Composite Construction

In composite construction, rolled or built-up steel shapes are combined with reinforced concrete to form a structural member. Examples of this type of construction include: (a) concrete-encased steel beams (Fig. 7.37c), (b) concrete decks interactive with steel beams (Fig. 7.37a and b), (c) concrete encased steel columns, and (d) concrete filled steel columns. The most common use of this type of construction is for composite beams, where the steel beam supports and works with the concrete slab to form an economical building element.
Design procedures require that a decision be made regarding the use of shoring for the deck pour. (Procedures for ASD and LRFD differ in this regard.) If shoring is not used, the steel beam must carry all dead loads applied until the concrete hardens, even if full plastic capacity is permitted for the composite section afterward.
The assumed composite cross section is the same for ASD and LRFD procedures.
The effective width of the slab is governed by beam span and beam spacing or edge distance (Fig. 7.37a and b).
Slab compressive stresses are seldom critical for interior beams but should be investigated, especially for edge beams. Thickening the slab key and minimum requirements for strength of concrete can be economical.

Connector Details. In composite construction, shear connectors welded to the top flange of the steel beam are typically used to ensure composite action by transferring shear between the concrete deck and steel beam. Location, spacing, and size limitations for shear connectors are the same for ASD and LRFD procedures. Connectors, except those installed in ribs of formed steel decks, should have a minimum lateral concrete cover of 1 in. The diameter of a stud connector, unless located directly over the beam web, is limited to 2.5 times the thickness of the beam flange to which it is welded. Minimum center-to-center stud spacing is 6 diameters along the longitudinal axis, 4 diameters transversely. Studs may be spaced uniformly, rather than in proportion to horizontal shear, inasmuch as tests show a redistribution of shear under high loads similar to the stress redistribution in large bolted joints.
Maximum spacing is 8 times the slab thickness.
Formed Steel Decking. Concrete slabs are frequently cast on permanent steel decking with a ribbed, corrugated, cellular, or blended cellular cross section (see Sec. 8). Two distinct composite-design configurations are inherent: ribs parallel or ribs perpendicular to the supporting beams or girders (Fig. 7.38) The design procedures, for both ASD and LRFD, prescribed for composite concrete-slab and steelbeam construction are also applicable for systems utilizing formed steel decking, subject to additional requirements of the AISC Specification for Structural Steel for Buildings and as illustrated in Fig. 7.38.

Shear and Deflection of Composite Beams. In ASD and LRFD, shear forces are assumed to be resisted by the steel beam. Deflections are calculated based on composite section properties. It should be noted that, because of creep of the concrete, the actual deflections of composite beams under long-term loads, such as dead load, will be greater than those computed.

ASD of Encased Beams

Two design methods are allowed for encased beams. In one method, stresses are computed on the assumption that the steel beam alone supports all the dead load applied prior to concrete hardening (unless the beam is temporarily shored), and the composite beam supports the remaining dead and live loads. Then, for positive bending moments, the total stress, ksi, on the steel-beam bottom flange is

ASD of Beams with Shear Connectors

For composite construction where shear connectors transfer shear between slab and beam, the design is based on behavior at ultimate load. It assumes that all loads are resisted by the composite section, even if shores are not used during construction to support the steel beam until the concrete gains strength. For this case, the computed stress in the bottom flange for positive bending moment is

In continuous composite beams, where shear connectors are installed in negativemoment regions, the longitudinal reinforcing steel in the concrete slab may be considered to act compositely with the steel beam in those regions. In such cases, the total horizontal shear to be resisted by the shear connectors between an interior support and each adjacent infection point is

where Asr  total area, in2, of longitudinal reinforcing steel within the effective width of the concrete slab at the interior support Fyr  specified yield stress of the reinforcing steel, ksi
These formulas represent the horizontal shear at ultimate load divided by 2 to approximate conditions at working load.
Number of Connectors. The minimum number of connectors N1, spaced uniformly between the point of maximum moment and adjacent points of zero moment, is Vh /q, where q is the allowable shear load on a single connector, as given in Table 7.22. Values in this table, however, are applicable only to concrete made with aggregates conforming to ASTM C33. For concrete made with rotary-kiln-produced aggregates conforming to ASTM C330 and with concrete weight of 90 pcf or more, the allowable shear load for one connector is obtained by multiplying the values in Table 7.22 by the factors in Table 7.23.

The allowable shear loads for connectors incorporate a safety factor of about 2.5 applied to ultimate load for the commonly used concrete strengths. Not to be confused with shear values for fasteners given in Art. 7.30, the allowable shear loads for connectors are applicable only with Eqs. (7.67) to (7.69).
The allowable horizontal shear loads given in Tables 7.22 and 7.23 may have to be adjusted for use with formed steel decking. For decking with ribs parallel to supports (Fig. 7.38a), the allowable loads should be reduced when w/h is less than 1.5 by multiplying the tabulated values by

LRFD of Encased Beams

Two methods of design are allowed, the difference being whether or not shoring is used. In both cases, the design strength is bMn, where b  0.90. Mn is calculated for the elastic stress distribution on the composite section if shoring is used or the plastic stress distribution on the steel section alone if shoring is not used.

LRFD of Composite Beams

As with ASD, the use of shoring to carry deal loads prior to the time the concrete has hardened determines which design procedures are used. For composite construction where the steel beams are exposed, the design flexural strength for positive moment (compression in the concrete) is bMn. It is dependent on the depththickness ratio hc / tw of the steel beam, where tw is the web thickness and, for webs of rolled or formed sections, hc is twice the distance from the neutral axis to the toe of the fillet at the compression flange, and for webs of built-up sections, hc is twice the distance from the neutral axis to the nearest line of fasteners at the compression flange or the inside face of a welded compression flange.

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