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627

Bond strength in concrete filled built-up steel tube


columns with tab stiffeners
Clotilda Petrus, Hanizah Abdul Hamid, Azmi Ibrahim, and Joe Davylyn Nyuin

Abstract: Apart from strength and ductility, adequate bond between steel and concrete at the interface is important in con-
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crete filled steel tube (CFST) columns to ensure a composite action. One way of improving the bond strength of a CFST
column is introducing internal stiffeners. This paper presents an experimental investigation into the bond strength of a CFST
column with tab stiffeners by conducting a push out test. Twenty-one square specimens of sides 200 mm × 200 mm, fabri-
cated from 2 mm thick mild steel sheeting were tested in two series. The first series considered the variation in the tab spac-
ing along the stiffeners, namely 75, 100, 150, and 300 mm, while in the second series, the concrete cube compressive
strengths were 36, 40, and 50 MPa. The bond strength at the concrete–steel interface was found to increase with decreasing
tab spacing. In-filling the tubes with higher strength concrete had also resulted in an increase in the bond strength by up to
an average of 40%.
Key words: concrete filled tube, push out test, bond strength, stiffeners.
Résumé : En plus de la résistance et de la ductilité et afin de permettre une action mixte, il est important d’avoir une adhé-
rence adéquate entre l’armature et le béton dans les colonnes en tubes d’acier remplis de béton (CFST). Une manière d’amé-
liorer la force d’adhérence des armatures d’une colonne CFST est d’utiliser des raidisseurs internes. Cet article présente une
étude expérimentale sur la force d’adhérence des armatures d’une colonne CFST munie de raidisseursà languettes effectuée
au moyen d’une épreuve de contrainte par expulsion. Vingt-et-un échantillons carrés de 200 mm × 200 mm de côté compor-
For personal use only.

tant une armature fabriquée à partir de feuilles d’acier doux de 2 mm d’épaisseur ont été mis à l’épreuve en deux séries. La
première série tenait compte de la variation de l’espacement des languettes entre les raidisseurs, 75, 100, 150 et 300 mm,
alors que dans la deuxième série, les résistances à la compression des cubes de béton étaient de 36, 40 et 50 MPa. La force
d’adhérence des armatures augmentait avec la diminution de l’espace entre les languettes. Remplir les tubes d’un béton à ré-
sistance plus élevée a également permis d’accroître la force d’adhérence des armatures d’une moyenne pouvant atteindre
40 %.
Mots‐clés : tube rempli de béton, épreuve de contrainte par expulsion, force d’adhérence des armatures, raidisseurs.
[Traduit par la Rédaction]

1. Introduction mon method to evaluate bond strength in a CFST is by


conducting a push out test (Hunaiti 1991, 1996; Shakir-Khalil
Concrete filled steel tubular (CFST) columns are a compo-
1991; Mouli and Khelafi 2006; Xu et al. 2007; Petrus et al.
site structural system with excellent structural characteristics,
2008).
which results from the composite action provided by the steel
There are several types of stiffening methods available for
tube to the concrete core and vice versa. As a structural sys-
tem, a CFST column has a high load bearing capacity, excel- use in CFSTs. Welding longitudinal stiffeners on the inner
lent earthquake-resistance, good ductility, and high fire surfaces of the steel tube, inserting shear studs in the steel
resistance. Besides those, the steel tube can function as a per- tube, and introducing tie bars or restraining rods are the
manent formwork as well as reinforcement, resulting in a most common stiffening methods used in CFSTs. The longi-
more economical section (Sham and Saadeghvaziri 1997; tudinal stiffeners have been proven to effectively delay the lo-
Gourley et al. 2001; Shanmugam and Lakshmi 2001; Uy cal buckling of the tubes, increase the sectional capacity, and
2001; Hajjar 2002; Liu 2004; Petrus et al. 2007). As a com- improve the lateral confinement of the concrete core (Tao et
posite structure, good bonding between the steel and concrete al. 2005, 2007, 2008; Zhang et al. 2007; Abedi et al. 2008;
is also important in a CFST column besides strength and Dabaon et al. 2009). However, they did not significantly in-
ductility. Providing stiffeners on the internal sides of a CFST fluence the ductility of the stiffened CFST specimens. Weld-
is beneficial to the bond strength between the steel and con- ing shear studs (Shakir-Khalil 1991; Punchin et al. 2003)
crete interface, especially for a rectangular section. A com- only enhanced the ductility of square CFST columns, contri-
Received 13 August 2009. Revision accepted 1 March 2011. Published at www.nrcresearchpress.com/cjce on 1 June 2011.
C. Petrus, H. Abdul Hamid, A. Ibrahim, and J.D. Nyuin. Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah
Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.
Corresponding author: Clotilda Petrus (e-mail: clotilda166@ppinang.uitm.edu.my).
Written discussion of this article is welcomed and will be received by the Editor until 31 October 2011.

Can. J. Civ. Eng. 38: 627–637 (2011) doi:10.1139/L11-030 Published by NRC Research Press
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628 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 38, 2011

Fig. 1. (a)–(d) Preparation sequence of the newly proposed stiffening method, built-up steel box column; (e) with two tab stiffeners and two
longitudinal stiffeners; and (f) with four longitudinal stiffeners used as control.

(a) (b) (c) (d)


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(e) (f)
For personal use only.

Table 1. Details of specimens for push out test in series 1 and 2.

Steel yield Concrete


strength, fy strength, fcu Tab spacing lt Interface
Series Specimen label (N/mm2) (N/mm2) (mm) length (mm) No. of tabs
1 SC(G1-1) 309 40 — 550 —
SC(G1-2) 309 40 — 550 —
SC(G1-3) 309 40 — 550 —
ST75(G1-1) 309 40 75 550 10
ST75(G1-2) 309 40 75 550 10
ST75(G1-3) 309 40 75 550 10
ST100(G1-1) 309 40 100 550 8
ST100(G1-2) 309 40 100 550 8
ST100(G1-3) 309 40 100 550 8
ST150(G1-1) 309 40 150 550 6
ST150(G1-2) 309 40 150 550 6
ST150(G1-3) 309 40 150 550 6
ST300(G1-1) 309 40 300 550 4
ST300(G1-2) 309 40 300 550 4
ST300(G1-3) 309 40 300 550 4
2 ST100(G2-1) 309 36 100 550 8
ST100(G2-2) 309 36 100 550 8
ST100(G2-3) 309 36 100 550 8
ST100(G3-1) 309 50 100 550 8
ST100(G3-2) 309 50 100 550 8
ST100(G3-3) 309 50 100 550 8
Note: For specimen designation, the letter S refers to the cross sectional shape and the following letter C or T refers to the
control specimen or the specimen with tab stiffeners. The subsequent number indicates the tab spacing. The letter G refers to the
concrete strength followed by a numeric character representing the different concrete strength. The subsequent numeric character
indicates the specimen number in a group of three samples.

buting nothing to the strength. Providing a set of four in- 2005; Baig et al. 2006; Cai and He 2006; Tao et al. 2008;
clined steel bars, tie bars or restraining rods onto the steel Cai and Long 2009). However, the layout of the tie bars or
sections enhanced the behaviour of square CFST columns the restraining rods complicates construction. Adequate stiff-
both in terms of ultimate strength and ductility (Hu et al. ening method is necessary to improve the performance of

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Petrus et al. 629

Fig. 2. Push out test set up and instrumentation.


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Fig. 3. View of typical concrete core and tab stiffeners after push width of 200 mm, a wall thickness of 2 mm, and an average
out test. yield strength of 309 MPa. According to Eurocode 4 (2004)
inorder to avoid local buckling of steel, the slenderness of the
walls must satisfy the stipulated limiting value of B/t.
sffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
B 235
For personal use only.

½1  52
t fy
Crushed concrete around
the tab stiffener where B is the greater overall dimension and t is the thick-
ness of the steel plate and fy is the yield strength of steel in
MPa. The calculated slenderness limit of all specimens using
eq. [1] was 54. Since the width-to-thickness ratio (B/t) of all
specimens in this study was 100, they were all considered as
Deformed tab stiffeners thin-walled sections. A stiffening measure was taken to en-
hance the local buckling stress of the thin walled tubes. The
size of the stiffeners was determined using eq. [2], developed
by Tao et al. (2005):
w3:5 f
y;t
½2 Is;re ¼ 3:1  104 t4
t 280
where Is,re is the stiffeners rigidity requirement, w is the
square and rectangular CFST columns in terms of both width of the sub-panel plate, which can be taken approxi-
strength and ductility. mately as, w = B/2, where B is the overall width of the tube
This paper presents an experimental investigation into the and fy,t is the yield stress of the tube material. For a
bond carrying capacity of CFST stub columns with a novel 200 mm × 200 mm steel box tube, the minimum required
stiffening method using tab stiffeners. This stiffening method stiffener rigidity, Is,re was 3914 mm4. Hence, a stiffener of at
aims to increase the bond strength and to overcome the short- least 22.7 mm high and 4 mm thick was required. Therefore,
coming of weak concrete confinement at the centre of the the dimension of the stiffener was chosen to be 25 mm high
sidewalls of a rectangular steel tube. and 4 mm thick, giving a rigidity of 5208 mm4.

2. Experimental program 2.1. Material properties


The details of the preparation sequence of the proposed All specimens were fabricated from un-galvanized mild
stiffening method are as shown in Fig. 1. In total, there were steel sheeting with a measured thickness of 2 mm. The aver-
21 square section specimens with longitudinal and tab stiff- age yield strength of the steel tubes was 309 MPa, obtained
eners prepared. The push out test was conducted to determine from three tension coupon tests. The compressive strengths
the bond strength between the steel and concrete interface. of the three batches of concrete used as the infill materials
The primary parameters studied were the spacing of the tab were determined from three 150 mm cubes from each batch.
stiffeners and the compressive strength of the concrete. The average cube strength at an age of 28 days for the
All specimens were square in cross section with an overall batches of concrete were 36, 40, and 50 MPa.

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630 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 38, 2011

Table 2. Results from specimens in series 1.

Concrete Bond
strength, fcu Tab spacing lt Failure load, N Average failure strength
Specimen label (N/mm2) (mm) No. of tabs (kN) load, N (kN) (MPa)
SC(G1-1) 40 — — 173
SC(G1-2) 40 — — 176 175 0.4
SC(G1-3) 40 — — 175
ST75(G1-1) 40 75 10 260
ST75(G1-2) 40 75 10 265 263 0.60
ST75(G1-3) 40 75 10 264
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ST100(G1-1) 40 100 8 249


ST100(G1-2) 40 100 8 284 262 0.60
ST100(G1-3) 40 100 8 253
ST150(G1-1) 40 150 6 220
ST150(G1-2) 40 150 6 192 227 0.52
ST150(G1-3) 40 150 6 268
ST300(G1-1) 40 300 4 222
ST300(G1-2) 40 300 4 208 215 0.49
ST300(G1-3) 40 300 4 *

Note: For specimen designation, the letter S refers to the cross sectional shape and the following letter C or T refers to the control specimen
or the specimen with tab stiffeners. The subsequent number indicates the tab spacing. The letter G refers to the concrete strength followed by a
numeric character representing the different concrete strength. The subsequent numeric character indicates the specimen number in a group of
three samples.
*
Problem in data acquisition.

2.2. Specimen preparations top of the specimen to allow the concrete core to travel dur-
For personal use only.

The built-up steel tube with two sides of longitudinal stiff- ing testing. After casting, the specimens were left open to be
eners and two sides of tab stiffeners was fabricated from mild air-cured.
steel sheeting with a thickness of 2 mm according to the fab- Four different tab spacings, namely 75, 100, 150, and
rication process shown in Fig. 1. First, the steel tube was cut 300 mm were considered. The tab stiffeners were cut and in-
to the required width and length. Then the steel sheeting was clined in the direction of slip to obtain the best slip response
pressed to form a lipped equal angle section of 100 mm × in terms of both strength and ductility. For identification pur-
100 mm wide (Fig. 1a) × 600 mm long with a 25 mm lip poses, the sides with tab stiffeners were painted white at the
length. Two pieces of the lipped angles were welded through- location of tab stiffeners. For each tab spacing, three hollow
out its length to form a lipped channel with longitudinal stiff- specimens were filled with 40 MPa concrete. In addition, six
eners (Fig. 1b). Tabs were then made by notching the lips other specimens with 100 mm tab spacing were filled with
along the median line, slanting 50 mm downward with about 36 and 50 MPa concrete.
5 mm tolerance at the required spacing and folding them hor- The push out test was carried out in two series, as detailed
izontally in the right, and left directions alternately (Fig. 1c). in Table 1. The first series considered variations in tab spac-
Finally, a square tube with two longitudinal stiffeners and ing, namely 75, 100, 150, and 300 mm centre-to-centre, ver-
two tab stiffeners was produced by seam welding together tically. Three specimens were prepared for each tab spacing
two pieces of lipped channels (Fig. 1d, Fig. 1e). Built-up and three more specimens with four straight longitudinal
steel tubes with four longitudinal stiffeners were also fabri- stiffeners for the purpose of comparison. The second series
cated by seam welding four pieces of lipped angle sections investigated the effect of in-filled concrete of different
for comparison purposes (Fig. 1f). strengths, namely 36, 40, and 50 MPa.
Twenty-one built-up square hollow sections of sides
200 mm × 200 mm and 2 mm thick with stiffeners were pre- 2.3. Test set-up and instrumentation
pared for the push out test. Each specimen was 600 mm long, A 1000 kN capacity Universal Testing Machine was used
and the length of the steel–concrete interface had been main- for the push out test. The set-up for the push out test is
tained at approximately 550 mm. Three specimens having shown in Fig. 2. A 50 mm thick steel loading block with
four longitudinal stiffeners were fabricated, to act as the con- sides about 10 mm smaller than the internal dimension of
trol. The lower end of the specimens was stiffened by weld- the specimen being tested was placed at the top end between
ing four 200 mm × 100 mm steel plates of 3 mm thickness the specimen and the loading surface of the testing machine.
to avoid local buckling during testing. A tiny V notch of The steel loading block was provided with four grooves of
7 mm deep was provided at the bottom of the tube to release 30 mm × 8 mm at its mid sidewalls to accommodate the
any trapped air during testing. Prior to concrete casting a steel tube’s stiffeners and to ensure that the load was trans-
2 mm thick square flat plate of 250 mm × 250 mm was ferred only to the concrete core. Four 50 mm travel displace-
welded to the base of the steel tube to support the wet con- ment transducers were placed at the middle of each side of
crete during casting. During casting, the specimens were the steel tube to measure the downward movement of the
turned upside-down and filled with concrete in layers and vi- concrete core with respect to the steel tube. Strain gauges
brated to a height of 550 mm, leaving a 50 mm gap at the were mounted on the steel tubes at the locations of the tab

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Petrus et al. 631

Table 3. Bond strength from push out test data by other researchers.

Description of Type of concrete, Type of steel, fy Bond strength


No. Author stiffeners fcu (MPa) (MPa) Section (MPa)
1 Shakir-Khalil (1991) 50 mm long M12 43.4, 44.5, 46.5 MS grade 43 Rectangular 0.83–3.6
grade 4.6 black (120×80×5)
bolts 39.4 Square 0.6–1.5
(150×150×5)
3.7 mm diameter, 45 Circular (168.3×5) 2.5–4
62 mm long
DN drive hilti
nails
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2 Shakir-Khalil (1993a) Hilti nails, grade 36–42.5 MS grade 43 Square (150×5 & 0.4, 0.8
in Gourley et al. 4.6 black bolts 200×5)
(2001) Circular (168.3×5)
3 Shakir-Khalil (1993b) Grade 4.6 black 38–44 MS grade 43 Rectangular 0.2–4
in Gourley et al. bolts (120×80×5)
(2001) Square (150×5)
Circular (168×5)
4 Shakir-Khalil (1994) Grade 4.6 black 22–54 NA Rectangular 0.2–0.53
in Gourley et al. bolts, grade 8.8 (150×100×5)
(2001) black bolts,
threaded bars.
5 Virdi and Dowling None 22–46.4 mild steel Circular (148×5.6 0.33–3
(1980) in Gourley & 306×10.16)
et al. (2001)
6 Morishita et al. None 19–33 253, 255 253 Circular (150×3.2 0.2–0.4
(1979a, 1979b) in (cold-formed & 165×3.6)
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Gourley et al. mild steel)


(2001) 18.8–33 260.8 Square (150×3.6) 0.15–0.30
33.5 260.8 Octagonal 0.15–0.30
(150×3.6)
7 Tomii et al. (1980) in steel tubes with 16.7, 22.5 (ex- Cold form mild Circular (150×3.2) 0.4–0.6 (check-
Gourley et al. checkered pansive); 20, steel. 252.54 ered), 0.2–0.4
(2001) inside walls 27 (ordinary); (smooth), (smooth)
17–46 (expan- 250.5 (check- Square (150×3.2) 0.4–0.49 (check-
sive), 21.1–34 ered) ered), 0.15–
(ordinary) 0.29 (smooth)
17–46 (expan- Octagonal 28 0.4–0.49 (check-
sive), 21.1–34 (150×3.2) ered), 0.15–
(ordinary) 0.29 (smooth)
8 Morishita and Tomii None 23, 27, 35 339.5–351.2 Square (150×4.2) 0.15 – 0.34
(1982) in Gourley (cold form
et al. (2001) mild steel)
9 Kilpatrick and Ran- self tapping screw 106 50.8 (cold form) Circular 0.01–0.79
gan (1999) in (101.6×2.4)
Gourley et al.
(2001)
10 Hunaiti (1991) battened at the 41.5–50.5 N/A C channel 0.55–0.88
top and bottom
at 2 sidewall
panels.
11 Hunaiti (1996) None 12.11 & 15.38 Square 0.1 & 0.08
(Foam (100×100×2) 0.72 & 0.45
Concrete)
(21.2 & 24.34) N/A 0.35 & 0.18
(Light weight 0.73 & 0.4
concrete)
36.44 & 38.56 Circular (100×3.4) 2.04 & 1.37
(Normal 1.61 & 0.96
concrete)
12 Mouli and Khelafi None 44.8 (NWC) 340 – 363 120×80×5 0.42–0.81
(2006) 36.7 (LWC) 150×100×5 0.43–0.84

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632 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 38, 2011

Table 3 (concluded).

Description of Type of concrete, Type of steel, fy Bond strength


No. Author stiffeners fcu (MPa) (MPa) Section (MPa)
13 Xu et al. (2007) None Expansive N/A Circular section 0.6–1.92
concrete
14 This paper Tab stiffeners 36 309 Square 0.4–0.6
(200×200×2)
50 0.84
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stiffeners to record the strain distribution along the height of with a concrete strength of 50 MPa, evidence of local buck-
the specimen. The push out testing procedure was adopted ling was more visible. Buckling of the side walls in the vicin-
from Eurocode 4 (2004) on tests of shear connectors with ity of the tab stiffeners might be due to stress concentration
slight modifications to suit the present CFST specimen. and concrete crushing at the tab stiffeners. It was also noted
Load was first applied in increments of up to 40% of the ex- that evidence of buckling of the same side walls was more
pected failure load and then cycled 25 times between 5 and glaringly obvious as the tab stiffener spacing became smaller.
40% of the expected failure load. Subsequently, the load was The formation of ripples for the specimens with tab stiffeners
increased monotonically at a constant displacement rate of at 75 mm centre-to-centre occurred almost simultaneously on
0.01 mm/s until the test was terminated. The movement of the side walls at all the tab stiffener locations. This may be
the concrete core was taken as the average of the four trans- due to the closer locations of crushed concrete as the tab
ducer readings. The load was applied through the steel block stiffener spacing become smaller.
to the concrete core, which would possibly move the core To investigate the damage to the concrete core and the de-
vertically downward relative to the steel section once the formation of the tab stiffeners, some selected specimens were
bond resistance at the concrete–steel interface is exceeded. cut open after the test. Figure 3 shows a typical appearance
Testing continued until the concrete core slipped about of the specimen on the sides with tab stiffeners. It was ob-
40 mm or more. An automatic control and data acquisition served that the crushing of the concrete was only evident
For personal use only.

system (CDAS) operated through the testing machine soft- around the tab stiffeners, indicating that the concrete core
ware (UTS010) was used to capture data continuously failed before the tab stiffeners. With increasing slip, the con-
throughout the test. crete core continued to crack and eventually the bearing
strength of the tab stiffeners became fully exhausted causing
3. Experimental results and discussions them to bend in the direction of the slip.
It was observed that the tab stiffeners also deformed along
Several observations were recorded and evaluations made with concrete crushing and they did to an inclination mostly
from the experimental results of the push out test. These in- around their collars causing them to drop in the direction of
cluded observation of the failure mechanisms and evaluation the concrete core movement. At this stage, evidence of buck-
of the bond carrying capacity and strain distribution along ling of the steel tube started to show as the load was being
the height of the tube. From the test results, the load carrying transferred from the concrete core to the steel tubes through
capacity of the tab stiffeners was evaluated by determining tab stiffeners. Once the concrete around the tab stiffeners
the bond strength at the steel–concrete interface. The results crushed, bonding between the steel tube and the concrete
were then compared with those of other researchers. core failed. Therefore, the resisting force was only offered by
the tab stiffeners, causing them to continue carrying high
3.1. Failure mechanism compression and shear force simultaneously as the slip pro-
Failure mechanism is defined as the physical appearance ceeded. At excessive slip, the tab stiffeners eventually failed,
observed during and after testing. Some tested specimens deflecting in the direction of the slip once the bearing ca-
were selected to be cut open to see the damage to and defor- pacity was exceeded.
mation of the concrete core and the tab stiffeners. At the ini-
tial stage of testing, it was observed that all specimens 3.2. Bond strength
suffered no sign of deformation. After about 5 mm slip, there A summary of the results with the calculated bond
was a loud cracking sound indicating a lost of bond between strengths of the specimens for series 1 is presented in Table 2.
the steel and the concrete at the steel–concrete interface fol- The load carrying capacity of a tab stiffener was determined
lowed by sudden drop in load. Evidence of local buckling by subtracting the average failure load of the specimen from
started to appear on the sides with tab stiffeners with contin- the control specimen, giving the average load carrying ca-
ued loading. Generally, what started in the form of ripples as pacities of 88, 87, 52, and 40 kN for 10, 8, 6, and 4 numbers
small ripples in the lower part of a specimen grew and repli- of tab stiffeners per tube, respectively, or 10 kN on average
cates progressively upward. At excessive slip, the top edge of per tab stiffener. If this value is compared with the load car-
the steel tube buckled outwardly with visible separation be- rying capacity of the M12 bolt used as a shear connecter in a
tween the steel tube and concrete core. Generally, the sides CFST (Shakir-Khalil 1991), the tab stiffener attains only
with the longitudinal stiffeners remained intact but those about 13% of that of the M12 bolt. However, the present
with the tab stiffeners buckled. push out test results indicate that comparatively tab stiffeners
This failure mechanism was consistent for the specimens do contribute to the enhancement of the present bond resist-
with 36 and 40 MPa concrete strength. However, for those ance at the steel–concrete interface.

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Petrus et al. 633

Fig. 4. Force–slip curves for specimens with (a) 75 mm, (b) 100 mm, (c) 150 mm, and (d) 300 mm tab stiffener spacing and control.
(a) (b)
450
450
400 ST75(G1-1) 400
350 ST75(G1-2) 350

Force (kN)

Force (kN)
300 300 ST100(G1-3)
ST75(G1-3) ST100(G1-2)
250 250 ST100(G1-1)
SC(G1-3) SL(G1-3)
200 200
150 150
100 100
50
50
0
0
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0 10 20 30 40 50
0 10 20 30 40 50
Slip (m m )
Slip (m m)

(c) (d)
450 450
400 400
ST150(G1-3) 350
350

Force (kN)
Force (kN)

300 300
ST300 (G1-1)
ST150(G1-2) 250 ST300 (G1-2)
250 ST150(G1-1)
SC(G1-3)
SC(G1-3)
200 200
150 150
100 100
50 50
0 0
0 10 20 30 40 50 0 10 20 30 40 50
Slip (m m ) Slip (mm)
For personal use only.

Fig. 5. (a) Force–slip curves for different tab spacing and (b) idealized force–slip curve for a CFST with tab stiffeners.
(a) (b)
450 residual strength
400
ST75(G1-2)
Pb
350
300 ST100(G1-3)
Force (kN)

Force (kN)

250 ST300(G1-2)
SC(G1-3)
200 I II III
150 Region I: microlocking
100 Region II: loss of bond
50 Region III: macrolocking
0 5 10 25
0 10 20 30 40 50 Slip (mm)
Slip (m m )

Fig. 6. Effect of tab spacing on bond strength. The bond strength at the interface between the steel and
0.7 the concrete was calculated from the equation
75 100
0.6 ½3 F b ¼ N=Po L
Bond strength (MPa)

150
300 where Fb is the bond carrying capacity at the steel–concrete
0.5
interface, N is the failure load applied to the specimen, Po is
0.4
the perimeter of the concrete–steel interface assuming a right
angled corner of the steel tube, and L is the concrete–steel
0.3 contact length.
The average bond strength of the control specimens was
0.2 0.4 MPa, which is equivalent to the design shear strength
0 75 150 225 300 value assumed in Eurocode 4 (2004) for a concrete filled rec-
Tab spacing (m m )
tangular hollow section. The rest of the specimens showed
significant improvement in the bond strength, recording a
bond strength as high as 0.6 MPa.
The results obtained from the push out test in this study
were then compared with data from previous researchers and

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634 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 38, 2011

Table 4. Results from specimens in series 2.

Concrete
strength, fcu Tab spacing No. of Failure load, Average failure Bond strength
Specimen label (N/mm2) lt (mm) tabs N (kN) load, N (kN) (MPa)
ST100(G1-1) 40 100 8 249
ST100(G1-2) 40 100 8 284 262 0.60
ST100(G1-3) 40 100 8 253
ST100(G2-1) 36 100 8 260
ST100(G2-2) 36 100 8 245 261 0.60
ST100(G2-3) 36 100 8 280
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ST100(G3-1) 50 100 8 390


ST100(G3-2) 50 100 8 368 368 0.84
ST100(G3-3) 50 100 8 345
Note: For specimen designation, the letter S refers to the cross sectional shape and the following letter T refers to the specimen with tab
stiffeners. The subsequent number indicates the tab spacing. The letter G refers to the concrete strength followed by a numeric character
representing the different concrete strength. The subsequent numeric character indicates the specimen number in a group of three samples.

Fig. 7. Force–slip curves for different concrete strength. from the curves, marking the loss of initial bond between
500 the steel and the concrete after which de-bonding occurred
ST100(3-1)
ST100(3-3)
with a sudden loss of bond. At this stage, the specimens had
400
total bond loss but the concrete core did not travel downward
freely. The load continues to increase with increasing slip.
Force (kN)

ST100(2-3) The residual strength is derived from the resistance provided


300 ST100(2-2)
ST100(1-1)
by the tab stiffeners. At relatively large slip values, the walls
ST100(1-2) of the steel section in the vicinity of the tab stiffeners
200 buckled inwards, thus increasing the resistance to further
For personal use only.

slip. The residual strength is shown to be higher at smaller


100 tab stiffener spacings. At about 25 mm slip, it is in the range
between 50 and 100 kN greater than the ultimate bond
0 strength, indicating increasing load bearing capacity of tab
0 10 20 30 40 50 stiffeners with the number of tab stiffeners. This is due to a
bigger area of resistance from the tab stiffeners as their spac-
Slip (mm)
ings get closer. However, the force–slip curves of the speci-
mens with 300 mm tab stiffener spacing are almost similar
are tabulated in Table 3. Push out tests on CFSTs with shear to those of the control, an observation that reinforces the ar-
connectors were conducted earlier by Virdi and Dowling gument that residual strength is very much influenced by the
(1980) in Gourley et al. (2001), by means of self tapping presence and spacing of the tab stiffeners on the steel tubes.
screws and later extended by Shakir-Khalil (1991), Shakir- The force–slip curves in Fig. 4 are well explained using
Khalil (1993, 1994a, 1994b) and Kilpatrick and Rangan the notion of microlocking and macrolocking introduced by
(1999) in Gourley et al. (2001), to include hilti nails, black Virdi and Dowling (1980) in Gourley et al. (2001). The term
bolts, and threaded bars. Providing shear connectors has microlocking is used to describe the amount of bond, namely
been shown to improve the bond strength of CFSTs effec- the mechanical locking of the concrete with the irregularities
tively, with circular sections recording a higher bond strength of the steel tube. Microlocking defines the ultimate bond
of up to 4 MPa as compared to 3.6 MPa on square and rec- strength and the onset of the concrete core movement as a
tangular sections. Generally, the bond strength obtained from whole. The concrete at the interface is crushed and the stiff-
the push out test on specimens with tab stiffeners was higher ness decreases significantly at the ultimate bond strength.
than those of un-stiffened specimens. Macrolocking occurs due to the non-unifomity of the tube, i.e.,
the lack of straightness or lack of roundness or by the pres-
3.2.1. Force–slip curves ence of shear connectors. Macrolocking accounts for the fric-
The force–slip behaviours of the test specimens with 75, tional resistance provided beyond the ultimate bond strength
100, 150, and 300 mm tab spacings as compared to the con- and is illustrated by the remarkably parallel load deformation
trol specimens are presented in Fig. 4. From the force–slip slopes in the later stages of the curve.
relationships, taking the first peak loads to indicate bonding Typical force–slip curve for the specimens with different
strength of the specimens, those with the tab stiffeners are tab stiffener spacings are presented in Fig. 5a. All specimens
shown to record greater strength than those without. The show a similar force–slip pattern, which in turn leads itself to
force–slip relationships of the control specimens show that an idealized curve shown in Fig. 5b. The idealized curve rep-
little slip had taken place in the elastic region and that once resents the general behaviour, which is divided into three re-
the initial bond failure set in, the concrete core traveled stead- gions, namely I, II, and III. Region I is the elastic part in
ily downward as slip progressed. which microlocking takes place. At the microlocking stage,
Typically, all specimens with the tab stiffeners reach their both the steel tube surface and the tab stiffeners offer fric-
ultimate bond loads at a slip of about 5 mm as evidenced tional and load bearing resistance. The point when these

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Petrus et al. 635

Fig. 8. Force–strain relationships of specimens with (a) 75 mm tab stiffener spacing and (b) 300 mm tab stiffener spacing.
(a) 400
(b) 400
150 150
1 1
350 350
2 75
300 3 75 300 300

4 75
Load (kN)

2
250

Load (kN)
5 75 250 100
100
200 50 200 50

150 1
150
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2
100 3 100 1
4
50 50
5 2
0
0
-1500 -1000 -500 0 500
-1500 -1000 -500 0 500
Average strain (micro-strain)
Average strain (micro-strain)

Fig. 9. Force–strain relationship of specimens filled with concrete strength: (a) 36 MPa and (b) 50 MPa.
(a) (b)
1 15
150
500
1 500 2 10
2 100
100
For personal use only.

3
100 100
400
3 400 4
Load (kN)

4 100 100
Load (kN)

100 5
300 50 300

200 200
1
1
2
100 2 100
3
3
4
0 4 0
-2000 -1500 -1000 -500 0 500 -2000 -1500 -1000 -500 0 500
Average strain (micro-strain) Average strain (micro-strain)

resistances are overcome marks the ultimate bond strength 3.2.3. Effect of concrete strength
(Pb) of the specimens. At the ultimate bond strength, con- Previous studies have shown that bond strength is also af-
crete at the tab stiffeners is crushed and the load drops as fected by the type and strength of concrete. In the present
shown in Region II. Meanwhile, Region III is the area where study, the effects of varying the concrete compressive
macrolocking takes place. There is a remarkable load in- strength were investigated on specimens with 100 mm tab
crease after the slight drop of load with progressive concrete spacing and the results are tabulated in Table 4. The average
core slip, provided by the load resistance of the tab stiffeners bond strength for specimens with concrete compression
beyond the ultimate bond strength. strengths of 36, 40, and 50 MPa are 0.60 MPa, 0.6 MPa,
and 0.84 MPa, respectively. Though there is no significant
3.2.2. Effect of tab stiffener spacing difference between the specimens with concrete compression
The effect of tab stiffener spacing on the bond strength is strengths of 36 and 40 MPa, the improvement in the bond
presented in terms of bond strength versus tab stiffener spac- strength with 50 MPa concrete is about 40% from those of
ing as shown in Fig. 6. It is clearly shown that bond strength 36 and 40 MPa, indicating the significant influence that the
increases with decreasing tab stiffener spacing and it is at its concrete compressive strength has on the bond strength of a
highest when the spacings are 75 and 100 mm centre-to- composite section with tab stiffeners. Nevertheless, it is ob-
centre. Therefore, a tab stiffener spacing of 100 mm centre- served that the strength of concrete has no influence on the
to-centre was used in the subsequent experimental parametric force–slip behaviour as both specimens produce similar
investigation. force–slip curves as shown in Fig. 7.

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636 Can. J. Civ. Eng. Vol. 38, 2011

3.3. Strain distribution recorded at about 25 mm slip, and the strength increases
The force–strain relationships for specimens with a 75 mm with decreasing tab stiffener spacing.
tab stiffener spacing (Fig. 8a) and a 300 mm tab stiffener 5. The bond strength of the specimens with a 100 mm tab
spacing (Fig. 8b) are recorded down the height of the speci- stiffener spacing and 50 MPa concrete improved by about
mens and labelled 1 to 5 and 1 to 2, respectively. The graphs 40% over those of 40 and 36 MPa.
revealed gradual increase in the strains from the top of the
specimens down to the base up until the peak load. There is Acknowledgements
an obvious drop, and even a strain reversal at an excessive
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial sup-
slip prior to reaching the peak. This is due to the fact that at
high slip, the load is transferred from the concrete core to the port from the Higher Education Ministry (MOHE), Malaysia
steel hollow section through the tab stiffeners, causing the and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia under
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strains near the base of the steel section to increase at a the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS). Thanks to
much higher rate than near the top. The strain distributions VPN Engineering Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia for its contribution in
for specimens with a 300 mm tab stiffener spacing (Fig. 8b) fabricating and supplying the steel materials. Appreciation to
differ from those of smaller spacings. The strain is higher at all technicians in the concrete and heavy structures laborato-
the bottom than it is at the top, up to about half of the ulti- ries at UiTM for their dedication and cooperation while as-
mate load. On the side wall where the upper tab stiffner is sisting in the experimental work.
located, the strain continues to increase almost linearly up to
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