandwiched concrete attributing to the connement eect was taken
Mu = m1Wscmfosg + m2Wsifsi (8)
into account. By substituting the concrete strength with the grout

W. Li et al. Thin-Walled Structures 116 (2017) 307319

5. Conclusions

A series of experimental investigations was conducted on the GFDST

members under concentric compression, eccentric compression and
bending. The following conclusions can be drawn based on the limited
study in this paper:

(1) The in-lled grout worked well with both inner and outer steel
tubes and changed the failure mode of the double skin steel tubular
specimens. The outward buckling of the outer tube, inward buck-
ling of the inner tube, as well as the crush and fracture of
sandwiched grout was found in the concentrically-compressed
GFDST stub columns. The outward buckling could also occur in
the inner tube when the GFDST specimen had large hollow ratio.
For the beam-column specimens, the overall bending deformation
was observed along with the outward buckling of outer steel tube at
the middle height. For the beam specimens, the buckling of the
tubes and the crush and fracture of grout was exhibited, while the
Fig. 17. Measured and predicted MN curve of GFDST member. overall bending shape followed a parabolic line.
(2) The in-lled grout could enhance the stiness and strength of
GFDST members. The initial stiness and ultimate strength for
where, GFDST stub column (GC1 series) was enhanced by 25% and 34%
(D 4 d 4 ) when compared to the hollow counterparts (HSC series), respec-
m1 = 0.48 ln(o + 0.1)(1 + 0.06 0.85 2 ) + 1.1, Wscm = ,
32D tively, while the hollow ratio was 0.84 and the thickness of annulus
[d 4 (d 2ti )4] grout was only 10.5 mm.
m2 = 0.02 2.76 ln o + 1.04 0.47 , Wsi = .
32d (3) The ductility coecient of GFDST stub column specimens was
increased when compared to the hollow steel counterparts. The
The predicted results Muc are listed in Table 4 and compared with average ductility coecient of tested GFDST stub column speci-
the experimental ones Mue. The ratios between measured and predicted mens was 10.7, while it was 8.0 for the hollow steel tubes. For the
result Muc/Mue are also presented in the same table. It can be seen that beam-columns and beams, the average ductility coecients were
the mean for Muc/Mue for beam specimens is 0.763. In general the 9.1 and 9.4, respectively, which indicated good ductility of the
current equations can make reasonable while conservative results. GFDST members attributing to the sandwiched grout.
(4) The member stiness was calculated by summarizing the contribu-
tions of all components. It was found that the predicted axial
4.4. Compression-bending interaction relation compressive stiness generally matched well with the measured
one, while the exural stiness may be overestimated if the
Han et al. [13] also proposed design equations for the prediction of contribution of grout was fully considered. The ultimate strength
compression-bending interaction relation for CFDST members, where of GFDST stub columns, beam-columns and beams was calculated
the MN relation was described using a combination of straight line and using the equations for CFDST members tentatively. In general the
parabolic line as the GFDST beam-column exhibited a similar behaviour equations provide reasonable predictions of the member capacities,
of the CFDST one. The ultimate strength for GFDST beam-column can although the ultimate strength of beam specimen was underesti-
be calculated tentatively as follows [13]: mated, which may require further study in the future.

a M
+ d2 M = 1 (N / Nu 23o ) Acknowledgements
N u 2 u

N 2 N The research reported in the paper is part of Tsinghua University

1M 3
b2 Nu c2 Nu + d2 Mu = 1 (N / Nu < 2 o ) Initiative Scientic Research Program (No. 2013Z02) and Opening
(9) Funds of State Key Laboratory of Building Safety and Built Environment
1 o 2(o 1) (BSBE2016-03). The nancial support is highly appreciated.
where, a 2 = 1 22o , b2 = , c2 = , d 2 = 1 0.4(N / NE ), and
3o2 o
o = (0.18 0.2 )o1.15
+ 1, References

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