Behavior of the shear studs in composite beams at elevated temperatures
In order to improve the fire safety and at the same time to provide more economical design of composite floors in fire, it is important to understand the behavior of these systems under fire exposure. An important step needed to reach this goal is to better understand the behavior of shear studs in composite beams at elevated temperatures, which was the focus of this research study. Typically, corrugated metal decks are used in construction of composite beams. These decks act as formwork and provide reinforcement for the concrete. For this study, however, the corrugated deck was not included. Rather, this study focused on cases where there is a solid concrete slab over the steel beam. The purpose of this limitation was to first gain a thorough understanding of shear stud behavior under fire exposure for this simpler configuration.
This study on shear stud behavior at elevated temperature in solid slabs included both experiments and numerical simulations. The objective of the experimental test was to develop additional data on the load-slip behavior of shear studs in solid concrete slabs at elevated temperatures, and to compare the measured shear stud strength values with the limited test data and code provisions available in the literature.
Two different specimen heating scenarios were introduced. One was meant to result in a temperature gradient in the specimen to simulate a fire condition. The other scenario was meant to result in a uniform temperature throughout the specimen for comparison purposes with the other scenario. One of the conclusions was that the shear stud strength and initial stiffness in the shear stud load-slip behavior have strong correlations with bottom of stud temperature, regardless of the heating scenario. Therefore, choosing the bottom of stud temperature as a reference temperature in predicting the shear stud ultimate strength and initial stiffness is reasonable.
The objective of the numerical simulations was to develop a finite element (FE) model which can predict the thermal and mechanical behavior of shear studs in solid concrete slabs at elevated temperatures, and to validate the model against the experimental data. Different aspects of modeling the specimen using the general purpose finite element software, Abaqus, were discussed. Results of the analyses were compared with the experimental results of this study.
Temperatures resulting from the heat-transfer analysis were found to be in a good agreement with experimental results at some locations in the specimen. However, at some other locations the difference between the experimental and FE results were more than 100 ºC. The existing level of uncertainty in the input data highly contributes to the errors in the temperature results, and emphasizes the difficulty that exists in heat transfer modeling. The load-slip curves found from FE analysis were presented for all the tests. The ultimate strength and the initial stiffness of the specimens were predicted well by the FE analyses. However, the slip capacity did not match between the experiments and FE analyses.
Several parametric studies using the finite element model were conducted to investigate the sensitivity of the analysis results to various model parameters, both for heat transfer analysis and structural response analysis. The studied parameters included thermal conductivity of concrete, convective heat transfer coefficient, resultant emissivity, thermal joint conductance coefficient, Concrete Damaged Plasticity model parameters, steel stress-strain curves recommended by two different code provisions, and concrete tensile strength. The current gaps in our knowledge about these parameters were discussed.