Flexural Strength of Innovative Thin-Walled Composite Cold-Formed Steel/PE-ECC Beams


A detailed experimental investigation on the flexural behaviour of an innovative precast composite element combining cold-formed steel (CFS) and engineered cementitious composites (ECC) is presented in this paper. Bonding ECC to the lightweight thin-walled CFS sections enhanced the buckling, bearing, and torsional properties of the composite sections. The proposed composite system will be used as precast flexural members in framed structures with large spans or as a rehabilitation approach for corroded cold-formed and hot-rolled steel flexural members. Simply supported beams with comparatively long spans with span-to-depth ratios of 6.83 and 13.48 were installed back-to-back and tested under a 4-point loading configuration. The behaviour of composite CFS/ECC beams under bending was investigated and compared with the bare CFS sections. Composite CFS/MOR beams incorporating high-strength mortar (MOR) as an ECC replacement were also investigated. The test specimens were divided into three series with sixteen tests in total. Series A (SC300) included six tests utilising 300-mm height SupaCee sections, Series B (C300) included four tests using 300-mm height lipped-Cee sections, and Series C (SC150) included six tests utilising 150-mm height SupaCee sections. The composite CFS/ECC beams exhibited high load-bearing capacities after reaching their plastic section capacities, while the bare CFS beams failed to reach their yield section capacities due to distortional buckling. Composite CFS/MOR beams could not reach their plastic moment capacities due to debonding between MOR and CFS after MOR crushing. The moment capacities of the composite CFS/ECC beams increased up to 140.0% over their duplicate bare CFS sections, while composite CFS/MOR beams showed only a 72.0% increase over CFS sections. Lastly, design equations to predict the moment capacity of composite CFS/ECC beams are presented, based on the experimental results.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

CFS; Composite Beams; Flexural Strength; Lipped-Cee; MOR; PE-ECC; SupaCee

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1873-7323; 0141-0296

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2022 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

15 Sep 2022